What the heck are mini-adventures, anyway? If you’re looking for a detailed answer, check out Alastair Humphreys’ (amazing) blog. If you want a first-hand experience, do this: grab a friend, hop in a car/plane and go explore something new! A few weeks ago, I carved out some time to do just that by booking a flight to Boise, Idaho to find out why it’s so dang a-peel-ing.
Potato puns not included.
Imagine commuting to work with trees greeting you good morning and the sound of a river rushing past you on your way. That’s what life is like to those using the GreenBelt for transportation. The GreenBelt runs for 25 miles along the Boise River; linking together over 850 acres of parks and natural areas, including Barber Park, Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park and Kathryn Albertson Park. With over 200 days of sunny days a year in Boise, the GreenBelt is always a beautiful sight.
Staycations are made easier when your city is bustling with events to attend. Tour de Fat, Basque wine festivals, dozens of concerts at Idaho Botanical Garden, Treefort Music Festival (also known as a festival of discovery), and so much more. One weekend you can peddle around the city drinking New Belgium beer and raising money for the Boise Bicycle Project; and the next you’re exploring “forts” of all different areas.
Known as the largest mural gallery in the Northwest, Freak Alley is a sight for sore eyes. Located in downtown, Freak Alley is a venue for local artists to showcase their talents in the form of murals and drawings. Started in 2002 with a single painting of an alley doorway by Colby Akers, Freak Alley now extends beautiful works of art all the way down the alley.
There is nothing better (in my opinion) than checking out local breweries. It seems everywhere you turn, there is a new brewery popping up in neighborhoods across the country. Boise’s brewery scene is no different. Some local options to explore are Boise Brewing, Woodland Empire Ale Craft, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse, 10 Barrel Brewing Boise and Payette Brewing. Or hop on-board the Boise Ale Trail and try them all!
Boise doesn’t serve just potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But if you’re into that sort of thing, I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Boise Fry Company. Located in the same downtown venue as Guru Donuts (make sure to try the Hipsterberry), Boise Fry Company highlights fries as the main entree with burgers on the side. Choose from six varieties of potato, seven styles of cut and dozens of crazy ketchup mashups. Too bad I was flying home, or I may have grabbed a mason jar full of blueberry ketchup.
Floating the Boise River
Boise is hot. Luckily, a river runs through it and Boise River Raft & Tube Rental allows residents and visitors to rent tubes, kayaks or rafts to float the river for $12 (and up) for three hours. Jump in the river at Barber Park, throw up your feet (literally, especially when going down the dams) and lather on that sunscreen. Shuttles are also available for those who park at Barber Park for $3. Or jump on the shuttle at Ann Morrison Park, hop in at Barber Park and leave your tube at Morrison when you’re done. Boise has this whole convenience thing really figured out.
As you can see, Boise is much more than potatoes and Wild West films. So what are you waiting for? Go explore! But make sure to bring back some blueberry ketchup – I’ll send you my address.
About the Author
Laura Smith is a writer, biker and avid wanderer. She’s always looking for a new adventure, documenting her stories along the way; her writing can be found on her Tumblr and Diary Traveler.