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Best Summer Activities in Boise, Idaho

Austin Callison

My experience goes as far back as my upbringing in a small ranching community in Northern California...

My experience goes as far back as my upbringing in a small ranching community in Northern California...

May 19 5 minutes read

With summer in full swing, we wanted to share our favorite local summer activities with you. Whether you are new to Idaho or have been a local for years, Boise is such a great city to explore. There are dozens of fun, active, and entertaining things to do in the capital and the surrounding Treasure Valley every summer. Keep reading for some of our favorite Treasure Valley summer adventure recommendations. Then grab your crew and head out to explore this amazingly beautiful city!

Classic Boise Adventures

Hiking:

With seemingly endless trails accessible throughout the valley, be sure to fit in an early morning hike through the hills of Camel’s Back or up to Table Rock this summer. The views are spectacular and the activity can range from a short hike to an all-day activity. Check the All Trails app for more hiking locations.

Be sure to bring extra water, snacks, and bags to carry out your trash. Remember to stay on the trails, as many of the pathways connect to protected conservation areas.

Float the River:

It does not get more classic Boise than a leisurely float down the river. The maintained six-mile float path begins at Barber Park and ends at Ann Morrison Park. Float tubes are available for rent at Barber Park.

Prepare to be in the water for approximately 3 hours. Be sure to bring along a cooler of drinks and your favorite snacks, pack extra sunscreen, and wear weather-appropriate attire.



Go Cycling: 

There is never a more perfect time to take in the sights of the Boise River than during the summer. Hop on your bike and set off along the Greenbelt. This well-maintained path runs along the river and can take you almost anywhere in the city.


Ride a Mountain Roller Coaster:

Did you know that Bogus Basin is open almost all year round? Our favorite local ski resort offers many summer events and activities. It recently added a roller coaster at the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort. Where else can you get hiking, skiing, and amusement park rides in the same place?


Visit the Penitentiary: 

The Old Idaho Penitentiary, that is. For a fascinating step back in time, visit this historical landmark that dates back to the 1800s.


Stop and Smell the Roses: 

While you are at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, wander over to the Botanical Gardens for a stunning look at the gorgeous flower garden. This hotspot is not only a garden, but it is also a popular event venue.  Go to idahobotanicalgarden.org to see its full event schedule which includes plant photography classes, outdoor concerts, and annual festivals.

For the Kids

The Treasure Valley and beyond offers an endless source of family fun inspiration. From education to entertainment, you will want to schedule as many of these activities as you can for summer vacation.

The Zoo: 

There are events hosted at the Boise Zoo as well as kids camps all summer long. Stop by to check out their recent expansion (including the Gorongoisa National Park exhibit featuring wildlife from the planes of Africa).


Lake Day:

Head up to Lucky Peak State Park for a fun-filled day on the water. Just 10 miles east of Boise, this scenic spot offers so much summer fun. Swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking on the shore make for the perfect family activity.


Shop Till You Drop: 

The Village in Meridian is an outdoor shopping mall that the whole family will love. From delicious treats to free music concerts, there is something for everyone. Both kids and adults will enjoy Big Al’s Bowling Alley and Arcade, so be sure to stop by to enjoy some games as a family!

FREE Movie Night at Settlers Park: 

Every Friday, Settlers Park in Meridian hosts an outdoor movie screening for the community. The showings start at dusk!

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