Idaho is full of a lot of different cool places to go and see. One of those places is the capital of Idaho, Boise. You might think it strange to talk about the place everyone in Idaho already knows about, but it is honestly one of the coolest places in the state, and since it is the biggest city in the state (With some of the other biggest right next door), there are always fun things to do in it and outside of it. All big cities are centers of activity and unique events that you cannot find elsewhere in and Boise is no exception. But with any big city, you cannot just walk out onto the street and be whisked away to the next fun thing. You have to know where things are when they are happening. My goal today is to give you some idea of what there is to do in and around Boise and let you know why you might want to give these things a try.
One of the first places you are going to want to check out is the Boise River and the Boise River Greenbelt. Civilization tends to build up around rivers and while people do not flock to rivers anymore for life-giving reasons, they still like the ambiance and other things a river has to offer. There is a lot to do on and around the Boise River. For example, every year there is a big event where people from all over the city grab their swimsuits and inner tubes and jump in the water together to float down the river for a little while. It is a colorful and fun event to take part in and you can meet all kinds of new people. With so many people on the water you might not see wildlife very much, but most of the other times of the year you might catch a few deer or the exotic bird or two. If there are not interesting animals around you can still take in the joy of floating along without a care in the world with the sounds and sights of the greenbelt around you.
Of course, the river is not the only cool thing along the river (If that makes any sense at all). There are tons of cool things always going on around the green belt. There are sights to stop and hang out, learning a little bit more about the world you live in and Boise itself. One of these places you can stop is a museum that talks about Anne Frank and serves as a monument to her sacrifices and life. You might think it is a strange place to find a museum dedicated to a girl that lived during one of Europe’s atrocities, but it is there nonetheless, and you can see what the memorial has to say about human rights, the way things were, and the way things could be.
If you are just not finding any animals in the wild when you visit the greenbelt, you can go where there are always cool animals to see. Zoo Boise is a big zoo situated right alongside the river. You are not going to find many of the animals that are unique to the Boise area, but you are still going to see some very cool and exotic wildlife (If a little less wild than you might find elsewhere). Zoo Boise has giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, penguins, red pandas, giant anteaters, and a ton of other kinds of animals that you are not going to be able to see anywhere else in the state. It is a full-blown zoo with more exotic animals than you can shake a stick at. The Boise Art Museum is right next door to the zoo and you can make a day of visiting both if you want some art with your wildlife expedition.
If you still have not had enough to see when it comes to cool animals, there is also the World Center for Birds of Prey, though you will have to drive outside the Boise city limits to get there. Right below the Boise area is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area where some of the good people of Idaho are working hard to restore some of the endangered bird of prey populations in the world by researching these birds and breeding them. The World Center is a good mouthpiece for the conservation area, giving people easy access to see some of the things they are doing and get to know the different behaviors of the birds they keep at the center. They even put on little shows where an expert on a particular bird will show you how they act with a trained bird right there with them. You get to see the bird up close and might even get to see it fly around, doing its thing.
Lastly, I want to talk about the Old Idaho Penitentiary. This historical landmark used to be the place where criminals and the imprisoned were kept. It is still sticking around despite being pretty old at this point and you can go and learn a little bit about the Idaho criminal justice system back in the day and see the life a prisoner at the time might have lived. A lot has changed since the time the penitentiary was active, and it can be a trip into the past. The Idaho Botanical Gardens are just south as well if you want to wash a more depressing taste out of your mouth.
Boise is about as cool as it gets when it comes to cities in Idaho. While that might not be as cool as New York City or Los Angeles, there are still a bunch of fun things to do and see in Boise. I have only mentioned a few of what there is available. There are literally thousands of things that are always going on. Pick something and try it out.