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Overview

Idaho's capital and largest city, Boise sits at a place where the desert and Rocky Mountains collide. Easygoing Boise is young, smart, and hip and manages to meld refined urbanity with genuine cowboy culture reminiscent of the American Wild West. Largely considered the most progressive city in Idaho, it nurtures reminders of a grittier frontier era in its 19th-century buildings that run alongside the inevitable gentrification of modern times — think Starbucks and cowboy boots. Cafés, restaurants, and bars stay open late, catering to crowds that occasionally spill out into the streets on busy nights during the warmer months. Locally ...

Idaho's capital and largest city, Boise sits at a place where the desert and Rocky Mountains collide. Easygoing Boise is young, smart, and hip and manages to meld refined urbanity with genuine cowboy culture reminiscent of the American Wild West. Largely considered the most progressive city in Idaho, it nurtures reminders of a grittier frontier era in its 19th-century buildings that run alongside the inevitable gentrification of modern times — think Starbucks and cowboy boots. Cafés, restaurants, and bars stay open late, catering to crowds that occasionally spill out into the streets on busy nights during the warmer months. Locally considered as a come-as-you-are friendly place, Boise supports an active gay/lesbian community as well as several Fortune 500 companies. Boise is a great place to visit, and live — many regard it as one of America's most pleasant and livable cities — offering the amenities of a big city with an ambiance that comes across a little like everyone's hometown.

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to late autumn; December to early spring for winter activities