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10 Awesome Reasons to Visit Idyllic Boise, Idaho’s State Capital

capital of idaho

The capital city of Idaho is Boise. Boise is the most populous city in the US State of Idaho. Montana, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming all border Idaho in the northwestern region of the United States. The city of Boise is the county seat of Ada County. It is situated on the Boise River in the southwestern corner of Idaho.

What Is The Capital of Idaho?

According to Wikipedia and the US Census Bureau, Boise spans 80.05 square miles. The Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, also referred to as Treasure Valley, comprises five counties and contains Idaho’s three largest cities: Boise, Nampa, and Meridian.

A Brief History of Boise and Idaho

Home to the Shoshone-Bannock Native tribe, the area that is modern-day Boise was where the Hudson’s Bay Company founded a trading post for wagons on the Oregon Trail in 1834. A quaint area along the Boise River was originally called “Les Bois,” a French word that means “wooded.”

Almost 160 years ago, in the mid 19th century, President Lincoln created the Idaho territory by signing a congressional act. Lincoln made Caleb Lyon the second governor of the territory of Idaho in 1864. Also, he moved the capital city from Lewiston to Boise, which created quite a bit of tension between the northern and southern halves of the state.

Armed guards stopped those who lived in Boise from transporting the territorial seal and historical papers from Lewiston. Governor Lyon happened to disappear, leaving Territorial Secretary Clinton Dewitt Smith to be the acting governor. Smith managed to move the seal and archives into Boise in 1865, but he drank himself to death seven months later.

In 1862, settlers discovered gold in Boise, and the U.S. Army quickly constructed Fort Boise a year later. The town became the territorial capital the following year when it also became a city. By 1868, it is said that the city has more than 400 permanent structures.

10 Reasons to Visit Boise, Idaho

1. Idaho State Capitol Building

Rising 208 feet into the Boise skyline, the Idaho State Capitol Building is home to the state government, the supreme court, the past territorial legislature, and numerous state offices. There are three different ways to learn about the State Capitol Building, including scheduling a tour, checking out the Idaho State Capitol: Capitol of Light Booklet, or taking an Inside Look!

2. Boise Art Museum

The Boise Art Museum is located in Julia Davis Park. It boasts an incredible exhibition, rotating artists, and crucial cultural information worth checking out if you are in Boise.

3. Downtown Boise

Downtown Boise is a thriving hub for music, art, nightlife, and dining. Stroll along the Boise River, visit Zoo Boise at Julia Davis Park, and see many attractions that we talk about in this list! An off-the-beaten-path site in downtown Bosie includes the Freak Alley Gallery, a public forum for visual artists to create and display their art uniquely.

4. Idaho State Historical Society

Celebrating 140 years, Governor Gooding established this non-profit turned state agency in 1907. This organization serves as a way for the citizens to remain connected to Idaho’s rich history, culture, and state capital city. They provide access to government documents and immerse visitors from all over in educational programs and exhibits.

5. Boise River Greenbelt

RELATED: Albany, New York: 6 Reasons To Visit This National Historic Treasure

Hike, bike, picnic, and enjoy over 25 miles of scenic paths, walkways, and riverside areas when you visit the Boise River Greenbelt in the glorious Boise Basin.

6. World Center For Birds of Prey

The World Center for Birds of Prey has a succinct mission: to educate and accelerate conservation problems faced by raptors and communities around the globe. Here you can visit and learn all about birds of prey and how to preserve this unique species. You can also see the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, located 50 minutes south of the city.

7. Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights built the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in 2002. The memorial encourages visitors to actively think, talk, and respond to the human rights issues we face in our communities and our world. The remarkable memorial presents the triumphs and tragedies of the human story. We witness the incredible power of just one human voice through the history of time.

8. City of Trees

In recent years, the City of Boise has committed to planting one tree for every household in the city for a whopping 100,000 trees and planting one seedling for every person in the town. This decision to ignite a movement for community recovery and climate resiliency is a small part of the considerable effort to combat climate change. You can volunteer, donate, or spark the same movement in your city today.

9. Idaho Botanical Garden

Nestled in the Boise foothills, this 15-acre property provides lush greenery, vibrant plant life, and native and domestic flora and fauna adapted to the Intermountain region. The botanical garden also offers seasonal exhibits, guided tours, and educational youth programs.

10. Old Idaho Penitentiary

In 1872, the Idaho Territory Prison opened its door to some of the West’s most well-known and feared criminals. Although the Territorial Prison closed its doors to inmates in 1972, you can now tour and explore the unique prison history with a tour. Relive the exciting past of convict escapes, scandals, and more when you take a guided tour on your visit to Boise.

Nearby Cities to Visit

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

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