Visiting... Top 5 things to do/see to get a picture of life in Boise (Meridian: co-op)
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Visiting... Top 5 things to do/see to get a picture of life in Boise
Things are moving right along with job opportunities and we will be coming out to Boise in the next 2 weeks to visit from Thursday to Tuesday. I figured I'd survey those in the know to help us plan our visit so we can see as much of what Boise life has to offer as possible.
So, what are your top 5 things we should do that will help us get the most 'feel' for Boise while we're there?
Figure out where you might want to live... and then work... and then do the commute when you would go into work and then come home.
From there, I would explore the immediate area to see what your daily life will be like...
Everyone gets this idea of life in Boise, but then when they get here they don't do those things because they live so far away. For instance, if you don't live near downtown Boise, you'll rarely come into downtown. Dunno why that is, but with EVERYONE I know this is the case.
The same with the greenbelt, foothills, and Camelsback... if you don't live within 5 or 10 minutes... you never use it.
Okay, well to give you an idea of what we're looking for; one of us would want to be near Hyde Park/North End to open a shop, and the other would be working in between Meridian/Boise. I'd like to get a home in Eagle or Highlands... something with a little bit of land. We'll be checking out the commutes and such but I really want to get to experience Boise in the short 4 days we're there. So... farmer's market? Shopping districts? Local restaurants? What's your favorite park?
What type of money are you working with... opening a shop in Hyde Park takes some $$$$$ (not to mention, it's a very particular clientele).... something with a little bit of land in Eagle or Highlands also takes some $$$$$$$. Serious $$$$$$.
Sounds more like you want a vacation than a research trip. I love going to LA for vacation. I never have to deal with the stuff that people deal with living there on a daily basis. You will not be on vacation if you move here, so I would go that route, as Boisefan88 suggested.
Check out the neighborhoods you're interested in. If you live in Eagle you'll rarely see downtown Boise or Hyde Park. If you live in Boise you'll probably rarely venture out to Eagle. That is pretty obvious in most places people live. So I too would check out the commutes, neighborhoods, where you'll shop, etc., and get a feel for your daily life.
Summers are great because you get a lot of daylight after work (assuming you get off at 5). Plenty of time to go hiking, biking, walk the greenbelt, float the river, check things out downtown, etc. Different story in the winter, as the city kinds of hibernates (even downtown). Most action is up on Bogus for night skiing.
Boise is also very much a recreation city. Lots of people out doing stuff when the weather's nice... parks are full, bike trails are full, etc., but there isn't much in the way of exploring the city or finding events, if you ask me. People do eat a lot, though, too.
I had a visitor from LA a few weeks ago. She had 4 days as well. I spent one day showing her the city and the neat places that make Boise unique... then the other 3 days out of town (in the mountains, on the river, etc.).
Farmers market is Sat morn. It's neat but I've been once. Not sure I'd go again. Not my thing. Shopping districts... um, the mall/Milwaukee, where all the big box chain stores are. Downtown for a bit more local stores. Neither are exactly great. Restaurants... a lot of chains and 3 star restaurants. Not much fine dining (maybe a few), but even those are casual. I like Brickyard, Mona Lisa (closed now), Pollo Rey, Golden Dragon, Bardenay, and Cottonwood sometimes. Hate Barbacoa. Overrated.
Parks... Camelsback is the most interesting. Julia Davis is peaceful. Ann Morrison for sports. Municipal for BBQs.
How exciting that you are visiting! I haven't been on this forum all week-- hope it's not too late to weigh in. Here are some of my favorite Boise things to do:
1. Drive up 8th Street till it turns into a gravel road and go about a half a mile or so to the parking lot on the right next to the Foothills Learning Center. Take, I think, the Red Cliffs trail? Really, you can take any trail and just head into the foothills. Get up where you can see the hills and the view of the city. It's August and hot so go in the morning or late evening. You might want to check out Camel's Back Park on 13th while you are right there.
2. Eat on a patio in Hyde Park for dinner--take your pick of places. Coffee at Java in the morning in Hyde Park is fun, too. Sit outside and people watch--there is a lot to see and a great vibe to take in.
3. Go to the Saturday Farmer's Market in downtown Boise.
4. Take a nice long walk on the Boise Greenbelt--or, better yet, take a bike ride. For a nice walking tour of our beautiful local parks, try parking at Kathryn Albertson Park, walking around on the paths there for a bit, then stroll across the street to Ann Morrison Park, catch the greenbelt (along the river), take the footbridge to the north side of the river, keep walking east to Julia Davis Park. You'll see the Boise State University Campus on the south side of the river. If you're feeling really ambitious, you could cross the footbridge back to the south side of the river there at Julia Davis and continue down to the BSU Stadium to see our famous blue turf. Julia Davis is home to the Boise Art Museum, Historical Museum and Zoo so there's plenty to see if you wanted to make that a stop in itself.
5. Drive up Warm Springs Boulevard and head out to Lucky Peak Reservoir. On the way, you'll pass Ben's Crow Inn which has been there forever and is a great place to stop for beer and clams. On your drive to Lucky Peak you can keep going all the way to Idaho City, or just go up to Spring Shores.
6. Wander around the north end. Check out Harrison Boulevard. Stop at the Boise Co-Op at 8th & Fort--get lunch at their deli.
7. Go to the Record Exchange at 11th (? might be 12th?) & Idaho. It's a local institution.
8. Go to the Boise Center on the Grove and Bodo. If you go to Saturday Market you'll be in that area, but it might be fun to come back after the market comes down. Protos has yummy pizza and the Brick Oven Bistro is a local classic.
9. For a longer day trip, check out the World Center for the Birds of Prey and the surrounding area along the Snake River Canyon. Gorgeous, gorgeous country just 30 minutes from town.
10. Get some ice cream at Goodies in Hyde Park.
11. For a Southeast Boise highlight, check out Bown Crossing. Go to Powell's, the awesome little candy shop, for fun. Dinner anywhere is great and you can take a greenbelt walk from there.
12. Walk around the Boise Train Depot. The grounds are beautiful and it is a historical landmark.
13. If you have kids, check out Ivywild Pool, Lucky Peak, Municipal Park, the MK Nature Center, the Discovery Center. I could go on with ideas for kids...
I'm sure that a million other ideas will come to me, but that's a nice place to start for now. Have a wonderful visit here in our beautiful little part of the world.
benchfan, I can't thank you enough for these suggestions. This truly was an amazing post to come to and I'm grateful for your insight and recommendations! Hp1167, you too - I appreciate your feedback and honesty.
As usual, things with the HR department are moving slower than anticipated but we'll definitely be coming out in the next few weeks. I'll be sure to take everything mentioned into account and will definitely hit up a lot of the spots you guys suggested. Hp1167, to answer your concern... not to be a dick about it, but I've done a little research and we're aware of the prices and can afford to get property in either neighborhood and open a shop. I've also traded several emails with a shopkeeper on 9th St downtown who told me about 'Restaurant Row' on 8th. They made it sound like a great place to set up shop... any feedback on that?
I'm so excited about shaking things up a bit and seeing something other than completely flat lands. I can't wait to see what Boise is all about!
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Just got back from a long weekend in Boise and well, I'm in love. We shoved as many things in our short stay as possible but we really enjoyed feeding the giraffes at the zoo, hanging in Julia Davis Park, eating at The Matador and taking advantage of affordable tastes and the lamb burger at Bittercreek, walking the greenbelt, driving to Idaho City and through Eagle, Meridian, North End, Hyde Park, Harris Ranch... so many neighborhoods it made my head spin. Boise has the most incredible farmer's market I've seen in a long time - you are lucky to have this!!! Everyone was SUPER friendly and helpful... and I couldn't get over the scenery. Bummer about the smoke and the rain yesterday but hey, even in the rain we saw a ton of cyclists grinding up the hills in full kits.
I'm sure I'm missing some highlights but just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions - and everyone's right when they say you have to see it in person because all the googling in the world won't help with decision making. If all goes as planned we'll be in Boise next month! Thanks.
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