Four Seasons state!
If you plan to stay a while, bring a bag big enough to pack for the multiple seasons. Spring and Fall: Think layers: make sure you've got a jacket in the very least. Evenings will get cool on you very quickly. Nobody can tell you exactly when our seasons change as they tend to do so when they so choose.
Winter: These can get very cold in Boise, as a kid we'd make igloos out of three foot snow in the valley, the past few years have been getting a bit warmer and the snow line receding back past the foothills. Snow will help insulate the city and keep it warmer so even when sliding around on the roads remember that it's helping keep your nose a bit warmer. So do bring along the mittens and ear warmers as you'll be glad that you did.
Summer: We've got a nice stretch of desert to one side so summers can get upwards of 105* F in the shade. Pack sunscreen, shorts, tank tops, etc... if you're prone to burning bring a hat. Drink plenty of water if you're out wandering around all day as the heat by afternoon will have your head spinning if you don't. You can easily purchase any toiletries that you may require once in Boise at any grocery store, quick stop, etc.. Film can be had at most stores. For specialized equipment try Idaho Camera in the Yellow Pages. Within close vicinity to the city: (seasonal) Snow sports, hiking, mountain biking and camping, fishing, beach-like environments, etc... pack for your activities. A local's joke for our weather:
"If you don't like the weather in Idaho wait five minutes"
I recall one day in particular driving to Meridian (a nearby town) and experienced sunshine, rain, hail, snow with big wind, and a return to sunshine!! ha!
Our city style is relaxed and the most common is jeans and a t-shirt with sneakers (tennis shoes).
Two headed calf and other Idaho history ..
For me the museum was always a neat place to visit on school field trips and again with my dad, the historian. Will always remember the two headed cow and making butter the old fashioned way in one of Boise's pioneer homes (those small buildings located to the right of the entrance).
The Idaho State Historical Museum, founded in 1907, is Idaho's largest and most visited museum. It has evolved from a simple collection of curios and relics sitting on shelves to the first museum in Idaho to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. Objects from the Museum's collection tell the story of Idaho from prehistoric times through the fur trade, the gold rush, and pioneer settlement to the present. Richly detailed interiors show how Idahoans in the late 19th and 20th centuries lived and conducted business. Exhibits about the state's Native American, Chinese and Basque populations are also presented.
The annual "Museum Comes To Life", held on the last Saturday in September attracts thousands of visitors to see costumed interpreters demonstrate historical crafts and activities.
Use museum link for hours and admission fees.
Hospitality of the Nez Perce
The Nez Perce are one of many defeated tribes native to Idaho, but perhaps the most famous for their hospitality, and later their brilliant warrior campaign under Chief Joseph. There is a statue dedicated the hospitality of the Nez Perce to Lewis and Clark when they traveled through this region. The donor was a local rancher and history professor. The bronze statue is right near the entrance to the Capitol Dome park. The bronze was created by Dough Hyde, a nationally famous native American artist and descendant of the Nez Perce. For those interested in the brilliant and principaled defensive military campaign of Chief Joseph, see the link below
"City of Trees"
Boise, Idaho...what can I say? Its come a long way since I waved goodbye in 1998. After recently returning I have been pleasantly suprised at how many options are available for the outdoors, culture, and nightlife. Ask anyone who lives here, its a pretty sweet place not yet big city and no longer small town. Yep, Boise sits somewhere inbetween.