Don't be surprised to find a Basque restaurant or two in town (Gernika on Capitol Boulevard comes to mind), as well as chorizo stands on the streets here (I mainly remember this as a late-night snack possibility after bar hopping!). Boise has the largest population of Basques outside of the Basque region in Spain. They started immigrating here in the late 1800's. Many went into the sheepherding business, not because that's what they used to do in Spain, but simply because sheepherders were in demand around Boise at the time. There's a Basque Market and a Basque Museum and Cultural Center on Grove Street where Basque language classes are offered. Basques meet here to practice dances (which they perform at various festivals) and just to socialize. You can even minor in Basque Studies at Boise State University. It's impressive to me how these people have kept up their culture throughout the decades.
Picture courtesy of my sister Stephanie.
Favorite thing: You'll probably first notice Table Rock because it has a huge cross on it that overlooks the city and is lit up at night. Table Rock is a butte on the northeast side of town. People come here to practice rappelling, and also for the nice views across the town and Treasure Valley. It used to be much more isolated than it is now, but subdivisions have slowly been developed almost all the way up to here. You can also hike up here on a trail from below - it's a nice short hike if you don't have time for something bigger.
The Flicks is Boise’s only art house theatre, and is your best bet for seeing foreign films and alternative/independent movies. My favorite thing about this place is that they serve beer and wine and let you take it into the theatre with you – how refreshing! They have a video rental area, featuring films other than the typical Hollywood schlock. Rick’s Café American is also part of the theatre, and offers a limited menu of sandwiches, salads, and desserts, along with espresso, beer, and wine.
Picture by my sister, Stephanie.
646 Fulton Street
Idaho is a very conservative state politically – possibly the most conservative state in the nation. Nearly all elected officials are Republicans. What little political debate there is here seems to be between the moderate and right-wing sections of the Republican Party, rather than between different political parties. Boise isn’t as right-wing as the smaller towns and rural areas of the state, but still, it’s more right-wing than many other places.
The high percentage of Mormons living here is one source of this conservativeness – about 1/3 of Idahoans are Mormon (less in Boise), and the church of Latter Day Saints (i.e. the Mormon church) is very influential both politically and socially.
The city of Boise is experiencing a huge inflation of house prices because of the growth, houses that cost around 130k last november are going at 160k now, so people from other states are investing here.
Forbes magazine rated Boise number one in the nation for owning a business, so more people are on the move, if anyone is interested, stay in the city of Boise, the closer to downtown the better.
The outlying areas of the city and suburbs are experiencing way more traffic and has less appeal than the older and established neighborhoods.
This area of town has restaurants, clubs, bars, and hot dog stands for drunks after 2 am.
These buildings have been remodeled and have been made into fine establishments.
Fondest memory: The only drawback is that Hannahs is in Old Boise.
The Pantry for REAL burgers (not the usual ones frozen with the card board taste). Don and Cathy French will give you a hard time- enjoy! Fly over the town in a small airplane- the blue astroturf at Boise State looks bright blue and out of place.
Fondest memory: The friendly natives, including me, of course. Boise and vicnity is the third fastest growing part of the US, caused either imigration or too much slip slap.
Favorite thing: go to boise if you like the outdoors, because the weather is excellent: even if it's 105 degrees, there's no humidity, so you can walk around without any problem, as long as you use sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and drink lots of water. There's little rain, not much pollution, so biking and hiking are good options.
Fondest memory: For much of its history, including when I was growing up in Boise in the '60s and '70s, this was known as the Ada Theatre. (Boise is in Ada County.) It nearly fell victim to the urban development that saw most of the surrounding blocks torn down in the '70s but made a terrific comeback. Since the restoration, the theater has changed hands several times and actually closed for a few months when Cineplex Odeon dropped out after showing what some feared would be its final (but appropriate) engagement, "The Mummy." Not only did another operator come in to save the day but the theater got yet another touchup. This is Boise's only surviving theater that even predates the 1980s. The last other vintage downtown theater, the Pinney, was demolished in the mid-'60s.
I got a soap made out of Idaho's famous potatoes! I still haven't used it, though... I was afraid leaves will suddenly sprout from my back if I did. Haha! :))
Fondest memory: Getting to watch a real live rodeo! Yeehaw!
Drive up Bogus Basin road, at least five miles. The view is tremendous. If you're a skier, go all the way to the ski area and go skiing. On a clear day (which is most of the time) you can see more than 100 miles.
Fondest memory: I miss all the outdoor activities when I'm away. Skiing in the winter, Autocross in the summer, great vistas any time of the year.
Go to the Capitol Building. It's huge, marble floors, my brother and I would walk there at least once a week when we were there visiting. a beautiful sight to behold, visit the parks, go swimming in Payette Lake.
Fondest memory: I miss my grandparents the most, the cool evenings sitting outside til it got dark. Getting up in the morning, going outside in my barefeet, walking in the cool, misty grass. The early morning fresh smells. I have so many good memories of Boise. It's a great place to visit.