3 Best Sights in Boise, Idaho

Idaho State Capitol Building

A design by John E. Tourtellotte and the classic German engineering of Charles Hummel have made the “Capitol of Light” an architectural intrigue, and a 12-year restoration project has spruced up the natural skylights, acres of carved white marble, colored Italian scagliola from the original building, and the bronze eagle perched atop the 208-foot dome. Inside, historic art includes a statue of Nike of Samothrace—a gift from France after World War II—and a golden statue of George Washington. Trees line the property, including a sugar maple planted by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1903. Pick up a self-guided tour brochure from the visitors' welcome desk on the garden level.

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Julia Davis Park

The city’s oldest park is a verdant 89-acre playground that's home to a zoo, kid-friendly Discovery Center, Boise Art Museum, and two museums of Idaho’s history. In September it's the venue for the Art in Park festival. A rose garden and duck pond with paddleboats also make it a popular retreat worthy of a picnic for an all-day adventure. The park is on the leafy Boise River Greenbelt, a paved 25-mile pathway that runs along the Boise River, links the “String of Pearls” park circuit, and connects to downtown.

The Basque Block

Boise boasts one of the highest concentrations of Basque descendants in the world, second only to the Basque country itself, and celebrates this heritage in this two-block slice of downtown. Here you'll find the city’s oldest surviving brick dwelling, once home to young shepherds, plus a historic museum and cultural center, restaurants serving authentic Basque food—try Leku Ona or Bar Gernika—and a Basque market with fresh local produce and wine from northern Spain. Every five years the international Jaialdi Basque festival is celebrated throughout Boise.

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