10 Beautiful Places to Visit In and Near Boise, ID


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With a growing economy, affordable cost of living, and abundance of activities, Boise has become a popular destination for people looking to relocate. But that’s not all Boise offers.

Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the natural beauty of Boise and its surrounding areas is sure to leave you spellbound. So, if you’re looking for a place that offers a perfect balance of city life and outdoor adventure, then living in Boise should definitely be at the top of your list. From the majestic peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to the tranquil waters of Payette Lake, the area offers breathtaking vistas and unique outdoor experiences that are simply unparalleled.

If you’re new to the city and renting an apartment or looking to buy a home in Boise, there’s plenty of beautiful places to explore. We’ll take you on a journey through some of the most beautiful places in and near the city that you need to check out as a new resident.

Hot air balloons over Boise, ID

1. Boise River Greenbelt

The Boise River Greenbelt is a natural gem that runs through the heart of the city, providing a peaceful escape from the urban hustle and bustle. This 25-mile long trail offers stunning views of the city skyline and the meandering Boise River. Whether you prefer a leisurely bike ride, a peaceful stroll, or a dog-friendly activity in Boise, the Greenbelt has something for everyone. Along the trail, visitors can enjoy a variety of amenities, including picnic areas, playgrounds, and fishing ponds. The Greenbelt is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, with over 170 species of birds documented in the area. 

2. Table Rock

Surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests, Boise is known for its outdoor recreation. Table Rock is a popular hiking destination located just a short distance from downtown Boise. The hike to the top of Table Rock is a challenging but rewarding adventure, offering stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The trail is well-maintained and offers the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty and unique rock formations. Along the way, hikers can take in stunning vistas of the Boise foothills and the city skyline. At the top, hikers will enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, including the Boise River and the Owyhee Mountains. 

Table Rock is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, when the sky comes alive in a kaleidoscope of color. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just looking for a unique outdoor adventure, Table Rock is a must-visit destination in Boise that is sure to leave you in awe of the area’s natural beauty.

Table Rock Hike

3. Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

Nestled in the Boise National Forest, just a short drive from downtown Boise, Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is a year-round recreational paradise that offers visitors a wealth of outdoor activities. During the winter, Bogus Basin transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting skiers and snowboarders from all over the region. With over 2,600 acres of skiable terrain, Bogus Basin offers something for every skill level, from beginner runs to challenging expert terrain. 

In the summer, Bogus Basin is a popular destination for hiking and mountain biking, with miles of well-maintained trails that wind through the scenic Boise National Forest. Bogus Basin also offers a variety of summer activities, including disc golf, horseback riding, and scenic chairlift rides. 

Bogus Basin is a beautiful place near Boise you need to check out as a new resident

4. Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a hidden gem located in the heart of Boise. This tranquil oasis offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, with beautifully landscaped gardens that showcase a wide variety of plants and flowers. The garden is open year-round and offers visitors the chance to explore themed gardens such as the herb garden, the native plant garden, and the meditation garden. 

In the summer months, visitors can enjoy concerts and outdoor movies in the garden’s amphitheater. One of the highlights of the garden is the butterfly exhibit, which is open from late May to early September. You can also stroll through a garden filled with live butterflies and learn about their life cycle and habitat. 

5. Bruneau Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes State Park is a stunning natural wonder located just an hour’s drive south of Boise. This unique park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, with some towering over 400 feet tall. You can explore the dunes by hiking, sandboarding, or even horseback riding. 

The park also offers guided tours and educational programs, where visitors can learn about the geology and history of the area. One of the highlights of the park is the opportunity to stargaze under some of the clearest skies in the country. The park’s observatory provides an up-close look at the night sky and the chance to view distant galaxies and constellations. 

Bruneau Dunes State Park

6. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Hells Canyon is one of the most stunning natural wonders of the American West. Straddling the border of Idaho and Oregon, this magnificent canyon is over 10 miles wide and 8,000 feet deep, making it deeper than the Grand Canyon. Explore the deep canyons and rugged terrain by hiking, rafting, or even jet boating. There are numerous trails that offer breathtaking views of the canyon, as well as opportunities to spot wildlife such as bighorn sheep and bald eagles. Rafting through the canyon is also a popular activity, with several tour companies offering guided trips. Take in the stunning scenery and experience the thrill of navigating the rapids of the Snake River. Hells Canyon is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique and unforgettable outdoor adventure in Idaho. With its awe-inspiring beauty and rugged terrain, it’s easy to see why Hells Canyon is often considered one of the most beautiful places in the state.

People rafting along Hells Canyon

7. Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls is a magnificent waterfall located just a short drive from Boise. Known as the “Niagara of the West,” this stunning natural wonder is over 200 feet tall and spans 900 feet across, making it one of the largest waterfalls in the United States. You can take in the breathtaking views from a scenic overlook or hike down to the base of the falls for an up-close look. The surrounding area is also home to several hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the Snake River and the canyon below. During the summer months, the falls are illuminated at night, creating a stunning display of lights and water. 

Dusk Panorama of Shoshone Falls, Idaho

8. Silver City

Silver City is a historic ghost town located in southwestern Idaho that is frozen in time, with well-preserved buildings from the late 1800s. Once a booming mining town, Silver City now offers a unique glimpse into the past. You can explore the town and learn about its fascinating history, including the lives of the miners who once called it home. The town has several museums, including the Owyhee County Historical Museum and the Silver City Schoolhouse Museum, which offer a glimpse into life during the gold rush era. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the town and learn about the many historic buildings and landmarks, including the old opera house, the Chinese herbal shop, and the Masonic lodge. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique and offbeat destination, Silver City is a must-visit destination that offers a glimpse into Idaho’s rich mining history.

9. Payette Lake

Payette Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located in the charming town of McCall, ID, just a short drive from Boise. The lake is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, and offers visitors a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. You can swim, fish, or even take a boat tour to explore the lake and its beautiful surroundings. There are several beaches and parks located along the shores of the lake, which offer a great place to relax and soak up the sun. For the more adventurous, there are also several hiking and mountain biking trails in the area that offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. In the winter, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports in the nearby mountains. 

Payette Lake, a beautiful place near Boise to relax and partake in water activities

10. Sawtooth Mountains

The Sawtooth Mountains are a stunning mountain range located in central Idaho, offering some of the best hiking and camping opportunities in the country. With over 700 miles of trails winding through pristine wilderness, visitors can explore the rugged peaks and alpine lakes while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The Sawtooths offer a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, from hiking and camping to fishing, rock climbing, and even backcountry skiing in the winter. 

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with several developed campgrounds and picnic areas, as well as numerous backcountry campsites for the more adventurous. You can also explore the historic mining town of Stanley, which is located at the base of the Sawtooths and offers a variety of dining and lodging options. 

River and mountains in Sawtooth Mountain Range, Idaho

Boise and its surrounding areas offer some of the most beautiful and diverse natural landscapes in the country. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful escape, these top 10 most beautiful places to visit in and near Boise, ID, are sure to leave you awe-inspired.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Julia Weaver

Julia is a part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home be a charming beachside home with lots of light.

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