Boise is home to more people of Basque ancestry than anywhere outside the Basque Country in Europe. You can learn more by visiting the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, 611 Grove St. (tel. 208/343-2671; www.basquemuseum.com). Just a few blocks away, you can wander riverfront Julia Davis Park, which houses the Idaho Historical Museum (tel. 208/334-2120; www.idahohistory.net/museum.html), the Boise Art Museum (tel. 208/345-8330; www.boiseartmuseum.org), Zoo Boise (tel. 208/384-4260; www.zooboise.org), and the Discovery Center of Idaho (tel. 208/343-9895; www.scidaho.org), a family-oriented science-and-activities center. The park's newest addition is the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, across from the art museum. The memorial is part of an educational park dedicated to promoting respect for human dignity and diversity.
The unofficial center of Boise (or "BoDo," for Boise Downtown) is the Grove, a public square at 8th Street and Grove Street, with a large fountain, summer concerts, sunbathing, and great people-watching. On Saturdays from mid-April through October, the open-air Capitol City Public Market takes over 8th Street just north of the Grove, with an excellent selection of local produce, crafts, and fresh food carts.
Head up to the Idaho State Capitol (tel. 208/334-5174), the nation's only state capitol building heated with geothermal water. Travel east of town on Warm Springs Avenue and take a tour of the Old Idaho Penitentiary (tel. 208/334-2844; www.idahohistory.net/oldpen.html), built in territorial times and holding prisoners until 1973. Also part of the Old Pen complex are the History of Electricity in Idaho Museum, the Idaho Transportation Museum, and the Museum of Mining & Geology.
Farther out, 6 miles south of I-84 exit 50, don't miss the World Center for Birds of Prey (tel. 208/362-3716; www.peregrinefund.org), with a visitor center and injured-bird recovery area that serves as an introduction to the 500,000-acre Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (tel. 208/384-3300; www.birdsofprey.blm.gov), home to one of the nation's densest concentrations of nesting raptors, along with more than 250 other wildlife species.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.