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50 Interesting Places Around Boise State
Compiled by Steve Wood, a student at Boise State
- Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (map) is a non-profit community facility situated in downtown Boise. This venue contains a functional recording studio, amphitheater, kitchen, rooftop park, and a five story slide.The Bob Gibb Friendship Bridge (map) was built in 1977 to connect the Boise State University campus to the Boise River Greenbelt and downtown Boise.Taco Bell Arena (map) is home to Boise State University’s basketball, gymnastics, and wrestling teams. This venue has also hosted numerous concerts to include The Beach Boys (1982), The Eagles (1995, 2015), and more recently, KISS (2016).The Boise State University Alumni and Friends Center (map) recently opened in October 2016. This four-story building offers numerous spaces to gather and showcases art pieces.Albertsons Stadium (map) includes the Lyle Smith Field, Stueckle Sky Center, and Allen Noble Hall of Fame, and is home of Boise State Football. Since 1999, the Boise State Broncos have only seen six losses at Albertsons Stadium.The Intermountain Bird Observatory (map) was established in 1993 and focuses on community engagement along with research on migratory birds, to impact human lives and conservation.The Boise Train Depot (map) opened in 1925 for the Union Pacific Railroad, and provides a public meeting space for ceremonial events. This spanish style building was once hailed as “one of the most beautiful buildings of it’s kind, in the West.”The Discovery Center of Idaho (map) inspires and educates children and adults in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. As Idaho’s only hands-on learning center, the Discovery Center of Idaho has been providing exhibits and learning opportunities since 1988.The Boise Rose Garden (map) was established in 1930 and is the largest garden in the intermountain area, as well as the second oldest garden in the Northwest. The garden contains approximately 2,000 rose bushes.The Idaho Anne Frank Memorial (map) is an educational park located near the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and the Boise River Greenbelt. This park inspires faith and hope in humanity among its multiple exhibits. Also, this is one of eleven locations in the U.S. to receive a chestnut sapling from the Anne Frank Chestnut Tree in Amsterdam.
- Steve Appleton Statue (map), designed by artist Benjamin Victor, stands in the courtyard of the Micron Business and Economics Building. Steve Appleton received the distinguished alumni award in 1995 and an honorary doctorate from Boise State University in 2007.Ringing the Boise State University Excellence Bell (map) has become a popular tradition amongst graduates after commencement to signify their alumni status and continued commitment to the university of carrying on excellence.The Planet Walk (map) is situated along the Boise River Greenbelt and starts at the Discovery Center of Idaho and ends at the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial. Locating the planets can be accomplished through the use of the DCI Planets app and is approximately a 1.5 mile walk.The Table Rock Cross (map) was built by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1956 and is a Cold War religious monument related to McCarthyism and the Red Scare of the 1950’s.The Benjamin Victor Art Gallery (map) is located in the Pioneer Hall across from the Student Union Building. Benjamin Victor is a bronze sculptor and many of his works can be found on display, with a few pieces rotating through. Benjamin is the only living artist to have two statues in the National Statuary Hall.The Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial (map) was established in 2008 as a tribute to Idaho’s fallen firefighters. The site is co-located with the Idaho 9/11 memorial, which includes a ten-foot section of steel beam from the World Trade Center.Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery (map) is located in the Boise Foothills and contains approximately 247 grave markers dating as far back as the civil war. This site was established after a flash flood in 1906 nearly washed away the original resting place of these veterans and their families. Native vegetation has been allowed to remain on the site to preserve the soil and prevent erosion.The Basque Block (map) is located in downtown Boise and features the oldest surviving brick building in Boise, the Cyrus Jacobs/ Uberuaga House (1864). The Basque Block is a living cultural center for descendants of Euskadi, with a museum, restaurant, and sporting venue.Freak Alley Gallery (map) is the largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest. It was created in 2002 when Colby Akers first started painting on buildings in the alley between Idaho and Bannock Street, with permission from business owners. The gallery is open 24/7 and year-round.Capital City Public Market (map) exists between Idaho and State streets, running along 8th street for four blocks. Established in 1994 the Capital City Public Market consists of 150+ vendors on Saturdays during warmer weather and hosts a variety of local produce, artists, and micro-businesses.
- Christ Chapel (map), located near Albertsons Stadium was built in 1866 and was originally an Episcopalian Church. It is now considered non-denominational and is used for weddings, christenings, and funerals. As a historic site, Christ Chapel has been restored to its authentic state.Boise River Park (map) is located between Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and Fairview Avenue bridges. Three wave shaping dams were completed in 2012, and recently the park had an open house for the next phase, a half mile stretch of varying degrees of difficulty for rafters and kayakers. Phase 2 will also include a protected wading area, fish habitat, and spectator overlook.Linen District (map) is located between 13th and 16th streets on the west side of Boise and is comprised of six city blocks. Within the Linen District are attractions such as Rhodes Skate Park, Big City Coffee, and the Linen Building, an art gallery and event center. Many of the buildings within the Linen District retain their historic look.Honors College and First-Year Residence Hall (map) will be completed before Fall 2017 and house 300 honors students. Within this new building, there will be a dedicated wing for honors learning and dining spaces. Annually, 600 students participate in the Honors program at Boise State University and go on to receive national scholarships and prestigious graduate schools.Bown Crossing (map) is a 35-acre residential development in southeast Boise with 59,000 feet of retail space. This development was completed in 2006 and features numerous restaurants and retail stores.Oregon Trail (map) markers are located along Boise Avenue and present historic facts about the trail through Boise. There are thirty markers that start at the Capitol building and end out near Eckert Road.Boise Art Museum (map) is located on the west end of Julia Davis Park and celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. The Boise Art Museum has a private collection as well as borrowed collections.Idaho Black History Museum (map) is on the north side of Julia Davis Park, in the St. Paul Baptist Church. The museum seeks to share art, history, and education with all Americans to build cross-cultural bridges.Morrison Center (map) is the premiere event center for performing arts in Idaho and was ranked #2 University Venue in the nation for live entertainment and #1 for total number of performances. The center is named after Velma V. Morrison, a philanthropist and patron of the arts.
- Camel’s Back Park (map) was donated to the City of Boise in 1932 and provides access to the foothills, contains a playground and outdoor gym. The outdoor gym was donated by bodybuilding.com and has fifteen pieces of strength training equipment that are free to use by the public.Life’s Kitchen (map) is a culinary arts and skills program for youth with barriers to employment. This nonprofit, located across from Boise State University off of 9th street provides catering and dining service during lunch hours.Ann Morrison Park disc golf course (map) is located at the Ann Morrison Park off of Americana Blvd. This course is being updated thanks to the Gem State Disc Golf Club and includes updated signage and 21 holes.MK Nature Center (map) is located behind the Idaho Department of Fish and Game near Municipal Park. The nature center provides education and fun with their stream walk and underwater viewing windows that give visitors a glimpse of Idaho wildlife.Baptism Beach (map) is located along the Boise River, east of Friendship Bridge. The location is accessible by foot and provides a fishing spot, birding location, and views of wildlife along the river.Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center (map) provides education about Idaho’s diverse ecosystems to 10,000 visitors annually. The Center works with other local organizations to help maintain the trails scattered throughout the Boise Foothills.Idaho Shakespeare Festival (map) is located behind the Boise Parks and Rec department. This organization seeks to inspire and educate visitors through performing arts. This year there are five shows scheduled from May 26 through October 1. Shows this year include Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hamlet.Sandy Point State Park (map) is a part of the Lucky Peak State Park and provides guests with day use access to cool, calm waters below the Lucky Peak Dam.Idaho Botanical Garden (map) was originally the site of the tree nursery and Old Penitentiary grounds. It now serves as a living museum with year-round events, including winter garden-aglow, a christmas light exhibit throughout the park.Aquarium of Boise (map) houses over 250 species of salt and freshwater fish, as well as terrestrial species such as iguanas and snakes. They are currently adding 5,000 square feet to their facility to build an octopus exhibit and North Pacific touch tank. There are currently two touch exhibits, sharks and rays, and the sea anemone exhibit.
- Liquid Laughs (map) is Boise’s premier comedy club. Shows run Thursday through Sunday, with open mic night on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Tickets are available through their website.The Cabin (map) is a nonprofit located between Capitol Blvd. and S. 9th Street and their mission is to “Inspire and celebrate a love for reading, writing, and discourse”. They host summer writing camps, readings, workshops, and writing contests. Annually they serve 500 member households, approximately 2,000 children, and 16,000 people.Hemingway Western Studies Center (map) is dedicated to research and events of the West throughout multiple disciplines. Permission was obtained from the heirs of Ernest Hemingway to use his name for the building, located northwest of the Student Union Building.Boise Art Glass (map) is a studio located off of Front Street in downtown Boise. The gallery features the works of local artists and patrons as young as eight years old can sign up for glass blowing classes.Old Idaho Penitentiary (map) opened in 1872 and features a museum with thirty historic buildings and exhibits. The site is open year round and even has a halloween event.Big Jud’s (map) is a landmark restaurant in Boise featuring burgers and fries. Big Jud’s offers two challenges with the one pound burger or two pound burger for those feeling daring. Participants can get their photo placed on the wall of fame with Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food.Boise Castle (map) is an Idaho landmark located in the Historic District of Boise. It’s a private residence that features five bedrooms, five baths, and two towers. Approximately 1,000 people visit the castle on halloween, and the castle is currently on the market for $3.5 million.Bishops’ House (map) was built in 1889 and originally located in downtown Boise. In 1975 this victorian style home was moved near the old penitentiary, where it is host to numerous events throughout the year. Bishops’ House is named after its original purpose, serving as the home for the head of the Episcopalian Diocese in Idaho.First Thursday (map) is a monthly celebration in downtown Boise. First Thursdays include live music, small vendors, beer and wine tastings, and good company.