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Downtown Boise Cityscape

Boise Kicks Off Summer with New Openings, Exciting Lineup of Events and Festivals

Boise is *even more* buzzworthy this summer with several hotel and restaurant openings, events, festivals and more – all set against an outdoor paradise. 


John Curtis

(208) 891-2780

BOISE, Idaho, JUNE 17, 2024 – Boise is gearing up for an exciting summer with new openings set to redefine the landscape of the city. From innovative hotel and culinary concepts to signature festivals and events, Boise is ready for summer vacationers. Here are some of the exciting developments and openings: 

New Openings

Downtown Boise is buzzing with several new hotels and restaurants opening their doors, further growing the city’s vibrant hospitality and culinary scene: 

JUST OPENED: Hotel Renegade opened its 122 stunning rooms to guests, along with its onsite supper club (Boise’s first!), street-level coffee shop and rooftop bar overlooking downtown and the surrounding foothills. The interiors boast heavy doses of saturated colors, woodwork and leather, perfectly blending luxurious touches with Boise’s laid-back, come-as-you-are vibe. Photos courtesy of Geronimo Hospitality here

JUST OPENED: Boise’s newest cocktail bar, 8 Horses Lounge, takes over a former bank vault underneath Fork restaurant. The new space has speakeasy vibes from its 15-ton vault door to its hidden wine cellar. The bar is named after the team of eight horses needed to cart the original 14,000 pounds of sandstone blocks from nearby Table Rock Quarry to build the former bank’s five-story facade, which proudly stands as one of the city’s most historic and iconic buildings today. 

JUST OPENED: Saltbrush features a seasonal, rotating menu with globally-inspired dishes and a curated wine list that changes with the menu to ensure perfect pairings. The ambiance is sophisticated and elevated while simultaneously laid-back and approachable. 

JUST OPENED: White Rabbit, a fine + casual dining concept, features shared plates and a la carte fare with a frequently changing menu based on seasonal and local ingredients. The restaurant is open for dinner three nights a week (Wednesday through Friday) with a coffee and donut service on Saturdays and a once-a-month Sunday brunch. The limited schedule is an intentional approach to foster creativity and prevent burnout. 

OPENING June 17, 2024: James Beard Award semifinalist, Sunshine Spice, is opening a second location in downtown Boise this summer. The cafe is owned by four Afghan refugees and sisters who are all self-taught pastry chefs with incredible skills and talent. They’ve long had a large and loyal following at their original location in Boise’s Bench neighborhood and their downtown opening is highly anticipated. They’ll begin with a soft opening on June 17 with a limited menu at first, followed by a grand opening in August where they’ll roll out their full menu, including lunch. 

OPENING JULY 2024: The SPARROW’s 67 rooms will be infused with all things Boise, including custom infographic-style artwork, where local artists tell the stories of the region. Hard hat tours are available for media wanting a sneak peek with an opening this July. Project plans include a coffeehouse in the lobby and a permanent food truck in front of the hotel for guests and the public alike. Shared outdoor seating allows visitors and locals to mingle. Formerly the Safari Motor Inn, the project team is bringing the many components of the original building back to life. Renderings courtesy of Columbia Hospitality here.  

OPENING AUGUST 3, 2024: The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights will open its newest addition, the Philip E Batt Education Building, this summer, helping further the organization’s mission to promote respect for human dignity and diversity through education. Adjacent to the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the new building will house staff offices, classroom/meeting space, and showcase over 25 art pieces created by predominantly Idaho artists inspired by various human rights concepts. An additional permanent exhibit will provide visitors the opportunity to connect virtually with Holocaust survivors and liberators using interactive technology. Actual survivors will respond to the questions through video footage drawn from lengthy interviews about their experiences.  

Summer Events and Festivals

Signature events and festivals make summer an ideal time to visit Boise: 

Alive After 5 (June 19 – July 31 on Wednesday evenings) 
Downtown Boise Association’s free Alive After 5 concert series celebrates summer and brings locals and visitors together for vibrant evenings of live music, local food, and community spirit in Grove Plaza, the heart of downtown Boise. Concert lineups include a mix of nationally and internationally touring artists and local talent. 

Idaho Shakespeare Festival (through Sept. 29) 
Immerse yourself in timeless tales and captivating performances at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in southeast Boise, where the magic of outdoor theater brings Shakespeare’s classics and contemporary plays to life in a stunning natural setting. Patrons are encouraged to picnic, which is easy with the onsite gourmet picnic-ready provisions. This season’s performances include Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, Into the Woods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Always… Patsy Cline

37th Boise Twilight Criterium (June 29) 
Experience the thrill of high-speed cycling under the evening sky at the Boise Twilight Criterium. Elite cyclists, including the top women’s and men’s pro cycling teams in the U.S., are joined by the best local and amateur cyclists, in a race through downtown, creating an electrifying atmosphere for fans of all ages. The event is nationally ranked as one of the top 10 best criteriums on the USA Cycling race calendar and is part of the American Criterium Cup series. 

Boise Soul Food Festival (Aug. 10) 

Experience vibrant flavors and rich cultural heritage at the Boise Soul Food Festival, where mouth-watering cuisine, live music, and family-friendly activities come together to celebrate the soulful essence of the Treasure Valley’s Black community. 

Boise Goathead Fest (Aug. 24) 
Celebrate Boise’s vibrant biking culture at the Goathead Festival, where pedal-powered parades, live music, and community fun come together to transform the city streets into a cyclist’s paradise. The festival gets its name from the invasive goathead weed, also known as puncture vine, that wreaks havoc on bike tires. A key component of this quirky event is volunteer participation to remove it from around the city, including pedestrian, cycling, and mountain biking trails. 


About Visit Boise: Boise is a rare blend of accessible outdoors and eclectic urban offerings. This city, with a river running through it, boasts unlimited recreation, interesting and unique sites and attractions, and diverse cultural offerings. The mission of Visit Boise is to inspire people to explore Boise. Find out more at