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Your Ultimate Guide to a Boise Staycation

Winter’s here, and you know what that means — crisp days, cozy nights and the perfect excuse to plan a staycation right in your own backyard. Let’s face it: Winter travel can be a bit of a headache. The stress of packing numerous layers, monitoring road conditions and the unpredictable weather delays — it’s enough to make you rethink your plans. Instead, why not hang around your town and explore the amazing things Boise has to offer?

First, let’s talk about Boise’s winter vibes. There’s something magical about the City of Trees in the colder months. Hallmark has nothing on the frost-kissed trees in the Hyde Park neighborhood. And who needs fake snow when we’ve got the real thing just minutes away in the foothills or at Bogus Basin?

Sounds way more relaxing than that stressful winter road trip, right? So we’ve done the planning for you. Just follow this itinerary for the perfect staycation the whole family will love and remember for years to come. 

Treat yourself to total relaxation 

Hotels aren’t just for out-of-towners. They’re a little slice of luxury you can take advantage of without traveling far. Picture cozy beds you don’t have to make, someone else handling the cleaning, and breakfast in bed served by room service. Even if you never leave the room, you get an amazing mini-vacay without the hassle. 

The Riverside Hotel in Garden City has outdoor and indoor heated pools and hot tubs, a dry sauna and an indoor splash pad for kids. You could also treat yourself to a fun, themed room at the Inn at 500. Or, come experience the new boutique Avery Hotel in downtown Boise where the temptation to not leave the premises will never be stronger, with two amazing bars and restaurants right there within the hotel. For incredible walking access to downtown, the Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2Suites offer unbeatable locations and kid-friendly, indoor pools and splash pads. 

Tantrum-free family fun 

Think about it: No more “Are we there yet?” meltdowns in the car or dealing with airport crying fits. In the hotel, kids will enjoy swimming in the indoor pool or cozying up on the king-size bed to watch movies. If you decide to explore beyond the comfort of your room, try downtown Boise’s newest attraction, Glide on Grove Ice Rink, located in Grove Plaza or the Discovery Center for activities that’ll keep the little ones (and the grown-ups) entertained the entire weekend.

Treasure hunt in local shops

Having the time to really explore the charming and eclectic downtown shops is one of the key highlights of a staycation. From vintage finds to handmade crafts, you’ll be thrilled you gave yourself some time for a little retail therapy at stores like Mixed Greens, Banana Ink, Piece Unique, Dragonfly, Re-POP Gifts, Shift Boutique… the list could go on and on! 

The added bonus is that you can feel good about shopping downtown Boise, knowing your purchases will, more often than not, support local artisans and businesses. Each purchase tells a story of Boise’s vibrant community.

What foodie dreams are made of 

As a local, you probably already know that Boise’s culinary scene is *chef’s kiss.* From cozy cafes to a James Beard-winning restaurant, Boise has many surprises in store for your taste buds. And, with what feels like new restaurants popping up every week, there’s always something different to try in the city.

Chances are there’s a place saved in your Instagram reels you’ve wanted to get to but haven’t yet had the chance. Make the time during your staycation to finally make a reservation at The Percy, Acero or Tavolàta. Or just return to one of your all-time favorites, like Chandlers, Anthony’s or Richard’s, for seafood or steak. You can’t go wrong either way.

Date night delights 

Be sure to raise a glass to Boise’s buzzing cocktail culture during your staycation. Beyond its many winter wonders, Boise offers a tantalizing array of speakeasies and unique bars. Knowing you have a hotel room booked nearby makes a night out on the town that much more special. No need to worry about driving home or Ubering when you can easily walk from your hotel room to the cocktail bar and back in minutes.

With so many charming places to try in Boise, you won’t have a hard time finding a noteworthy drink at locations like ART HAUS, Waterbear Bar or Ochos. If you’re interested in seeking out a speakeasy, follow this advice to find some of Boise’s other hidden gems.

Live music hotspots 

Be sure to take advantage of that hotel within walking distance and also make plans to see a live show at one of Boise’s many incredible music venues, all within walking distance of downtown. Treefort Music Hall, Knitting Factory, Neurolux, The Olympic, Shrine Social Club and The Shredder all have incredible lineups this winter.

With talented musicians here in the city full-time and plenty of big names making tour stops in Boise, there’s a “can’t miss” concert nearly every weekend. Whether you’re into indie beats, acoustic melodies or high-energy rock, these venues are essential stops during your staycation.

Boise’s staycation magic lies not just in its winter charm but in the diverse experiences it offers. From ice skating in the middle of the city to sipping creative cocktails at hidden speakeasies, there are endless possibilities to how you can spend your staycation weekend. So, why travel far when Boise’s adventures await right here?