About half the population of Idaho lives in the southwestern part of the state known as the Treasure Valley—comprised of Boise and surrounding communities. Many young people from other communities in the state move to the Treasure Valley for work or higher education. So all in all, you’ll meet more locals in the capital city than anywhere else.
If you are new to the area, visiting and want to see how the locals live, or just want to know, here are some of the places locals can be spotted:
Capital City Public Market. Held every Saturday in downtown Boise, this farmers’ market on steroids draws thousands of people every weekend. Some make it a point to buy their local produce here, while others browse the craft booths for locally made gifts. The buy local movement is vibrant here, and locals will turn out wherever there is local food or handicrafts.
Boise Consumer Co-op. The Co-op began decades ago as a true cooperative with members buying in bulk together to save money. Today’s Co-op rivals the mass market versions, like Whole Foods. Locals know that this is the place to get local farm produce, meat without hormones, a great selection of wines, and cookies from the local Wildflower Bakery.
Boise State Bronco football game. The blue turf is a source of pride for locals, and everyone’s a local come game day. Bronco football is the king of sports in Boise, so if you’re here on a home game day, see if you can snag a ticket. If not, join in the tailgating fun.
Walking the Boise River Greenbelt. Miles of trails from one end of the valley to the other provide a safe and level walk along the most scenic urban river you’ll ever experience. Most of the Boise River’s route through the city is lined with lush parks and wildlife.
Mountain biking in the foothills. The Ridges to Rivers Trails System has been developed with cooperation from a community that loves its outdoors. In the 1990s, the city planners realized what a treasure the foothills are, and they wisely disallowed any further residential or commercial development. Today, that has paid off with vast recreational opportunities, which locals never take for granted.
Bogus Basin. Just seventeen miles up the mountain and winter sports await the locals, who have been known to ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Bogus Basin is a small ski resort with big resort runs. There’s also a tubing hill and a Nordic area for cross country and snowshoeing. If you like winters sports, this is the place.
McCall. When locals in the Treasure Valley want to get out of town, they head to McCall. Home of Payette Lake, Ponderosa State Park, and nearby Brundage Mountain ski resort, McCall is only two hours out of Boise. You can swim, boat, fish, hunt, hike, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, or just relax.
Idaho Steelheads hockey. When Bronco football ends, and it always does to our dismay, locals transfer their sports mania into Steelheads hockey. It’s not the NHL, but it’s lively, fun, and loud.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival. A hidden gem situated along the Boise River just east of town, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival produces five plays a year in their summer repertory outdoor amphitheater. Local tradition is to bring a picnic with plenty of alcoholic beverages to share with the greenshow actors known as the Fool Squad, and arrive early so you can enjoy the summer evening with friends before the show.
Western Idaho Fair. Every town has a fair, and in every town, that’s where the locals go. Boise is no different. Held in late August every year, the Western Idaho Fair brings in great rides, games, vendors, and the ubiquitous displays of prize animals, plants, crafts, and goodies.