I landed in Boise seeking simplicity but left delighting in complexity. In Idaho’s City of Trees, I found 19th-century architecture rubbing muscular shoulders with new bank towers and a gleaming community play space bequeathed by a potato titan. I jogged along the Boise River — which is shared by anglers, kayakers and surfers — and pedaled along miles of high-desert trails, missing by one weekend a revered coffee-toting mule. I kept hearing “outdoorsy” and kept finding divinely artsy, ambling from a block-long outdoor canvas surrendered to muralists, through one of the country’s best independent record stores and onward to a Tony-nominated play starring a profane puppet and promiscuous priest. I found (excellent!) local craft beer, (superb!) regional wine and (sublime!) ice cream made with each, and ate my way through the traffic jam on the farm-to-table highway. And only once, on the sidelines of a Veterans Day parade, was I nearly run over by a giant russet potato.
Four blocks away, vestiges of rich color, the visual version of the smell of fresh baked goods, pull me around a corner and into
“They had me at ‘cussing puppet,’ ” I say to my seatmate as I settle in at the
I follow the trail of Boise’s top artisans into
Upon scoring a seat at the crescent bar in
You probably haven’t wondered what would happen if a brewery and an ice cream shop had a baby, but Boise native Kasey Allen did, and he used that musing to design
To paraphrase Chevy Chase in “Fletch”: “It’s all vinyl nowadays!” At least that’s the vibe I get at
Boise loves to bask in its Basque background — it has the largest per capita population in the U.S. — so I dantza’d into the
I never knew I needed a pair of steampunk goggles and a befeathered felt fedora, but after an hour in
From humble beginnings as a four-day bazaar,
Maybe it’s the sleek Mercedes sent to pick me up at the airport or the tidily shelved books and polished floor in the lobby, but my first instinct upon entering the chic boutique
From the street,
It’s only fitting that my ride through the tree-lined streets of
Even cloaked in a 38-degree mist, the 25-mile
Briley is a writer based in Takoma Park. His website is johnbriley.com.