Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, are both popular tourist destinations in the Pacific Northwest, each offering its unique attractions and experiences. Here's a brief snapshot of these two cities and why we think they're both such great destinations. Whether you're a local, seasoned traveler, or tourist, there's something for everyone in these small cities.
Boise, aptly nicknamed the City of Trees, is well-known for its picturesque setting along the Boise River, surrounded by the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The city offers outdoor enthusiasts a wide range of activities, from hiking and biking in the nearby Boise National Forest to water sports on the Boise River.
Spokane is situated along another beautiful river, the Spokane River, offering a scenic backdrop for visitors. It's close to the beautiful Inland Northwest, with access to the Selkirk Mountains, pristine lakes, and the breathtaking rolling hills and farmland of the Palouse region. Spokane's Riverfront Park is a serene and well-landscaped green space.
Not only do these two destinations offer so much natural beauty, but the route from Boise to Spokane is packed with beautiful scenery itself. If you're connecting between these to cities, you'll quickly realize that the journey is just as beautiful as the destination.
Boise is a haven for outdoor activities, with excellent hiking, mountain biking, and skiing opportunities in the nearby Boise Foothills and Bogus Basin. The Boise River Greenbelt is a popular spot for walking, running, and cycling. Boise offers an extremely favorable temperate climate with loads of outdoor activities including farmers markets, races, and more.
Spokane also offers abundant outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and water sports along the Spokane River. In the winter, the city is known for its skiing at nearby resorts, and the Centennial Trail offers scenic views and opportunities for cycling. Not to mention that Glacier National Park in Montana is only 4.5 hours away.
Boise boasts a thriving cultural scene with its vibrant downtown. The city features a variety of museums, theaters, and cultural events, including the Boise Art Museum and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. The City of Tress is also home to the famous "Smurf Turf" football field at Boise State University where you can find 40,000+ fans cheering on their hometown Broncos on Saturdays in the fall. Boise also plays host to many touring concerts and shows, adding to the vibrant culture scene of the city.
Spokane's cultural attractions include the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the historic Bing Crosby Theater, and the Davenport Arts District, making it a hub for the arts and culture. And while Boise has the Boise State Broncos games to look forward to, Spokane has the perennial powerhouse college basketball team, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, to entertain the locals through the winter. But make sure you're on your A-game when trying to get a ticket as they can be difficult to secure!
The food scene in Boise has been quickly gaining recognition, with a focus on farm-to-table and local cuisine. You can enjoy diverse dining options, including unique food truck offerings all around the city. Everything from upscale eateries to food truck roundups and pop-up restaurants, Boise has become a restaurant pioneer in the Inland Northwest. In fact, the route from Boise to Spokane is filled with many culinary gems.
Spokane also offers a growing culinary scene with diverse restaurants and access to locally sourced ingredients. One surprising find in the Lilac City is the access to high-quality seafood, especially steelhead trout and salmon that migrate up the Columbia River and can be quickly and easily transported to Spokane.
The road from Boise to Spokane is filled with events and other opportunities to enjoy. Boise hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the famous Treefort Music Festival, which draws musicians and festival-goers from around the region. The Boise River Festival is another popular event.
Spokane features numerous events themselves, including the Lilac Festival and Spokane Interstate Fair, offering entertainment and cultural experiences for visitors. One big draw in downtown Spokane is the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament on earth, Spokane Hoopfest, often drawing NBA stars and other athletes and celebrities. And don't forget, you can hop aboard a bus from Spokane to Seattle for even more festivals and larger events!
Boise typically has a lower cost of living than many larger cities in the region, making it an attractive destination for tourists looking for affordability. The Boise Airport also provides easy access to most nationwide destinations.
Spokane also offers a relatively affordable cost of living, and its airport connects the city to various domestic and international destinations. The bus route from Boise to Spokane remains largely accessible and affordable, making it a viable option.
In summary, both Boise and Spokane offer a range of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and dining experiences. Your choice between the two will depend on your specific interests and what you're looking for during your visit. Both cities have their unique charm and attractions that can make for an enjoyable and memorable experience. We think you'll find that when traveling from Boise to Spokane you'll find a lot to love about each destination.