Weekend Getaway: Boise, Idaho
Editor's Note: As a special travel feature for September, TheStreet.com offers a series of weekend getaways, each designed to help you find the Good Life. Enjoy!
Idaho is much more than the home of Napoleon Dynamite and Ore-Ida potatoes.
Thanks to its unparalleled scenic beauty, millions of acres of national parks and world-class ski resorts, it is rapidly becoming known as a high-end adventure-travel destination.
So it's no surprise that Idaho's capital, Boise, offers a unique welcome to the discerning traveler.
The wild west is tamer in Boise, and the city is making a concerted effort to present more sophisticated choices to go along with its rustic setting.
By far the most cosmopolitan city in the state, Boise is a small, friendly and comfortably compact locale, with a downtown that's easy to navigate on foot.
It's both a college town, sporting a youthful influence that is increasingly shaping local culture, and a corporate haven, housing major corporations such as Boise, Albertson's and Micron Technologies.Another plus? Lodging is quite reasonable. I stayed at Boise's only four-star hotel, the Grove Hotel ($159-$259), which was close to everything downtown and a convenient base camp. Other notable options are the Statehouse Inn ($80-$95), The Anniversary Inn ($139-$289), and the unusual five-room Basque boarding house and restaurant Leku Ona ($65-$85).
Basking ... in HistoryBoise is home to a large and tightly knit Basque population, descendants of the northern Spanish sheepherders who settled the area in the nineteenth century. The current Basque-American mayor won office by a landslide, and a sapling from the Tree of Guernika, the symbol of Basque independence, grows on the capitol grounds. From the back of the Grove Hotel, you can stroll down a tree-lined walkway to Grove Street and head right into Boise's unique Basque central. This is a several-block area that functions as a center of operations for the Basque population and provides a window into the culture for the rest of us, complete with restaurants, cafes, a museum and even a Basque market. One interesting touch: The words of various Basque folk songs are inscribed on the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. The Basque Museum & Cultural Center contains exhibits and demonstrations that examine this unique heritage and functions as a cultural center for Basque activities.
|Traditional Basque Dancers|
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