Lively summer in Boise.
Biking, boating, Basques, and the Bard: that's how a summer day can go in Boise. In the morning cool, pedal along the banks of the Boise, spend the rest of the day on the water and in town, and at dusk return to the banks for an evening of Shakespeare. We'll tell you about these don't-miss activities and how to work them into a single day if that's all your itinerary permits. But there's much more to see if you can linger in the fast-growing capital. Or use Boise as the gateway for celebrations planned throughout Idaho on its 100th anniversary of statehood. See page 40 for where to get more information. About the desert city In the arid expanses of the intermountain West, Idaho's capital (population is 130,000) is a true oasis-a natural stop8228, open 10 to 9 daily) in Shoreline Park. Mountain bikes rent for 3 an hour; bike seats for children are available. Boise's pride, the greenbelt stretches 22 miles along a once-neglected river that now runs clean and clear and nurtures nearly 300 species of wildlife; you can see beaver, fox, mink, muskrat, bald eagles, great blue herons, and much more. A dozen parks, several corporate campuses, theaters, and museums lie along the river. You can pause to wander rose gardens, listen to band concerts, and reconnoiter (for later enjoyment) fishing and swimming holes, lagoons for canoeing, ponds for windsurfing. For a new recreation map, check with the visitors bureau. Bike and foot trails along 16 miles of river are open; 2 more miles will be dedicated on June 2. The rest may be ready by year's end (write or call State Parks, Statehouse Mail, Boise 83702; 334-2154). A good place to watch herons, mallards, wigeons, wood ducks, and the like is 41acre Kathryn Albertson Park (on Americana Boulevard). Privately funded, the park richly interprets riparian habitats. At midday, lunch with the Basques If you fancy the rich sauces of Basque cuisine, plan lunch at The Old Basque Inn (385-9001; open daily except Sundays at Sixth and Idaho streets), or sample Basque sausage (chorizo) from numerous sidewalk vendors downtown. If you'd like leaner, lighter fare, downtown offers plenty of options. Nearby, at 607 Grove Street, the Basque Museum (343-2671) occupies the 1864 Cyrus Jacobs home, Boise's oldest surviving brick building and a long-time boarding house for immigrant Basque sheepherders. Hours are I I to 5 Tuesdays through Saturdays (donation requested). For Basque dances, picnics, and events, write or call the museum (zip is 83702). Spend an afternoon on the mellow river In the eight river miles between Barber and Ann Morrison parks, you'll meet only three rapids (all gentle), and the banks seem so little disturbed that you could forget you're floating through a city. Logistics are simple; allow 21/2 hours for the trip. On June weekends, and every day July 4 through Labor Day, Tuber Transport shuttles you from downtown to the launch and rents rafts and inner tubes. For prices and details, call 343-8228. Evening with Shakespeare June 16 through August 19, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (336-9221), now in its 14th year, rotates four plays six nights a week. Performances at the outdoor theater begin at 7:30 on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, at 8:15 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tickets are $1 1. There are no seats, but 650 or more can sit on the lawn in front of the stage. Arrive at least an hour early for best position Bring a picnic dinner, or buy wine and snacks at festival-run booths on site (you can also rent folding chairs and blankets) If time's short, take a tour. But do give downtown a good look If you don't have even a full day, the best introduction to town we know is the Boise Tour Train's city tour ($4.75), which covers 72 historic sites and gives you a glimpse of the greenbelt. A 2-hour Old Penitentiary Tour ($9.50) offers a thorough tour of the 1870 prison. A 3-hour Greenbelt Tour ($12) includes guided riverside walks. For reservations and details, call 342-4796. Downtown, redevelopment is surging around a new civic center called The Grove on Eighth Street, south of Main. A centennial fountain anchors a brick plaza amid office towers, a new convention center, and stylish shops. Wednesdays through August, the Grove hosts Alive After Five, when Boiseans jam the plaza to picnic, listen to jazz, and dance. North up Eighth is the new Capitol Terrace Building (wine-tasting room, Piper Pub, bakery, leather and jewelry shops). Guided historic walking tours may be led by the local preservation council later this summer; call 336-9880. For details on week-long, state-wide history tours, call 343-7915. A Basque festival, centennial events Basque sheepherders from the western Pyrenees first reached Idaho more than a century ago. Their independence, unique language, and strong sense of community have helped preserve a distinctive culture. Jaialdi 90 (June 15 through 17) "is a time to be Basque even if you're not." Champion athletes, singers, dancers, and storytellers from Basque regions of Spain and France will perform. In all, some 5,000 Basques are expected from a dozen countries, as well as plenty of spectators. You can watch contests and games, and join dancing; for food, sample Basquestyle tapas or sit down to belt-stretching dinners. Most events are outdoors at the Old idaho Penitentiary Museum, off Warm Springs Avenue; gate fee is $5. For details, write or call Jaialdi 90, Box 2526, Boise 83701; 345-2747. Centennial celebrations take place throughout Idaho this year. Events include hundreds of small-town homecomings, parades, pageants, walks, and fireworks displays. A traveling art exhibit and play are on the road now. Boise's the site of, among other things, the Statehood Gala (July 2 through 4) and the AllIdaho indian Expo (July 9 through 15). For a schedule of events for the entire state, write or call the Centennial Commission, 217 W. State St., Boise 83720; 345-1990.
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|Date:||Jun 1, 1990|
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