Panoramic view of the cityscape and trees during autumn, showcasing some of the best places for where to stay in Boise

Where to Stay in Boise (Best Places & Areas, By a Local)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Boise | Neighborhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQ

I’m a Boise local with insights into where to stay in Boise for every type of traveler. Don’t go through the effort of weeding through hotel reviews — I’ve done that work for you. This is the only guide you need to make trip planning a breeze. 

I share the best hotel options and places to stay in Boise. I also go over area highlights and hidden gems, allowing you to make the most of your trip to the City of Trees. 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!

Best Places to Stay in Boise

Skyline view and by road of downtown Boise

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Boise? Here are my top picks: 

You can’t go wrong with any of these amazing Boise hotels. Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the best areas and places to stay in Boise.

3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Boise

There are three main sections of the Boise area: Downtown Boise, Southeast Boise and East End, and West Boise. Slightly north of downtown, you’ll find the gorgeous foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a defining feature of the cityscape. The Boise airport lies south of downtown in a great central location that allows quick access to any neighborhood. 

You can’t go wrong with any area in this gorgeous city, but knowing a little more about each one will make your time in Boise that much better. 

These are the top three areas I recommend when staying in Boise:

Downtown Boise

Illuminated downtown cityscape of Boise at twilight
View of Downtown Boise at night

👉 Best Area For Trendy Restaurants & Bars | ✨ Best Downtown Boise Hotels: The Grove HotelHyatt Place Boise/DowntownHotel 43

Downtown Boise is the beating heart and cultural center of the “City of Trees.” It offers numerous fine dining options, theaters, music venues, and a vibrant nightlife. The Boise downtown area is the perfect central location for your visit to the city. 

Boise is a seamless blend of the old and new architecture. Historic areas such as the linen district mix with craft breweries, local attractions, and boutique hotels.  

On the Southern end of the downtown area, you’ll find the Boise River and the famous Boise River Greenbelt. This walking and biking path is a bustling hub of activity, offering 25 miles of paved trails to explore. 

Visit the Idaho State Capitol building or swing by Grove Plaza for live music during the summertime. You can also stop at Julia Davis Park to explore the Boise Art Museum, Zoo Boise, or the Idaho State Museum. The Basque Museum is another one of the best things to do in Boise

Boise downtown is the perfect location for a variety of visitors. Young professionals, business travelers, and even couples looking for a romantic getaway will love this part of town.

Pros of Staying in Downtown Boise:

  • Easy walking distance to many activities
  • Lots of great Boise restaurants and bars
  • Fun plays and sporting events
  • Live music and a great nightlife

Cons of Staying in Downtown Boise:

  • Hotels and dining can be pricey
  • Parking can get expensive

📚 Downtown Boise Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Trendy Restaurants & Bars
📍 Google Map

Southeast Boise and East End

Charcuterie board with two glasses of drinks at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Enjoying a charcuterie board at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival

👉 Best Area For Leisure Travelers | ✨ Best Southeast Boise and East End Hotels: Holiday Inn ExpressSpringHill SuitesCourtyard Boise Downtown

If you’re wondering where to stay in Boise, you can’t go wrong with Southeast Boise and the East End. East of downtown and slightly south, you’ll find a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere dominated by Boise State University. Southeast Boise and the East End is a downtown-adjacent residential area that still offers plenty to see and do.

If you’re into sports, catch a Boise State Broncos football game on the famous blue field at Albertsons Stadium. Visit the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in the summertime for a unique outdoor theater experience. Or, swing by the Idaho Botanical Garden in the spring when the flowers are at their peak. You can also tour the historic Idaho Penitentiary for a haunting look into Idaho’s past.

Southeast Boise is close to the airport, making it a convenient place to stay if you’re flying in and out of Boise. This quiet district is also near many outdoor opportunities. These include the Boise River, Warm Springs Golf Course, and the Boise local-favorite hike, Table Rock. Drive along Warm Springs Avenue and gaze at grand historic homes powered by geothermal heat.

Pros of Staying in Southeast Boise and East End:

  • Easy access to outdoor activities
  • Easy access to Boise airport
  • Near Boise State University
  • Budget hotel options

Cons of Staying in Southeast Boise and East End:

  • Quiet district without much nightlife
  • Not walkable
  • Not many luxury hotel options

📚 Southeast Boise and East End Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Leisure Travelers
📍 Google Map

West Boise

A large fountain with a statue of a girl in the stack of books at The Village shopping center
Fountains at The Village shopping center (photo: Matthew Thomas Allen / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Shopping | ✨ Best West Boise Hotels: Hampton Inn & Suites Boise/SpectrumOxford SuitesRiverside Hotel

In this guide, West Boise covers everything west of downtown until Boise turns into Meridian. But technically, West Boise also includes Garden City and the suburban residential areas of the Boise Bench and the West Valley.

West Boise is the perfect residential Boise location for anyone looking to get some serious shopping done. This area includes Boise Towne Square, the largest retail complex in the state. This indoor mall offers plenty of chain shopping options and is close to other prized locations such as Target and Cabela’s. 

Further west, you can browse upscale shops at the Village at Meridian and enjoy some fresh air in the outdoor shopping center. If you’re staying in Boise with kids, stop by the Aquarium of Boise for a fun-filled day looking at familiar and exotic sea life. 

Pros of Staying in West Boise:

  • Great budget hotels are available
  • Family-friendly location
  • Lots of shopping options

Con of Staying in West Boise: 

  • Mostly chain shopping and eating options
  • Limited public transportation is available
  • Not as many sightseeing opportunities
  • Not that close to Boise downtown

📚 West Boise Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Shopping
📍 Google Map

✨ Best HotelsHampton Inn & SuitesOxford SuitesRiverside Hotel

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in West Boise

🍽️ Where to Eat Matador Meridian ($$$), YardHouse ($$$), Goodwood BBQ Co.  ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkSockeye Brewing, Old Chicago Pizza + Taproom, Edge Brewing Company

🎟️ Top Attractions Aquarium of Boise, Boise Towne Square, The Village at Meridian

Tips for Staying in Boise

Hot air balloons above the cityscape of downtown Boise

Here are some practical Boise travel tips to keep in mind when planning your trip to the City of Trees. 

Make reservations

Many of the restaurants in downtown, such as Barbacoa, book up quickly. Avoid long wait times by deciding where you want to eat and making reservations in advance. 

Consider the time of year

There are lots of things to do in Boise all year. But many famous activities, like floating the Boise River and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, are only available in the summer. If you’re planning your trip in the winter, adjust your outings accordingly. In the winter, the nearby Bogus Basin Recreation area is a great place to ski, snowshoe, or snowboard. 

Rent bikes

If you don’t have a car, the best way to get around downtown is by bike. Rent a bike and take a spin on the Greenbelt or pedal over to Trader Joe’s. This is a great way to see the heart of the city without paying for parking!

Take advantage of free activities

There are many great paid activities to do in Boise, but some of the best things you can do and see are totally free! Explore the state capitol building, play frisbee golf, enjoy free concerts, or walk around the rose gardens in Julia Davis park. 

Don’t lock yourself in the city

Landscape view of downtown Boise from Camel’s Back Park trail
View of Downtown Boise from Camel’s Back Park

Boise is a great city to visit, and you certainly won’t run out of things to do. However, to truly feel like a local, take one of many day trips from Boise. Scenic lakes, mountain towns, and more are just a few hours away.

Visit the North End

Boise is pretty small, which means there are a few great places to visit just outside of the central downtown area. Drive slightly north towards the Boise foothills to the North End of the city. Check out Camel’s Back park and climb up the hill for a breathtaking view of the cityscape. 

FAQs About Visiting Boise

What is the best area to stay in Boise for first-timers?

Downtown Boise is by far the best area to stay in Boise for first-timers. It offers plenty of sightseeing and unique Boise experiences that you can’t get anywhere else. 

What hotels in Boise are centrally located?

Hotels in Boise that are centrally located include Oxford Suites Boise and Hampton Inn & Suites Boise/Spectrum. They are close to the interstate, meaning it is just a short drive from many popular destinations. If you’re wondering where to stay in Boise, these are both great options.

Is Boise a walkable city?

Boise is a walkable city. It is even possible to visit downtown Boise without a car. But keep in mind, the rest of the city is quite spread out. If you plan to adventure into surrounding areas, you will want a vehicle. For rentals, visit Discover Cars to compare agencies and rates. 


Thanks for reading my guide on where to stay in Boise! Hopefully, it has been a helpful introduction to the City of Trees and given you insight into everything this growing city has to offer. 

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One Comment

  1. We are traveling to Boise the first week of May with a group of 4 families — with 4 teenage girls (14-16). We are staying downtown. Other than hiking in Camel Back, do you have other specific recommendations for some active activities (no museums, etc.) for that time of year? We will have a rental car.

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