Pick Your Park: An Interactive Guide to GC’s Best Spots

Pick Your Park: An Interactive Guide to GC’s Best Spots

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Pick Your Park: An Interactive Guide to GC’s Best Spots

Garden City has plenty of lush, green spots — a fact that might not be surprising given the city’s verdant name. But what really sets Garden City’s parks apart is access to water, and lots of it: Visitors can pick their speed, from the lazy eddies of Heron Park to the famous wave at Boise Whitewater Park. Garden City’s parks aren’t just places for picnics and pick-up basketball (though they’re great for that, too). They’re some of the best ways to access the Boise River, the crown jewel of the Treasure Valley.

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Best for Thrill Seekers:

Boise Whitewater Park

You can raft the Boise River, float it, swim in it — or, if you’re up for a real adventure, tackle it head on at Boise Whitewater Park. This unusual river park features a man-made wave that rises and falls with the water levels in the river, making it an ever-changing challenge for kayakers, river surfers, and stand-up paddleboarders who want to test their technical skills.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for Anglers:

Riverside Park

Trout, bluegill, bass: If you want to catch it, Riverside Park has it! This lovely spot is a favorite of both anglers and wildlife lovers — you’re sure to see waterfowl and maybe even a deer or two. You don’t need to be experienced to cast a line here, which makes it a great place for kids who are just learning to love the sport.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for Kids:

Riverfront Park

It’s big. It’s full of fun. And for years, it’s been the best playdate location in Garden City. Parents will love Riverfront Park for its easy access to restrooms and a shady picnic pavilion, and kids will go wild for the full playground and basketball court.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for Picnics:

River Pointe Park

Quiet, lovely, and within walking distance to some of Garden City’s most beloved spots, River Pointe Park is a fantastic al fresco lunch location. Dine in the shade before strolling along the Greenbelt, visiting the nearby Pollinator Garden, or picking up a book at the Garden City Library.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for Swimmers:

Esther Simplot Park

Nearly half of this 55-acre park is devoted to ponds for swimming and fishing. If you prefer an all-natural swimming session among wildlife, waterfowl, and fewer crowds then you’ll find at the average public pool, this is your spot. Pro tip: Reserve one of the two shelters on Friendship Island for your lunch break.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for a Quiet Break:

Mystic Cove Park

Located just off the Greenbelt on 48th Street, Mystic Cove is a wonderful pit stop during a cycling or strolling session. You’ll find benches for resting and playground equipment to help the kiddos blow off some steam.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for River Lovers:

Heron Park

This half-acre park offers direct access to the river, making it a perfect destination for owners of water-loving dogs, kids who want to cool off during the summer months, or nature lovers who want to take a break on its bankside seating area. There’s plenty of parking and restrooms nearby, as well.

Barbarian Brewing

Best for Nature Lovers:

Westmoreland Park

Westmoreland boasts 5.6 acres of open space and clear access to the Boise River, which makes it a favorite put in/pull out point for kayakers — not to mention anglers who love to fish for trout and steelhead. In fact, you can make a full day of your time there thanks to plenty of picnic tables and room to roam. True nature lovers appreciate the part of this large park that’s off limits to foot traffic: A reserve for the wildlife that thrive along the river.  

Barbarian Brewing

Sip Your Way Through Idaho Wine and Cider Month in Garden City

Sip Your Way Through Idaho Wine and Cider Month in Garden City

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Sip Your Way Through Idaho Wine and Cider Month in Garden City

For wine and cider lovers, Christmas comes in June. That’s when Idaho Wine and Cider Month, a statewide extravaganza of events and tastings, gifts oenophiles an excuse to truly savor the best of Idaho’s thriving wine industry.

Garden City — home to the renowned Craft Beverage Corridor — is home to seven groundbreaking urban wineries. In the Treasure Valley, these businesses have cult followings that wait expectantly for the next rosé or cab franc drop. Beyond Idaho’s borders, they’re racking up awards and long-overdue recognition. 

One of the best ways to experience the variety Garden City has to offer is by signing up for the Savor Idaho Passport through the Idaho Wine Commission. Typically, Savor Idaho is an in-person tasting event that features wineries from all over the state. This year, there’s a tweak because of COVID-19: Instead of attending a one-time gathering, you can obtain a free Savor Idaho Passport from any participating winery or the Idaho Wine Commission and use it all month long. You’ll get access to Passport-only specials and can send your filled Passport in to the Idaho Wine Commission for a shot at great prizes.

Here’s how you can sip your way through June in Garden City. 

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Cinder wines

Cinder Wines, owned by husband-wife duo Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr, was in the first wave of wineries to set up shop in Garden City back in 2008.

Since then, they have been lauded as one of the West’s best urban wineries by Sunset Magazine and wound up on restaurant menus throughout Idaho and beyond. For many local wine lovers, summer just wouldn’t be summer without Cinder’s Dry Viognier or Dry Rosé. Stop by Cinder’s first-come, first-served patio or book a 90-minute tasting for up to six people (charcuterie, cheese and chocolate — or all three — can be added for an extra fee). 

Barbarian Brewing

Coiled Wines

Winemaker Leslie Preston keeps pushing the envelope for Idaho wines: When she introduced Rizza, a sparkling brut Riesling, her first run sold out so quickly that she had to increase production. Using your Savor Idaho Passport, you can get your hands on a 2018 bottle for $30! Here’s what’s going on at Coiled in June.

All Month Long

Use your Savor Idaho Passport to purchase a 2018 Rizza for $30, a 2018 Translations Rosé for $20, or a 2018 Diamondback, SRV (Petit Verdot, Petit Syrah, Syrah) for $34. In addition, Passport holders can take 10 percent off a three-pack and Coiled Club members can take an additional 5 percent off in addition to their regular discount.

Western Collective

June 4th

Get creative during Coiled’s Intro to Modern Calligraphy – Brush Lettering from 6:15-8:30 p.m. at the winery’s Garden City Production/Tasting Room

June 12th

Sign up for more hands-on craftiness during a Spoon Carving Workshop at Coiled’s Downtown Wine Bar from noon-3 p.m.

New Releases

The newest additions to Coiled’s lineup are available to non-Coiled Club members by the glass or flight. Club members may purchase entire bottles. 

2019 Sidewinder ($30): A classic Idaho Syrah, with loads of smoky meat aromas and dark cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate fruit. 

2019 Black Mamba ($34): Pure Petit Verdot. As Preston says in her tasting notes, “This captivating, inky, and elusive wine had to have a name to match its personality. As the winemaker, I have been as mystified by the following for this wine as I am by the grape itself.”

2019 Merlot ($34): Preston says, “Coiled has never been afraid to champion a great grape and I am thrilled to now have a contract for this Merlot.”

Meriwether Cider

Meriwether is owned and operated by the Leadbetter family, four self-described firefighters, nomads and adventurers. 

Gig, Ann, Kate, and Molly make their cider with Northwest apples and other pure fruit juices. You might find hops, blackberries, or ginger in your cider, but no artificial flavors or essences, and no added sugars. It’s fizzy, refreshing, and delicious. Meriwether is known for its partnerships benefiting the community, such as Jupiter’s Cider, a recent collaboration with the Idaho Black History Museum.

Barbarian Brewing

Par Terre Winery

Travis and Mallory Walker met while dancing in a ballet company — hence the name of the winery — and their wines are just as elegant as a pas de deux.

In June, be among the first to taste their 2019 En L’air Red Blend, a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot that contains a balance of acid and lush fruit. A portion of the proceeds will go to performing arts education organizations in the community. Also, you’ll now have extra time to spend at Par Terre’s tasting room: The winery has extended its hours until 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for the summer.

Western Collective

Potter Wines

Potter Wines are made for fun-loving, adventurous folk — and the owners bill their Garden City space as “Idaho’s most unique winery and tasting room.”

Try the Jalapeno Wine or Chipotle Jalapeno Wine (you read that correctly!), their Minx Cabernet, or their Liquid Lunch Chardonnay. Their GC location is available for drop-in wine tastings, or you can rent out the entire space for a girl’s night out or a birthday party.

Barbarian Brewing

Split Rail

Split Rail has made a name for itself with its clever takes on classic wines, like its 2019 Daft Punk Brut Rosé, a dry Sangiovese rosé injected with bubbles.

These wines are made to be enjoyed with friends — Split Rail offers several in cans, perfect for your next backpacking trip — and you can stock up for your summer festivities during June using your Savor Idaho Passport. Split Rail is planning plenty of events in June, so check the winery’s calendar for more info, including start times and tickets. 

Western Collective

June 1st

Wine dinner at BodoVino Ristorante at the Village in Meridian.

June 17th

Winemaker Virtual Tasting with Albertsons.

June 27th

Wine Dinner at The Local.

Telaya Wine Company

Back in the mid-2000s, Telaya owners Earl and Carrie Sullivan walked the beach in Cabo San Lucas and hatched a plan for an ambitious side hustle: a winery. They hoped their new venture, Telaya Wine Co., would eventually blossom into a full-time family business that would allow them to spend time with their kids.

They quickly outgrew their first space and built a gorgeous facility along the Boise River, building a rep among wine lovers for its airy tasting room and spacious patio. But the space is only part of the equation. Telaya’s wines, like its signature Turas, Malbecs, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignons, repeatedly garner honors. 

Telaya hosts frequent events, and June will be no exception. 
Barbarian Brewing

June 6th

Telaya and Boise Bite and partnering to create a pop-up restaurant at the winery. Each five-course dinner will be tailored to pair with Telaya wines and will feature a theme that will be announced as the date draws near. There will be only one seating at 7 p.m., so be sure to secure your spot

June 9th, 16th and 23rd

The winery’s popular Telaya Bites series features simple, delicious culinary experiences created by local chefs. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy Telaya’s beautiful tasting room after hours while winemaker Earl Sullivan and the featured local chef share their knowledge of food and wine pairing. This informal and intimate experience includes five two-ounce pours of wine paired with five bite-size food pairings. 

June 21 and 28

Each year, Telaya partners with Chandler’s for a special Idaho Wine Month dinner. This year’s event will be hosted at the restaurant and will include five courses featuring Idaho producers and ingredients, each paired with a Telaya wine. Check Telaya’s events page for more info as the date draws near. 

Bring Your Bestie! A Dog Lover’s Guide to Garden City

Bring Your Bestie! A Dog Lover’s Guide to Garden City

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Bring Your Bestie! A Dog Lover’s Guide to Garden City

Garden City has a laid-back, beers-on-the-patio, lazy-day-by-the-river feel. So it’s no surprise that this city is amazingly Fido-friendly. From craft beverage purveyors to lodging, coffee shops to parks, you’ll find plenty of places to spend the day with your best friend.

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Breweries, Wineries and Bars

Garden City’s amazing Craft Beverage Corridor is famous for its homegrown breweries and wineries, while the city’s bars are known for their come-as-you-are atmospheres. In other words: Furry friends are definitely welcome here.

Barbarian Brewing

Your dog might not be able to partake in Barbarian’s genre-defying beers, but it is welcome in the taproom.

 

Cinder Wines

Make sure your dog is on a leash while you enjoy winemaker Melanie Krause’s celebrated wines.

 

Coiled Wines

Your furry friend is allowed only on the patio — not much of a sacrifice with one of Coiled’s famous wine slushies in hand.

 

County Line Brewing

Make sure your dog is on leash while you stock up on favorites like Hayride Pale Ale. 

 

Crooked Fence Brewing

Your dog is welcome on Crooked Fence’s expanded patio while you work your way through their 18 taps. 

 

Meriwether Cider Co.

Dogs are so much a part of Meriwether that visiting pups are featured on their very own Instagram account: @dogsofmeriwether.

 

Par Terre

No problem sipping on a cab franc with your dog by your side — just make sure it’s leashed.

Potter Wines

Potter is known for its quirky wines, like jalapeno wine, and dogs are welcome to join their owners while they light up their tastebuds.

 

Powderhaus Brewing Company

Powderhaus is all about that Idaho outdoor life, and including your best friend is part of the fun.

 

Split Rail Winery

This fun-loving winery has a tasting room and a Chinden Boulevard patio that are open to dogs.

 

Telaya Wine Co.

Telaya has a picture-perfect riverside patio where dogs are welcome, too.

 

Twisted District Brew Co.

Garden City’s newest brewery has not one, but two patios where you can bring your dogs.

 

Western Collective

Boozy slushies, hard seltzer, and clever beers are even better with your pup by your side.

 

The Yardarm

Tucked into Garden City’s “beach” community by the Boise River, this seasonal bar welcomes all members of the neighborhood.

Eateries

These restaurants aren’t just a great place to have a bite — they also welcome your best friend
(note: most dogs are allowed outside only).

Barrelhouse

You and your dog can enjoy Barrelhouse’s “perfectly unusual” menu on this eatery’s patio.

 

Blue Sky Bagels

Feel free to bring your pup with you while you enjoy your bagel and schmear on Blue Sky’s outdoor seating.

 

Cobby’s

This beloved sandwich shop has a shaded, dog-friendly patio.

 

Idaho Pizza Company

Your best buddy is welcome to join you at this local pizza company’s outside seating.

 

Moxie Java Bistro and Moxie Java Café

These always-popular coffeehouses have spacious, dog-friendly patios.

 

Oliver’s Daily Grind

This walk-up and drive-up coffee stand is perfect for morning java runs with your dog.

Pastry Perfection

Enjoy a cup of coffee and one of Pastry Perfection’s fan-favorite donuts on the outdoor patio with your dog.

 

Push and Pour

This craft coffeeshop has a cozy, dog-friendly patio out front.

 

The Sandbar

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at this riverside patio grill that’s open from mid-May through October.

 

Sofia’s Greek Bistro

We won’t tell if you slip your pup one of Sofia’s Greek fries while you dine outside.

 

Uncle Giuseppe’s

This Italian deli known for its mouthwatering sandwiches allows dogs to sit with their owners outside when their patio seating is available.

Parks and Swimming Holes

Garden City offers plenty of locations for river exploring, swimming, running, and playing fetch.

Greenbelt

At 25 miles long, this jewel of a riverside path offers more than enough opportunities to run, walk, or even swim in the river. Dogs especially enjoy the swimming hole west of Mystic Cove Park.

 

River Pointe Park

This little park behind City Hall is great for a session of fetch.

 

Riverfront Park

Riverfront is the largest in Garden City, with plenty of space for dogs to frolic.

 

Heron Park

This is the newest park in Garden City and makes great use of its river access, with steps leading to your pup’s next swimming session.

 

Mystic Cove Park

Just off the Greenbelt, this park is a great diversion after a swim in the river.

 

Boise Whitewater Park

Have a water-loving dog? This park isn’t just for river surfers — dogs can practice their swimming skills here, too.  

Lodging

Finding a dog hotel while traveling can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but not in Garden City.

The Riverside Hotel

The Riverside Hotel (where you’ll also find the Sandbar, listed above) allows up to two dogs per room for a non-refundable fee. Book online or call ahead with questions about the policy. 

The Most Fido-Friendly Spots of All

Pups are always welcome at food trucks, the ultimate outdoor eateries! Garden City has two full-time food trucks that serve authentic Mexican food. Many establishments, like Crooked Fence and Powderhaus, offer rotating food truck service; check their websites to discover the latest. But for an OG food truck experience, start with these two.

Tacos Mobile Primo

Located just outside Primo Super Market, Tacos Mobile Primo offers traditional standbys like asada street tacos, tortas stuffed with ham and pineapple, and chile relleno burritos.

El Sabor

Located near the Mobil 1 Lube Express at 9275 W. Chinden, El Sabor serves up classics like aguachile (a ceviche-style dish served with tostadas) and burrito verde (stuffed with marinated pork).

Pints Up! GC Is the Place to Be During Idaho Craft Beer Month

Pints Up! GC Is the Place to Be During Idaho Craft Beer Month

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Pints Up! GC Is the Place to Be During Idaho Craft Beer Month

Barbarian Brewing
There’s never been a better time to hoist a pint in Garden City. As the weather warms and patios fill, the six breweries and cidery along the city’s Craft Beverage Corridor are gearing up for Idaho Craft Beer Month with new releases and old favorites. Ready to plan your own celebration? Read on for inspiration!

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Barbarian Brewing

Co-Owner and Business Manager Bre Hovley says this boundary-pushing brewery has recently released an astounding 11 beers that will be available in April. Sour lovers, take note: You won’t want to miss this.

Barbarian Brewing

Danger Sunset

Danger Sunset, a spontaneously fermented sour blend aged in oak barrels and finished with strawberries and coconut that was inspired by the South Beach of Miami, 1986 (this one’s for you, “Miami Vice” lovers).

I Told You I Was Krieky

I Told You I Was Krieky, another spontaneously fermented sour aged beer that features “a freaky” amount of tart cherries.

Spawn of Barbarian

Spawn of Barbarian, a 2019 brew that was aged in oak barrels before huckleberries were added this winter. The result is “a true amalgamation of Idaho flora and fruit, perfectly fusing the tartness of the huckleberry with the acidity of the spontaneously fermented sour.”

Reserve Morrigan

Reserve Morrigan takes its name from the Celtic goddess of war and death who, legend has it, flies over the battlefield in the shape of a raven. This beer is a spin on the original 2015 Reserve Morrigan that Barbarian’s brewmasters crafted back in its early days. The 2020 vintage was aged in red wine barrels with juice from 50 pounds of Petit Verdot and 50 pounds of Petit Syrah grapes.

Valkyrie

Valkyrie, which will make its debut in April, is named after the female warriors who flew with the Norse god Odin into battle. This farmhouse sour ale is infused with elderflowers and Sauvignon Blanc juice.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi, another April release, is a milkshake IPA inspired by the famously refreshing Indian drink. It’s made with Mecca Grade Estate malt and wheat, lactose, wildflower honey, vanilla beans, mango fruit, cardamom, flaked oats and rice, and Citra, Azacca, and Motueka hops and yeast purchased from Mountains Walking Brewery in Bozeman, Montana.

Western Collective

This brewery is beloved for its fun space and wide-ranging offerings — besides beer, Western Collective also sells hard seltzer, coffee, and boozy slushies. But beer lovers will be excited to learn that the brewery’s famous Hazy Series of IPAs is getting a new edition (Volumes 1-4 are currently available).

“The hazy series are some of my favorite hazies,” says Western Collective’s Corey Jolliffe. “The 3 and 4 are absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try Volume 5.” 

The brewery also released Roca Jack, a lager IPA with a tropical blend of hops, in March. Keep your eyes open for new slushy flavors, too. Western Collective will have regular events like its Dueling Pianos series throughout April; check out the events calendar for more.

Western Collective

Powderhaus Brewing Company

Powderhaus’s Belgian-Style Quad has been aging in Woodford Reserve barrels for a year, taking on layers of whiskey and caramel notes in the process.

“It is so stupid good,” says Powderhaus’s Mark Schmidt, who runs the brewery with his brother and parents.

The quad is just one of the releases that will be available in April. Look for the Dortmunder, part of a German rotational series featuring German hops, and March releases such as the Dubbel Belgian-Style Beer; Schmidts and Grins, a doppelbock; and Hinterlander, a cold-brew coffee porter. Albertsons purchased the latter three, so keep an eye out in your local store.

This year, Powderhaus is expanding its space and adding a cold room. Check the brewery’s website for events like its Barely Civilized Workshops, where you can grab a beer and learn outdoor skills like knife sharpening.

Powderhaus Brewing

County Line Brewing

This brewery is a family affair, and its Garden City taproom is as welcoming as going to your buddy’s for a beer. County Line is known for brews like the Hayride Pale Ale, Ruth’s Lager, and the Slow Draw Oatmeal Stout (now all available in six-packs). Head to the taproom on Wednesdays for County Line’s weekly trivia night or support the brewery by ordering online and popping by for pickup.

County Line Brewing

Crooked Fence Brewing

Crooked Fence has made a name for itself with beers like its Train Wreck Red Ale, 3 Picket Porter, and Monkey series of Belgian-style ales. In April, head to Crooked Fence’s taproom and expanded patio for its revolving selection of current releases (more than a dozen at a time) and its Food Truck Fridays and Food Truck Saturdays events. Just like the beer, the food selection is ever-rotating, so check the Crooked Fence website for details.

Crooked Fence Brewing Co.

Twisted District Brew Company

Garden City’s newest brewery launched in December 2020, during the depths of the pandemic, but that hasn’t slowed this all-in-the-family operation down. It’s owned by life and business partners Ed Danti and Greta Mohr. Greta’s son Bud is Twisted District’s brewer and oversees its four tanks.

You won’t want to miss his unique takes like Hazy Pale, Teddy Loves Pils, Da Dunk’aDunk, Twisted Hefe, Push and Porter (made with cold brew from GC’s own Push and Pour coffee shop), and Rauchambo. While you’re sipping your brews, take in live music and try savory offerings from Twisted District’s menu like brisket and gorgonzola kettle chips or smoked buffalo brats.
Twisted District Brew Company

Pints Up, Idaho!

Garden City isn’t the only place that will be raising its glasses in April — the whole state is celebrating our hoppy good fortune.

Pints Up Idaho, a statewide, collective pint day, will take place April 1. Participating breweries will feature commemorative pint glasses (usually available with the purchase of a beer). This year’s glass will feature a colorful, screen-printed design of the goddess of barley and hops, brought to you by the Idaho Barley Commission.

The pandemic has precluded Idaho Craft Beer Month’s annual festival, but never fear! Sign up for a curated beer box featuring unique beers from around the state. Orders will begin April 7 and will last for only a few days, so don’t miss your chance. The beers will be available for pickup (precise location TBA) the week of April 26.

Idaho Brewers United will host a virtual scavenger hunt on its Facebook (@idahobrewers) and Instagram (@idahobrewersunited) accounts in April — win and you could take home a prize pack!

Crooked Fence Brewing Co.

Head to the Idaho Craft Beer month website for more details.

Garden City Is For Kids

Garden City Is For Kids

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Garden City Is For Kids

Your next kid-friendly weekend adventure will take you to four square miles of outdoor fun, indoor play, and enough pizza and sugar to satisfy even the most discerning 9-year-old. Garden City is packed with fun destinations for children, including can’t miss summer events and year-round entertainment. Plus, the whole family can play safe: most Garden City businesses require masks for entry. No need to plot your course — we’ve done the work for you!

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STOP #1

Breakfast at Pastry Perfection

Time to fuel up for a day of fun! Bakers fill Pastry Perfection’s shiny glass cases with trays upon trays of frosted donuts, iced cinnamon rolls, fresh-baked breads, and fruit-filled danishes every morning. Plus, you’ll find plenty of hot coffee on tap for mom and dad. For some of the most craveable coffee cakes, muffins, and scones you’ll ever eat, check out the stylish Coffee House at Wildflour Bakery, where they churn out the sweets that line specialty grocery stores throughout the Valley.

Stop #2

Asana Climbing Gym

Now that the kiddos are on a sugar high, let them climb the walls! Asana Climbing Gym offers indoor climbing and bouldering in a supportive environment, with routes for newbies and more experienced climbers alike. Good news for parents: kids ages 9-17 climb at a discounted rate. Have the kids test their creative skills at the Reuseum, where they can learn how to build their own hovercrafts, explore magnetism, craft simple circuit boards, or even create a robot! Classes are on hold due to the pandemic, but check the Reuseum’s website for the reopening of its STEM-friendly classes.

Stop #3

Parks, Parks, and More Parks

Garden City boasts a series of beautiful parks, many of them linked by the riverside Greenbelt path that winds through the city. Depending on the time of year, the kids might enjoy swimming at Esther Simplot Park, playing at River Pointe Park, climbing the playground equipment at Riverfront Park, fishing at Riverside Park, tackling the jungle gym at Mystic Cove Park, or watching the surfers (or giving river sports a try themselves) at Boise Whitewater Park.

Stop #4

The Library

When you enter the Garden City Public Library, you immediately notice that it’s not your typical hushed-voice hall of books — its slogan is “Not a Quiet Library.” The library’s children’s programming is second to none: Expect crafts, themed story times (yoga, trucks, hummingbirds, and plenty of other kid-friendly topics) music circles, movie-watching parties, movement classes … the list goes on and on. These events have been virtual during the pandemic, but will be in-person as soon as its safe. Check the Garden City Public Library’s website before your visit for an up-to-date schedule and full list of things to do.

Garden City Public Library

Photo provided by the City of Garden City.

Stop #5

Bowling at Westy’s Garden Lanes

Since 1959, Westy’s has been the go-to spot for families who don’t mind a little friendly competition. Kids will love trying to knock down a few pins, and parents will like the price ($18-$20 per hour, plus shoe rentals) … and perhaps the very grown-up drink specials, too.

Stop #6

Pizza Party!

Garden City enjoys a good pie. Round out your big day with a trip to local favorites Idaho Pizza Company and Guido’s, both of which offer plenty of family-friendly seating and casual service.

Bonus Summer Activities

Summer just doesn’t seem complete without a lazy, warm evening watching baseball or hitting the rides at the fair. Luckily for us, you can do both in Garden City!

The Boise Hawks are the Treasure Valley’s own — and only — baseball team, and their longtime home at Memorial Stadium on Glenwood is where generations of kids have developed their love of America’s pastime. It helps that the Hawks make games super kid-friendly. There are on-field competitions geared for children between innings, including the famous round-the-bases race between three kids chosen from the stands — one dressed as a French fry, one as a tater tot, and another as baked potato (how Idaho is that?). All kids get the opportunity to take the field after the game, and they’ll thrill at the post-game fireworks (be sure to check the Hawks’ schedule to make sure they’re planned for the night you attend).

The Western Idaho Fair is as classic as it comes: scream-inducing rides, livestock and food competitions, and all the “what-the-heck-it’s-the-fair” dishes you just won’t get anywhere else. It’s a huge event — the largest in the state — and draws a quarter of a million attendees every year. The 2021 fair is scheduled for August 20-29, 2021, after forgoing 2020’s event due to the pandemic.

Of course, there’s no need to pack all that fun into one day! Make it an adventure weekend by booking a room at the Riverside Hotel, a sprawling resort-like property that backs up to the Boise River. You’ll gain access to a whole host of family fun — a kids’ splash pad at the outdoor pool, music at the Sandbar patio (the Sandbar also offers poolside delivery if Mom and Dad feel like lounging), and bike rental so you can cycle just a few feet and hop on the Greenbelt. No need to leave the fam’s best friend behind, either: the Riverside offers select pet-friendly rooms.

What’s your go-to kid activity in Garden City? We’d love to hear your recommendations!

Art Is the Heart of Garden City

Art Is the Heart of Garden City

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Art Is the Heart of Garden City

Murals, art benches, galleries … Garden City isn’t just a haven for artists, it’s a must-see destination for art lovers. From the artist studios and craft beverage makers featured on the Garden City Artisans Pathway Map to the public art works and galleries listed below, you’ll discover more than enough creativity to fuel a weekend in the city.

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Garden City

Murals

The vestiges of the city’s industrial past offer the perfect canvas for muralists. From homages to the city’s past to inspirational messages, the murals of Garden City offer colorful pops of public art in unexpected places.

Above, Below, and On Glenwood Street

Three murals can be found near Glenwood Street. The Airplane Mural, painted on the south side of the Signs by Smith Building at 4747 N. Glenwood, depicts several of the U.S. Airforce jets you might see in the sky overhead. A trio of works — the Fishing Mural, the River Rafting Mural, and the Cyclist Mural, all under the Glenwood Bridge — depict some of the most popular Boise River activities in vibrant color. Garden City’s newest mural is located at Ironwood Bar & Grill at 5467 N. Glenwood and depicts iconic signs and sights of the city.

44th Street

Hunters, set amidst an autumnal landscape, set out to bag deer in the Hunter Mural at the Boise Hunter Education Center, 109 W. 44th Street. Over at 107 E. 44th Street, across from Cinder Wines, the iconic Garden City Postcard Mural offers a colorful crash course in history to visitors exiting the tasting room.

Chinden

A Garden of Creativity, featuring larger-than-life flora and fauna in can’t-miss-it splashes of color, graces the back of Cobby’s Sandwich Shop at 4348 Chinden Boulevard.

42nd Street

The Be Great Mural, with its helping hands and powerful message, serves as a constant reminder for the kids attending the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County at 610 E. 42nd Street. Note: The mural has recently been covered by the new cafeteria

SITy

Benches

Garden City’s SITy Benches public arts project is inspired by a treasure trove of leafy spaces, including a number of parks and the Greenbelt. Garden City kicked off the project in 2019 — the first of its kind in the Treasure Valley — by choosing five artists to design and fabricate art benches. So far, eight artists have created seven site-specific benches that range from the sculptural to the playful, with more to come. Finding them is the perfect pastime for a lazy Sunday (with plenty of rest breaks included).

Five benches have been installed with more to come, visit the Garden SITy Art Bench Project to learn more.

Heron Park,
3858 Reed Street

Here, you’ll discover two SITy benches by Ken McCall that draw on the beauty of the Boise River. A colorful, larger-than-life heron and cattails bookend the aptly-named Heron Bench. Nearby, a sculptural swirl of blue waves rises toward the sky while a green leaf provides a seat on the River Throne, a perch worthy of a river nymph.

Nature Path near Riverside Pond

The silver Above and Below, by Claire Remsberg and Nicole McDonald, is silhouetted with the many animals that scurry about the earth along the river and swoop in the skies above. The greenish-blue tones of Lazy River, by Russ and Adele Lewis of Touch of Glass, nearly blend into the trees and shrubs that line the river. But take a closer look and you’ll discover glass inlays, including charming green fish.

Mystic Cove Park,
4750 Mystic Cove Way

As the owner and designer at Studio 1212, Derek Hurd has more than a little experience creating eye-catching furniture. But his Blue Bench is a standout: Bright blue and angular, it serves as a frame for the surrounding landscape.

Greenbelt

Reham Aarti’s Greenbelt Sherbet, located at the end of 50th Street, is as colorful as its eponymous namesake — a kaleidoscope of mosaiced glass and tile painstakingly placed along its sofa-like lines. Trio, by artist and blacksmith Susan Madasci, stretches the limits of what a bench is. Its cluster of leaf-like structures beckons climbing kids and face-to-face conversations alike. You can find it at East 40th Street and the Greenbelt.

Garden City

Galleries

The Visual Arts Collective

The Visual Arts Collective

The Visual Arts Collective is part music venue, part gallery, part theatre, part bar — and over the years it has become one of the most lively and interesting places to experience the arts in the Treasure Valley. The VAC is currently closed due to the pandemic, but you can help ensure that it’s back in full force in 2021 by contributing to Love Letters for the VAC.

Surel's Place

Surel’s Place

Surel’s Place is the home of the late artist Surel Mitchell, who championed Garden City as a haven for makers and artists. Her custom-built house is now a residence for a rotating cast of musicians and artists who create inspired works in the space. Although in-house events are off the table for now, you can check out online lectures or visit Hallie Maxwell’s installation Reviresco. Reviresco is an interactive piece housed in the Green Box, a World War II mobile field office, that will run from November 2020 to March 2021. Viewers will have access to paper and instructions so they can create paper cranes that will fill the Green Box and serve as mementos of healing during the pandemic. Check for updates, including online crane-making demonstrations, on the organization’s Facebook page.

The Surel Mitchell

Live-Work-Create District

In 1998, artist Surel Mitchell built a home in Garden City and changed the trajectory of the city’s future. Her home was a place to live and to create and share her art, and she began advocating for Garden City as a location where other artists could build the same lifestyle. She served on Garden City’s Planning & Zoning Commission and the city’s first Arts Commission and championed the idea of a “live, work, create” district.

In 2006, the Garden City Council formally approved the creation of the district between 32nd and 37th streets on either side of Chinden Boulevard. After Mitchell’s passing in 2011, the council named the Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District in her honor.

After Mitchell’s death, her friends and family transformed her Garden City home into Surel’s Place, a non-profit artist-in-residence program that attracts artists from around the nation and the world.

The Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District
is a neighborhood like no other. Its many features include:

What’s your favorite spot to check out local art in Garden City? Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

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The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

Garden City is a haven for artists and makers — which makes it a one-stop shop for savvy holiday gift-givers! From beautifully made baubles to bottles of brews, we’ve rounded up the best places to score a one-of-a-kind gift for just about every person on your list.

With so much to see (and shop) this holiday season, why not make a weekend of it? The Riverside Hotel is offering a Warm Up to Winter Package that’s perfect for the occasion, including a Signature Breakfast, cozy robes and slippers, and a $50 food and beverage card. Plus, you’ll get access to the hotel’s spacious 98-degree pool — heated sustainably with off-grid excess power — and the socially-distanced deck. Be sure to ask for the package by name when making your reservation.

After a heady day of lounging and browsing, be sure to check out Christmas in Color at Expo Idaho, which will set the night sky ablaze with 1.5 million (yes, million!) lights. All you need to participate in this mile-long drive-through tour is your trusty vehicle. Tune in to the Christmas in Color radio station to enjoy a synchronized music-and-light show featuring a wonderland of giant candy canes, snowmen, and dazzling decorative arches. You need just one $30 ticket per vehicle to experience this sparkling show, which runs from Nov. 20-Jan. 3.

Now, are you ready to find the perfect gift? Let’s dive in!

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FOR THE

Sustainably Stylish

Fluff Hardware

Fluff Hardware features of-the-moment designs crafted with hammered metal, chunky crystals, delicate chains, and stamped cuffs. Order online, catch them at one of their many holiday craft appearances, or book a stamped jewelry class and make your own gift!

Garden City Projects

Garden City Projects offers sculptural, modern takes on jewelry — exactly the sort of pieces your college-age niece or minimalist girlfriend would sport regularly. Pair a set of earrings with one of their glass trays for the ultimate cool-girl gift.

Foster Weld

For a gift that will last for decades to come, check out Fosterweld. The artisans at metalworking shop craft everything from bottle openers to belt buckles, keychains to custom vintage-style signs. Have an idea? Bring it to the shop (operating by appointment only) for a one-of-a-kind gift, or check out their online store.

FOR THE

Boutique Enthusiast

Suzanne Fluty Designs

Each Suzanne Fluty Designs ceramic piece is both down-to-earth and elegant, with washes of soft color and earth-inspired art. Choose a gorgeous mug as a lovely gift for the hard-working teacher who has been surviving Zoom classes on endless cups of coffee.

Lala's Fresh Pots

If you’ve never seen an agatewear design — one that mimics the fluid layers and swirls of its namesake rock — you’re in for a treat. Lala’s Fresh Pots specializes in this unique look (check out maker Kayla Morgan’s could-have-fooled-you agatewear earrings, too).

FOR THE

Art Collector

Zion Warne

For more than 20 years, Zion Warne has been at the vanguard of the Treasure Valley glass scene. He’s known for his swirling layers of colorful glass — but don’t overlook his special holiday-themed collection featuring sunglass-sporting snowmen, hand-blown ornaments, and blue-and-green pine trees.

Stover Glass

Museum-worthy vessels, delicate earrings, display-worthy glasses … they’re all available at the Stover Glass online shop. Artist Lisa Stover’s covetable creations are the result of 25 years’ worth of exploration into what glass can do (and at prices ranging from $25 to $300+, there’s something for every budget). 

Betsie Richardson

Artist Betsie Richardson’s oil paintings reflect big landscapes and little moments. You can pick up anything from stickers to holiday cards to gallery-worthy prints at her Etsy shop, or make a private studio appointment with the artist — Richardson takes commissions.

Madasci Studios

Artist and blacksmith Susan Madasci, founder of Madasci Studios, creates vessels that seem pieced together by invisible thread and colorful sculptures that appear to defy gravity. Whether you purchase from her online shop or choose something that’s made to order, you can be sure you’re gifting something that’s one of a kind.

FOR THE

Vintage Enthusiast

Studio 1212

Looking for something that’s truly unique? Go vintage — or vintage-inspired, like the handcrafted furniture at Studio 1212 that draws on the clean, futuristic lines of mid-century modern design.

Ricochet Home Consignment

Ricochet Home Consignment offers a doubletrack of goods, decor and clothing, including items from screen legend Maureen O’Hara’s estate.

Estate Sales Outlet

You’ll discover a wide range of treasures, from collectibles to antique silverware, at the Estate Sales Outlet Shop, which houses overflow from the business’s frequent events.

Assistance League Thrift Shop

Your gift will do double good at the Assistance League Thrift Shop, where proceeds from sales help to fund nine philanthropic programs.

Eclectic curio

The offerings at Eclectic Curio are as wide-ranging as the shop’s name implies — browse here for handmade ornaments and carefully curated vintage finds.

The Merq

The Merq has earned a diehard following for its “treasure of great junk” and helpful service; you can even set up a private browsing experience.

FOR THE

Beer & Cider Buddy

Garden City’s Craft Beverage Corridor offers a bonanza of gifts for the tipplers on your list. Tap into Powderhaus Brewing Company, Loose Screw Beer Co., County Line Brewing, Western Collective (which also sells a limited selection of house-made wine), Crooked Fence Brewing Co., Barbarian Brewing, and Meriwether Cider for bottles, cans, and growlers of the best brews in the state.

Powderhaus Brewing Company

Loose Screw

County Line Brewing

Western Collective

Crooked Fence Brewing Co.

Barbarian Brewing

Meriwether cider

FOR THE

Wine Sipper

Of course, the Craft Beverage Corridor isn’t limited to beer alone. Garden City’s fantastic wines are racking up honors — and you will, too, with the gift of a wine club subscription or a coveted bottle or four. Check out Cinder Wines, Split Rail Winery, Telaya Wine Co., Coiled Wines, Potter Wines, or Par Terre Winery.

Cinder Wines

split rail

Telaya Wine Co.

Coiled Wines

Potter Wines

Par Terre Winery

FOR THE

DIY Gifter

Quilt Expressions

What could be more meaningful — especially this year — than making your own gift? Quilters flock to Garden City’s Quilt Expressions, which has an astounding 7,000+ bolts of fabric to choose from at its store, online, or for curbside pickup.

the Twisted Ewe

Yarn arts enthusiasts will find everything they need at Twisted Ewe, which features skeins of gorgeous yarn from around the world, including Noro from Japan, Gedifra from Italy, and the shop’s own in-house brand.

Twisted Kitchen

If whipping up 500 cookies is more your style, head to the Twisted Kitchen next door and rent its fully-stocked commercial kitchen. It comes equipped with a convection oven, a spacious prep kitchen, massive fridges and freezers, and much more.

The Potter's Center

The Potter’s Center offers group and one-on-one classes for budding ceramicists and a range of beautiful supplies and tools for those who already know their way around a wheel.

Quality Art

Your artistic friend (or your elementary-age child) will appreciate a gift certificate or kit from Quality Art School & Art Supply, which stocks everything from Bob Ross kits to reams of colorful kraft paper and kid-friendly washable tempera paints.

Reuseum

To create a truly weird and wonderful gift, head to the Reuseum. This electronics supply and surplus store has a charmingly unpredictable stash of finds ranging from lab equipment to spare circuit boards that the tech-savvy and mechanically handy will find inspiring.

What’s your favorite place to shop in Garden City? Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

Garden City Has Links to Some of Idaho’s Spookiest History

Garden City Has Links to Some of Idaho’s Spookiest History

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Garden City Has Links to Some of Idaho’s Spookiest History

Garden City’s location and history as a gambling town puts it at the crossroads of a number of colorful stories — a crossroads that leads to some of the spookiest stories in the state. So whether you’re gearing up for Halloween under a rare blue moon or getting ready to mark Día de los Muertos, get ready: We’re about to dive into tales of pioneers and one of the most notorious episodes in Treasure Valley history.
The Ghosts of Fort Boise

Major Pinkney Lugenbeel, a U.S. Army officer, led a cavalry company to what is now Boise in 1863 in search of the perfect site for a new fort. Lugenbeel and his men camped on Government Island in the Boise River, which eight decades later would become part of what is now Garden City. (The course of the river has changed since the 1860s, so the island is roughly where Joe’s Crab Shack is today.)

Once Lugenbeel decided on a location for Fort Boise — where the VA Hospital in Boise is now — Government Island remained a working part of the Army’s operations. Soldiers grew hay there to feed the fort’s many horses, inextricably linking the historical fort to modern-day Garden City.

And according to some people, Fort Boise’s long-dead 19th century soldiers have never fully moved on to the other side.

The Fort Boise Military Cemetery is home to 247 people, many of whom lived and worked at Fort Boise and Government Island between the mid-1860s and 1906. In 1906, the cemetery had to be moved because Cottonwood Creek flooded its banks and threatened the graves of the dead. The cemetery came to its final resting place, so to speak, on Mountain Cove Road in the Fort Boise Military Reserve. Burials continued until 1913.

Could some of Garden City’s earliest American residents still lurk in the cemetery? For decades, people have reported shadowy figures around the small cemetery (including this author, who was on an early-morning run when the figure of a man walked from the cemetery across the road and vanished among the sagebrush). The most well-known figures are that of a woman and small children, who can be heard playing.

Garden City’s Ties to ‘Idaho’s Jack the Ripper’

In the 1950s, Garden City was a riotous town full of bars and gambling establishments. It was a place to have a good time, forget your cares, and spend a bit of your hard-earned cash.

That’s exactly what Cora Dean, a recently widowed woman, was doing when Raymond Snowden approached her at the Hi-Ho Club (where 3933 Chinden Boulevard is now) in 1956. Unfortunately for her, it would be her last night on the town. When Dean turned down Snowden’s advances, he slashed her, stabbing her 29 times. The similarities between the viciousness of her murder and London’s infamous mass murderer prompted the nickname “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper.” She was found by a paper boy in the alley behind the club the next morning.

As a Garden City Police officer studied the killing, he remembered a man he had arrested who had threatened to kill his girlfriend in a similar way — Snowden. The police tracked Snowden down, discovered a bloody knife outside Hannifin’s Cigar Shop in Boise, and found witnesses who saw Snowden chatting up Dean.

Snowden was convicted, sentenced to death, and moved to Idaho’s Old Penitentiary in Boise. He spent the final year of his life 10 feet away from the indoor gallows where he would be hung in 1957.

You might guess that Dean is the ghost in this story, but Snowden is the spirit that is still said to be active at the Old Pen. In a bit of poetic justice, Snowden’s execution did not go according to plan — no one had been executed by the state since 1940, and you might say officials were a bit out of practice. Snowden hung from the gallows for many agonizing minutes before finally dying. He was the last man executed by hanging in Idaho, but he makes his presence at the Old Pen known by leaving visitors with an unnerving feeling, scratching them, or even speaking to them.

A Rare Event This Halloween

Halloween in Garden City usually features community events like Trunk or Treat, hosted by the Garden City Police Department, or themed events at the breweries and wineries that make up the Craft Beverage Corridor. This year, of course, is different — but the heavens will still make this Halloween extra special.

On Oct. 31, we’ll experience a full moon on Halloween, an event that happens approximately every 19 years. But 2020’s Halloween will be a blue moon, or the second full moon in a month. The last time a blue moon was visible worldwide on Halloween was an astonishing 76 years ago, during World War II! We won’t experience a Halloween full moon again until 2039, so be sure to take a few minutes to appreciate this rare celestial appearance.

Celebrating Día de los Muertos

The tradition of Día de los Muertos is not “Mexican Halloween,” as it’s sometimes called, but it is celebrated around the same time. This religious holiday has become increasingly popular in the United States, with themed costumes and events and even movies like Disney’s “Cora,” but its beautiful traditions and colorful iconography reflect a sacred practice that binds families with their ancestors. 

Starting on Oct. 31, families create altars to honor relatives and friends who have passed. Families clean and adorn graves, stand vigil, and leave offerings of favorite foods and drinks on final resting places or home altars called ofrendas. This celebration of life — a stark contrast to death-themed Halloween — continues through the Catholic holidays of All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and All Saints Day on Nov. 2.

In a typical year, Garden City businesses and organizations would celebrate Día de los Muertos with cultural events and parties. This year, however, we’d encourage you to honor your friends and relatives at home.

Do You Have a Halloween Story?

Have you had a ghostly experience in Garden City? We would love to hear about it! Please share your story in the comments section below.

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Sip and Celebrate During Idaho Wine and Cider Month!

Sip and Celebrate During Idaho Wine and Cider Month!

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Sip and Celebrate During Idaho Wine and Cider Month!

June is Idaho Wine and Cider Month

June is Idaho Wine and Cider Month, and there’s no better place to raise your glass in tribute than Garden City — six outstanding wineries and one amazing cidery line our celebrated Craft Beverage Corridor. After an extended break due to the pandemic, they have reopened their doors to the public and are ready to start serving in person again. 

Why is Garden City such a hotbed of winemaking? It starts with the rich, volcanic soil and grape-friendly climate that have made winemaking one of Idaho’s fastest-growing — and delectable — industries. Garden City’s business-friendly environment and easy access to the space needed for these wineries has made it the unofficial center of the universe for Idaho’s winemakers.

Garden City’s winemakers have won numerous awards and inspired Idahoans and visitors alike to drink local. Idaho Wine and Cider Month has been celebrated since 2009, but this year, of course, might be a bit more subdued — but just as delicious. There are a limited number of events this year with a limited number of spots available due to social distancing, so register early.

Here’s where you can experience the best wines Garden City has to offer.

Cinder Wines

What do cinders have to do with wine, you might ask? In Idaho, a lot. Cinder sources its outstanding grapes from the volcanic soil (hence the “cinder”) of the Snake River Valley for truly local wines. Winemaker Melanie Krause has racked up countless awards for her chardonnay, dry viognier, off-dry Riesling, and more. Cinder’s warehouse tasting room is a favorite for private parties and group wine tastings.

Coiled Wines

Winemaker Leslie Preston is an industry powerhouse who was one of the pioneers of Idaho’s modern era of winemaking. She and her team create all their products from “vine to wine” at Coiled’s location in Garden City. And what products they are, too. You’ll discover easy drinking reds like Black Mamba and the groundbreaking Rizza, Idaho’s first Champagne-method sparkling wine.

Par Terre Winery

This new winery was founded by two professional dancers, and they create wines as elegant as a ballet. Par Terre’s selection is small but carefully made and includes a rose, chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, merlot, and Semillon. Their 2017 rose was made with grapes from Washington and has racked up multiple awards.

Potter Wines

You’ve never had anything like a Potter wine. This winery is best known for its jalapeno wines, which balance spiciness with light sweetness. Other offerings include the Liquid Lunch chardonnay and the Swanky Devil syrah, as well as bagged wine lemonade — perfect for your next camping trip.

split rail

Split Rail wines are fun. As the folks at the winery put it, they’re meant for people with an “unfettered love for drinking, eating, and debauchery” — and that comes through loud and clear in their approach to winemaking. Here, you’ll find Daft Pink, a dry rose that comes in either bottles or cans; huge reds with names like Horned Beast and Swamp Donkey; and a classic tempranillo called Bearded Quixote. Irreverent? Yes. But flimsy? Never.

Telaya Wine Co.
Classic, traditional, and crafted in Idaho and Washington grapes, Telaya wines are known for their consistency and elegance. Telaya is regularly celebrated for its Turas, an earthy syrah-based blend, as well as a carefully curated selection of European-style whites and reds. The Telaya tasting room is a gem nestled along the Boise River that attracts both a weekday after-work crowd and blowout private bashes.

Events during Idaho Wine and Cider Month:

Meriwether cider

Meriwether is owned and operated by the Leadbetter family, four self-described firefighters, nomads and adventurers. Gig, Ann, Kate, and Molly make their cider with Northwest apples and other pure fruit juices. You might find hops, blackberries, or ginger in your cider, but no artificial flavors or essences, and no added sugars. It’s fizzy, refreshing, and delicious.

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Support Garden City Wineries and Cideries Wherever You Are!

If you’re not comfortable venturing out in public yet, you can support Garden City’s winemakers and cideries by sipping at home:

Host a virtual happy hour with wines from Garden City. Why not a virtual taste test with your favorite oenophiles?
Order wine online or by phone. Many of our wineries have continued operations during the shutdown and are stocked and ready to fill your order.
Pick up your wines curbside. Ask about curbside pickup when you’re placing your order. Many wineries are happy to help you.
Join a wine club. This is the best way to experience the wines that winemakers are really proud of — and many wine clubs offer additional benefits, like lower prices and exclusive access to certain events or hard-to-get wines.

Staying Safe While You Sip

Garden City’s wineries and breweries are working hard to make your experience safe, healthy, and fun. Please do your part by washing your hands frequently, doing your best to maintain social distance from other customers, staying home if you’re not feeling well, and respecting each establishment’s individual guidelines.

Bring Your Brew Buddies

If your friends are more into suds than Syrah, invite them along! Our Craft Beverage Corridor has plenty of local breweries and even a cidery that are offering to-go orders and curbside pickup. Don’t forget to check their websites for their reopening dates!

Barbarian Brewing5270 W. Chinden Blvd
County Line Brewing, 9115 W. Chinden Blvd
Crooked Fence Brewing Co., 5220 N. Sawyer Ave
Loose Screw Beer Co., 4340 West Chinden Blvd
Powderhaus Brewing Company, 9719 W. Chinden Blvd
Western Collective, 111 W. 33rd St.

Ski Stress Free

Ski Stress Free

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Ski Stress Free

Garden City is the Secret to Stress-Free Skiing

It’s true that you won’t find ski resort in Garden City — but, thanks to its location, it’s the ideal place experience a stress-free day of skiing. Here’s how you can make the most of your time on the mountain while maximizing every moment of relaxation.
Sleep tight at the Riverside Hotel.

The best way to start your adventure is by resting up for the thrills ahead! The Riverside Hotel in Garden City is popular with locals and out-of-town folks alike thanks to its spacious rooms and friendly vibe. Check in, then chill out at the Sapphire Room while enjoying a cocktail and live music.

Fuel up!

Get a head start on the crowds by hitting up the Riverside Hotel’s Riverside Grill for its signature breakfast buffet (weekdays) or brunch (weekends). Starting at 6 a.m., you can enjoy made-on-the-spot omelets, freshly baked donuts, and the Riverside’s famous caramelized pepper bacon. On the weekends, the buffet goes deluxe with the addition of hand-carved prime rib, eggs benedict, a dessert bar, and bottomless mimosas.

Let a driver be your guide.

There’s another amazing perk besides the awesome breakfast at the Riverside: Free connection to the Bogus Basin shuttle! Skip the hassle of dealing with traffic by letting the Riverside shuttle ferry you to the Bogus Basin bus that loops to the ski resort and back every 20 minutes. All you have to do is sit back and think about your first run.  

If you’re new to Bogus Basin, you’re in for a treat. This beloved non-profit ski area has been entertaining families for more than 70 years with its 1,800 foot drop and 91 runs. And it’s not just for skiers! Try the twisting, turning mountain coaster (the only one in Idaho) or the slick tubing hill.

Aprés ski at the brewery.

Where better to finish your mini ski adventure than at the Powderhaus Brewing Company? Their “taphaus” on Chinden Boulevard features alpine-inspired brews in a sleek, wooden space that looks like a modern take on a rustic cabin. Try the First Turns IPA, which is based on locally-grown Chinook and Cascade hops, or the Hinterlander Porter, which boasts coffee and chocolate flavors. Sit back, stretch out, and listen to live music on Friday nights and weekends — and just remember, you can come back for another stress-free ski adventure every weekend while the snow flies! 

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Shop Boutiques & Antiques

Shop Boutiques & Antiques

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Shop Boutiques & Antiques

Nothing But One-of-a-Kind Finds

If you thrill at the idea of scoring a 1940s Stetson or stumbling upon the perfect Danish mid-century chair, Garden City is your town. We boast a bevy of small businesses that focus on eclectic offerings. Here, you’ll discover unusual antique treasures, specialty stores, and craftspeople who create and restore beautiful furniture. Pick your favorite type of store, choose your destination, and start mining for gold!

Where to Search For Antique Treasures

Garden City has an unusually high number of awesome antiques in a small area.

Ricochet

Where can you go to find a 1940s evening gown and mid-century chaise to lounge in? Ricochet, of course. This consignment store specializes in high-quality furniture and clothing — including pieces from the estate of actress Maureen O’Hara. The selection is always rotating, so pop in to find your next statement piece.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
Estate Sales Outlet Shop

This business is the extension of a longstanding estate sales management company and features a constantly updated selection of handpicked art, books, china and porcelain, jewelry, kitchenware, and so much more.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
Estate Sales Outlet Shop

This business is the extension of a longstanding estate sales management company and features a constantly updated selection of handpicked art, books, china and porcelain, jewelry, kitchenware, and so much more.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
Assistance League Thrift Shop

This well-stocked thrift store includes sections for clothing, home goods, jewelry, shoes, and seasonal goods. The thrift store is the main source of income for the Assistance League of Boise’s seven philanthropic programs, so you can feel good while scoring your latest treasure.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +

Eclectic Curio

You never know what wonders you’ll stumble upon at this whimsical shop. Clothing, home decor, collectibles — the multiple vendors who sell at Eclectic have an eye for it all. If you’re in search of something truly unique, check out Eclectic’s upcycled furniture.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
The Merq

The Merq specializes in pieces that are salvaged, repurposed, and ready to be loved again. Goods at The Merq are carefully curated and ideal for shabby chic lovers. Be sure to ask about their monthly sales and specials, too.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
Idaho Vintage Market

This two-day market comes to Garden City from the founders of Boise’s uber-popular Wintry Market. Every September, you can browse through treasures supplied by about 60 vendors, including clothing, original art, jewelry, outdoor furniture, and more.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +
Reuseum

The Reuseum is truly one of the most original stores you’ll ever visit. This surplus outlet takes in a huge variety of unwanted items like computer parts, lab supplies, industrial machinery, and more — all so intrepid makers can create their own inventions. Their in-house education center schools kids through their “deconstruction lab” and also includes practical tips for mastering 3-D printers and more.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE +

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Family Day in Garden City

Family Day in Garden City

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Family Day in Garden City

There’s No Shortage of Family Fun in Garden City

Sure, Garden City has plenty of big fun for adults thanks to its Craft Beverage Corridor. But it’s also a wonderland of interesting activities for kids — and who knows, their parents might learn a few things, too!
Start the morning in the garden.

Garden City is the first Bee City, U.S.A. in Idaho, which means that the city is devoted to preserving and protecting these important insects. Garden City has created a safe space for bees at its purpose-built Pollinator Garden. At this educational garden, you and your kids can learn about native bee species, the plants they enjoy, and how the whole family can do its part to help Idaho’s bees thrive.

Learn at the library.

The Garden City Public Library proudly proclaims that it’s “not a quiet library.” And with the number of programs for kids, you’ll quickly find out why! Take your little ones to Toddler Tales storytime and Puppet Theater, or help your older children learn how to speak Spanish at Bilingual Storytime. You’ll discover plenty of other activities, from rock painting workshops to chess, as well as one of the most welcoming environments in the Treasure Valley.

Get weird at the Reuseum.

Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at this family-friendly electronics surplus and supply store. You never know what you’ll find here: Old lab coats, beakers, used motherboards — the list goes on and on and on. The Reuseum is a huge advocate for STEM education and regularly hosts workshops for kids like Deconstruction Labs, Bristlebot Builds, Circuit Building Basics, and Junk Drawer Robots. Or, if your child has a STEM or science project, book time with the staff to go over logistics and see how the Reuseum might be able to help.

Bowl like a pro.

Westy’s Garden Lanes have been a Garden City staple since 1959, and they’re still a family favorite. Strike down some pins and let the kids gorge on Westy’s breakfast-all-day specials (there’s a full-service bar on hand for adults, too). You could always make your excursion into a party: Westy’s has a party package that includes an hour of bowling, 30 minutes of arcade games, unlimited soda, and take-home gifts.

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Surf the Boise River

Surf the Boise River

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Surf the Boise River

Yep, You Can Surf Here

The Pacific is 588 miles away, but the surf is definitely up in Garden City. Esther Simplot Park, which is bordered by Garden City on one side and Boise on the other, is home to the ever-expanding Boise Whitewater Park. This dedicated area was built specifically for whitewater lovers and features a man-made wave to challenge kayakers and river surfers.

Of course, you could just put on your wetsuit and hit the river for an hour or two. But why not make a day of it?

Fuel up.

First stop: Coffee. For a true Garden City experience, ditch the car and pull up to Push & Pour on your bike. This acclaimed shop is just a block south of the whitewater park and features craveworthy coffee and what’s rumored to be the Treasure Valley’s best avocado toast. If the weather’s warm, savor your breakfast on the canopy-covered patio.

Rent your gear.

Don’t have your riverboard or kayak? No worries. Head to Corridor Surf Shop and Necessary Goods to rent your surfboard and wetsuit. Boise Army Navy Supply is the OG of kayak rentals in Garden City with a track record of 30 years and counting. Sign up for a rental package and get other essentials, like a helmet and personal flotation device, with your package.

Hit the river.

Boise Whitewater Park was already making waves (forgive the pun), but it’s attracting even more water lovers since its expansion in summer 2019. The park now includes two mechanical waves and two waves created with engineered boulders. The waves operate on a schedule, which means that they change fairly frequently so surfers and kayakers never get bored. (You can find a schedule here.) Check the waves ahead of time with the park’s handy wave cam.

Wind down.

You’ll need to cool off after all that adrenaline-pumping fun! Make like a local and head to the Yardarm, a seasonal bar created entirely with recycled and upcyled objects. The place was born from a brainstorming session at Corridor, so it’s no surprise that it has become the go-to for river surfers. Check out its fine beer selection and beachy vibe from spring through fall.

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Tasting & Tap Rooms

Tasting & Tap Rooms

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Tasting & Tap Rooms

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Garden City boasts an impressive selection of wineries and breweries, and on any given day you can sample their wares and discover what the buzz is about. Use our guide to taste your way through the wineries, cideries, and breweries that call Garden City home.

Start with a Bloody Mary brunch

Caffe Luciano’s has earned a devoted following for its breakfast paninos — savory sandwiches packed with ingredients like prosciutto, eggs, mozzarella, and basil aioli — but get into the spirit of your adventure with one of their Bloody Marys. You’ll be primed for the day of indulgence that lies ahead.

Ease into it with cider

Pace yourself! Meriwether Cider is a great place to begin your taproom adventure after your boozy brunch. If you tend to think of alcoholic cider as sickly sweet or one-note, Meriwether’s brews are bound to change your mind. Try the crisp Foothills Semi-Dry, the flavor-packed Ginger Root, or one of the seasonal selections to get your footing.

Sip Syrah at Cinder

Any time is a good time for rosé, especially Cinder’s Dry Syrah Rosé. Make like a local and stop in for a tasting at Cinder’s industrial-chic tasting room — if you’re lucky, you might even get an impromptu tour of the winemaking facilities in the back! Cinder’s wines are made from Snake River Valley grapes and are a prime example of the potential of Idaho’s up-and-coming wine scene. Start sipping now and you’ll have bragging rights when the rest of the world discovers these treasures.

Drink like a Barbarian

Barbarian Brewing’s roots go back — way back — to the ancient Europeans who pioneered the sour beers that have become a phenomenon today. Barbarian uses Old World-style methods to create fresh, new flavors like Odin’s Table Bier, Cry of the Blackbirds, and The Warg. Barbarian has a huge, experimental beer list, so ask about limited-edition beers that you won’t find anywhere else. Barbarian’s pioneering style and willingness to try new flavors makes each trip to their taproom unique.

 

Finish strong

You’re bound to be ravenous by the end of your tour, so why not stop in at a classic steakhouse? The Stagecoach has been an institution since the 1950s, and its bar is one of the busiest locations in all of Garden City. Grab a cozy leather booth and sip on one of the Stagecoach’s legendary martinis or Manhattans. Order a snack of their signature bar prawns to truly round out the experience.

Of course, there’s much more to discover! Find a full list of Garden City’s craft breweries and wineries.

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History of Garden City

History of Garden City

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History of Garden City

A Brief History of Garden City

Why is Garden City called Garden City? What’s with all of the Atomic Era business signs on Chinden Boulevard? And what the heck is a “chinden,” anyway?

 

To find the answers, we have to go back in time.

Oregon Trail Roots
Originally, the land that is now Garden City was part of the greater Boise area. When Major Pinckney Lugenbeel established a military post in Boise to provide protection for Oregon Trail immigrants and local settlers back in 1863, he commandeered land along the Boise River to grow hay for horses. (It was given the rather uninspiring name “Government Island.”)

Putting the Garden in Garden City

By 1884, the government had pulled much of its presence out of the valley, and the land went up for sale. By 1890, cattle rancher Thomas J. Davis had bought over 600 acres and began leasing it to Chinese immigrants.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Chinese immigrants were a huge part of the population in what would become the Treasure Valley. Many of these hard-working laborers arrived here in search of gold, but growing and selling produce was less back-breaking. They raised hogs and row crops like strawberries and onions. Their neat gardens gave Garden City its name — in fact, Chinden Boulevard is a portmanteau of “Chinese” and “gardens.”

A Village Is Born

By 1949, most of the gardens in Garden City, along with the Chinese immigrants, were gone. But there was a large enough population in the area for Ada County to grant village status to the land now known as Garden City.

The timing wasn’t a coincidence. Boise, the village’s next-door neighbor, had just banned gambling. The business owners of the new Garden City sensed an opportunity to build “amusement centers” — otherwise known as gambling houses — to fund the village and make a small fortune. The new village fathers promoted Garden City as a place where industry, home builders, and small businesses of many stripes were welcome. But it wasn’t a lawless community: a 1950 pamphlet boasts the “law-abiding community has the best of police protection.”

Gambling Is Good for Growth

Garden City boomed for a few years as gamblers flocked to the slot machines at establishments like the Hi Ho Club and the Circle M. And, of course, the village took a share of the profits. Gambling revenues paid for a new water system, a city hall, a park and playground, and much more.

But the party was over by the mid-’50s. The Legislature stepped in and banned gambling, including slot machines and more benign vices like lotteries, in an effort to improve morality.

Building Big Business

Garden City leaders folded on gambling but decided to double down on businesses. They began attracting the village as a great — and cheap — place to set up shop. Just about anyone was welcome in Garden City: nightclubs, over 18 shops. It was a cheap place to build a home, too, without many of the housing regulations required by other cities. In the 1970s, Garden City was a mashup of industry and free-for-all housing. 

Making Garden City Bloom Again

By the 1980s, the village — now an officially incorporated city — was in the throes of an identity crisis. City leaders worked hard to tighten regulations and make living and working in Garden City safer and cleaner while strengthening business ties.

An unexpected benefit of years of tumult, however, was that Garden City’s affordability attracted a community of artists looking for cheaper housing and studio space. By 1998, when artist Surel Mitchell built a home in Garden City, the town was primed to experience a renaissance. Thanks to her ceaseless efforts, Garden City began attracting a reputation as a haven for creative thinkers and doers.

Today, the city continues to evolve. Travel down Chinden Boulevard today and you’ll catch glimpses of 1950s nightclubs and 1960s office parks, but you’ll also see thriving businesses. The gardens that lined the river have been replaced with the Greenbelt and a series of parks. Garden City is reinventing itself yet again — this time, for the better.

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Craft Beverage Corridor

Craft Beverage Corridor

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Craft Beverage Corridor

Craft Beverage Makers Love Garden City

Around the turn of the 21st century, Garden City’s warehouses were still simple storage spaces — cavernous, industrial, and strictly utilitarian.
Until the brewers moved in.

Lured to Garden City by plentiful space, the low cost of doing business, and a love for beer, breweries began retrofitting spaces with massive stainless steel vats. Wineries followed suit, and then a cidery, until suddenly Garden City was the craft beverage destination in the state — and a top contender in the Northwest.

Idaho now ranks 10th in the number of craft breweries per capita, according to the Brewers Association. And the state’s booming wine industry has a whopping $169.3 million impact.

That’s due in no small part to the explosion of offerings in Garden City. Not bad for a state that had only a single winery back in the 1970s.

Today, Garden City is famous for its Craft Beverage Corridor, a collection of seven wineries, six breweries, and one cidery within a four-square-mile radius. It’s a community that bound by creativity, attention to detail, and a commitment to local hops and grapes.

Want to cruise the corridor worry free? Try the Boise Brew Bus, which takes beer and wine lovers through Garden City’s fine tasting rooms in its “green machine” converted bus. Take a pre-selected tour or create your own to hit your favorite spots. Here’s a list to get you started:

Wineries
  • Cinder Wines, 107 E. 44th Street
  • Split Rail Winery, 4338 W. Chinden Boulevard
  • Telaya Wine Co., 240 E. 32nd Street
  • Coiled Wines, 3408 W. Chinden Boulevard
  • Potter Wines, 5286 W. Chinden Boulevard
  • Par Terre Winery, 9165 W. Chinden Boulevard, Suite 107
  • The Gulch Wine Room, 5226 W. Chinden Boulevard
Breweries
  • Powderhaus Brewing Company, 9719 W. Chinden Boulevard
  • Bella Brewing, 4340 W. Chinden Boulevard
  • County Line Brewing, 9115 W. Chinden Boulevard, #107
  • Western Collective, 111 W. 33rd Street
  • Crooked Fence Brewing Co., 5220 N. Sawyer Avenue
  • Barbarian Brewing, 5270 W. Chinden Boulevard
Cideries
  • Meriwether Cider, 5242 W. Chinden Boulevard

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Murals and Benches

Murals and Benches

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Murals and Benches

Want to See Art in Garden City? Just Look Around.

Garden City has earned a rep as a haven for artists, so it’s no surprise that their work is tucked throughout the city — all you have to do is keep an eye out for these unexpected delights.

Each artwork has been created by artists with ties to the area, and each reflects an aspect of life in Garden City. Walk along an Osage Street alley in front of Cinder Wines and you’ll stumble upon a bigger-than-life postcard of the Chinese gardens that once filled the land by the river. An angular, bright-blue bench on the Greenbelt seems a bit out of place … until you realize it offers two “frames” of the Boise River and the sunny sky overhead.

The city’s public art benches are the brainchild of the Garden City Arts Commission. The Garden City Arts Commission revealed the first four benches in 2019 and plans to add another five in the near future.

 

Of course, you don’t have to randomly stumble upon these works of art. Take a self-guided art tour by visiting the following locations:

  • Heron Bench, Heron Park, 3858 Reed Street
  • Greenbelt Sherbet, end of 50th Street on the Greenbelt
  • Blue Bench, Mystic Cove Park on the Greenbelt
  • Trio, E. 40th Street and the Greenbelt
  • “Underneath” located at Riverside Park at Glenwood & Riverside Dr
  • Airplane Mural, Signs by Smith Building, 4747 N. Glenwood Street
  • Be Great Mural, Boys & Girls Club of Ada County, 610 E. 42nd Street
  • Hunter Mural, Boise Hunter Education Center, 109 W. 44th Street
  • Fishing Mural, under Glenwood Bridge
  • River Rafting Mural, under Glenwood Bridge
  • Garden City Postcard Mural, across from Cinder Wines, 107 E. 44th Street
  • A Garden of Creativity, back of Cobby’s Sandwich Shop, 4348 Chinden Boulevard

Don’t forget that you can explore even more of Garden City’s amazing, living art heritage through our Artisans Pathways map.

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