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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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).

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

taste

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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