5 Unique Day Trips From Boise, Idaho

If you’re in need of something fun to do outside Boise on your day off, taking a day trip outside of the city makes for a wonderful experience. Day trips provide a mini getaway for the senses without breaking the bank account and taking up too much of your time or energy. A chance to restore your energy, have a bit of fun, learn something new or simply relax are some of the ways you can spend your time on a day trip outside Boise. Depending on time and finances, you might be able to do more than one thing if you are headed in the right direction.

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What are some unique day trips you can easily take from Boise?

The area just surrounding Boise, Idaho, has a ton of interesting and unique features and attractions. Quick day trips from Boise can be made to some of these unique destinations:

  • Twin Falls
  • Idaho City
  • Roaring Springs Waterpark
  • Craters of the Moon
  • St. Anthony Sand Dunes

When I day trip, I like to leave as early as possible and visit as many places as possible to maximize the adventure. Not only is it more cost-effective in terms of travel and time, but it makes for an exciting and fun-filled day.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls, Idaho

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Idaho has so much beauty everywhere you look that it can be hard to pick the perfect spot for a day trip. Thankfully, there are fifty-two weekends in a year, leaving plenty of room to explore them all.

Twin Falls, which is not far from Boise, gives Niagara Falls a run for its money on the Pacific Coast. The largest of the waterfalls in this area is the Shoshone Falls, larger than Niagara and totally breathtaking to see up close.

At just over one hundred- and twenty miles of driving distance and just under two hours, it’s a great inexpensive adventure where you can pack a picnic, take a drive, see the sights and enjoy some shopping and dinner before returning home from your day trip.

Idaho City

Idaho City, Idaho

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You might think leaving a city to go to another city is a bit strange, but the diversity of each city makes it new and exciting. There is something new to be seen or explored around every corner, not to mention exciting nightlife, artistic adventures, and museums to check out.

The only difference is that this city, once the biggest city in Idaho, has a storied past steeped in gold mining. And while many cities like Boise can claim thousands of residents, Idaho City stakes claim to hundreds.

You can explore history in the Boise Basin Museum or shop at the trading post and visit the visitors center while in town.

You can take a walking tour of the city and meet some of the locals who still call this great city home or check out the dam and reservoir before grabbing some grub and heading home.

A simple forty-mile or one-hour drive Northeast from Boise makes for a great day trip to this old mining town, quick, economical, and fun!

Roaring Springs Waterpark

40 West Overland Road, Meridian, Idaho 83642

(208) 884-8842

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This water park makes the perfect adventure for that summertime day trip where you want a little bit of sun, fun, and water to go with it. The park boasts many attractions for thrill-seekers and numerous water slides, a wading pool, a kid’s play area, and some great water fun.

It is an economical choice that keeps it local while getting you and the family out of town for the day at just over ten miles’ driving distance and under twenty minutes’ drive.

DZONE Skydiving


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An exciting day of adventure and fun skydiving can be a great experience for those who need that extreme energy and blood pumping through their veins to refresh their senses.

This location is a great place for a first-time jump. You can share the experience as a couple or group of friends and enjoy some good food afterward or a nice shopping adventure as some cool downtime after the dive.

The dive location is about fifteen miles away from Boise and just over a half-hour drive.

Craters of the Moon

Arco, Idaho

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If you’re looking for something mystical and ethereal to do with your family or friends, this park is the place to go. Likened to visiting outer space and the moon, this park offers visitors a chance to visit the beauty of about six hundred miles of protected basalt lava fields.

The black lava makes a lovely, distorted pattern as it covers the earth’s landscape here. Those who are not into hiking trails can simply view the area and enjoy its remarkable. In contrast, those who are athletic or enjoy hiking can explore the area on a lovely on-foot adventure.

The drive is under two hundred miles and about three hours long. Taking a day trip adventure here would mean leaving bright and early and probably returning later, but it’s definitely doable from Boise.

St. Anthony Sand Dunes

St. Anthony, Idaho

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You might not necessarily associate sand dunes with Idaho, as they are more likened to the hotter and drier climates of the south or at least by the beach. But not far outside Boise, adrenaline junkies find this place exciting, and it’s a thrill seeker’s dream.

It’s a beautiful sight to behold but even better when you get your feet in that sand and take an ATV out to explore it. 

At just over three hundred miles and almost a four-hour drive, this day trip would be a long one but well worth the adventure. Just thinks of all the exciting stops you can make along the way. It’s well worth losing a few hours of sleep the next night when you arrive home later.

Closing Point

Taking a break from life for a day is sometimes the only thing you can do to keep your sanity when life is hectic. While Boise is a beautiful city with some very exciting things to do that would make it easy for anyone to just stay local.

Sometimes we need to push those boundaries and leave our comfort zone for the scenery outside the norm. Day trips are a great way to explore new territory, learn something new, and breathe the fresh air.