The easiest way to Boise from western Washington is via Interstates: Highway 18 to I-90 to I-82 to I-84. Boise is a very walkable city, so get set to explore. Stroll along 8th street to check out the many restaurants; you will not be disappointed.
My favorites include Bitter Creek Alehouse (fabulous salmon croquettes, good wine and beer selection), Prost! (enjoy your delicious German food and beer, sitting outside), Ruth’s Chris Steak House and try Goldy’s for breakfast. Meander along the Basque block, checking out restaurants and the museum.
Browse the Rediscovered Bookshop, a favorite place when I visit Boise. Two Favorite Bookstores ~ Idaho
Leave time to explore the impressive Capitol Building where you discover the history of Idaho, displayed on the lower level. While there are tours, I opted to walk about on my own. Afterward, walk about the pretty exterior garden area.
Walk or jog along the 25 mile Boise River Greenbelt, following the river through the heart of the city, including Boise State. Along the way, stop and explore the Julia Davis Park, including its beautiful Rose Garden and Zoo.
Drive to nearby Meridian, check out the shopping at The Village at Meridian and enjoy lunch or dinner at The Yard House or Kona Grill.
A short drive from Boise is the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, which is well worth the visit. Warhawk Air Museum, Nampa, Idaho
Drive to Coeur d’Alene
To me, the more scenic route (highways 55 and 95) is the better option than back-tracking and taking the interstates. There are places to stop, including McCall, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Moscow. I stopped many times to take photos and was very lucky that it was a clear, beautiful day.
I stayed in the River Front area which has a fabulous book store (The Well~Read Moose, see link below), the Centennial Trail, River Front Park and some terrific nearby restaurants (including Le Peep and Anthony’s). Stroll past the shops along Sherman Ave and take the sightseeing boat about the Lake. Drive along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive (east of the city) to view the Lake and State Parks on the water.
To drive about most of the Lake, use Interstate I-90 to Highway 97. It’s a gorgeous drive on a twisty, narrow road and you want to do it on a clear day.
Explore the nearby Coeur d’Alene National Forest and the many pretty towns close-by including Sandpoint and Post Falls or drive into Washington to explore the Spokane Valley area and Spokane.
To return to western Washington, take Interstate 90 to highway 18.
Bon Voyage and Happy Travels!