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Boise, Idaho

Gold was discovered in 1862 in the Idaho City basin, and Boise came into being in 1863. There is some argument over how to pronounce the name of Idaho's capital city. However you say it, the name derives from the French word le bois, for the beautiful woodlands that surround the Boise River.

Grab a bike or some walking shoes and explore tree-lined pathways of the 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt. Visit the surprising and enriching Basque museum and cultural center downtown, which showcases the Spanish Basque immigrant population that settled in Boise. Drive a little ways out of town for a wine flight with some artisan cheese and elk salami at 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards.

Browse Boise's bounty with a Saturday morning trip to the Capital City Public Market. Swing by the Janjou Patisserie and treat yourself to an elegantly crafted latte and delicate, buttery palmiers. Keep your napkin close and dig into a plate of baby back ribs and a side of crispy onion rings at Goodwood Barbecue Company. And in this state famous for farming delicious and plentiful potatoes, head to the Boise Fry Company for hand-cut and still nutrient-rich fries with blueberry ketchup - you can get a free-range, grass-fed bison burger to go with that.

Photos: Boise CVB