Main Content

Summer Staycations You Can Actually Afford

It’s finally warm enough for shorts! If you’re like us, you’re itching to go out and explore all your old summertime favorites here in Boise. Fly fishing, dog parks, farmers markets… you name it!

Spending any part of your summer here in Idaho is a treat, but inflation is reaching record highs and it’s getting harder and harder to justify taking those big summer vacations. If you’re scrambling to find something more affordable, don’t panic.

It might be out of the question to go to Disney Land this year, but there’s still plenty of magic to find right here in the Treasure Valley. We’ve assembled a list of budget-friendly staycation ideas to help you plan an awesome summer vacation right in your own backyard, and if you’re on the hunt for a new backyard, these current home listings in the Boise-area are worth taking a look at.

So grab your fresh huckleberry lemonade, sit back, and let the dreaming begin!

What Is A Staycation, Anyways?

Simply put, staycations are an easy way to vacation close to home without spending an arm and a leg. You can avoid long hours in the car, costly travel expenses, and the nagging voice in your head constantly asking if you remembered to pack everything before you left.

Think of a staycation like an easy-to-plan day trip that includes destinations like theme parks, festivals, or free community events. They can range in price, but whatever you choose, these excursions usually lead you right back to the comforts of your own bed by the end of the day. Think of them like a perfectly-timed visit that doesn’t overstay a welcome… something more than a few in-laws could learn to balance!

Staycation Ideas Near Boise

This is your chance to finally float down the Boise River, hideout with a good book in the Boise Public Library, or take a long afternoon sipping your way through the wine list at any of our locally-acclaimed wineries. If you have a day and a few dollars to spare, you have enough to make some great memories in our awesome city.

Here’s a list of great experiences you might have kept on the backburner for too long:

Boise Whitewater Park

Boise Whitewater Park
Photo Source: Merrick & Company Youtube – Boise River Park

Surf the waves at the Boise Whitewater Park, or go to watch people and their attempts to ride the waves from a nearby restaurant or bar. Most people don’t know this, but we boast one of the world’s FIRST adjustable waves!

Wahooz Family Fun Zone

Wahooz Family Fun Zone
Photo Source: Wahooz Family Fun Zone

Let your fun side run free! This adventure zone has tons of indoor and outdoor attractions, like bowling, laser tag, mini golf, arcade games, bumper boats, go karts, ropes courses and more.

And as a bonus, you can score great deals when you visit Tuesday-Thursday. Checkout all the awesome weekly discounts here.

Roaring Springs Water Park

Roaring Springs
Photo Source: Roaring Springs

TripAdvisor recently ranked Roaring Springs as the 8th best water park in the US! Season passes cost a little more than a one-day ticket to Disney, so this is an incredible value to all the water park junkies and sun bums who live within driving distance.

Not only is this the largest water park in the Northwest, but it’s also right next door to Wahooz and you can score better savings when buying a Triple the Fun pass ($70/person) to both locations.

For the parents out there, this is a great way to take a one-week summer camp budget and stretch it out through the entire summer.

The Village at Meridian

The Village at Meridian
Photo Source: The Village at Meridian

This beautiful outdoor shopping center is a great place to shop, dine, relax and enjoy the hourly fountain displays and to simply meander. Beautiful European-style architecture makes The Village at Meridian a great place to find your next favorite item, watch the newest movie release, or savor one of the summer outdoor concert lineups.

Wine Tours

California gets a lot of recognition for their wine country, but Idaho has more than 65 great vineyards of its own that are worth celebrating. The easiest way to start exploring is by visiting the Boise Urban Wine District downtown. Consider booking a wine tour with the best wine tour company in Idaho or stopping by Clearwater Canyon Cellars, the 2020 Idaho Winery of the Year.

Visiting from out of town? Passengers flying home on Alaska Airlines can check their first case of Idaho Wine for free if they’re Mileage Plan™ members! Learn more here >

Plan A Summer Day Hike

Summer Day Mountain Hike
Photo Source: Planet Ware – Copyright: Brad Lane

Looking for an excuse to lace up your hiking boots? The summer hiking season in Idaho is GORGEOUS! If you haven’t gone out to explore the trails, or can’t seem to get enough trail time, you’ll want to check out the Boise Area’s 10 Best Summer Hikes. This list offers great trail descriptions with all the distances, elevation gain, field notes, and trailhead info you’ll need to get started.

We could go on and on about these fun treks, but nothing beats hiking out to see the Treasure Valley views for yourself.

Farmers Markets Near Boise

Farmers Markets Near Boise
Photo Source: The Boise Farmer’s Market

Soaring grocery prices are making all of us reconsider how we buy our favorite ingredients. If you’ve been in sticker shock at the grocery store checkout line, try hunting for fresh, locally-sourced essentials at one of our many nearby farmers markets. Local vendors might be the best way to find fair prices while the high price of gas continues to drive up shipping and grocery store bills.

And for the ones who just love hanging out at farmers markets, the Boise Co-op has a great lineup of fun classes and summer events. Learn how to make cold brew coffee, discover new recipes, and impress your friends with your savvy new wine pairing skills.

Summer Events Downtown


The Downtown Boise summer lineup this year is one for the ages. Click through their events calendar to read about hundreds of great attractions, like a free summer concert series, trivia nights, art exhibits, walking tours, museum camps, festivals, and more.

Now that school’s out (que Alice Cooper’s smash hit), keeping your kids entertained for the next couple months might feel like starting a second job. These events are a great way to keep your evenings filled and cure their summer boredom (but no promises).

Summer Events at the Boise Public Library

Boise Public Library

With options for every age and interest, the Boise Public Library needed its own dedicated mention. Some events are age specific, while others are open to all. You can make new friends at the Ultimate Book Nerd Book Swap, register for the Mario Kart tournament, join a yarn guild and more.

There are five physical library locations throughout Boise, so we recommend visiting the online calendar to filter your search results by neighborhood and age range (select the branch and audience drop down menus).

Settling In For Summer

As seasons change and you look ahead to new adventures, it might be the right time to think about finding a new home. If reading contracts and keeping up with all the fast-paced market conditions feels overwhelming, working with a local real estate expert is the way to go. Afterall, everyone should love where they live!

At the Mike Brown Group, we’ve been helping people just like you settle into great homes here in Boise for over 30 years now. Moving can be stressful, but we work hard to keep your real estate experience seamless and pain-free.

Browse every listing on the market (no email required), and when you’re ready to learn about next steps, give our agents a call at (208) 278-4300. We’d love to help you find the perfect deal.


Get in touch with an agent to start your journey home.

    Skip to content