Boise Vs Salt Lake City: Which is Better to Visit?
The weather is warming up, the end of the school year is fast approaching, and soon it will be time to start taking road trips. Living in Twin Falls gives multiple options on where to go, but the most common destinations for people to go to when getting out of town are Boise and Salt Lake City. It may be for a day trip to go shopping, or a weekend trip to get away, but typically when people want to get out of town and go to a city, those are the two they travel to. It has long been debated, but which city is better to escape to for a day or two? Let's compare the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Driving to Each City
When comparing the two cities and deciding where to go, the drive is an important part of it. How long you and your family spend in the car can often make for a good or bad trip. Depending on where in the Magic Valley you live, Boise can be anywhere from 90 minutes to a little over two hours. With Salt Lake City, it depends on if you are heading to the city itself, Ogden, or a different suburb. It usually will take around 3 hours or more, with a little more traffic. While the drive to Salt Lake may be prettier in certain areas, the distance works better for Boise. Advantage: Boise
Better Places to Eat
Picking a place to eat daily is a chore, let alone when you travel. Sometimes you settle for the cheapest or the first thing you see. Boise has fantastic food, as does Salt Lake City. Each has local restaurants and local flavors that are on your checklist when visiting either city. The only thing to tip the scale for this one is that Salt Lake City has In-N-Out and Boise doesn't, for now. In a few years, this one will be tougher to decide than it already is. Advantage: Salt Lake City
When it comes to skiing, snowboarding, and winter activities, Idaho and Utah are some of the best states to go to. Both cities have mountains right outside of town limits and make for ideal locations to hit the slopes. Neither place has to drive far to get good snow and to have fun, but Salt Lake City is known for its slopes and is one of the reasons they hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002. Their mountains maybe a tad prettier as well. Advantage: Salt Lake City
While Salt Lake City may win the winter, the summer is more debatable. You can float down the Boise River, catch a Boise Hawks baseball game, or take a hike if you decide to head to Boise. In Utah, you can hang out in Park City, spend a weekend on the Great Salt Lake, or attend a Real Salt Lake MLS game. Both cities have a decent amount to do in the summer, but floating down the river takes the cake as a great way to relax on a warm weekend afternoon. Advantage: Boise
Theme Parks and Entertainment
This is as much a debate between Roaring Spring against Lagoon, as it is Boise against Salt Lake City. Both have their advantages and both should be attended and enjoyed this summer. Roaring Springs will soon be expanding to be one of the biggest water parks in the country, and when it is complete will be better than it already is. Lagoon has a tad more to offer in terms of a theme park with a water park. They have an aquarium as well in Salt Lake City, that you can't miss driving down the interstate. Advantage: Salt Lake City
Comparing sports can be tricky. It depends on who your teams are and what sports you prefer to watch. For hockey lovers, there is the Idaho Steelheads in Boise, and of course, they have Boise State for college sports. Boise does not have any professional teams, whereas Salt Lake City has the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake. If you prefer college sports, Utah, Utah State and BYU are all within an hour or so drive of Salt Lake City. More options, plus two professional teams tilt the scale heavily for this one. Advantage: Salt Lake City
Shows and Concerts
Salt Lake City typically gets more concerts and consistently gets big names, but it isn't uncommon for a show or artist to stop in both cities. When that happens, typically tickets are cheaper in Boise, you get a better seat, and going back to the top of this list, you don't have to drive as far. Depending on if you have friends or family in a certain town, you could stay the night for free, but overall shows and concerts are smaller crowds, cheaper, and better seats in Boise. Advantage: Boise
This one is pretty simple. Unless you are born and raised in Utah, Idaho pride should take over. Utah is nice and a beautiful state, but staying in Idaho for the weekend can often be a little nicer. You can be around your people and enjoy state pride by going to Boise instead. Advantage: Boise
After comparing the two, the results come out four to four. Other factors can be taken in, such as family, friends, where you grew up, and reasons for going, but overall it appears to be a push. Both cities have their advantages and disadvantages. Weather, traffic, cost, and other reasons can and will determine which you prefer, but this writer sees it as it all depends on what you want and need from your trip. The next time you decide to get out of town for a day or two, but can't decide which way to go, make sure to see which advantages mean more to you.
Proof That Boise is Part of Southern Idaho
Gallery Credit: Credit N8