Basque Block, Boise,  Idaho.

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Basque Block

Top choice in Boise

Boise is home to one of the largest Basque populations outside Spain, with up to 15,000 residing here. The original émigrés arrived in the 1910s to work as shepherds when sheep outnumbered people seven to one. Few continue that work today, but many extended families have remained, and the rich elements of their distinct culture are still very much alive – glimpses of which can be seen along Grove St between 6th St and Capitol Blvd.

Sandwiched between ethnic taverns, restaurants and bars is Basque Museum & Cultural Center, a commendable effort to unveil the intricacies of Basque culture and history, and how it was transported 6000 miles west to Idaho. Next door in the Anduiza Fronton Building there's a Basque handball court where aficionados play the traditional sport of pelota.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boise attractions

1. Anduiza Fronton Building

0.02 MILES

Originally a boarding house from 1912, this building is home to Boise's popular indoor pala (Basque racquetball) court – check at the Basque Museum for a…

2. Basque Museum & Cultural Center

0.02 MILES

Sandwiched between the ethnic taverns, restaurants and bars is the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, a commendable effort to unveil the intricacies of…

3. Idaho State Museum

0.29 MILES

After a multi-year renovation, which brought this museum back to life, traditional exhibits now share space with multimedia installations for a…

4. Idaho State Capitol


The joy of US state capitol buildings is that visitors can admire some of the nation's best architecture for free. The Boise building, constructed from…

5. Boise Art Museum

0.36 MILES

Inside 90-acre Julia Davis Park, this small but bright museum displays mostly contemporary art in all media, including the occasional Warhol, and touring…

6. Boise River Greenbelt

0.38 MILES

The glowing emerald of Treasure Valley began as an ambitious plan in the 1960s to prevent development in the Boise River's floodplain and provide open…

7. World Center for Birds of Prey

7.19 MILES

The Peregrine Fund's worldwide raptor conservation programs have brought many species back from the brink of extinction – including the iconic California…