The 2015 Best of Treasure Valley is more local than ever and bigger than ever — the survey garnered a record 22,171 votes.
Those votes have been tallied, and the results are in.
The verdict? There is plenty to love about Boise and the Treasure Valley.
“It’s a really exciting time,” said Kâren Sander, the executive director of the Downtown Boise Association.
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A quick stroll through the streets of the downtown area confirms that.
“We’re experiencing unprecedented growth,” Sander said. “In the last year, I think we had 32 new retail positions open. There’s a lot going on.”
And there’s a lot going on throughout the Treasure Valley, as voting in the survey shows.
The Village at Meridian was voted as the Best Place to Impress Out of Towners. Big Al’s in Meridian was voted as the Best Bowling Alley. Cowgirls in Kuna was named among the Best Places to Dance.
Dustan Bristol of Brick 29 in Nampa was voted as one of the Best Chefs.
And, of course, readers sounded off about their favorite outdoor and recreation spots.
Table Rock was named Best Hiking Trail. Ann Morrison Park was named Best Picnic Spot. BanBury was named the Best Golf Course.
The Best Family Recreation Spot, the Boise Greenbelt, was no surprise to Amy Stahl, the community relations manager for the Boise Parks & Recreation Department.
“The Greenbelt is the No. 1 attraction in Boise listed on TripAdvisor,” Stahl said. “To me, that tells me that visitors really like it. ... It’s just a treasure in our community.”
And this community makes a point of treasuring what the area has to offer.
“We have a river that goes through downtown. We think of summer and floating the Boise River or fly fishing or just hanging out near the river,” Sander said. “Even downtown, we’ve got two great parks in Ann Morrison and Julia Davis ... and then you go 10 minutes and you’re in the Foothills. It’s pretty phenomenal.”
And if all that outdoor activity creates an appetite? You’re in luck.
“We are so lucky that we have a very diverse dining scene,” Sander said. “In restaurants and retail, we’re trending about 80 percent local. There are a great number of options and just some great local flavor. There’s very much a focus on local. ... It’s fun to have that option.” So, yes, the votes are in. And the approval rating for the Treasure Valley is off the charts. “Think about it for a second. Where else can you go and maybe take a run on the Greenbelt and then play golf and then, later in the afternoon, go up and go snow skiing? All in the same day!” said Mike Shuman, the owner of Shu’s Idaho Running Company (Best Local Shoe Store). “And there are days that we can do that. We’re just absolutely blessed.”
Think of the Best of Treasure Valley as the perfect guide for exploring what the area has to offer.
And it has plenty to offer.
“I’ve lived here for 29 years,” said Stahl, “and there’s always something new to explore.”
Best of Treasure Valley Categories: (Click the links below to see all the category winners)