On the banks of the Boise River, where a 25-mile paved greenbelt welcomes walkers, cyclists and even Segway riders, is the Riverside Hotel and it’s outdoor pool. It’s a sprawling chain-like complex–low buildings and lots of them, sprawling parking lot. Local weddings, conferences. Think Double Tree (which I think it used to be) but with a completely different vibe at the pool.

On a sweltering July evening, the place was packed. Adjacent to the pool is the Sandbar Patio Bar & Grill, open seasonally (not in winter) featuring live music just about every night. When we were there it was a 70’s style cover band and it seemed like people were coming off the river walk in droves to have a drink at the Sandbar with friends, listen to the music, have a burger and hang out at or near the pool. If people were actually going IN the pool without being guests of the hotel, no one would have noticed—or cared.

It’s definitely a no-frills pool, but it did the trick. Due to Boise being one of the furthest Western cities on Mountain time, and its latitude, the sun doesn’t even start to set until around 10pm in the summer. They get 15 hour days in Boise in the summer! I think this is a closely guarded secret, along with the town’s relaxed and friendly atmosphere and proximity to truly stunning outdoor scenery.

Boise Riverside Pool 2

RIverside Boise

There’s food and drink service, and a small splash pad too, which is great for the little ones. And while there were tons of people everywhere, we still managed to find some lounging space.

Boise Riverside Water Playground

And, it’s got a giant chess board!

RIverside Giant Chess Board

Did you even know that giant chess boards (like this and this) were a hotel pool thing? You do now, of course.

For more Boise hotel swimming pools click, uh, we don’t think there are any. This is our first and we haven’t even heard of others. But try this link for Hotel Pools in Colorado, Arizona, Idaho. Or here for Hotel Pools in Utah.

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