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Never miss a beat on the neighborhood Nampa scene with our monthly Staff Pick posts, highlighting the hottest local area attractions and events – not to be missed while staying with us at Best Western Plus Nampa.

  • A Little History at the Nampa Train Depot Museum

    A Little History at the Nampa Train Depot Museum

    Nampa may be a small town, but its rich history is thoroughly documented. For a fascinating look into the town’s past, we suggest visiting the Canyon County Historical Nampa Train Depot Museum. Located about a mile from our hotel, the museum was once the site of the Nampa Train Depot, which was erected in 1903 and converted into offices for the Union Pacific Railroad in 1925. Threatened by demolition in the early 70s, the Canyon County Historical Society saved this cultural landmark, establishing the museum there in 1976. During your visit, you’ll be treated to exhibits showcasing the history of the railway and agricultural industries, plus many other aspects of the daily lives of the people who initially settled Nampa and surrounding communities. There’s also an extensive archive for folks interested in doing in-depth research. The museum is open to visitors Thursday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

    Address: 1200 Front St, Nampa, ID 83687

  • Enraptured by Idaho's Raptors

    Enraptured by Idaho's Raptors

    Did you know Idaho is home to the greatest number of nesting birds of prey in North America and maybe even the world? And if you drive just south of Nampa to the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, you're bound to see proof fly by!  An estimated 800 pairs of hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons come to the canyon and towering cliffs each spring to mate and raise their chicks. In April, the crags and outcroppings provide an endless number of ledges, cracks, and crevices for raptors to lay their eggs. So arrive in May with a good pair of binoculars to visit Dedication Point, a scenic overlook accessible by car, that stands 400 feet above the river bed. Or hit the trail for a number of footpaths running the northern length of the river from the steel gate below Swan Falls Dam to Celebration Park.

  • Have a Wander at Wilson Ponds

    Have a Wander at Wilson Ponds

    Spring is high time for our feathered friends to start flirting. That means sweet birdsong and the year's best display of colorful feathers will make a splash in the trees around you. See them all across the 55 acres of Nampa's Wilson Ponds. A well-known haven for birders and fisherwomen and men, Wilson Ponds offers relative peace and quiet without designated playgrounds and picnic areas, dogs or designated sports fields. It's no wonder the birds like to visit, too! Keep an eye out for the pied-billed grebe, American coot, Virginia rail, black-chinned hummingbird, belted kingfisher, marsh wren and yellow warbler. To get here, drive south of Nampa's center in the direction of Murphy. The ponds are located on Powerline Road across from the Nampa Fish Hatchery. Go online for birding and wildlife resources as well as maps and trail guides for those eager to get some exercise at the same time.

  • Dodge the Winter Doldrums

    Dodge the Winter Doldrums

    Ben Stiller won't be there. Nor will Vince Vaughn. But considering the painful results of their heated contest in the 2004 comedy, Dodgeball, it may be for the best! So why not go for it and gather your friends (and arch-rivals) and relive your middle school years by slinging those dueling rubber balls in the ultimate game of dodgeball. This month, on Saturday the 21st, at 7:30 Nampa's Rec Center will host a co-ed tourney, with prizes awarded to the winning team and the best dressed. Stack your roster with as many as ten, to keep four in reserve, while your first six take the court. In a true co-ed style, two women must be on the court for each team at all times. Matches will consist of three rounds lasting 10 minutes each. Dodge the winter doldrums and go online to register your team before the 16th.

  •  Wine and Chocolate at Sunnyslope

    Wine and Chocolate at Sunnyslope

    Idaho wine month isn't until June, but you needn't wait until summer to sample the fruit of the vine. Visit the Sunnyslope Wine Trail in Caldwell, just a short ride from Nampa, to see why Pacific Northwest wine-lovers have something to shout about.  Tucked into the rolling hills of the Snake River Valley are 15 wineries and vineyards that together comprise the Sunnyslope Wine Trail. With its award-winning vintages and intimate tasting rooms, you'll be overwhelmed by nature's bounty—in the glass and all around you. If only you could bottle the views! The climate is just mild enough to invite year-round adventures, so sipping with the locals is encouraged anytime. Time your visit for Valentine's weekend and celebrate Wine and Chocolate Weekend. Locals call it the "must-sip wine destination you need to visit." So what are you waiting for?

  • Craft Beer at Crescent Brewery

    Craft Beer at Crescent Brewery

    Drink in the history of the Oregon Trail with a visit to Crescent Brewery on Front Street in downtown Nampa. The building you'll visit today isn't made of the same brick and mortar as its original 1906 structure, but it maintains its quality product. A comfortable tasting room invites the curious to sip and stay awhile, earning it the nickname "Cheers of Nampa." Lager was the beer on tap back at the turn of the 20th century, kegged and bottled with a sticker that featured a horse-drawn stage paying homage to Nampa's place on the Oregon Trail. The Brewery survived Prohibition by changing its name to Overland Beverage Company and selling imitation librations. Then in 1933 and for the next 17 years, OBC put its Crescent brews back on the shelf. Today, Crescent Brewery proudly pours IPAs, ryes, ales, blondes, stouts, and porters. Try one and tip your hat to a storied past.

  • A Procrastinator's Dream Christmas

    A Procrastinator's Dream Christmas

    Last-minute shoppers unite! Nampa celebrates your decision-making conundrum with the Procrastinator's Dream Christmas at the Ford Idaho Center on Saturday, December 21st. Come and find the perfect gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list. With more than 200 vendors selling handmade crafts and crocheted accessories, original glass art and stone and wood carvings, holiday decorations, soaps, perfumes and much more, you're bound to find something to tuck under the tree. And it's so much more than a shopping spree—come hungry and sample an array of locally made sweet and savory treats, or sit awhile and eat lunch. There's face-painting for the kids and a free scavenger hunt with prizes, live music, open-mic comedy, inflatables, laser tag, a hands-on reptile adventure show, and for the little believers in your life, a meet and greet with Santa. Doors open at 10 am. Happy shopping!

  • Flat Out Fun in Nature

    Flat Out Fun in Nature

    Get outside and see one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge system. Established in 1909 as an important breeding and migratory habitat for birds and several mammals, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place to begin to appreciate the great expanse of natural land surrounding Nampa. See the rare Western Grebe's floating nest on Lake Lowell. Or capture the photogenic sagebrush and grasses as they bend and sway around the Snake River Islands. Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge has been declared a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy so hit the trails and keep your eyes open! The refuge is open every day during daylight hours and features daily activities like photography and fishing workshops or guided walks. To learn more about specific activities check online. Seeing Nampa means seeing the natural land it calls home, and Deer Flat is right in Nampa's backyard.

  • Explore Idaho's Greenbelts

    Explore Idaho's Greenbelts

    Fall foliage is all the rage and Nampa invites you to take a front-row seat for the show. October unleashes an explosion of color in Idaho and you can walk or cycle the Nampa and Caldwell greenbelts to see nature's painting. The city of Nampa offers miles of winding walking paths and continues to add to the bicycle-pedestrian network for more ways through the woods. So lace up your shoes for a run, walk, in-line skate, or bike on the Nampa Pathway System. There is even a Nampa Parks and Pathways map to help you choose your route. 

    One of the easiest paths to reach and one of the most popular is the Stoddard Pathway. Two miles in length, the paved trail was built along a former rail corridor on the eastern side of the city. Park at Greenhurst Road and walk to the end at Ridenbaugh Canal. Watch out for horses and enjoy the journey! 

  • Nampa's Taste of Idaho

    Nampa's Taste of Idaho

    Uncork the bottles and light the fire; Nampa's Taste of Idaho is set to ignite your pride in a state bursting with culinary talent. On Tuesday, September 10th at 5 pm, six local chefs will treat their guests with their best recipes made from the freshest Idaho-grown ingredients. On this year's menu, expect smoked and saucy brisket, slightly sweet and crispy brussels sprouts, and grilled, caramelly peaches to feature front and center, paired with expertly selected regional wines and craft brews.

    Buy your tickets online to reserve your place at the long, community-style harvest tables, where you'll be able to sit next to your friends and make new friends from across the table! There will be live music to set the mood and a photo booth to capture your favorite late-summer memories. And it's all less than two miles away. So follow your nose to Lakeview Park and bring your appetite!

  • Caldwell Night Rodeo

    Caldwell Night Rodeo

    Grab your cowboy hat and lasso your friends—the Caldwell Night Rodeo is coming to Nampa, and you don't want to miss it! Listed among the top 20 professional rodeos in the U.S., Caldwell Night draws crowds of more than 40,000 people across five rowdy nights. The gates fly open on August 13th and the dust doesn't settle until the 17th. Only the very best cowboys perform at Caldwell; the best in the world, that is, making it an annual featured favorite on national television. Expect all the traditional crowd-pleasing rough stock events of bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding, where judges pick the top performer, as well as the timed events of steer wrestling, barrel racing, tie-down, and team roping. Prize money is waiting for the winner, but the most cherished winning is the rodeo belt buckle, the most recognized trophy in the rodeo world. Check the website for additional details. 

  • Snake River Stampede

    Snake River Stampede

    They call it the wildest, fastest show on earth, so come on down and check it out! This year marks the Snake River Stampede's 104th-anniversary and it's as big as ever, with 60,000-plus fans watching nationally recognized rodeo legends. Ranking in the top 10 regular season professional rodeos in the country, you can expect to see the very best bucking the saddle and a few courageous cowboys looking to make their mark. The winner takes home 450,000 dollars, a bit more than the meager prize back in the stampede's early days. Today's stampede is also a few days longer than in the early 1900s. This year's stampede is a five-day, six-performance event, including bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, and ladies’ barrel racing, plus a special performance by the Snake River Stampeders Night Light Drill Team. The fun starts on July 16th so don't miss out! 

  • Racing Through Nampa

    Racing Through Nampa

    You don't have to be a master cyclist to participate in Nampa's Twilight Criterium. You can take a spin at any level!  Join the fun on June 15th if as a spectator for the national competition or to peddle in the citizen race. A criterium, if you're curious about the name, is a short, multi-lap closed-circuit road race usually within a city. The citizen race is much less formal and perhaps a bit more inclusive. The kids have a race, too! It's a single lap criterium for 3 to 4 year-olds with additional laps for successive age groups.
    If you plan to compete, get to the starting line at the corner of 14th Avenue South and Second Street South by 4:30. If you'd rather leave the laps to the experts, enjoy live entertainment, test your upper limits on the climbing wall or set the kids loose in the bounce house.

  • Buy Local, Eat Fresh

    Buy Local, Eat Fresh

    Come rain or shine, the Nampa Farmers Market has sprouted once again. Happily, in its 31st season, the epicenter of the "Buy Local, Eat Fresh" movement has roots in Lloyd Square Park at 13th Avenue and Front Street. From 9 am until 1 pm every Saturday, you'll find the best this region has to offer. Everything sold by farmers, crafters, food vendors, and bakers is produced within a 100-mile radius, and local entertainers will provide music to dance to, as well! If you love the idea of a market to fill your basket with a bounty of color, but don't know what to do with it all, take a walk to the 'Chef at the Market' booth. Here, a passionate teacher will demonstrate how to use some of the produce sold at the market in easy-to-make meals at home. You'll leave with arms full of inspiring ingredients!

  • Wine of Passion and Perseverance

    Wine of Passion and Perseverance

    Award-winning vineyards aren't unique to California. Kuna's Indian Creek Farm Winery began as one couple's crazy idea back in 1982. Bill Stowe and his wife Mui lost their first four vineyard plantings to snow! But undeterred, the couple persisted and struck liquid gold by winning the "Best Red" title at the 1988 San Diego Wine Competition. And the rest is history! You can visit the vineyard today by taking a short ride to Kuna. Stop in for a tour and a tasting or come for a scheduled event. There's a Spring Wine Club Pickup Event on March 9th with live music, food trucks, and chocolatiers. And on March 24th, uncork your creative juices at Wino Arts 'n Crafts. From 1-3 pm you'll learn how to cut wine bottles and make glass lanterns to take home. For more information on these events and more, check out the vineyard website.

  • Love At First Flight

    Love At First Flight

    Help celebrate the Warhawk Air Museum's 30th anniversary by a visit during your stay in Nampa. Considering the museum was born out of a young couple's passion for planes, perhaps February is a perfect time to visit with your sweetheart! John and Sue Paul moved to Idaho in 1986 with two World War Two-era planes and worked to restore them along with a third. People began to visit the hanger that became their workshop, leaving memorabilia, notes, and words to encourage the duo that their work might be a lot more rewarding and educational if they let the whole community see what they were doing. And so it was that the Paul's relocated from the hanger at Caldwell Airport to Nampa. The rest is history, literally! Check for hours and admission prices on the museum website. And if you like what you see, donations are what keep the museum flying.

  • Hunt for Antique Treasures

    Hunt for Antique Treasures

    There are more antique shops within a two-mile radius of Nampa than anywhere else in Idaho. Eight different antique shops punctuate Nampa's downtown, rooting the city in a rich if rusty history. Rummaging through isn't just for locals either. Antique stores cater to visitors looking for something unique to bring back home. So locals and tourists make an afternoon of it, transforming a dreary slog through the snow into a search for ancient treasure. You might consider grabbing a coffee or tea before diving in though. Some stores are three levels and a few have memorabilia under glass. Shop owners encourage newcomers to take their time and ask returning customers to share stories about how they've used their wares, refurbished old finds, and if they've made any discoveries in neighboring shops. Not that it's a competition. Shop owners meet once a month to coordinate group sales events. Now get shopping!

  • See Nampa Sparkle

    See Nampa Sparkle

    When the holiday season approaches, there’s no easy way to view all of the beautiful Christmas lights strung throughout a city. In Nampa, however, there is. The annual Christmas Lights Tour travels all around Nampa, visiting the spectacular light displays around the city.

    Hop on the bus and travel around Nampa to really see the city sparkle. The tour will visit spectacular light displays around Nampa. The bus will make a brief stop at Starbucks for warm beverages during the tour. Boarding will begin at 5:45 pm and buses will depart at 6 pm from the Nampa Rec Center. The event will take place on December 15th and 16th so don't miss out! 

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