A lively and thriving city in southwest Idaho
Perched on the Boise River, Boise is the most populous metropolitan area in the state as well as its capital. Both a bustling metro and famous for its green spaces, Boise is the ideal location for those who crave the buzz of city life without the sacrifice of fresh air and natural landscapes.
As Idaho’s earliest settlers were traversing the desert in the Pacific west, they were overjoyed to come across the “City of Trees,” a nickname they quickly bestowed upon this jewel of Treasure Valley. The city then grew into an essential stop on the Oregon Trail until the late 1800s, when Idaho was given statehood.
Today, Boise is dotted with ranch-style houses as well as Craftsman, Colonial, and Tudor-style houses that create a neighborhood feel throughout the dense suburban area. Boasting a low cost of living in addition to the allure of a major city, it’s no wonder Boise was named the number one place to live in the United States for millennials in 2019.
Boise is the perfect blend of city charm and timeless storefronts. This vibrant feel is evident in the cultural center of downtown, where one can stroll down Main Street surrounded by historic masonry buildings in the renaissance revival style that frame the Boise Capitol Building. Midrises dot the expanding downtown, feeding into that lively atmosphere.
Three of every four people who move to Idaho are below the age of 50. Due to the fact that Boise is both urban and suburban, its residents hail from a range of backgrounds, though a significant portion of recent transplants come from California, chasing a more affordable — but still exciting — lifestyle for their professional careers.
Between the young population and the fact that Boise is a college town, it makes sense that the downtown and other areas are flourishing with trendy cafes, dining establishments, and unique eateries.
Take a stroll around the downtown neighborhoods to come across a plethora of shops, such as City Center Wines, a boutique shop that takes advantage of Boise’s proximity to Idaho’s wine country. Or utilize the city’s bike-friendly layout and cycle over to Banana Ink, a clothing store that caters to Idaho enthusiasts and makes everyone, native or not, feel at home.
After fulfilling all your shopping needs, head to one of the numerous dining options where you can replenish your energy. Try out the Barbacoa Grill, a themed restaurant that boasts not only incredible food but an art gallery and a museum as well. Or enjoy the mild weather on a walk over to Boise Fry Company, which prepares the staples — burgers and fries — in natural, organic, and delicious ways.
Boise’s unique blend of college town, historic city, and booming population means there’s never a shortage of things to do.
Take a short drive from downtown to Boise Spectrum, a complex that houses Idaho’s biggest movie theater and only IMAX screen and myriad sports bars, shops, and restaurants. Once that whets your appetite, head on over to Boise Towne Square, which is home to many of the world’s favorite brands.
The city is also home to many popular events and festivals. Snag a breath of fresh air at the Boise Farmers Market. And if that’s not enough time spent outdoors, try Lucky Peak State Park, which hosts biking, fishing, swimming, boating, biking, and more. Table Rock trail features gorgeous wildflowers native to Idaho. Be sure not to miss the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, a show-stopping summer-long celebration of the performing arts.