Life In Idaho

Life in Idaho. What’s it like? If you are thinking of moving to Idaho, that is a question you might be asking....And, it's a good question, because life in Idaho is different.

Like many folks, you may not know a lot about Idaho. Oh, you may have heard that its known for its famous potatoes, but you may not know that Idaho is the nation's #1 producer of lentils, Austrian winter peas and farm-raised trout? And, another thing....Idaho is known as "The Gem State" because it provides an abundance of precious and semi-precious stones - 72 different stones in all - some of which can be found nowhere else in the world.

But what else about life in Idaho should you know about....and, what are some of the things that makes it different?

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What makes life in Idaho different? The quick answer to that question is it is not what you are used to. More and more families are seeking a place for a fresh start, and some want to know if a move to Idaho is in their best interests. That is a another one of those tough questions - a question that can't be answered “yes” or “no”. Let's try to answer your questions by "painting a picture" about some things you should know about life in Idaho.

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Let me start by giving you some perspective about life in Idaho. First of all, Idaho has plenty of elbow room. Of the 50 United States, Idaho ranks 14th in area with a total of more than 83,500 square miles - about half the area of California. Idaho ranks 39th among U.S. states, however, in population. Less than one and a half million folks live in Idaho. That is right around the population of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

Idaho’s largest city is Boise (boy-see), the state capital, with an estimated 204,000 population. If you would like to know more about living in Boise, click here....

Nampa is the second largest city with a population of about 80,000. It drops down to about 52,000 in Idaho Falls and Pocatello, about 36,000 in the towns of Coeur d'Alene (core-da-lane), Twin Falls and Meridian, 30,000 in Lewiston, 26,000 in Caldwell and so on down to Wild River, Idaho with a population of only 10!

The state is bordered by the country of Canada to the north, the U. S. states of Washington and Oregon on the west, Nevada and Utah to the south and Wyoming and Montana to the east. Idaho is shaped like a frying pan, with the panhandle ending at the northern border of the United States at Canada’s province of British Columbia. The state is 479 miles long at its longest point, north to south, and 305 miles wide at its widest point, west to east. So, where should you relocate?

A visit to different parts of the state would help in making a decision, and a real estate agent might also help you with some ideas.

No matter where you make your life in Idaho, the outdoors is big and beautiful - you will be close to mountains, forests, rivers and streams, and lakes or reservoirs. If you enjoy the outdoors, you will love Idaho. If you hunt, fish, hike, camp, boat, ski and so on, you will find lots of these opportunities where you live or not far away. Folks who yearn for the outdoor life find Idaho the perfect place to be.

May 2009 -- Many Americans, including outdoorsmen, are turning the economic crisis into a chance to make a fresh start in a new place. If you love the outdoors and you are thinking about such a major move, Outdoor Life.Com has studied it for you. Considering criteria such as quality of life, decent homes and schools, everyday amenities and the hunting and fishing excellence, Outdoor Life came up with 200 towns in America to think about. Several of the Top 200 Towns selected are in Idaho, including 3 of the top 5! They are Lewiston at #1, Idaho Falls at #2, and Pocatello at #5. Three of the top five! Life in Idaho is amazing!

Idahoans enjoy the four distinct seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Spring is the time of renewal, when Idaho lands come alive following the more inactive Winter months. The Summer months are pleasurable, warmer in the southern part of the state than in the north. Fall brings with it a colorful display as the leaves of the deciduous trees begin their preparation for the coming dormant times. As you might expect, the further north you go in Winter, the colder it is. You can expect Winter snows to some degree in every part of Idaho. Once again, expect more snow the further north you are, and expect more snow at the higher elevations in or near the mountains.

Life in Idaho is casual. Not very fancy, just plain and simple. By and large, Idahoans are conservative....they like the status quo. The metropolitan area in and around Boise is a bit more liberal - and maybe not as casual - while the smaller towns and the more rural areas tend to hold onto their mostly conservative views.

Politically, Idaho is a “Red State”, often voting for candidates from the Republican Party. For example, about two-thirds of Idaho's voters chose Mitt Romney over President Obama in the 2012 election.

Idaho is an uncrowded state full of promise, hope and diversity, not waiting in line for anyone!

If you choose to live in a smaller town or a remote rural area, you’ll find life quiet. The pace is slow, traffic is light, the crime rate low. It’s peaceful. But, it can have a downside. Inconvenience, for example, depending on where you locate. It could be 100 miles or more to a shopping center! You might find yourself quite a distance from a supermarket or a “box store” like Wal-Mart or Target. It also could be a considerable drive to a full-service hospital, your children’s school bus stop, to your church or even a paved road. That's life in Idaho!

While there are exceptions like any other place, most people who live in Idaho are friendly, neighborly and helpful to those in need. While that is particularly true in the smaller towns and the rural areas of the state, this way of life is evident throughout Idaho. I am frequently surprised by how everyone wants to help one another in times of need. Not long ago, the postmaster at the post office took 20 minutes to fashion a small box for me to ship out some trout flies. Last Winter, I managed to get my pick-up stuck in the snow three times….each time a couple of strangers stopped to assist me get out of the problem. The girls at my bank and the checkers at my supermarket always greet me by name when I show up. Just some recent examples, so you can see what I mean. Idaho is different, but communal.

You probably have questions. I can answer them, but you would be getting my opinion. That could be good or not - biased by my view of things. The best way to answer all your questions is by visiting the area of interest to you. Talk to the people who live there. Look at things for yourself. It would be much better to determine first-hand if life in Idaho is right for you.

Do you need additional information about life in Idaho? Do you have questions about taxes, schools, laws, jobs, etc.? If so, go here.