Living In Boise
Living in Boise, Idaho. If you are thinking about a move to the Gem State, relocating to Boise may make sense. If you are looking for a good quality of life in a medium-sized community (actually, it is the largest town of all in Idaho), living in Boise might be the best idea you have had in a while. More and more folks are relocating to Boise and the immediate area each year. The city’s been cited for its quality of life by such publications as Sunset
Boise (pronounced boy-see, not boy-zee) is the capital of Idaho and the county seat of Ada County. It is, by far, the state’s most populous city with an estimated population of 204,000. The metropolitan area - Boise and several surrounding communities including the suburbs of Garden City, Boise Hills, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Star, Kuna, Middleton, Orchard and Caldwell - is home to some 590,000 inhabitants. Locally, this metro area is sometimes known as Treasure Valley.
The City of Boise is located in the southwestern part of Idaho, about 110 miles north of the Nevada border and some 40 miles east of the Oregon border. The city is located on the high desert with a semi-arid climate, but having four distinct seasons. The area receives about 12 inches of precipitation per year, with March the wettest month and August the driest. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees F during the summer months and winters can be on the cold side with fair amounts of come-and-go snowfalls. On the downside, smog-like thermal inversions often occur in the winter. Spring and fall are usually pleasant and temperate. Climate-wise, living in Boise is pleasant year-round.
Maybe because of its size, (but more likely because of the zest of its residents), Boise is arguably the most sophisticated town in the State of Idaho. Nicknamed “The City of Trees”, Boise has many trees (Hey, that must be where the nickname came from!), a number of museums, a great zoo, a birds of prey center, a classical ballet company, and several good theater groups, including the annual performances by the prestigious Shakespeare Festival. The arts are booming in Boise. The city can certainly be termed “cosmopolitan”.
Downtown Boise is a collection of small businesses and high-rise buildings. This central area is an eclectic assortment of shops and dining treasures. A pedestrian zone, with sidewalk cafes and restaurants, has been set aside on 8th Street. This is Boise’s cultural center, a popular spot for enjoying the day or evening, hanging out, people watching - and people meeting. It features colorful boutiques, some funky bars and superb eateries, as well as a vibrant night life. So, many cultural aspects of living in Boise are at the very heart of the city.
Outstanding landmarks for those living in Boise include the Boise River which runs through the heart of the city and a well-planned Boise River Greenbelt adjacent to the river with its 25 miles of paved and unpaved pathways for walkers, hikers, bikers, skaters, joggers, runners, wildlife observers and fishermen. This urban trail system connects twelve parks featuring pleasant picnic areas, playgrounds and clean restrooms. The Boise foothills (sometimes known as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains) begin at the southeastern city limits, while the stark Owyhee Mountains are in view about 35 miles southwest of Boise.
If you enjoy birds and other wildlife, the Greenbelt is for you year-round. Many songbirds, ducks, geese and even the blue heron are seen along the pathways. At times. you might be lucky enough to see some bald eagles and hawks. If you pay close attention you might also see a beaver, a muskrat or maybe even a wary grey fox.
The Boise River is a recreational jackpot. During the warm, summer days, floating the river in inner tubes, kayaks, rafts and canoes is popular with the locals and visitors. Tubes and rafts can be rented at the Barber Park put-in location. At a small cost, shuttle service is available between the put-in and take-out points. What a great way to cool off and relax!
The river also is a great spot for fishermen, fisherwomen, (and even little fisherkids!) living in Boise. Both fly fishing and spin-fishing for wily trout are quite popular on this beautiful stream. Currently, the Boise River is open to fishing all year. Locals and visitors both enjoy the fun times offered by and on the river.
If you enjoy winter in the outdoors, you’ll find just what you want at Bogus Basin, a ski area less than an hour drive from downtown Boise. Offering downhill skiing since its opening in 1942, this superb location has added snowboarding, snow tubing, and cross-country skiing to its must-try list.
In addition to Bogus Basin, a myriad of other recreational opportunities are within short drives of the city. These include - but are not limited to - hunting, fishing, river running, hiking, camping, birding, both road and mountain biking, and so on. Day trips to these close-by adventures are an important element for those who have chosen living in Boise.
“Is Boise a good place to raise a family?” For many young (or young at heart) families, it really is.
The outdoor activities for a family who plays together have already been outlined, but families will also find many other recreational activities to participate in locally. Lots of activities! Many are provided through the Boise Parks and Recreation Department. Here are just a few of the department’s offerings:
- Golf (and golf lessons) are available at the department-managed Warm Springs Golf Course
- Volleyball, flag football, basketball and girls fast pitch softball leagues and tournaments
- Fitness classes, weight training, yoga
- Family swimming, swim lessons, swim teams
- Figure skating (and lessons), adult and youth ice hockey leagues
- Art, leadership development, drama, dance
- Various arts and crafts skill lessons for adults and children
- Visual and performing arts program and classes
- Special recreation programs for the handicapped and special needs
- and many more....
The Boise School District is made up of 31 elementary schools, 8 junior high schools, and 5 high schools. Some of the Meridian School District (the largest in Idaho) extends into Boise.
By and large, these public schools are rated good or better. There are a significant number of charter schools and several private schools for those living in Boise. Like the more rural areas of Idaho, home schooling is also popular in Boise.
Educational options are also available for those seeking higher learning. Boise State University (known for its blue-colored football field) is the crown jewel. The University of Idaho, whose main campus is at Moscow, Idaho, and Idaho State University (main campus at Pocatello, Idaho) both have satellite facilities in Boise. Boise Bible College offers undergraduate degrees for missionaries and church leaders. A number of technical schools also call Boise home.
By our count, nearly 200 churches in some 28 denominations can be found in and around Boise. You can worship in the style that fits you and your family. It’s another positive aspect of living in Boise, Idaho.
Boise has its airport a few miles south of downtown. The airport’s city code is BOI. Some 12 regional and national carriers serve Boise. These include United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
Interstate Route 84 runs east and west, connecting Boise with the Midwest states and the west coast of the country, and U. S. Route 20/26 cuts diagonally through the center of Boise.
As you can see, living in Boise can be really good!
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