Are you planning on moving to Boise? Or perhaps you’ve been considering moving to a mid-size city for a change?
The Treasure Valley is an amazing place to settle down roots in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a great place to start a family, build a career, and admire the charm and culture the city gives. Unlike other cities from other states, Boise has been able to retain much of its rural charm and culture, while still offering the convenience and amenities of a mid-size city.
Although moving into a new place is not easy, especially for a family. In this article, we will be showing you everything you need to know when moving to Boise Idaho. If you’re interested to learn what type of city Boise is, then keep reading!
Where is Boise?
Boise is the capital city of Idaho. It is located in ADA county, with the Boise River in the Southeast, and mountains to the north. Boise is 41 miles from the border of Oregon and 110 miles away from the Nevada border.
Downtown Boise is the heart of the city where you would find numerous restaurants, cafes, and shopping establishments. You’ll also find the Idaho State Capitol, Boise Art Museum, Julia Davis Park, and Zoo Boise right in the downtown area.
Why is Boise Called the City of Trees?
One of the most interesting things about Boise is its nickname, the “City of Trees.” According to old stories handed down from generations, the French fur trappers were delighted to see so many trees after their long trek in the desert.
Out of happiness, they shouted, “Les bois, les bois” which means “the trees, the trees” in English. The moniker stuck on and the name Boise has carried that nickname from then on.
Although Boise has a lot of trees and an exciting outdoor setting, don’t think of it as literally a lush forest town. If you want to see tall, towering trees with thick canopies of leaves, a trip to Northern Idaho should satisfy that craving.
Boise is the state capital of Idaho and the most populous state, with an estimated 237,446 residents as of 2021.
Boise’s population has been steadily growing over the years. As it is one of the best places to settle down and raise a family due to the affordable cost of living and low crime rates.
Interestingly, many new Boise residents came out of state, particularly from California, Washington, Utah, and Oregon. This only proves that Idaho living has become more and more appealing to neighboring states.
Cost of Living in Boise
The cost of living in Boise has always been one of the major reasons why people are moving to this part of Idaho. Boise residents have a lower cost of living by 8% compared to the national average, making the city an attractive place to settle down compared to more expensive areas like San Francisco or Salt Lake City.
Boise might be a tad bit more expensive compared to neighboring cities, but considering Boise offers big city amenities at a small-town price, the cost of living is rightly justified. In fact, Boise is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, offering boundless opportunities for a healthy quality of life.
In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in Boise is $68,373, which isn’t that far from the real median household income in the whole US, which is $70,784 as of 2021.
There are also plenty of suburbs in Boise where you can enjoy affordable living costs and access to natural beauty and recreational activities, such as Garden City, Nampa, Kuna, and Caldwell.
Boise Home Prices
One of the things to know before moving to Boise is the average home price in the area. Boise has been going through a booming real estate market, and despite the pandemic, home prices continue to grow. With the influx of people moving to Boise, real estate prices have continued to grow.
A study from realtor.com shows the median home price in Boise stands at $545,000 as of November 2022 and continually climbs upwards by 1.9% every year. Additionally, more people are looking to buy property in Boise than houses currently selling.
Rent prices in Boise are lower than the national average. To put it in perspective, the median rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,769 as of August 2022. According to Idaho Press, if you’re looking to rent a home in the Boise area, the average price stands at $1,418.
It can be overwhelming to find the best place to live in Boise, Idaho, where every place seems as beautiful and livable as the next. You can reach out to me if you want to purchase affordable homes in Boise. I can help you find a new home in the best locations in Boise that fits your needs and budget.
Neighborhoods in Boise
If you’re looking for the best places to live in Boise, ID, here are the best neighborhoods in Boise that you should check out:
Conveniently located along the Boise River and the Greenbelt, Southeast Boise offers easy access to outdoor recreational activities. Some of the most known activities are fishing and biking while being close enough to the downtown area to enjoy urban amenities.
East End Boise
East Boise offers a desirable location for a variety of exciting things, whether you want to take walk at the park, go on a hike at Table Rock or enjoy a leisurely brunch a the Boise metro area.
North End Boise
This neighborhood comes with a massive community vibe, featuring numerous beautiful parks, vintage homes, and thriving local businesses.
West of the North End, the Collister Neighborhood is a popular place to visit if you enjoy being able to walk out to a hiking trail or a bike a few blocks to the foothills mountain biking trails.
Just south of Downtown Boise is Boise Bench, a wonderful neighborhood located at an elevated location. It offers a great vantage point to witness the panoramic views of the Boise foothills while having convenient access to numerous establishments in the area.
Throbbing with a warm community vibe and festive food, history, and arts scene, downtown Boise offers endless opportunities for exploration, connection, and excitement.
Located between The Village at Meridian and Boise Town Square Mall, West Boise is a convenient neighborhood to live in that’s close to many shopping options.
Education System in Boise
One of the most important things parents consider when selecting a place to relocate at any place is the education system. If you are moving to Boise, you should know that plenty of fantastic school districts are here. There are 33 elementary schools and eight junior and five senior high schools in Boise.
There’s the impressive Boise State University, a metropolitan research university for higher education. BSU offers over 100 degree programs, which include MBAs in Economics, Master’s degrees, and PHDs in Engineering, Education, and Arts and Sciences programs, as well as MPH in Health Sciences.
Boise State University ranks 331-440 out of 443 national universities.
Transportation Systems in Boise
Another essential thing to consider if you want to move to Boise is the state of transportation systems here. Boise is a mid-sized city, and it’s highly car-dependent. Quality public transportation is a little lacking. While there’s not so much traffic, you might find yourself still a little frustrated during rush hour.
Boise is a walkable city, so you can access many places of interest by walking. However, if you need to go to places quickly, such as commuting to your workplace, take the Valley Ride, Boise’s line of public buses. Keep in mind, though, that these buses serve limited routes and schedules.
Alternatively, you can take a Lyft or Uber or rent a bike to get around Boise. There’s a bike-sharing program called Boise GreenBike, where you can rent a bike for $5/hour. With that, you can explore the downtown area and parks in Boise.
Culture and Art Scene in Boise
Boise’s culture and arts scene is teeming with marvelous stories and vibrant experiences. Whether an art enthusiast or a creative yourself, you’ll find lots of opportunities to enjoy the culture and arts in Boise.
A great place to start exploring is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. This event provides one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences through professional amphitheater events, mini-concert series, school programs, and so much more.
The Boise Jazz Society of Boise State University is also worth exploring. This society produces events focused on jazz music and culture. Through their programs, the organization works to educate people about the essence of jazz and promote this music genre. And there’s the Boise Art Museum, a non-profit charitable organization that hosts classes, events, tours, and exhibitions to keep keep the art scene alive and thriving in Boise.
Boise’s Dynamic Food Scene
Six years ago, Vogue called Boise, Idaho a growing culinary hotspot. Over the years, Boise’s food scene has indeed grown in so many possible ways and has been offering incredible gastronomic experiences to locals and visitors.
Boise’s interesting restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines and meal inventions, brought to you by innovative chefs who only aim to please. If you’re moving to Boise, some of the first places to go are the Chocolate Bar, a haven for everything chocolate. You also can’t miss the Big City Coffee and Cafe, a nice little shop that serves homemade pastries and incredible coffee can’t be missed when you’re downtown.
Every Saturday, the Capital City Public Market hosts a gathering of local producers and sellers at the Grove Plaza where everyone is invited to see and buy fresh products. This is one of the
Craft beer and wine scenes in Boise that has also grown exponentially over the years. Boise is on track to becoming one of the major wine producers in the country, boasting its very own varieties of Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
Weather in Boise
Being a high desert city, Boise enjoys a relatively calm and mild climate throughout the year. Boise gets around 18 inches of snowfall during winter. Sure, it can get cloudy and snowy during the cold season with a temperature of 25 F in January. This gives you a great opportunity to do winter sports, like snow skiing at the Bogus Basin or Tamarack Resort.
Summers are mildly dry and hot. The hottest month is July when it gets around 92 F. The rest of the year is sunny. This makes Boise an excellent location for outdoor lovers to enjoy exciting activities, may it be hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, fishing, camping, and so much more!
Crime Rate in Boise
Are you going to be safe living in Boise? Well, Boise is one of the safest cities you will probably ever have to live in the US. Boise’s metro’s crime rate is lower than the national average.
Boise’s total crime index rate is only 19% as of 2020. Its neighboring cities have higher crime rates, such as 27% in Reno, 64% in Salt Lake, and 66% in Spokane.
Additionally, the violent crime rate in Boise is only 2.18 out of 1,000 people in Boise, while the property crime rate is 16 per 1,000 residents.
If anything, this data tells you that Boise is indeed a safe place to raise your family. You feel the community feeling all over Boise. People are generally friendly and pleasant. You get a confident feeling going about your day feeling a great sense of safety, making Boise an even more appealing area to move to.
Boise Recreation and Outdoor Activities
Boise has all the makings of a truly livable city: affordable housing, low crime rate, great schools, and friendly people. But Boise surely has a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor recreational activities, whether you want to chill at a park or explore off-the-beaten-path hiking trails.
One of the most popular areas in Boise is known as the Greenbelt, which snakes along the Boise River bank. This is a 20-mile stretch that offers wonderful scenery located right in the heart of Boise. People go here to enjoy picnics, explore biking trails, and just have a fun and relaxing time being one with nature.
The Boise River is another popular attraction. It has become a prime destination for various water activities, from surfing and whitewater rafting to fishing and boating. It’s close enough to the city, so it offers a convenient escape from a tiring day so you can chill on the river, or take on an adrenaline-pumping activity – your choice!
Hot springs also abound near Boise, so if this is your idea of a good day, you’re in for a treat! The Springs is just a one-hour drive from Boise, offering a mountain-spa experience with its massive soaking pool and on-site masseurs. You could rent cabins at the Inn the Pines should you want to extend your stay.
A little bit further from Boise are more selections of warm springs, including the Gold Fork Hot Springs, Mountain Village Resort, Pine Flats Hot Springs, and Rocky Canyon Hot Springs.
Hiking and mountain biking are also popular activities in Boise. The Table Rock Trail is a great place to start if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. This trail offers mesmerizing panoramic views once you reach the top. To add, the Bogus Basin, the Big Potato, Ridgecrest, and Bucktail are also adventurous places to do mountain biking.
Moving to Idaho Pros and Cons
If you’re still wondering “should I move to Idaho” and settle in Boise, here are the pros and cons to keep in mind.
- Mild weather
- Low crime rate
- Great education system
- Affordable cost of living
- Wonderful neighborhoods and suburbs
- Diverse recreational and outdoor activities
- Atmospheric inversions in winter
- Lesser access to public transportation
- Less diversity
Are you ready to move to Boise?
We’ve covered the most important things to know before moving to Idaho, particularly in Boise, and you’ve probably already painted a good picture of what your life is like living here.
Now that you’ve got all the information that you need about Boise, what do you think? Are you ready to move to Idaho?
Overall, there are many things to love about Boise, aside from its beautiful nature, wonderful opportunities, and pleasant weather, this city has a lot to offer. From the great education system to the friendly people and robust outdoor activities, living in Boise is truly a pleasure.
So if you’re looking for a great place to call home, Boise could be a perfect choice. With all its amazing features, it’s no wonder why this city remains one of the most sought-after places to live in the US. So what are you waiting for, pack your bags and let the adventure begin!