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Living in Boise: The City of Trees

Nestled against picturesque foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise offers a unique balance of small town friendliness and big city sophistication. Boise’s natural beauty and limitless access to the outdoors, offers an enviable lifestyle. As Idaho’s capital and largest city, Boise abounds in cultural opportunities, outdoor adventure, and scenic beauty. Boise is home to a population of 200,000 while the Greater metropolitan area is home to nearly 600,000.

Hiking Boise Mountains image

Boise Best!
Check out how the Boise Valley ranks nationally. There are some pretty impressive things on the list!

Business and Industry

The city’s major industries are high tech electronics, retail, health care, food, agriculture and manufacturing. Boise is corporate headquarters for major divisions of Micron, Hewlett-Packard, Supervalu, DirecTV, URS Corporation, Boise Cascade, and J.R. Simplot. The diverse business and educational community provides a wide variety of job opportunities for resident’s family members.


St. Alphonsus and St. Luke’s Regional Medical Centers are major employers and health care providers.

Behavioral Health
The inpatient wards at St. Alphonsus, the Boise VA Medical Center, Intermountain Hospital, Allumbaugh House and Safe Haven Hospital of Treasure Valley (formerly Boise Behavioral Health). There are several outpatient clinics in town and around the Boise area (St. Luke’s, St. Alphonsus, Boise VA, Affinity Inc., Omega Health Services, Idaho Behavioral Health, Terry Reilly) as well as psychiatric consultation services embedded in primary care clinics at the Family Medicine Health Center and University Health Services at BSU.


Boise State University, The College of Idaho, Northwest Nazarene College, and the college of Western Idaho are all located in the Boise Area.

Boise State University stadium image


Housing in Boise is among the most affordable in the Pacific Northwest. Residents have chosen to live in the North End (a historical part of town very close to the VA and St. Luke’s Downtown rich in beautiful Victorian houses and peopled largely by young families and hipsters), the Sunset (a little bit off the beaten path, but quiet and more densely wooded – you can get more space for your money compared to the North End), West Downtown (similar in makeup to North End, but with more families and less hipsters, homes are a bit newer, but retain a certain charm – also close to the VA and St. Luke’s).


Business Insider cites FBI crime statistics in its assertion that Boise ranked No. 7 among the country’s safest cities in 2013.


Boise Weather (Storm)The climate in the Treasure Valley is temperate with warm, dry summers and mild winters, thanks to the protection of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Urban Boise has an average rainfall of 12 inches and the average snowfall is negligible. With a short drive into the foothills, you will find abundant snowfall for skiing and winter sports. Bogus Basin is just 16 miles from downtown. After a 1-2 hour-drive you can explore many of the area’s natural and commercial hot springs – many are associated with camping sites which make for great weekend plans (since you will not be on call!).

Parks and Recreation

Boise has over 2700 acres of public park space and many public hiking and biking trails. There are more than 22 miles of Greenbelt pathway along both sides of the Boise River. A refreshing float down the beautiful Boise River is a summertime tradition! There are a number of National Parks and other attractions in the Idaho Area: City of Rocks National Reserve, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Hagerman Fossil Beds, Yellowstone National Park (which make for beautiful long weekend vacation destinations).

In Boise, you’re never far from whitewater rafting, kayaking, hunting, fishing, or horseback riding.

Julia Davis Park in the winter image

Go Teams!

Professional sports teams include:
Boise Hawks, (Chicago Cubs affiliate baseball)
Idaho Stampede (Portland Trailblazers affiliate basketball)
Idaho Steel heads (AHA-affiliate hockey)

The Boise State Broncos football team also competes on the world-famous blue turf in search of a Division I National Championship.

Out and About!

Trey McIntyre Project

Popular annual events include the Idaho International Film Festival, Western Idaho Fair, Snake River Stampede, Treefort Music Festival and the Boise Music Festival. Seasonal events such as Alive After Five (an outdoor concert series featuring local artists, a fountain to play in, beer garden and food trucks) and StoryStoryNight (an evening of featured story tellers followed by a story slam by audience volunteers) run throughout the year.

Boise is home to world-renowned philharmonic, opera, ballet, contemporary dance companies (Idaho Dance Theater and Off Center Dance, to name a couple), a summer Shakespeare Festival, and year-round theater. Boise also has the Idaho Historical Museum, Discovery Center, the Boise Art Museum, not to mention an excellent library system, bookstores, eateries, boutiques and a diverse live music scene. Venues like the Neurolux, Knitting Factory, Visual Arts Collective, The Egyptian Theater, The Flicks, and the Morrison Center provide a wealth of international and local entertainment.

Boise also has some unique attractions like the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Idaho Black History Museum, the World Center for Birds of Prey and Zoo Boise.

For more information about living in beautiful Boise, please see the Boise Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Idaho Department of Commerce or the City of Boise websites.