Boise, the capital of Idaho, has been making quite a splash in recent years as one of America’s most ideal places to relocate. In the wake of the pandemic and the economic shifts in recent years, it’s no wonder many people have taken to searching for a vibrant city to call home with less crowds and lower crime.
Poised with magnificent surroundings and a friendly community feel that has long defined this corner of Treasure Valley, Boise is experiencing an opportune era of booming industry and lower-than-average living costs, complete with minimal traffic congestion.
Whether you are raising a family, focusing on your career, or working on your degree, read why this mid-sized city in southwest Idaho may prove to offer everything you are looking for and more.
Affordable Cost of Living
Relative to the cost of living in major cities around the US, Boise is by far more affordable. Boise is significantly less expensive than most big cities, and is just above the national overall average cost of living.
As a growing metropolis, Boise has seen recent rises in rent cost and home prices, so long-time residents might be noticing the cost of living is getting more expensive. However, people around the country have their eyes on Boise as a unique opportunity approaching its prime.
Gorgeous Natural Surroundings
Boise is affectionately known as the City of Trees, referring to the trees lining the Boise River as noticed generations ago by European fur trappers on the Oregon Trail. Before Boise was an actual city, the weary travelers saw the trees and exclaimed “Les bois! Les bois!” (The trees! The trees!), thus creating the namesake for what would become this charming city.
There are many beautiful natural areas and parks within the city and plenty of trails for walking and biking. The city maintains over 90 parks and more than 200 miles of trails through hundreds of acres of open space. The Boise River Greenbelt pathway itself is more than 25 miles.
One of the greatest elements Boise has to offer is the surrounding areas of majestic natural beauty. Boise is nestled among countless scenic wonders, giving local residents endless opportunities to appreciate and enjoy a wide diversity of attractions.
Every direction from Boise has incredible areas to explore. Here is just a sample of what you will find:
Hike, camp, fish, and hunt in The Boise National Forest just north-east of the city. It is also famous for incredible sightseeing while on the road.
East of Boise is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Visiting here will feel like transporting to another world amid the lava rock and natural formations.
Bogus Basin to the north is a fantastic mountainous ski and recreation area.
South of Boise is Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park featuring the tallest single-structure sand dune in North America at 470 feet above the desert floor.
Also south of Boise is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This sprawling reserve allows visitors to observe falcons, eagles, owls, and hawks in their natural habitat.
Employment and Economy
Job and career opportunities in Boise could not be more exciting. Boise, an emerging hub in the tech industry, is recognized as one of the top cities in the US for tech talent growth. Tech wages in Boise have been increasing steadily over the past five years.
Earlier this year, Axios reported a 94.8% increase in job postings from its baseline in February 2020 (pre-pandemic). This makes Boise the current hottest job market in the US.
The demand for talent in Boise is outweighing the supply, while the city boasts a 3.6% unemployment rate compared to 6% nationally. Recent and future job growth in Boise is also greatly outperforming the nation as a whole. Recent job growth in the US is -6.2% whereas Boise’s comes in at -1.6%. Future job growth in the US is projected at 33.5% compared to Boise’s 50.9%. This is definitely a job market not to be overlooked.
Year-Round Ideal Climate
With all Boise has to offer, you might start to wonder “What’s the catch? I bet it gets really humid there?”
In fact, the opposite is true. Unlike many places in the US where summers reach beyond their boiling point and winters fall far below freezing, Boise maintains moderate temperatures year-round ranging from 32F average in the winter to a balmy, dry 72F average in the summer. There is not much humidity or rainfall, but there is plenty of snow in the colder months.
Given all of the other great aspects about this city, it is amazing to not have to compromise on climate. Boise residents are able to comfortably experience the fullness of all four seasons, with plenty of activities year-round to choose from.
Safety and Community
Boise has less crime when compared to other metropolitan areas. The crime rate in Boise is well below the national average. Since the mid 90s, crime in Boise has been declining. Even as the population increases, Boise is continuing to see the crime rate drop.
Boise is known for being one of the friendliest cities in the US. There is also a wide array of family centered activities to participate in throughout the city, making it an excellent place to raise kids.
Mid-Size City Perks
Boise is a fast-growing mid-sized city with quite a lot to offer. We’ve discussed that industry and economy are likely to continue booming into the foreseeable future. This could be an ideal time to relocate to Boise and take advantage of the opportunities presently available while the city’s cost of living is still relatively low.
Alongside the extravagant buffet of beautiful natural areas and outdoor recreation activities to choose from, Boise also offers an urban experience rich with amenities, culture, and creativity. There is a big craft beer scene, a diverse selection of restaurants, a lively arts and music community, and an eclectic nightlife scene.
All the vibrancy you could want is here in Boise, but without the heavy traffic and over-crowded living space so familiar to many cities. In fact, Boise is ranked among the very best cities in America for commuting, with an average round-trip commute lasting only 36.8 minutes compared to nearly an hour average throughout the country.
Boise is home to a public research university and one of the country’s top schools for innovation: Boise State University. BSU offers over 200 areas of study for undergraduate and graduate degrees, including 14 doctoral programs. If you would like to further your education, but have to work during the day, the university offers flexible delivery of their courses with many night, weekend, and online courses available to fit any schedule.
There are many wonderful reasons Boise should be on the top of your list when looking to relocate. These are just a few of Boise’s best qualities. As for the rest of its wonderful attributes? Well, come and see for yourself!