Mountains and museums. Restaurants and rivers. Festivals and fresh air. Many find Boise to be a surprising blend of urban and outdoors – big enough to have all the comforts of a big city, yet small enough to make it easy to enjoy it all.
Located along the river where the desert meets the Rocky Mountains, Boise is one of America’s most livable and likable cities. With a population of over 198,000, Boise offers the culture and entertainment of a large urban area in a place that feels a little like everyone’s hometown. Boise is located on a high desert plain and has a surprisingly mild climate. The city sees very little rain or snow – an average of 12 inches each per year – and the moderate temperatures and low humidity make it the perfect place to play year-round.
Visitors will be surprised by all Boise has to offer. The city is proud of its philharmonic orchestra, opera, ballet and theater companies and summer Shakespeare festival that features outdoor performances along the Boise River. The Gene Harris Jazz Festival and Art in the Park continue to be favorites among both locals and visitors and there are plenty of museums and attractions to educate and entertain.
Culture and entertainment mix nicely with the abundant outdoor recreation. Summer brings plenty of sunshine, perfect for a bike ride or a walk along the 25-mile long riverside Greenbelt path, a Ridge to Rivers trailhead leading into wild and scenic foothills, or one of the expansive, interconnected parks lining the city, or a round of golf at one of the area’s beautiful courses. For those who like a bit more adventure, try mountain biking in Boise’s foothills, floating the Boise River on an inflatable raft or tube, or whitewater rafting on the Payette River, just 45 minutes north of the city. In the winter, enjoy nordic skiing at Bogus Basin Mountain Resort or spend a day – or night – skiing or snowboarding the resort’s groomed downhill trails. Boise’s indoor ice-skating rink is open year-round.
Sports fans can enjoy Boise’s professional athletic teams, including the Idaho Steelheads WCHL hockey, Idaho Stampede NBA D-League, Boise Hawks baseball, and Boise Burn Arena Football. Les Bois Park features both thoroughbred and quarterhorse racing and simulcast racing and betting during the off-season. The Caldwell Night Rodeo and the world famous Snake River Stampede are very popular summer events.
Boise has many fine restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine in both casual and elegant settings – everything from coffee houses to brew pubs to romantic elegance. Boise Towne Square Mall, Boise Factory Outlet Mall, Old Boise Historic District, boutiques, galleries and antique stores will tempt the savvy shopper. Downtown Boise is alive with events, entertainment and a variety of dining and unique shopping options. Also, a great place to spend an afternoon sightseeing, shopping, or just relaxing in a coffee shop or park, the Northend offers pedestrians and bicyclers an eyeful of historical and natural beauty.
Boise State University, located just south of the city center, is the largest university in Idaho with 19,993 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University are also located in the greater metropolitan area. The Treasure Valley has six school districts offering education from kindergarten through high school. The Boise School District ranks as one of the most successful and high achieving school districts in the country. Boise School District students outperform the state as a whole on the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests in nearly every grade and subject.
Idaho has a very diverse economy. While the traditional resource-based industries of agriculture, forest products, and mining continue to contribute to the economy, high-tech, tourism, retail trade, healthcare, business, and information services are growth sectors. Despite the struggling national economy, Idaho and Boise remain one of the fastest growing states and metropolitan areas in the nation. Because the city has such a diverse business and educational community, a variety of employment opportunities are available for resident family members. For employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors, contact the Idaho Department of Labor.
Our rare blend of urban amenities and outdoor recreation opportunities offers something for everyone.