Idaho has been one of the quieter states, often being confused with Iowa and Ohio, and more on the radar of outdoor enthusiasts who have long enjoyed Idaho’s geographical treasures, than the standard American. But the gem state is being recognized more and more often for its livability. With jobs coming to the state every year, towns all over the state of Idaho are seeing an increase in population, cultural, and employment opportunities.
Idaho's three largest and fastest-growing cities are Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Boise is the capital city of Idaho, and it has seen a revitalization in the past several years, due in part, to the many opportunities residents of this area enjoy. Downtown Boise itself has become a bustling center for activities of all kinds. Cultural events such as ballet, plays and musicals, concerts, and art galleries can be found on the calendar at all times. Boise has a zoo and an aquarium, and a Discovery Center to help enrich young minds. And Boise also has a strong Basque presence, and the history of the Basque people in this area is celebrated at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.
Boise State University also offers a lot in the way of cultural, as well as sports activities for the community at large. In the Boise State Broncos football team is a nationally ranked team and you will see hometown support as the colors of blue and orange wave proudly, all over the Treasure Valley. City parks are abundant, and along the river, for 25 miles you will find people enjoying the green belt. Boise’s bedroom communities, Meridian and Nampa, are also experiencing growth in population, as well as in the job market. The cost-of-living in these areas are close to the national average, and the real estate market is hot as people and businesses find their way to the south-west section of the gem state.
The climate in southeastern Idaho is relatively mild, with summer temperatures averaging in the low 90s and winter temperatures normally staying between 33 and 43°. Summers are usually dry and winters and springs can bring a little more precipitation, with snow being common but not consistent on the valley floors. Those wishing to indulge in winter sports are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from great skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Resort. A short ½ to 2-hour drive north into the Central Mountains of Idaho brings the delights of outdoor living, both in winter and summer, to the residents of Southwest Idaho.
Other areas of the state are also growing quickly, adding new jobs and all of the amenities that are necessary to support the increasing population. Southeast Idaho is seeing a lot of growth, especially in the cities of Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Great school systems, moderately priced housing, and new jobs created by companies such as Melaleuca, Idaho Nuclear Lab, and the FBI, are bringing more and more people to this blustery, but beautiful part of Idaho. Located on relatively flat land, but bordered by the majestic Teton Mountains, southeastern Idaho is still mostly agricultural, but the influx of new industry is beginning to balance those scales.
While the cities of southeastern Idaho are not large by some standards, they still offer a lot of the amenities that are found in larger cities such as universities, technical and manufacturing employment opportunities, museums and good shopping. And people who live in eastern Idaho are also just a short drive from natural wonders such as Craters of the Moon National Monument, Yellowstone Park, and Lava Hot Springs.
Traveling to the northern part of Idaho, and at the southwestern section of the panhandle is the city of Lewiston. Located at the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River, Lewiston can actually be reached by some ocean-going vessels through the use of dams and locks that allow ships to travel up the Columbia River to the Snake River and on to Lewiston. The Port of Lewiston is the furthest port inland from the west coast. Most people who are not familiar with Lewiston are surprised to find that Idaho has an ocean port within its borders. The main industries of this area are agriculture, paper, and timber products, and Lewiston is also growing in the area of ammunition manufacturing.
Mining has historically been a strong force in the history of the state of Idaho, and mining companies are still active in the state today. Kellogg, in northern Idaho, was home to a huge silver mine, and now you can ride the Silver Mountain gondola to get a stunning view of Kellogg and its surrounding area. Approximately 30 miles north Kellogg is the city of Coeur d’Alene which Is a satellite city of Spokane Washington, and is mainly a tourist town, because of its stunning natural beauty and the beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Idaho, in general, is known for its natural beauty, which brings outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world who come to enjoy everything that this large and diverse state has to offer in the great outdoors. Idaho cities are generally very affordable and safe places to live, welcoming to small businesses and major industries alike, and with great schools and institutions of higher education, and a strong real estate market, Idaho offers a livability factor that is hard to beat.