Boise, Idaho

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Boise Idaho Panoramic Photo of City


Boise, the capital and largest city in the State of Idaho, is the hub of commerce, banking, and government for Idaho.

Located along the Boise River and nestled against Boise foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise offers many outdoor activities to residents, from skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Resort to biking on the Boise River Greenbelt to boating at nearby reservoirs.   The Boise area has it all: desert, rivers, mountains, and lakes for hiking, camping, kayaking, river rafting, hunting, and fishing.

Many large regional, national and international companies are headquartered here, including Simplot Corporation, Boise Cascade, Washington Group, Micron Technology, and Hewlett-Packard.

Boise is home to Boise State University, the state's largest university with an enrollment of over 18,600 students, as well as 34-grade schools, 9 junior high schools, and 5 high schools.

Boise's climate is characterized as semi-arid with four distinct seasons. Boise experiences hot and dry summers where temperatures can often exceed 100 °F (38 °C), as well as cold winters with fair amounts of snowfall. Rainfall is usually infrequent and light, averaging 1 inch (25 mm) per month. March is the wettest month with an average of 1.41 inches (36 mm). August is the driest month in Boise with 0.30 inches (7.6 mm) of rain. Spring and fall are generally temperate in Boise, ID.

The name "Boise" may actually derive from earlier mountain man usage, which contributed to their naming of the river that flows through it. In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity where Boise now lies. In a high desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a prominent landmark. They called this "La Rivière Boisée", which means "the wooded river."

The original Fort Boise was 40 miles (64 km) west, down the Boise River, near the confluence with the Snake River at the Oregon border. This fort was erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1830s. It was abandoned in the 1850s, but massacres along the Oregon Trail prompted the U.S. Army to re-establish a fort in the area in 1863, during the U.S. Civil War. The new location was selected because it was near the intersection of the Oregon Trail and a major road connecting the Boise Basin (Idaho City) and the Owyhee mining areas. Both areas were booming at the time. Idaho City was the largest city in the area, and as a staging area to Idaho City, Fort Boise grew rapidly. Boise was incorporated as a city in 1864. The first capital of the Idaho Territory was Lewiston, but Boise replaced it in 1865.

Boise has grown considerably in recent years and is now comparable in size to other mid-size cities at the center of their own metropolitan areas in the United States. Boise frequently receives national recognition for its quality of life and business climate.


Eagle Idaho Aerial Photo


Are you looking for more country or more urban?

  • #4 Best City for First Time Home Buyers (WalletHub)
  • #2 City that is Hipper than your think (JetSetter)
  • North America's Coolest Downtowns (Expedia)

Why is Idaho such a happy state?

  • Residents who like what they do every day: 77.6% (6th highest in America)
  • Residents w/ a strong social relationship: 75.1% (24th highest in America)
  • Violent crime rate: 230.3 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
  • An estimated 76.7% of Idaho residents are proud of the community or area they live in, the largest share of any state.
  • 74.6% of residents believe the area where they live is the perfect place for them,
  • 85.6% always feel safe and secure -- each the second-largest share nationwide.

source: MSN

The diversity of the land creates choices to define what you want out of where you live. Do you prefer to be in the middle of it all, far from everything or somewhere in between?

While Boise real estate is hot and homes are selling fast, it is still a competitive market. In 2017 there were over 350 communities that sold new homes and 160 builders competing for your business.


The Treasure Valley is where the Payette, Boise, Weiser, Malheur, Owyhee, and Burnt rivers drain into the Snake River. It includes all the lowland areas from Vale in rural eastern Oregon to Boise and is the most populated area in Idaho.

Historically, the valley had been known as the Lower Snake River Valley or the Boise River Valley. Pete Olesen, president of the valley's association of local Chambers of Commerce, coined the name "Treasure Valley" in 1959 to reflect the treasure chest of resources and opportunities that the region offered.



Careers in Boise

Calling all entrepreneurs and CEO's

  • Top 10 Up-and-Coming U.S. Tech Hubs (INC)
  • Best City for Young Professionals (Forbes)
  • #2 Best City for Millennial Entrepreneurs (Fast Company)
  • Best places for businesses and careers (#27 out of 200, Forbes)
  • The Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs (Fast Company)
  • 10 Most Unexpected Cities for High-Tech Innovation (Techie)
  • America's Top 5 Under-the-Radar Tech Hubs (Sparefoot

The economy is a diverse blend of agriculture, light manufacturing, high-tech, sales, and other opportunities you would expect in a growing city. Many of the national retail and service brands are coming to the area and looking for quality staff and management.

Boise Employment

We have jobs! In 2018, ten thousand jobs were created and the unemployment rate hovered around 3%

Boise functions as a hub for many industries. It has long served as a trading and financial capital for logging, mining, livestock, and farming. Most recently, a growing technology sector has powered Boise's economy, led by Micron Technology Inc., a memory chip manufacturer. HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have offices in Boise's western suburbs. Other companies, like Clearwater Analytics,, and Cradlepoint, are headquartered in Boise, too.

Build Your Own Business

Boise is also recognized for having a strong entrepreneurial spirit as well as many successful small businesses.


Where are the Best Places to Work?

Macro Employers
(250 and more employees)

Idaho Central Credit Union
TSheets by QuickBooks
Allstate Customer Contact Center
Edward Jones
Encompass Home Health and Hospice
Progrexion Marketing
D.L. Evans Bank

Research Entire List



Cascace Lake Winter Weather


Boise Weather

Every day is beautiful in Idaho!

We enjoy four seasons and all that comes with each one. You may have a favorite but we enjoy all of them.

  • Summer - 90's
  • Spring & Fall - mid 60's
  • Winter - low 30's

Boise, Idaho averages 12 inches of rain and 31 inches of snow per year.

And we have fantastic clouds creating amazing sunrises and sunsets stretching across the valley skies all the time!





Downtown Boise 9th Street View

Boise Idaho from Table Rock

JUMP Downtown Boise Idaho

Idaho Huckelberry

Idaho Huckleberry


During the late summer months, keep your eye out for huckleberries. But keep in mind, there is a reason we call it "huckleberry hunting" instead of huckleberry picking. The huckleberry was made the official state fruit in 2000. The huckleberry can now be found in jams, honey, chocolates, BBQ sauces, and even less conventional products like fry sauce, body lotions, and huckleberry vodka.


Boise Greenbelt

Search Homes for Sale on the Boise River Greenbelt

We have it all, plus the Greenbelt!

Most people did not know about Boise, Idaho until about 20 years ago when the capital city and largest city in Idaho started consistently making the nation's list of top places to live, work, and play. People started noticing businesses like Micron and HP as major innovators and the Boise State Broncos football team started winning games on the national stage in style.

There are many reasons people move to Boise from jobs to family, but one theme everyone mentions is the lifestyle. Spend a week exploring the Treasure Valley and you will find this is a place you can feel safe living in and raising a family and is also an affordable place. Located along the Boise River and nestled against foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise offers many outdoor activities to local residents, from skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Resort to biking on the Boise River Greenbelt to boating at any of the nearby reservoirs (Lucky Peak, Arrowrock Reservoir, Anderson Ranch Reservoir, CJ Strike, Black Sands Reservoir, Lake Owyhee, Cascade Lake, Brownlee Reservoir and Payette Lake).

Ridge to Rivers Trail System

This trail system runs throughout the foothills above Boise and even spans out to Hidden Springs and Avimor communities. This interconnected network of trails bridges parks, streets, and neighborhoods with public access to the Boise natural environment. There are over 190 miles of trails for all abilities for biking and hiking. As you explore, notice the diverse trails, plants and animals, imagine our community without this unique treasure. Help protect and care for this special place!

Ridge to Rivers Trails System Boise Foothills

View on Google Maps

Art & Culture

Where The Wild West meets Renaissance

  • Best Downtown (Vogue & Livability)
  • Best Place to Live (US News & World Report)


On the Lighter Side
Boise has several comedy clubs and Karaoke bars in addition to community events for all tastes and interests.

Get Your Tickets!

  • Opera Idaho
  • Ballet Idaho
  • Boise Philharmonic
  • Boise Contemporary Theater
  • Idaho Shakespeare Festival
  • Balance Dance Company
  • Boise Public Main Library
  • Log Cabin Literary Center
  • Julia Davis Cultural Park
  • Boise Art Museum
  • Idaho Historical Museum
  • Discovery Center
  • Aquarium of Boise
  • Warhawk Museum
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Zoo Boise
  • Freak Alley

Festivals and annual traditions.

  • Gene Harris Jazz Festival
  • Boise Music Festival
  • Art in the Park
  • Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival
  • Treefort Music Fest

See what to do in Boise

Fun Facts about Boise and Idaho

Just so you know

  1. Boise is nicknamed The City of Trees.
  2. State Motto: "Esto Perpetua" meaning "It is forever."
  3. The state of Idaho was named after the Indian word 'ídaahę́', meaning "The Land of Many Waters." The total length of Idaho's rivers and waterways (over 107,000 miles) could stretch across the US thirty-eight times. That's a lot of water. Yet, Idaho is also the 5th driest state in the country during the summer.
  4. Idaho is the 13th largest state, bigger than all of New England combined (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island).
  5. Idaho's combined wilderness is over 4.7 million acres, which is greater than the US's three smallest states combined. The total land area of Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut is collectively smaller than our state's combined wild, roadless areas. 
  6. 63% of Idaho is public domain. The largest proportion of any state's landmass. Idahoans are very proud of our access to vast amounts of public lands and work hard to keep them pristine and accessible.
  7. In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity. Set in a high-desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a distinct landmark, an oasis dominated by cottonwood trees. They called this "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river."
  8. The statehouse in Boise is geothermally heated from underground hot springs, pumped from a source 3,000 feet underground
  9. Idaho's state fruit is the huckleberry. Idaho's state horse is the Appaloosa. Our state fish is the Cutthroat Trout. Idaho's state bird is the Mountain Bluebird.
  10. The state vegetable is, of course, the potato. Idaho is famous for potatoes, producing more than one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States.
  11. Idaho is called the "Gem State" because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in the state of Idaho. More than 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined from Idaho. Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities (India is the other).
Famous People from Boise and Idaho

Things you probably don't need to know

  1. In Boise, it’s technically illegal to ride a merry-go-round on Sunday. Luckily, it’s an old law that isn’t enforced.
  2. Idaho law forbids a citizen to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.
  3. The first alpine chairlift was used in Sun Valley. In 1936, the fee was 25 cents per ride.
  4. The deepest river gorge in North America is Idaho's Hells Canyon at 7,900 ft deep.
  5. In the late 1800s, there were several sightings of strange creatures in Bear Lake (on the Idaho/Utah border). The serpent-like monsters were up to 90 feet in length, could move faster than running horses, and were witnessed by several different people. To this day, there are still those who refuse to night fish on the lake.
  6. A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face in Pocatello, Idaho.
  7. In Idaho, it's against the law for anyone over the age of 88 to ride a motorcycle.
  8. Between 1863 (when Abraham Lincoln signed the bill making Idaho a Territory) and statehood (27 years later), the Idaho Territory had 16 governors, four of whom never set foot in Idaho.
  9. The Perrine Bridge over the Snake River in Twin Falls is the only man-made structure in the United States where it is legal to BASE jump without a permit.
  10. Twin Falls is the location of Evel Knievel’s failed Snake River Canyon jump.

Boise Idaho

Boise is an amazing place to come home! The Build Idaho real estate team could not be more excited to serve this wonderful community. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your real estate needs.

Boise Basque


The City of Trees is home to the largest community of Basque people outside their native area of northern Spain/southern France, and their heritage is preserved at The Basque Museum and Cultural Center at 6th and Grove. Their hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm, Saturdays 11 am-3 pm. Call first to be sure they're open at 208-343-2671. There are also several Basque restaurants in town! In fact, Boise's sister city is Guernica (pronounced GER-NEE-KA) in the Basque county in Spain. There is a restaurant in the Basque Block in Boise called Bar Guernica, and there is a restaurant named Bar Boise in Guernica. Every 7 years is the festival of Jaialdi, which is a celebration of Basque culture, heritage, food, music, and art. It is a draw for Basque people from across the country and from Europe.

Downtown Nightlife

Learn more about the Best Boise Nightlife Hotspots

Stroll to more than 100 shops, 80 restaurants and a number of microbreweries and lively nightlife venues.

We work hard during the day so when night and weekends come, it is time to relax, unwind or just chill.

Downtown Boise Nightlife

Boise Bike Bar
Ever seen a 14-person pedal-powered bike bar. Fear not, someone else is doing the steering. (Keep in mind, it's BYOB!)

Boise Bike Bar


Thriving Local Wine Community


The Idaho wine industry has been a steadily growing community for the last 30 years; from the quiet hillsides of Boise to the scenic Caldwell, Idaho landscape. Idaho wines are receiving national acclaim and have been remarkably growing over the past decade. Idaho is home to more than 50 wineries, over 1,200 acres of vineyards with more on the horizon. You’re invited to experience the remarkable vineyards and wines by scheduling tours, group and private tastings, or by jumping on a bus with other wine enthusiasts to tour vineyards.

Top Wineries to Visit

  • St. Chapelle Winery
  • 3 Horse Ranch Vineyard
  • Indian Creek Winery
  • Koenig Distillery and Winery
  • Huston Vineyards

Review Full List

Boise’s blend of urban savvy, proximity to nature and entrepreneurial streak means the city—one of the 20 fastest-growing in the U.S.—won’t stay unsung for long.

Wine Enthusiasts Network


Idaho State Product - The Potatoe

Boise Potatoes


Idaho grows roughly one-third of the U.S. potato crop.
The Idaho Potato industry accounts for more than 15% of the state's gross state product. In 2008, an estimated 300,000 acres of Idaho Potatoes were harvested - about 11 billion pounds of potatoes. That's enough potatoes to fill 500 NFL football fields.


Livability & Affordability

Living Here Is Priceless

  • Cheapest State to Live In (CNBC)
  • Best Kept Secret in NW (USA Today)
  • Most Affordable city in the Northwest
  • Best Place to Retire (Forbes)
  • Top 25 Best Performing Cities (Livability)
  • Best Cities for Savvy Young Families (Credit Donkey)

Cost of Living in Boise Comparison

  • Phoenix, AZ  +2%
  • Miami, FL  +23%
  • Anchorage, AK  +38%
  • Dallas, TX  +10%
  • NewYork, NY  +147%
  • Chicago, IL  +33%
  • Los Angeles  +161%
  • Seattle  +171%

View More Comparisons

5 Things You can do in Boise without opening Your Wallet
  1. MK Nature Center
  2. Boise Greenbelt
  3. Table Rock Lookout
  4. Camels Back Park
  5. Quinn's Pond & Whitewater Park

How much home does $300k buy?

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City of Boise


Julia Davis Park Downtown Boise Idaho


The City of Trees

If you are not from Boise, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. We are well-known for our potatoes. Also, you have most likely heard about the Boise State University football team, arguably one of the most discussed teams in the country. Based on their accomplishments both on and off the field; Bronco football is a way of life here. Their famous blue turf, appropriately deemed the “Smurf Turf,” has generated national attention, both for its color and for the unsurpassed record number of wins the Broncos have established when playing at home. However, Boise is so much more than potatoes and a blue field. Boise has also received endless recognition from major media sources, garnering a nomination as Best Place to Live, Work, and Play, in comparison with other cities around the country. Read on to learn about the many facets that make Boise a beautiful, dynamic, and desirable place to live.


Visitors will enjoy all the city and area have to offer from numerous cultural events including the philharmonic orchestra, opera, ballet, and theater companies to the Boise 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 Boise locals and visitors. In addition, there are plenty of museums and attractions to educate and entertain all ages.

Culture and entertainment mix nicely with the area's abundant outdoor recreation. Summer brings plenty of sunshine, perfect for a biking or walking along Boise's 25-mile Greenbelt or a round of golf at one of the area's 12 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, spend the day (or night) skiing or snowboarding at Bogus Basin Mountain Resort groomed downhill trails. Boise's indoor ice-skating rink is open year-round. Sports fans can enjoy Boise's variety of athletic events, including: Idaho Steelheads ECHL professional hockey, Boise Hawks minor league baseball, and Twilight Criterium bicycle racing. Our rare blend of urban amenities and outdoor recreation opportunities offers something for everyone.


In Today's World, Peace of Mind is Invaluable!

Idaho has long been recognized as a place with happy people who are down to earth and glad to help others. We open doors for people and look them in the eye to say hello. We don't know any other way.

National Rankings

  • Happiest State (MSN)
  • Best Place to Live (US News)
  • Best Run City in America (WalletHub)
  • Best Rocky Mountain Secret (Outside Magazine)
  • Best Place to Retire (Forbes)
  • Top City for Young Families (Move Buddha)

Short Commute = More Time for Yourself
Average Commute time is about 25 minutes and you can get across the valley in about 40 minutes.

It's Obvious
Ask around and you will find a lot of people have migrated here, possibly some of your friends have already. But ask anyone if they want to leave and you'll probably get the same answer. See how where you live compares.

Think it's just potato fields and forests?
When the pioneers arrived they realized that the diverse landscape⁠—from the valley to the mountains⁠—was a special place. They enjoyed the natural resources and weather just like we do. Over the years, it is the amazing people with a pioneering spirit that have created this beautiful and dynamic city. We love our city and love to brag that in a day we can ski, fish, hike, bike and fit in a few hours at work!


Downtown Boise Idaho

Crime Rates of Similar Sized Towns

Boise, ID - 244
Tucson, AZ- 494
Honolulu, HI- 334
Tulsa, OK- 588

 per 10k
source: US News




Desert, Foothills, Mountains, Valleys & Canyons. Vistas, Horizons, Panoramas, and so much more!

Notable Sights & Landmarks

  • Snake River Canyon & Hells Canyon
  • Boise/ Sawtooth/ Payette National Forests
  • Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
  • Oregon Trail
  • Silver City Ghost Town
  • Bruneau Dunes & Observatory
  • Shoshone Falls & Evil Knevil Jump Site
  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area
  • McCall & Cascade Mountain Resort Towns
  • Thousand Springs State Park
  • Three Island Crossing, Glenns Ferry
  • Deadwood Reservoir

The Idaho State Parks Passport

  • Is just $10 for Idahoans, per vehicle, per year!
  • Offers unlimited day-use access to every Idaho State Park
  • Covers boat launch fees within Idaho State Parks
  • Provides access to hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking and Nordic trails
  • Provides free parking at all events held at the Ford Idaho Center

Go Forth and explore!
One of the greatest things about the Treasure Valley is the vast space it encompasses and for that reason; if you have an open mind, there are endless photo opportunities.

Why Treasure Valley consistently has amazing Sunrises and Sunsets
It is the perfect combination of elevation, temperatures, winds, mountains, humidity and open terrain. Many times colors will stretch across the valley, especially in the winter.

Top 5 Scenic Views

  1. Table Rock
  2. Camel's Back Park
  3. Boise Depot
  4. Follow 8th Street North to Hull's Gulch
  5. CW Penthouse

View Map

*Table Rock is the most popular destination for scenic views of the valley. You can hike to the top in about an hour from from the Old Idaho Penitentiary or you can drive to the top and it is just a short walk to the rim.


Downtown Boise Idaho

Why are people Moving to Boise?

Quality of Life!

We, here at Build Idaho, have the opportunity to visit with people moving to The City of Trees on a regular basis. The same question is raised during each conversation: Why Boise, ID? While each situation is unique, two common themes have been observed. The first, and most common answer: Following Family. Families are suggesting, and encouraging, their parents and siblings to move to Boise with them. Imagine the people you love the most suggesting you “Come with us to Boise, ID!" There are also a lot of famous people who have moved to the the Boise area to take part in its wonderful atmosphere and culture.

Are you curious about what the second common theme is? Lifestyle. Obviously, these two themes go hand in hand, but it’s important to note that many people visit Boise, and are so charmed by all that is offered here, they choose to make Boise their “base camp.”  The list of activities available to do in Boise alone could fill an entire encyclopedia. With four seasons, a desert, several nearby rivers (Boise, Snake, Owyhee, Payette), mountains, foothills, an extensive greenbelt system, Bogus Basin Ski Resort (plus West Mountain, Brundage, & Sun Valley nearby), lakes, and numerous city and nearby state parks, Boise offers up an impressive list of fun to be had. Combine that with other popular features, including cost of living & affordability, and diverse culture; it makes sense that the growth of the area has exploded over the last decade. Our capital city truly is the Metro Resort of the Northwest. #ItsaBoiseThing

Whether relocating for a job or following family, when you are considering Idaho, it really is about the location. Each area of Boise Metro is very distinctive, and provides a variety of options to choose the lifestyle you want. For example, if you want to walk or bike to the local coffee shop in the morning, and find your friends for cocktails in the afternoon, you may enjoy the North End. Of course, those of you who want a little space from the urban hustle and bustle can enjoy the surrounding rural areas.