Boise, Idaho


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What's it like to live in Boise?

Curious what Boise is like

You have gotten a few silly responses, so I will try to add to the helpful comments.

I have lived in Virginia, Minnesota, Idaho (Boise for 17 years), and Washington. Boise is a great place, especially if you like the outdoors. Truly, it is very close to some of the best outdoor recreation you can do anywhere in the country. You name it, you can do it within an hour of downtown (or within a few minutes from downtown). It has a very outdoorsy feel and that spreads to the local population. There is a lot of flannel, microbrews, Patagonia hats, and mountain bikes.

It’s growing very fast, which means some sprawl and crummy mass transportation. However, the commutes are relatively easy compared to other cities. If you live and work near downtown, then you’ll probably end up commuting by bike anyway. Lots of retail shopping has moved to outlying towns, which gives that aspect a very suburban feel - lending itself to the sprawl. However, the downtown core is VERY lively with lots of restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and markets.

Living in Idaho is great and generally cheap. Boise is more expensive, but home prices are entirely more affordable than neighboring states. Salaries are questionable depending on where you want to work, but like I said, cost of living is generally low. Idaho is very conservative; Boise is significantly less so.

I see very little racism and equality issues within Boise when compared to neighboring towns and especially other cities. I think Boise strives to be inclusive to a degree that you won’t find anywhere else in Idaho or similar states. But there are bad apples everywhere.

Boise State adds a lot to the community, and since we have no professional sports, Boise football tends to be a big deal. It’s also a great opportunity to pursue more education if that is a goal of yours.

My only complaints about Boise: corporate presence in downtown has pushed out some small businesses and local establishments in favor of chains that can afford high rent prices. I also think that transportation needs to be improved ( though they did just build a transit hub in downtown) and be more accessible.

Curious what Boise is like

I've lived in both NYC and Boise, for about a year each.

Winter temps in Boise are comparable to NYC. However, winter is drier here so easier to deal with IMO. I feel like winter in NYC felt colder, but maybe I've just gotten better at dealing with it. Summer is way hotter in Boise.

Summer is all sun all the time, except we get smoke from wildfires throughout the west that can stick around a while. Winter not so much, particularly during inversions when smog gets trapped in the area.

Transit … exists, I guess. It's only buses and usability depends greatly on where you live, but the general consensus is that our public transit is severely lacking. People mostly drive.

Boise is liberal by Idaho standards. Not by NYC standards. The state as a whole is very family values conservative.

I can't speak to sales jobs. However, as someone with about 5 yrs of experience currently job hunting in Boise, I can say the pay ranges I'm seeing are uninspiring.

Pros: friendly people, easy access to outdoor recreation, very safe and very clean city, affordable COL, decent bike infrastructure around downtown.

Cons: weirdly homogenous/white, prone to sprawl, housing is super competitive, everyone drives pickup trucks the size of my house. People will be mad at you for moving here.

If you're down with less white/less safe/less clean, but very affordable, always sunny, and close to mountains, give Albuquerque or Santa Fe NM a gander. Nothing like Boise whatsoever but a cool area in its own right.

What is it like to live in Boise, ID?

What’s really unique about Boise is it’s not a huge city, but because it’s the biggest city in the state of Idaho, you get big-city amenities without over-the-top crowds. (It is getting more crowded all the time, but at this point, you can still drive without constant stop and go traffic.) So, there are cultural events, stadium concert venues (attracting some big name artists), many great parks, a zoo, high-rise office buildings (and the beautiful state capitol building), shopping and restaurants. All are 10 to 25 minutes away from most Boise residents.

I’ve been surprised by the quality of restaurants here. In addition to the chains, they have a lot of unique, one-of-a-kind places that are really good.

Then, you have a lot of recreation opportunities in the foothills and nearby national forest, including white water rafting/kayaking, Boise river floats, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.

Weather wise, you get four distinct seasons. Winter is relatively mild, and I love the spring and fall, but about 6–7 weeks of summer is brutal, in my opinion. Way too hot (90’s-100’s) and the sun is still up at 9:30 p.m.

People here are very nice, though culturally different than what I have been used to on the west coast. A little more reserved…Someone I know who was raised in the mid-west said he gets a mid-west feel here.

What is it like to live in Boise, ID?

It has a "big-but-small" town feel to it. There is a fairly active night life due to Boise State being located here. There are football games to attend, a zoo, several museums, many parks, and plenty of shopping. (How many cities can support three watch stores, two bead stores, and no less than four battery shops?)

The climate is rather hot during the summer (exceeding 100° F some days) and quite cold during the winter. There is very little rain or even humidity because Boise has a climate that is similar to a desert. Much of the area around the Treasure Valley is desert. There are plenty of employment opportunities and very little crime.

Just FYI, natives pronounce it boy-SEE, whereas those who are not from here tend to say boy-ZEE.