Exploring Boise

Boise is a fast-growing city that's teeming with culture, natural beauty and job opportunities.

Boise, Idaho

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BOISE, IDAHO - Where wilderness and adventure are only minutes from an energetic downtown with gourmet restaurants, funky local shops, and craft breweries galore. It’s a city where a river runs through it, dirt trails are out your front door and live theater performances are an Uber ride away. 

This thriving city is the state capital of Idaho with a population of over 226,570. Boise is the quintessential city in that it’s large enough to have everything you could want or need at your fingertips, yet small enough to still be friendly and easy to navigate. 

Outdoor recreation is a way of life in Boise. The Boise foothills have over 140 miles of trails, literally out many residents back door. You’ll find mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, and lots of dogs out on these trails at any time of the year. 

The Greenbelt offers 25 miles of paved and dirt trails along the Boise River to run, ride, or stroll and hundreds of spots along the way to fish or play in the river. During the summer, floating the Boise River is a must and skiing is a huge part of the Boise winter with Bogus Basin just 20 miles up the mountain. 

Yes, as much as outdoor recreation is a way of life in Boise, so are the arts and music scenes. There are annual jazz and music festivals, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and many other theater performances throughout the year. Home to the largest Basque community in the United States, there is a huge Basque festival, Jaialdi, held every five years – the next one in 2020. There’s the Boise Philharmonic, Ballet Idaho, Performing Arts, and several museums. 

And sports fan, don’t fret! While Boise may not have a professional football team, there is the Boise State Broncos who are just as good as many of the professional teams, and the fans would agree! You won’t get very far in this city without seeing someone or something adorned in the classic blue and orange colors of Boise State University. Another sports favorite is the Idaho Steelheads ice hockey team. With practice and home games played right in the heart of downtown Boise, you’re sure to rub elbows with one of these professional players any day of the week. 

Yes, if the outdoors isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll find plenty of other ways to fill your event calendar in Boise. It’s no wonder it is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. 

Like all major cities, Boise is composed of several distinct neighborhoods. Here is a synopsis of each community. 


Downtown Boise is the cultural center of the city and home to more than 100 shops, 80 restaurants and several microbreweries and nightlife venues. Downtown Boise is a vibrant livable community that is walkable and friendly. Community events such as the Saturday Farmer’s Market, First Thursday, and Alive- After-Five outdoor concert series on the Grove bring large crowds to the area. 

The 8th Street Marketplace provides a lively pedestrian zone lined with boutiques, local restaurants, and bars. Downtown Boise’s popular attractions include Julia Davis, Ann Morrison and Kathryn Albertsons parks, the Idaho State Capitol, the classic Egyptian Theatre, the Boise Art Museum, and the Basque Block. 



The North End is Boise’s historic treasure and is comprised of many of the city’s older homes and quiet neighborhoods near downtown.

It’s known for its tree-lined streets such as Harrison Boulevard and the Historic Hyde Park District with boutiques and popular eateries. Residents look forward to the Hyde Park Street Fair each year located at the locals favorite Camel’s Back Park.


The proximity to the foothills, the Greenbelt, and downtown makes Northwest Boise a favorite among many locals. Tucked between the City of Eagle and Downtown Boise, it contains a mix of old and new neighborhoods with some areas of older homes that have a similar aesthetic to the North End. Amid its many conveniences, the beauty of the Boise Foothills running along the northern side is what makes this neighborhood great. 


This is the part of Boise locals take friends and family when visiting. From the northeast corner of Downtown along Warm Springs Road sits historic grand mansions, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, Idaho Botanical Gardens and the Warm Springs Mesa. This area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise’s fault line and warm many of the homes in the area. It is one of Boise oldest, most expensive and sought-after neighborhoods with its good schools, popular restaurants and direct access to Downtown.

As you make your way further east, known as Boise’s East End, newer communities like Harris Ranch in the Barber Valley are highly sought after. This master-planned community is amazing in growth, location, and stewardship. Once fully developed, Harris Ranch will include more than 2,800 homes with pedestrian access to trails, restaurants, shops and the Boise Foothills. 


The Bench, as locals call it, offers some of the best view of Boise in that it sits about 60 feet higher than Downtown. It’s generally an older residential neighborhood with a strong sense of community, old-school culture and hipster vibe. The Bench gets its name from the sudden rise, giving the appearance of a step, or bench. It is home to the Boise Union Pacific Depot, offers easy access to the freeway and downtown, and overlooks beautiful Ann Morrison. 


Southeast Boise covers a large area from Boise State University to the very edge of the city at Micron Technology. Most of Southeast Boise was developed in the last thirty years with suburban-style homes, including one of Boise’s most exclusive neighborhoods, River Run, offering riverfront properties. And a newer, growing 

addition to this region is the popular Bown Crossing. This community is surrounded by unique neighborhoods with quaint homes. Offering some of the best restaurants in Boise, along with specialty shops, a new library and a vibrant community spirit, Bown Crossing has quickly gained attention of many families moving to the area. 



What once was known for its sparsely populated neighborhoods and acre-sized plots, Southwest Boise is now a booming residential community with a suburban feel. The widespread growth of new homes and neighborhoods near Interstate 84, theaters, shopping, Costco, golf and the 


West Boise is home to Boise Towne Square Mall, the largest in the state, as well as many restaurants, strip malls, and residential developments ranging from new subdivisions to apartment complexes. West Boise accounts for a large section of the city’s residential population connecting Boise to the cities of Meridian and Eagle, Idaho. One of Boise’s top employers, Hewlett Packard’s printing division is also located here, employing more than 3,000 employees.

Just on the other side of the river from downtown is Boise State University, surrounded by residential neighborhoods and businesses catering to the student population. The unique blue playing field at the 37,000-seat Albertsons Stadium on the BSU campus, home to the Boise State Broncos football team, is a major city landmark.

The university campus is home to the Taco Bell Arena, which hosts a variety of concert and sporting events, as well as the Morrison Center, which hosts the Idaho Ballet, Broadway shows and many other cultural performances.


The students, faculty and staff at Boise State University are known for their grit and ambition. While we may be most famous for our iconic Blue Turf, we have built a metropolitan research university of distinction in the Northwest, with our faculty and student researchers working to answer some of the most intriguing questions facing us today. 


From our Distinguished Lecture Series, the world-class entertainment found at The Morrison Center and Taco Bell Arena, and a commitment to a healthy campus, we want you to consider Boise State a home away from home as much as an esteemed place of learning. We want you to question, to critique, to have fun and most importantly, to succeed. 

Whether you aspire to devote your life to helping medical patients breathe with ease or 

Boise State University 

1910 University Dr., Boise, ID 83725 

(208) 426-1000 



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