Nestled in the Rocky Mountains and along Snake River are the adventurous and high-spirited residents living in Idaho Falls, ID, where cultural and economic opportunities are "as big as you want them to be." As the third-largest metropolitan area, Idaho Falls has a population of over 60,000, all of which enjoy the proximity of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park (along with millions of visitors a year). But world-class outdoor amenities aren’t the only thing that makes Idaho Falls one of the best places to live.
Certainly, many people might have assumptions about Idaho, and specifically a mid-sized town like Idaho Falls. Some ring true – Idahoans take pride in their eccentricity and isolation – but the idea that a smaller town in middle America might be disconnected or boring is off by a long shot.
Expect the Unexpected
“Idaho Falls has been described as ‘unexpected’ by those visiting or new to our community,” says Mayor Rebecca Casper. “The beautiful snake river that runs through the heart of our city is unexpected, the vibrant and varied arts scene is unexpected, and the plentiful opportunities for businesses and residents is unexpected. For a city of just over 60,000 people, the programs and amenities offered in Idaho Falls exceed expectations.”
It’s not hard to understand why Idaho Falls is a hot spot for millennials. It has the best of both worlds: Idaho Falls ranks in the top 5 for growth in high wage jobs; top 10 for affordable housing and household income growth; and the top 15 for per capita spending on food, health care coverage and commute time. That means the city is attractive to young entrepreneurs looking for exciting and fulfilling work, and also welcoming to more established professionals who are looking to settle down. So obviously, it’s ranked as a Best City for Entrepreneurs, no matter what stage of life you may be in.
Learn, Work, Play
Top-tier education through University of Idaho and College of Eastern Idaho creates inquisitive and motivated students that transform into innovators and creators that fuel the thriving job market in Idaho Falls. Top employers include major online retailer Meleleuca Inc., Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, nuclear energy producer Idaho National Laboratory, supermarket chain WinCo Foods and leading organic meat producer Golden Valley Natural.
But people don’t just move to Idaho Falls for the career opportunity; they stay for the growing arts and culture. Root for the Chukars baseball team, explore fine dining cuisine at local spots like Mexican restaurant Café Sabor, practice or pick up a sport, and engage with the local arts scene that’s as beautiful as the mountains that surround the city.
“The necessary aspects of a healthy and thriving economy—things such as educational opportunities, cost of living, safety, and infrastructure, all exist in Idaho Falls,” says Mayor Casper. “These things make for an exceptional quality of life, and when people come here and experience that, they don’t want to leave.”