Ask anyone living in Southern Idaho why they chose this spot, and then settle back for a nice, long conversation.
From the city life of Twin Falls to smaller, nearby towns such as Jerome, Hailey, Rupert, Buhl and Gooding, the ability to have urban amenities with a small-town feel is a big draw. Get a little farther out, into the communities of Kimberly, Heyburn, Wendell, Filer, Shoshone, Paul, Hansen, Hagerman, Oakley and Hazelton, and that small-town feel tops the list, but those folks like being near the city life, too.
Then go all the way out into the country, into spots such as Almo, Albion, Elba and Castleford, and it’s all about having the wide, open space but still be near enough to civilization to stay connected.
Long story short, this is a place where everyone can find his or her pace, and settle in for the long haul.
Twin Falls Offers Urban Amenities
Take Mike and Marti Mauhl, who came to Twin Falls because it was halfway between a getaway home in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, where their children live. A quick look-see turned into several return trips and, eventually, a home purchase.
“We decided to visit, and eventually bought a house because we’d found the people to be so friendly, and there was so much to see and do here,” Marti says.
The Mauhls liked the refurbished downtown area, the many cultural amenities and the availability of high-quality medical care.
Small Town Residents Pull Together
In Rupert, Joel Rogers is a local boy who grew up, struck out on his own and then wound up finding everything he wanted at home.
“The last thing I wanted to do was stay here,” says Rogers, who is chief operating officer at Minidoka Memorial Hospital. “After school I decided to come back just for a little while … and have stayed for another 35 years.”
When he recruits potential employees for the hospital, Rogers fields a lot of questions about quality of life here. He promotes the outdoor activities, but also the sense of community.
“Often in an urban area, problems are left to someone else,” he says. “Here we know that if something needs fixing, it’ll be up to us to do it. That’s a real plus, because it keeps everyone involved in making the town better.”
Rural Areas Support Agricultural Lifestyle
Another native who wouldn’t dream of leaving is Karma Fitzgerald, who along with husband Clem is raising three children in North Shoshone. A Magic Valley native, she “tried to move away a couple of times, but kept coming home."
“I’ve been here 17 years now, and really wouldn’t go anywhere else,” she says. “I like the rural, agriculture-based lifestyle. My husband is co-owner of 4-Bros Dairy, so we have built our lives around operating a business in a rural area.”
Open Ranges Give Sense of Space
Out on the edge of the High Desert is Castleford, where Twin Falls County Commissioner Terry Kramer is the fourth generation of his family to farm the land. The plentiful hunting, fishing and other recreational opportunities are a big draw for Kramer, as is the sense of wilderness.
“It’s nice to be on the edge of the developed area, because it’s kind of a wilderness out there,” he says. “It’s really a private recreation area for my family, and we’ve gotten used to being out in the country, where you can really have your own space.”
Read more on living in Twin Falls, ID.