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7 Reasons to Move to Southern Idaho Right Now

Twin Falls and the other cities of the Magic Valley offer a treasure trove of surprises around every corner.

By Rebecca Treon on December 13, 2021

Overlook for Twin Falls
Jeff Adkins

Southern Idaho, a seven-county region home to more than 176,000 residents, is drawing people from around the world in search of a better quality of life. And that’s what the region offers: new job opportunities, higher education options, diverse housing choices and affordable living, a thriving arts and entertainment scene, and ease of mobility set amid some of the nation’s most spectacular natural attractions. Find out why moving to Twin Falls and Southern Idaho may be right for you.

“What’s really nice about here is that you have (Twin Falls) as the center of the area, but then you have a lot of smaller towns surrounding it, where you can find affordable housing, and it takes 10 or 15 minutes to get there. There isn’t much traffic and there’s lots of that country acreage kind of feel.”

Brianna Smith| physician’s assistant who recently relocated to the region

1. You can afford to live here.

Whether residents have lived here for years or are just months into a relocation, Southern Idaho is a place people are set on staying in because their money goes further here. While places like California and cities in the Pacific Northwest continue to have low inventory and high prices, in comparison, there are more affordable houses in Twin Falls and Southern Idaho.

With the median home value at around $380,222, people can afford to purchase and put down roots rather than rent. The area’s recent boom has also added diversity in housing options, whether houses with land, houses in town or multifamily developments, which are currently in the works.

“We recently bought a house, and even though it’s gotten competitive, I know family members in other cities who paid two-and-a-half times what we paid for a smaller house,” Smith says. “It took them forever to save up to buy a house, and here I am, just out of grad school, and I got a house that cost the same as paying rent, and it’s still affordable compared to other big cities.”

Perrine Bridge in Southern Idaho
Jeff Adkins

2. It’s easy to get around Southern Idaho.

Whether going out to run errands or out of the area for a vacation, moving around is easy in Southern Idaho. It is a major reason people love the region, where average commute times are around 18 minutes, a third less than the U.S. average.

Short commute times mean more personal time to do what you love instead of sitting in traffic, which has a huge appeal to lovers of the outdoors and the area’s thriving cultural offerings. Residents have access to Interstates 84 and 86 and U.S. Highways 30 and 93. When Southern Idaho’s residents need to travel out of the area, they can access the Magic Valley Regional Airport.

“When I was looking for a place to get a job after graduate school, one of the things I looked at was population size and commute times,” Smith says. “There are multiple ski areas and bigger towns like Boise. Everything is within two hours – you just hop on the interstate.”

3. This region is a cultural treasure.

But you don’t have to travel far to find things to do in Southern Idaho. The presence of the College of Southern Idaho brings with it a collection of cultural treasures. The college’s Fine Arts Center hosts theatrical productions and musical performances, further adding to the region’s cultural heft.

A gem in the region is the Orpheum Theatre in Twin Falls, which shows films and theatrical productions. Whether it’s catching a performance at the Historic Wilson Theatre in Rupert or the King Fine Arts Center in Burley, or learning the region’s history at one of its many standout museums, Southern Idaho offers a full mosaic of arts experiences.

“I was really excited to come here,” says Mikayla Whittener, who lives in Twin Falls and works at a plant in Gooding. “It’s a really community-driven town, and that is one of the best aspects – like there are different farmers markets, or every Wednesday they have live music at the restaurants, or they will do a trivia night.”

Blue Heart Springs
Jeff Adkins

4. The outdoor activities are breathtaking.

Southern Idaho is also an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true, offering year-round opportunities to hike, mountain bike, camp, hunt, fish, golf, ski, and ride (whether four-legged or recreational vehicle varieties).

“People here definitely love the outdoors,” Whittener says. “They do snowshoeing, paddleboarding, offroading, and a lot of people have side-bysides. There’s an endless supply of outdoor stuff – a lot of people will kayak on the river that runs through town, and there are bike trails. I mean, if it’s anything outdoors, people do it here.”

5. Your career can soar here.

Southern Idaho offers a wealth of opportunities, no matter what stage you are at in your career. The region is an agribusiness and a dairy processing hub and includes growing chemicals and plastics sectors. Major companies, like Dow Chemical, Chobani, Clif Bar, Glanbia Nutritionals, McCain Foods and Clear Springs Foods, and Hilex Poly – Novolex, were drawn to the region because of its pro-business environment and skilled workforce.

6. Receive an excellent education in Southern Idaho.

The region is home to the College of Southern Idaho, which is an active partner with local schools on dual credit programs that give students the opportunity to earn a college degree while still in high school.

7. You’ll find great health care close to home.

Southern Idaho is blanketed by high-quality medical care, which includes a roster of providers such as St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, Cassia Regional Hospital, North Canyon Medical Center and Minidoka Memorial Hospital. These providers invest in the latest technologies and treatments as well as promote wellness programs that keep the community healthy.

Staff writer Kevin Litwin contributed to this article.

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