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Best Places To Live in Idaho

A look at the top 10 most livable cities in the Gem State.

By Kevin Litwin on December 9, 2021

Southern Idaho
Twin Falls / Jeff Adkins

The population of Idaho is steadily growing, with more people hearing about the advantages of living in The Gem State. If you are considering a move, take a look at what these cities on our best places to live list have to offer.


The capital of Idaho is nicknamed “The City of Trees,” and the Boise downtown district features many cultural offerings. Extensive hiking and biking opportunities are available in the nearby foothills, and students can attend Boise State University and satellite campuses of Idaho State University and University of Idaho.

Twin Falls
Twin Falls / Jeff Adkins

Twin Falls

Serving as regional center for south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada is Twin Falls, home to the College of Southern Idaho along with several other universities that offer satellite classes on the CSI campus. Major retail outlets have opened stores in Twin Falls, and residents have access to good healthcare and quality parks.

Idaho Falls / iStock/Danamallard51

Idaho Falls

With a strong economy and quality of life, Idaho Falls has an extensive recreational greenbelt along miles of the Snake River. Local conveniences include Idaho Falls Regional Airport and a University Place campus that offers classes from Idaho State University and University of Idaho.

Pocatello / Wendy Jo O’Barr


Home to Idaho State University and technology manufacturing giant ON Semiconductor, Pocatello also houses livability amenities like Pocatello Regional Airport and Portneuf Medical Center. Also playing an important role in Pocatello is outdoor recreation sports, both winter and summer.

Moscow / Photo Courtesy of Moscow Chamber of Commerce


Situated along the state border with Washington, Moscow is home to University of Idaho and New Saint Andrews College. There are 17 neighborhood parks, and the city is an agricultural and commercial hub for the Idaho Palouse region. Also serving the community is Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.


New homes, roads and shopping centers are all part of life today in fast-growing Nampa, located 20 miles west of Boise. Agriculture remains a key sector in the local economy, and quality of life assets include two colleges, 20 parks, two golf courses and Nampa Municipal Airport.


Coeur d’Alene

Nicknamed “Lake City,” Coeur d’Alene is predominantly a tourism destination in the northern Idaho Panhandle. Tourism is buoyed by several area resorts, including Coeur d’Alene Resort that encompasses much of the downtown district. Other economic contributors include education, healthcare, manufacturing, recreation and retail.


The fastest growing city in Idaho is Meridian, whose population has more than tripled since the 2000 U.S. Census. A majority of residential neighborhoods are relatively new, and quality of life amenities include Eagle Island State Park that showcases a large lake. Meridian Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020.


At the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers is Lewiston, and the city serves as the only seaport in Idaho. Transportation is a key industry along with health care and retail, and residents and tourists enjoy Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Lewiston is also home to Lewis-Clark State College.

Lewiston / iStock/4nadia


A mild climate during much of the year is ideal for enjoying many outdoor activities in Eagle, including fly fishing on the Boise River and whitewater kayaking along the Payette River. The average household income in Eagle is $90,000, and residents can enroll their children in highly regarded West Ada School District.

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