Best Places to Live

Boise, ID

Population: 214,196
Photo: Boise CVB

Small-town charm meets urban cool in downtown Boise, ID. Plus it earns extra accessibility points for walkers and bikers thanks to its well-maintained sidewalks and 30-mile path along the Boise River.

Basics: While more than 3,900 people currently live in downtown Boise, the city projects that number will swell to 13,686 by 2025. Groups like the Downtown Boise Association actively market and enhance the area, and office and retail vacancy rates are among the lowest in the region. A collection of art galleries, museums, event centers, a trio of movie theaters and zoo provide plenty of entertainment options.

Details: Approximately 30,000 people work in downtown Boise, which has more than 300 retail and service businesses. That figure includes more than 90 restaurants, and most are locally owned. The area has six districts, with Central Downtown being the largest. Five covered garages representing a total of 2,000 parking spaces offer one hour of free parking. Meanwhile, all downtown meters allow 20 minutes of free parking. For Boise State home football games, a free shuttle takes riders from downtown to the stadium and back.

Don't Miss: Bittercreek Ale House for drinks, Knitting Factory for concerts, Zoo Boise for animal encounters