Life in Southwestern Idaho

Top Reasons Why I Love Living in Idaho

Are you considering a move to Idaho, but not sure if its the right state for you?  I’ve lived here in Southwestern Idaho near Boise for over 30 years, and will probably call Idaho home for life. How can I be so sure? Keep reading, because  I’m going to share with you 4 of my top reasons why I love living in Idaho, and why I think you will too!

Here’s some of what you’ll learn in this article:

  • Discover the diverse outdoor activities available in southern Idaho, and find out where the locals go to enjoy a day on the water
  • Learn about Idaho’s strong sense of community and some of the best local events to meet your neighbors
  • Dive into Idaho’s crime rates and how they stack up against other states, and find out where Idaho’s safest city is
  • Explore Idaho’s affordability, with insights into the least and most expensive cities in the state

1: Endless Outdoor Activity Options

 Whether you love winter activities like skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding, or summer activities like camping, boating, fishing, white water rafting, or biking, Idaho truly has something to offer for every outdoor enthusiast. I grew up camping all over the state, but most of my time spent outdoors these days is done in the summer in southwest Idaho near Boise. My family loves boating and paddle boarding on our nearby reservoirs like Lucky Peak and Arrowrock, which are only a 30-60 minute drive from Boise. 

Or, if we want to take the weekend and go a little further, we will head up to Payette Lake in the resort town of McCall, which is just about a two hour drive north. It’s my most favorite place in Idaho to rent a cabin, fish, see some wildlife, and enjoy the lake. 

 If you prefer tent camping over a cabin, you can pick from one of 30 state parks throughout the state, many of which will be next to one of our many gorgeous lakes or rivers. The Boise river in particular flows through southwest Idaho and floating the Boise is one of the ‘must-do’ summer activities on most Boiseans summer activity list.

2: Strong Community

On that note, floating the Boise river reminds me of my next favorite thing about living in Idaho, and that is the strong sense of community and friendliness that many of our citizens and cities pride themselves in. Despite what you might have heard, Idahoans in general are very warm and welcoming. Despite our tremendous growth over the past few years, many cities still have that small town feel. This is a state where people still talk to each other in lines, let each other out in traffic, and put on fundraisers for local citizens in need. 

Some of my favorite community events to attend with my family are the local farmers markets in Boise, Meridian, or Eagle, where farmers and artisans come together to sell their food and products, and local musicians play live music. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy a summer afternoon while also supporting our local small business owners.

3: Low Crime

The third reason I love living in Idaho is crime – or lack of crime- that is! According to recent stats, Idaho is considered the 5th safest state in America. We have very low violent crime and property crime rates, which means you can actually walk around in most places at night without worrying about your safety. As a parent, there is no better feeling than knowing I can send my kids out to play in our neighborhood without constantly worrying something might happen to them.

So you might be wondering, what is the safest city in all of Idaho? According to crime data, that would be Rexburg, found in southeast Idaho. Rexburg is home to Brigham Young University of Idaho, Idaho’s largest university, and they like to call themselves “America’s Family Community”. They also have the youngest demographic of any city in America, thanks to the local University. If you want to go to sleep without locking your doors at night, Rexburg Idaho might be the perfect place for you.

4: Low cost of Living

My last point, but perhaps one of the most important, is the low cost of living that we enjoy here in Idaho. In 2022 Idaho was ranked the 3rd best state overall to live in for your finances, and that same study showed that Idaho had the lowest utility costs of all the states. And despite the increasing cost of housing, Idaho has one of the higher home ownership rates in the country, ranking 7th overall. More than 71% of our homes are occupied by owners versus renters.

As with any state, the specific city you choose to live in will affect how much you spend, so if you are looking for the least expensive areas of Idaho to live in, you’ll want to check out smaller cities like Burley or Pocatello, and steer clear of resort towns like Hailey and Coeur d’Alene. In the future I plan to do a detailed video breaking down costs of things like Health care, childcare, and groceries, so be sure to subscribe and check back for that.

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