Boise, Idaho, a city of over 280,000 that combines small town comforts with big city conveniences, consistently rates among the top U.S. communities to live.
Why? Maybe it’s because residents enjoy four distinct seasons but the weather is moderate enough to allow an average of 325 golfing days a year. Or maybe it’s the low crime rate, reasonable cost of living, or the commitment of corporations and individual citizens to preserving Boise’s quality of life. Thirty-two neighborhood associations promote that quality in the distinctive neighborhoods that constitute this rapidly growing urban center.
Let’s look at some of those neighborhoods. We’ll start to the east, where you can still see remnants of the Oregon Trail as it headed into the Boise valley. Lucky Peak Reservoir, a major water source and recreational area, lies 10 miles east of Boise. Near it are corporate headquarters for Micron, and the neighborhoods of Surprise Valley, Columbia Village and Harris Ranch.
The Idaho State Capitol is the only statehouse in the country heated with natural geothermal hot water. Boise’s geothermal resource also heats the Victorian mansions lining Warm Springs Boulevard, the main road leading into town from the east. On this route you’ll discover the old Idaho Penitentiary, in use until 1973 but now open for tours, and the Idaho Botanical Gardens.