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Crowd of people bathing in a river in Boise Idaho
Boise CVB

County: Ada

Those looking to settle at the intersection of urban living and the great outdoors should look no further than Idaho’s capital. A staple of Money’s Best Places to Live, Boise makes the list once again for its quirky, artistic charm and economic opportunity.

While the gem of the Gem State isn’t the most affordable city in Idaho, with an average home sale price of $481,598, its appeal to coast-dwellers is obvious. In 2019, 7,900 former California residents relocated to Boise in search of a more affordable cost of living, and 10,073 more followed in 2020, according to a 2021 report. Boise’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest of any U.S. metropolitan area, and its potential for prosperity is matched only by its entertainment options.

Arts lovers can take a walk through Freak Alley, Boise’s open-air art gallery, visit the Boise Art Museum or attend Boise State University’s Gene Harris Jazz Festival. Got a penchant for history? The Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center and the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist are sure to satisfy. For all the naturalists, there’s a world-class botanical garden, plus hiking, biking, swimming and fishing throughout Boise’s many parks and mountain trails. For foodies, check out Boise’s Green Acres Food Truck Park and the iconic Westside Drive-In. — Mary Ellen Cagnassola

[money-bpl-stats population="237,987" income="$72,329" home-price="$481,598" unemployment="2.4%" location="Boise City, Idaho"]