From the Bay to Boise

Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho and is the county seat of Ada County. As of the 2020 census, there were 235,684 people residing in the city. On the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, it is 41 miles east of the Oregon border and 110 miles north of the Nevada border. The downtown area’s elevation is 2,704 feet above sea level.

The Boise metropolitan area, also known as the Treasure Valley, includes five counties with a combined population of 749,202, the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho. It contains the state’s three largest cities: Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. The Boise–Nampa Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 77th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Downtown Boise is the cultural center and home to many small businesses and a number of high-rise buildings. The area has a variety of shops and restaurants. Centrally, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood has many local restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The area also contains the Basque Block, which showcases Boise’s Basque heritage. Downtown Boise’s main attractions include the Idaho State Capitol, the classic Egyptian Theatre on the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Main Street, the Boise Art Museum on Capitol in front of Julia Davis Park, and Zoo Boise on the grounds of Julia Davis Park.

Boise Homes for Sale

Boise is in southwestern Idaho, about 41 miles east of the Oregon border and 110 miles north of the Nevada border. The downtown area’s elevation is 2,704 feet above sea level.

Most of the metropolitan area lies on a broad, flat plain, descending to the west. Mountains rise to the northeast, stretching from the far southeastern tip of the Boise city limits to nearby Eagle. These mountains are known to locals as the Boise foothills and are sometimes described as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. About 34 miles southwest of Boise, and about 26 miles southwest of Nampa, the Owyhee Mountains lie entirely in neighboring Owyhee County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 80.05 square miles, of which 79.36 square miles is land and 0.69 square miles is water. The city is drained by the Boise River and is considered part of the Treasure Valley.

Neighborhoods and areas

Boise occupies an area of 64 sq miles, according to the United States Census Bureau. Neighborhoods of Boise include the Bench, the North End, West Boise and Downtown. In January 2014, the Boise Police Department (BPD) partnered with the neighborhood blogging site Nextdoor, the first city in the Northwest and the 137th city in the U.S. to do so. Since the app, which enables the city’s police, fire, and parks departments to post to self-selected, highly localized areas, first became available in October 2011, 101 neighborhoods and sections of neighborhoods have joined.

  • Downtown Boise: Downtown Boise is Boise’s cultural center and home to many small businesses as well as a growing number of high-rises. While downtown Boise lacks a major retail/dining focus like Seattle and Portland, the area has a variety of shops and growing option for dining choices. 
  • Boise State University: To the south of downtown Boise is Boise State University and its surrounding environs. The area is dominated by residential neighborhoods and businesses catering to the student population. 
  • The North End, generally defined as the part of Boise north of State Street, contains many of the city’s older homes. It is known for its tree-lined drives such as Harrison Boulevard, and for its quiet neighborhoods near the downtown area.
  • The Boise Highlands is just north of the North End. Its location is generally defined as north of Hill Road and east of Bogus Basin Road. Its neighborhood is mostly filled with homes constructed in the 1970s, as well as a golf course/country club known as Crane Creek.
  • Southwest Boise contains sparsely populated neighborhoods built from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Many include acre-sized plots and the occasional farmhouse and pasture. In the 1980s, growth in the area was stunted to prevent urban sprawl.
  • Northwest Boise lies against the Boise Foothills to the north, State Street to the south, the city of Eagle to the west, and downtown Boise to the east. It contains a mix of old and new neighborhoods, including Lakeharbor, which features the private Silver Lake, a reclaimed quarry.
  • Warm Springs is centered on the tree-lined Warm Springs Avenue and contains some of Boise’s largest and most expensive homes (many of which were erected by wealthy miners and businessmen around the turn of the 20th century; Victorian styles feature prominently).
  • Harris Ranch and Riverland East: The far-east end of Warm Springs was once known as Barber Town, featuring a hotel with hot springs nestled into the foothills. It now has some new residential developments, with easy access to Highway 21, which leads to the south-central Idaho mountains, the Boise River, the Boise Foothills, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
  • Southeast Boise ranges from Boise State University to Micron Technology between Federal Way and the Boise River. Its oldest neighborhood, Original South Boise, was platted in 1890, and accordingly has variegated housing (assiduously maintained by zoning); it consists of 33 blocks bordered by W Beacon Street, S Boise Avenue, and S Broadway Avenue, and hence is a triangular neighborhood immediately adjoining BSU. The rest of Southeast Boise was developed over the decades, largely by a variety of suburban-style homes.
  • Boise Bench: The Bench, generally bounded by Federal Way to the east, Cole Road to the west and Garden City to the north, sits on an elevation approximately 60 feet (18 m) higher than downtown Boise to its northeast. Orchard Street is a major north–south thoroughfare in the neighborhood. The Bench is so named because of this sudden rise, giving the appearance of a step, or bench.
  • West Boise is home to Boise Towne Square Mall, the largest in the state, as well as many restaurants, strip malls, and residential developments ranging from new subdivisions to apartment complexes.


The Boise School District includes 31 elementary schools, eight junior high schools, five high schools, and two specialty schools. Part of the West Ada School District is within the Boise city limits, and the city is therefore home to six public high schools: Boise, Borah, Capital, Timberline, the alternative Frank Church, and the West Ada School district’s Centennial. Boise’s private schools include the Catholic Bishop Kelly, Foothills School of Arts and Sciences, the International Baccalaureate-accredited Riverstone International School, and the only student-led school in the country One Stone.

Post-secondary educational options in Boise include Boise State University (BSU) and a wide range of technical schools. The University of Idaho (UI) and Idaho State University (ISU) each maintain a satellite campus in Boise. As of 2014, the city has two law school programs. The Concordia University School of Law opened in 2012, and the University of Idaho College of Law now hosts second and third year students at its Boise campus. Boise is home to Boise Bible College, an undergraduate degree-granting college that exists to train leaders for churches as well as missionaries for the world.

Boiseko Ikastola is the only Basque preschool outside of the Basque Country.


The economy of Boise is based on a variety of industries, including technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and education. The city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a thriving startup scene. The unemployment rate in Boise is below the national average, and wages are rising.

The population of Boise is growing rapidly. In the past decade, the city’s population has grown by more than 20%. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the city’s strong economy, its proximity to outdoor recreation opportunities, and its relatively affordable cost of living.

The future of Boise is bright. The city is well-positioned to continue to grow and prosper in the years to come. With its strong economy, growing population, and abundance of amenities, Boise is a city that is worth considering for your next move.

Here are some of the factors that are contributing to the growth of Boise’s economy:

  • The city’s location in the heart of the Treasure Valley, which is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.
  • The presence of a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Micron Technology, Albertsons, and Simplot.
  • The city’s commitment to education and workforce development.
  • The city’s affordable cost of living.
  • The city’s proximity to outdoor recreation opportunities.

These factors are making Boise an increasingly attractive place for businesses and individuals to relocate. As a result, the city is expected to continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.

Here are some of the challenges that Boise faces as it continues to grow:

  • The city’s infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the pace of growth.
  • The city is facing a housing shortage.
  • The city is facing increasing traffic congestion.
  • The city is facing a shortage of affordable housing.

These challenges will need to be addressed in order to ensure that Boise continues to grow in a sustainable way. However, the city is well-positioned to overcome these challenges and continue to thrive in the years to come.

Boise Homes for Sale