Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Things to Love in Idaho

Hi, my name is Sarah! I grew up in the Appalachians – a city called Bristol on the border of Tennessee and Virginia, a place known for country music, sweet tea, and homecookin’. My husband, Zac, grew up in Seattle – surrounded by the beauty of the Olympics and Cascades, the Puget Sound, and amidst a plethora of cultures.

I was almost 4 months pregnant when we arrived in Idaho and, even a week before my husband and I made the decision to move, the state was not even a blip on my radar. What I knew of Idaho consisted of potatoes and football yet, somehow, in the blink of an eye we had decided to leave our home in the Pacific Northwest and start our family in Boise. But that’s another story.

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Our love affair with Idaho didn’t start out very promising. Like most transplants, finding yourself in a new place is always an adjustment – and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t kick and scream a bit. It was the most landlocked place either of us had ever lived and appeared much more conservative and “small-town” than we were used to.

We have been living in the capital city of Boise for a year and a half now and are considering buying a home here within the next year. So why the complete 180?

Here’s a few of the reasons why we’ve come to love Boise, Idaho:
  • The cost of living is considerably less expensive than many of the other cities we love. (4% lower than the national average and 20% lower than my husband’s hometown of Seattle.) 
  • It’s small, but it’s not THAT small. Boise has the conveniences of a big city without the traffic jams and long airport lines. 
  • It’s incredibly family friendly. With tons of festivals, indoor play areas, a greenbelt, dozens of parks, and even a zoo that boasts $4.50 Thursday admission, we never run out of things to do with our son. 
  • The climate is amazing! Winter is mild – for the most part. Fall and spring exist and summers are long, but not too hot. 

Are you considering visiting Idaho? Some things you might want to check out include:
  • A daytrip to Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls or Mesa Falls in Ashton 
  • Hiking in Craters of the Moon National Monument in Arco 
  • Camping at Redfish Lake in Stanley with stunning views of the Sawtooth Mountains 
  • Skiing in Sun Valley or right here in Boise at Bogus Basin 
  • Floating the Boise River or whitewater rafting on the Payette Biking the Hiawatha mountain bike trail 
  • Visiting Silverwood Amusement Park and Coeur d’Alene Lake 

…And in Boise? Here’s what we would suggest:
1. Eat your potatoes. Can you really come to the potato state and not try them? Boise Fry Company has our favorite selection of potatoes in town in fry form! Grab a bison burger (as a side) and a local brew and you’ll finally understand what all the fuss is about. The downtown location even has a lending library and kids’ storytime.

2. Ride a hot air balloon at the Boise Balloon Classic. If you’re coming to Boise, the Classic is something you cannot miss. Usually occurring at the end of August or early September, this 5 day event boasts dozens of hot air balloons from all over the country and features a family day and “night glow” event. And it’s free!

3. Catch a Table Rock Sunset. The views of the Treasure Valley and downtown area from Table Rock are simply stunning. Not up for the hike? Feel free to drive the top!

4. Spend a Tuesday night at the Village in Meridian. Movies are $5 at their state-of-the-art theater and the 21+ balcony seats offer in-theater dining (and drinks). Shops and restaurants in the Village also offer deals on Tuesday nights.

5. Explore Hyde Park. Grab a cup of coffee on 13th Street and spend your afternoon exploring the shops, restaurants, and quaint streets of this Boise neighborhood. If you’re up for a challenge, take your coffee to the top of Camel’s Back Park for a great view.

Honestly, there are just too many great things about our city. For a bigger list our family’s favorite things to see and do in Boise, check out my post here.
Happy Travels,
Sarah Warren

About the Author

Sarah, author of RaisingMiles.com, is a bartender, runner, cancer survivor, and adventure lover. Wanderlust runs in her veins. She has been traveling the US her entire life and has been moving around the country for the past six years meeting new people, sharing stories, and finding some truly beautiful places along the way. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Zac, and their one-year-old son, Miles. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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