General Questions About Moving To Boise

From History To Housing Arrive A Transplant, Leave A Local!

Boise Is Growing So Fast, What About The Quality Of Life?

Sawtooth MountainsThere are 1.5 million people in the whole state. Almost everyone who relocates is middle class and up. The undesirable element does not realize what they are missing. So every time someone nice like you leaves, California, Oregon, or Texas they get a little “worse”, relatively. Idaho gets a little better!

So the traffic will get a little worse and there will be more road construction. But in my opinion the quality has improved since I was a teenager. Better concerts, restaurants, more theaters, live shows. Over all the population is more progressive now than then. There are tons more skiers at Bogus, but we have high speed quads now. Without the influx we would still be riding the slow-mo 2 seater chair lift…the freeway would still be 2 lanes in each direction. As for outdoor stuff like hot springs, camping fishing et al 2/3 state is public land and there for the taking, first come first serve. If you are worried about a crowd pick any of 1000 lakes or riverside campgrounds that you can hike 1 to 5 miles to camp at and skinny dip away! Sorry to report we have super Walmarts, they are offset by the new Fred Meyers! New Costco to open in a year or two. The Shakespeare festival is putting on a Mid Summers Night Dream this year, my favorite! Just buy your tickets a little earlier. Years ago the one Saturday market was lame-O…Now Boise has 2 Farmers Markets and every little town has one too. Field to fork! The burgeoning wine industry, Wholefoods, Trader Joes all here thanks to Californicators just like you. The water is great jump on in! Still super low crime and the best thing going west of the Mississippi! Or east of it for that matter. In the end more cars, more houses, more stores, same basic middle class dudes in line next to you! 


How Big Is the Boise Metro Area?

Owyhee Mountains 10 Degrees665,000 +/- That includes the 5 biggest counties near Boise! At 82 square miles it is the 83th largest metro area in the United States.


How Much Does It Cost To Register My Car In Boise Idaho?

Idaho has fixed rates based on age for all Passenger cars weighing less than 8000 Lbs. There is a surcharge for hybrids and all electric cars.                 

$69 one or two years old / $57 three to six years old / $45 seven years and older


What Is Entailed In Getting An Idaho Driver’s license When I Relocate To Boise.

You will need to hand over your current driver’s license or provide your original birth certificate and a photo id of some sort. Then pass the written test, here is a link to the study guide. There is also a skills test for those who have never been licensed before and for a litany of other weirdo things like coming from a foreign country. Here is a LINK to the Manual!


Why Are The People In Boise So Nice?

McCall Ice SculptureLow crime combined with a large middle class means no one is afraid and every one expects everyone else to be nice! Yes you hold the door open for others, let people in during rush hour, help the gal along the road with her tire and catch the loose dog in the neighborhood without being asked. It just goes without saying. The tellers at the convenience station are even nice! Andy’s Mayberry.


Have Questions About Moving To Boise Idaho From California?

Idaho Is For RaftersHere Are 6 Reasons To Consider A Move to Boise Id From California

It The Best Decision You Have Ever Made!

1. Will People Talk To Me, Like Me, Ostracize me?

I get this one all the time. In 1970 just before Hewlett-Packard decided to relocate to Boise, the entire printer division from.. wait for it, California, the population of the whole valley was less than 100,000. Today it is just Over 600,000. I realize that our largest religious groups are LDS and Catholic, but they are not that prolific. The vast majority of the newbies here in the valley came from afar, mostly from California. Some from California via Seattle or Portland. So when we are looking at homes and the neighbor comes out and the small talk starts, it turns out they are from, Walnut Creek or Walnut Park. Others from Bakersfield and Escondido. So the real question is Padres. Angels, Dodgers or Giants. Yes there are some old school Idahoans that have a mind closed to change that will be hostile until you change your plates. Do you really want to be friends with that guy anyway?

2. No Crime

Not just low crime, but virtually no crime. People wave, hold the door open for you, stop if you are broken down on the side of the road. The person behind the register says hello when you enter the convenience store and your purchase is followed up with a thank you and have a nice day. It is all a result that no one is mugged, car jacked or otherwise violated. Home invasion is unheard of. With a large hunting population and the highest gun ownership outside Alaska, break in artists here are more worried about meeting the wrong end of a shotgun than the family alarm dog. Life in Boise is safe and sane.

3. Low Cost Of Living

When moving from California to Boise the following is true. Housing is going up but it is still less expensive than even the least expensive areas in California, utilities, auto registration, gas, all less expensive. Including taxes.

4. Overall Quality Of Life Is Superior.

At rush hour you can drive from west of Caldwell to downtown Boise in under an Hour. Our Lake Tahoe is called Payette Lake itis 100 miles away. That is about 2 hours. 2 hours on the way to your way to Lake Tahoe in California is about 20 miles. Two thirds of Idaho is public land almost all of it free. Redwoods, pay to get in… In Idaho the Devoto Memorial Western Red Cedar grove is free and usually deserted. The trailheads at the end of the roads headed into the wilderness areas are deserted, no people and no fee. If you want to go ride your 4 wheeler or motorcycle, go fishing or rafting for the afternoon or hunt some ducks how far do you think? Less than an hour will get you to all of them. Take the kids to a USFS campground (sorry $8 bucks, first come first serve) near Garden Valley or Lowman in an Under an hour and soak in Kirkham Hot spring, for free.

5. Activities And Events

From Jazz festivals to March Madness, from the wineries to the Saturday Markets. Because of these and all the other reasons outlined on this page, people love the weather and the slow pace of life. Boise is Waiting! 

6. So What Do You Give Up?

We have a Nordstrom and a Best Buy. But you will have to do without the overprice professional sports, really bad traffic and people washing your window at the stop light…. Ah the ocean, I cannot overcome this one easily. It is a 7 hour drive to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast. West coast cities are all a 1 to 2 hour flight if you need your coast fix that bad. The best I can do is offer a beach all to your self along one of Idaho's many rivers. Clean white sandy beaches are a hall mark of the Payette and Salmon rivers. No rip tides, no sharks, no jelly fish!


How About Traveling From Boise? 

The Air service from Boise is sound. Offerings on 6 airlines to 21 non-stop destinations including Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston, Denver, Phoenix and all the large west coast cities from Seattle to San Diego! Fly Alaska, United, Delta, American, Southwest or Allegiant. The flights to the west coast are just over an hour. It makes for a quick trip to the coast or the ball park! Go Seahawks..

Boise is awesome for numerous reasons, but one being it is so easy to drive from here to there and be in a world class setting. From Jackson Hole and Yellowstone national park or The Oregon coast it’s only 6 to 7 hours down interstate 84. Skiing near Salt Lake or hitting up a soccer or football game in Seattle or Portland are all week end trips. But wait… there’s more, our Lake Tahoe is Payette lake in McCall, just 2 hours away. In 3 hours, you can be at any number of trailheads into Idaho’s back country to enjoy solitude galore. Of course, there are hundreds of locally known areas to explore. Take Jordan Craters or The City of Rocks, both are epic. Both for rocks and both for different reasons. Hike a lava tube and check out the geologic features at Jordan Craters or climb them on hundreds of routes at The City of Rocks  If you make it to the Mud Lake Well… Well, you are there and beyond.

Flight Times

Portland: 57 minutes | Seattle: 69 minutes | Las Vegas: 80 minutes

Phoenix: 100 minutes | Los Angeles & San Diego under 2 hours

Drive Times

McCall: 2 hours | Stanley 2.5 hours | Salt Lake 5 hours

Jackson Hole 5 hours | Portland 6 hours | Reno 7 hours

Seattle 7.5 hours 


What Companies Are The Largest Employers In Boise?

Micron, St. Lukes, West Ada School District, Boise School District, Boise State University, St. Alphonsus Regional, City Of Boise, Wal Mart, Hewlett-Packard, Jr. Simplot Co., Ada County, Health And Welfare, Department Of Corrections. 


What Is Basque?

The Basques are an indigenous ethnic group hailing from Northern Spain and Southern France along the west side of the Pyrenees. Tied together by the language, common culture and a shared ancestry. As early as 1900 Basque immigrants arrived to herd sheep and then later brought over family and friends to join them. They are a tight nit ethnic community that is also woven into the main stream social fabric of our community. They are mayors, judges, college professors and top notched attorney’s. They have a dance hall/community center located at the Basque Block in downtown near 6th and Main. Try the croquettes or Solomo sandwich at Bar Guernica. The Oinkari Dancers are a delight to watch, The Basque summer festivals and winter time sheepherder’s balls are open to the public and a good time can be had by all, Basque or not.


How Come Boise Is So Ethnically Homogenous?

Basically the only industry we had here for 100 years was agriculture. That is why the largest ethnic group we have is Hispanic. We did not have a large auto industry like Detroit did to lure starving African Americans out of the deep south. 

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