Boise and Beyond

It’s hard to find a “Best Places” list that doesn’t include Boise.

Maybe it’s the mountains, or the river that cuts right through town (and through campus). Maybe it’s the safe neighborhoods or the affordable cost of living. Maybe it’s our thriving local arts community, or our entrepreneurial climate of high-tech startups.

Whatever it is we have here, it seems to inspire superlatives:

  • One of the “Top 10 Most Entrepreneurial states” (CNN Money)
  • One of the “Healthiest Cities” (Women’s Health/Men’s Health)
  • One of the “Top 10 Places to Live” (Relocate America)
  • One of the “Best Cities for Raising a Family” (Forbes)
  • One of the “Safest Places to Live in America” (Business Insider)
  • One of the “Top 10 Downtowns in America” (
  • One of the “Best River Towns in America” (Outside Magazine)
  • One of the “Hottest Music Cities in America” (The Atlantic)
  • One of the “Fittest Towns of the West” (Sunset Magazine)

Boise State has been recognized as one of the top three universities in the country for outdoor adventure and fly fishing — you can hook a trout in the shadow of Albertsons Stadium.

A walk or ride down the Boise River Greenbelt takes you past swimming holes, a whitewater park for kayakers and surfers — along with hundreds of floaters and tubers on hot summer days, cyclists, stand-up paddle-boarders and rock climbers who take to the cliffs above the Boise River.

Just 16 miles to the north, Bogus Basin Mountain Resort offers 2,600 skiable acres for Nordic and downhill skiers and snowboarders. The action doesn’t slow down in the summer, with Idaho’s only mountain coaster, miles of world-class mountain bike trails and more.

Big City Excitement, Small Town Feel

Into food? Boise hosts two farmers’ markets downtown, and a growing menu of local and national restaurant options, from food trucks and steak houses to unique international cuisine.

Families enjoy Boise’s schools, low costs and low crime rates — and many find comfortable homes among our diverse religious communities. And our many cultures love to share with each other: from the Jewish Deli Days to the Greek and Russian food festivals to the huge gathering of Basques from around the world held every five years in Boise, the city loves to come together for special events.

Where High Tech Meets the Mountains

Boise’s local companies make microchips and memory sensors, solar-powered streetlights and wireless hotspots. They make some of the world’s most renowned trout fly reels and most reliable and durable whitewater rafts. We’re the home of the Pacific Northwest’s largest aircraft services company and one of the country’s leading manufacturers of diesel-electric light and heavy rail engines.

Many of these companies are powered by Boise State innovations and employees. More than 600 Bronco alumni work at Micron Technology, for example. Boise State graduates make up the entire international foods division at the J.R. Simplot Co. Our computer science students are in such demand that by the time they finish their third year, about 90 percent of them have locked down local internships and nearly all have job offers waiting for them when they graduate. That entire department is located in the heart of downtown (which is just a few blocks away from campus), because tech and civic leaders find the program and its students such a valuable part of this industry.

Arts and Culture

Boise State presents the Gene Harris Jazz Festival each spring, and our alumni, students, faculty and staff are driving forces behind much of Boise’s arts scene. Boise is home of the five-day Treefort Music Fest and groups like Idaho Dance Theatre that join acclaimed international traveling performers in the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, located right here on our campus. The Boise Art Museum, the Idaho Black History Museum and the Idaho State Museum are just down the street.