Main Births etc
Boise, Idaho
—  City  —
City of Boise
Flag of Boise, Idaho
Official seal of Boise, Idaho
Nickname(s): The City of Trees
Motto: Energy Peril Success
Autumn in Boise.jpg
Location in Ada County and the state of Idaho

Boise, Idaho is located in the USA
Boise, Idaho
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 43°36′49″N 116°12′12″W / 43.61361, -116.20333
Country United States
State Idaho
County Ada
Founded 1863
Incorporated 1864
 • Type strong-mayor
 • Body Boise City Council
 • Mayor David H. Bieter
 • Council President Maryanne Jordan
 • City 80.05 sq mi (207.33 km2)
 • Land 79.36 sq mi (205.54 km2)
 • Water 0.69 sq mi (1.79 km2)
Elevation 2,730 ft (850 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 205,671
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 212,303
 • Density 2,675.2/sq mi (1,033/km2)
 • Metro 616,561
 • Demonym Boisean
Time zone Mountain Standard Time (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-6)
ZIP codes 83701–83799
Area code(s) 208

Boise ( /ˈbɔɪsi/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, the population of Boise was 205,671. It is also the 99th largest U.S. city by population. The 2012 U.S. Census Population Estimates that 212,303 people reside within the city.[4] The Boise metropolitan area is home to about 616,500 people and is the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho, containing the state's three largest cities; Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Boise City is the third most populous metropolitan area in the United States' Pacific Northwest region (behind only those of Seattle and Portland).


Main Street in 1911

The area was called Boise long before the establishment of Fort Boise. The original Fort Boise was 40 miles (64 km) west, near Parma, down the Boise River near its confluence with the Snake River at the Oregon border. This defense was erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1830s. It was abandoned in the 1850s, but massacres along the Oregon Trail prompted the U.S. Army to re-establish a fort in the area in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War. The new location was selected because it was near the intersection of the Oregon Trail with a major road connecting the Boise Basin (Idaho City) and the Owyhee (Silver City) mining areas, both of which were booming. During the mid-1860s, Idaho City was the largest city in the Northwest, and as a staging area, Fort Boise grew rapidly; Boise was incorporated as a city in 1863. The first capital of the Idaho Territory was Lewiston in northern Idaho, which in 1863 was the largest community, exceeding the populations of Olympia and Seattle, Washington Territory and Portland, Oregon combined. The original territory was larger than Texas. But following the creation of Montana Territory, Boise was made the territorial capital of a much reduced Idaho in a controversial decision which overturned a district court ruling by a one-vote majority in the territorial supreme court along geographic lines in 1866.

Designed by Alfred B. Mullett, the U.S. Assay Office at 210 Main Street was built in 1871 and today is a National Historic Landmark.


Astronaut Photography of Boise Idaho taken from the International Space Station (ISS)

Ann Morrison Park in spring

Boise is located in southwestern Idaho, about 41 miles (66 km) east of the Oregon border, and 110 miles (177 km) north of the Nevada border. The downtown sits at 2,704 feet (824 m) 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 (55 km) southwest of Boise, and about 26 miles (42 km) southwest of Nampa, the Owyhee Mountains lie entirely in neighboring Owyhee County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 80.05 square miles (207.33 km2), of which, 79.36 square miles (205.54 km2) is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.[1] The city is drained by the Boise River. The City of Boise is considered part of the Treasure Valley.


Boise has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with four distinct seasons. Boise experiences hot and dry summers with highs reaching 100 °F (38 °C) eight days in a typical year and 90 °F (32 °C) on 51 days.[5] Yet because of the aridity, average diurnal temperature variation exceeds 30 °F (17 °C) in summer. Winters are cold, with a December average of 30.7 °F (−0.7 °C), and lows falling to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below on around three nights per year.[5] Snowfall averages 19 inches (48 cm), but typically falls in bouts of 3 inches (8 cm) or less.[6] Spring and fall are mild. Autumn is brief; spring is gradual. Precipitation is usually infrequent and light, especially so during the summer months. Extremes have ranged from −28 °F (−33 °C) on January 16, 1888 to 111 °F (44 °C), as recently as July 19, 1960;[5] temperatures have reached −25 °F (−32 °C) and 110 °F (43 °C) as recently as December 22, 1990 and July 1, 2013, respectively.

Climate data for Boise, Idaho (Boise Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 63
Average high °F (°C) 37.8
Average low °F (°C) 24.7
Record low °F (°C) −28
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.24
Snowfall inches (cm) 4.9
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.5 9.0 10.0 8.8 7.7 5.0 2.6 2.4 3.7 5.5 10.6 11.8 87.6
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 5.3 3.4 1.7 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 2.7 5.8 19.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 108.5 152.6 238.7 282.0 334.8 351.0 399.9 359.6 303.0 238.7 120.0 105.4 2,994.2
Source: NOAA (extremes 1877–present)[5][7]Hong Kong Observatory (sun only, 1961–1990)[8] The Weather Network[9]



Floating in the Boise River

Accounts differ about the origin of the name. One account credits Capt. B.L.E. Bonneville of the U.S. Army as its source. After trekking for weeks through dry and rough terrain, his exploration party reached an overlook with a view of the Boise River Valley. The place where they stood is called Bonneville Point, located on the Oregon Trail east of the city. According to the story, a French-speaking guide, overwhelmed by the sight of the verdant river, yelled "Les bois! Les bois!" ("The wood! The wood!")—and the name stuck.

The name may instead derive from earlier mountain men, who named the river that flows through it. In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity. Set in a high-desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a distinct landmark. They called this "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river."[10]


Natives, and those who have lived in the area for a long time, use the pronunciation /ˈbɔɪsiː/ (BOY-see). This is the pronunciation given on the city's website.[11] The pronunciation is sometimes used as a shibboleth by native Boiseans and other longtime residents, as outsiders tend to pronounce the city's name as /ˈbɔɪziː/ (BOY-zee).[12]

Parts of the city[]

Businesses along Main St.

Boise occupies a large area — 64 sq mi (170 km2) according to the United States Census Bureau. Like all major cities, it is composed of several neighborhoods. These include the Bench, the North End, West Boise and Downtown, among others.

Downtown Boise[]

Downtown Boise is Boise's cultural center and home to many small businesses and several high-rises. The area has a variety of shopping and dining choices. Centrally, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood is home to many local restaurants, bars and boutiques and supports a vibrant nightlife. The area contains the Basque Block, which gives visitors a chance to learn and enjoy 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[13] on Capitol in front of Julia Davis Park, and Zoo Boise located on the grounds of Julia Davis Park.[14]

Downtown Boise's economy was threatened in the late 1990s by extensive growth around the Boise Towne Square Mall[15] (away from the city center) and an increasing number of shopping centers, which have sprung up around new housing developments. Events such as Alive after Five[16] and First Thursday[17] were created to combat this trend.

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 unique blue playing field at the 37,000-seat Bronco Stadium on the BSU campus, home to the Boise State Broncos football team, is a major city landmark. Other cultural and sports centers in the area include the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and Taco Bell Arena. Broadway Avenue to the east and south of the BSU campus features many college-themed bars and restaurants.

The North End[]

Hyde Park

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. Downtown Boise is visible from Camel's Back Park.[18] On 13th Street, Hyde Park[19] is home to restaurants and other businesses. The North End also hosts events such as the annual Hyde Park Street Fair. In 2008, the American Planning Association (APA) designated Boise's North End one of 10 Great Neighborhoods.[20]

Southwest Boise[]

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. Since this has been lifted, there has been widespread growth of new homes and neighborhoods. The area lies near Interstate 84, theaters, shopping, the airport, golf and the Boise Bench area.

Northwest Boise[]

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. Northwest Boise has some pockets of older homes with a similar aesthetic to the North End. Downtown is minutes away, as is Veteran's Memorial Park[21] and easy access to the Boise Greenbelt. Across the river sits the Boise Bench and to the west are the bedroom communities of Eagle, Star, and Middleton.

Warm Springs and East End[]

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). The area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise's fault line and warm many of the homes in the area. The Natotorium public swim center is located here.

East Boise and Harris Ranch[]

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, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Southeast Boise[]

Southeast Boise spans from Boise State University to Micron Technology – all areas between Federal Way and the Boise River. The older area just south of the University can be described as a cross between the North End and the Boise bench. The rest of Southeast Boise was developed in the last thirty years with suburban-style homes. Columbia Village subdivision and the older Oregon Trail Heights were the first major planned communities in Southeast Boise with an elementary and middle school all within walking distance from all homes. The subdivision is located at the intersections of Interstate 84, Idaho 21, and Federal Way (former U.S. Highway), which are all major arteries to get anywhere in Boise. The subdivision, a baseball complex, and swimming pools were developed around the Simplot Sports complex. The fields are built over an old landfill and dump, and the fields and gravel parking lot allow radon gases to escape through the ground.

On August 25, 2008 at about 7:00 pm, a fire started near Amity and Holcomb during a major windstorm. It destroyed 10 houses and damaged 9. Boise State University linguistics professor Mary Ellen Ryder lost her life in the fire.[22]

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 this sudden rise, giving the appearance of a step, or bench. The Bench (or Benches, there are three actual benches in the Boise Valley) was created as an ancient shoreline to the old river channel. The Bench is home to the Boise Union Pacific Depot and older residential neighborhoods similar to those in the North End. Due south of the Bench is the Boise Airport.[23]

West Boise[]

West Boise is home to Boise Towne Square Mall, the largest in the state, as well as numerous restaurants, strip malls, and residential developments ranging from new subdivisions to apartment complexes. The Ada County jail and Hewlett Packard's printing division are also located here. It is relatively the flattest section of Boise, with sweeping views of the Boise Front. West Boise also borders the city of Meridian, Idaho.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 1,899
1890 2,311 21.7%
1900 5,957 157.8%
1910 17,358 191.4%
1920 21,393 23.2%
1930 21,544 0.7%
1940 26,130 21.3%
1950 34,393 31.6%
1960 34,481 0.3%
1970 74,990 117.5%
1980 102,249 36.4%
1990 125,738 23.0%
2000 185,787 47.8%
2010 205,671 10.7%
Est. 2012 212,303 14.3%

2010 census[]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 205,671 people, 85,704 households, and 50,647 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,591.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,000.6 /km2). There were 92,700 housing units at an average density of 1,168.1 per square mile (451.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.0% White, 1.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.1% of the population.

There were 85,704 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44% were married couples living together, 10% had a woman householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a man householder with no wife present, and 41% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.

The median age in the city was 35. 23% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 26% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49% men and 51% women.


Overall, Boise is considered to be a safe city. Violent crimes have dropped from 775 incidences in 2006 to 586 in 2007, murders however increased from one in 2004 to nine in 2007. In 2007, there were 3,211 crimes per 100,000 residents.[26]


Boise is the headquarters for several major companies, such as Boise Cascade LLC, Albertsons, J.R. Simplot Company, Idaho Pacific Lumber Company, Idaho Timber, WinCo Foods,, The AIM Companies LLC and Clearwater Analytics. Other major industries are headquartered in Boise or have large manufacturing facilities present. The state government is also one of the city's largest employers.

The area's largest private, locally-based, publicly traded employer is Micron Technology.[27] Others include IDACORP, Inc., the parent company of Idaho Power, Idaho Bancorp, Boise, Inc., American Ecology Corp., PCS Inc. and Syringa Bancorp.

Technology investment and the high-tech industry have become increasingly important to the city, with businesses including Hewlett Packard, Healthwise,,, ClickBank, MobileDataForce, MarkMonitor, Sybase, Balihoo, Intracon NA,[28] and Microsoft. The call center industry is also a major source of employment; there are over 20 call centers in the city employing more than 7,000 people, including WDSGlobal ( a xerox company), EDS, Teleperformance, DIRECTV and T-Mobile.[29]

Varney Air Service, founded by Walter Varney, was formed in Boise, though headquartered at Pasco, Washington. The original airmail contract was from Pasco to Elko, Nevada with stops in Boise in both directions. The company is the root of present day United Airlines, which still serves the city at the newly renovated and upgraded Boise Airport.

Top employers[]

According to Boise's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[30] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 State of Idaho (includes BSU) 14,300
2 St. Luke’s Health System 8,000
3 Walmart 7,136
4 Micron Technology 5,000
5 Simplot 3,400
6 Hewlett-Packard 3,000
7 Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center 2,960
8 Wells Fargo 2,278
9 Idaho Power 2,038
10 Fred Meyer 1,905


Downtown Boise as seen from the Boise Bench
Downtown Boise as seen from the Boise Bench
Boise, Idaho from Camelsback Park.
Boise, Idaho from Camelsback Park.
Boise, Idaho from the Aspen Condos and Lofts.
Boise, Idaho from the Aspen Condos and Lofts.


The Boise School District includes 31 elementary schools, 8 junior high schools, 5 high schools and 2 specialty schools.[31] Part of the Meridian School District (now the largest in Idaho) 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 Meridian district's Centennial. Boise's private schools include the Catholic Bishop Kelly, Foothills School of Arts and Sciences, and the International Baccalaureate-accredited Riverstone International School.

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 2012, the city has one law school, the Concordia University School of Law.[32] UI plans to open a third-year law program from its college of law. 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[33] is the only Basque pre-school outside of the Basque Country.


Boise Art Museum

Numbering about 15,000, Boise's ethnic Basque community is the largest such community in the United States and the fifth largest in the world outside Mexico, Argentina, Chile and the Basque Country in Spain and France. A large Basque festival known as Jaialdi is held once every five years (next in 2015). Downtown Boise features a vibrant section known as the "Basque Block". Boise's mayor, David H. Bieter, is of Basque descent. Boise is also a sister region of the Basque communities.

Boise is also a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music. The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is hosted in Boise each spring. Several theater groups operate in the city, including the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Little Theatre, Boise Contemporary Theater, and Prairie Dog Productions, among others. The Treefort Music Fest in early March features emerging bands.

On the first Thursday of each month, a gallery stroll known as First Thursday is hosted in the city's core business district by the Downtown Boise Association. The city also has the Egyptian Theatre as a renovated venue. In the fall, Downtown Boise hosts a film festival called Idaho International Film Festival. The city is also home to several museums, including the Boise Art Museum, Idaho Historical Museum, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, Idaho Black History Museum, Boise WaterShed and the Discovery Center of Idaho.

Boise also has a thriving performing arts community. The Boise Philharmonic,[34] now in its 49th season, under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Robert Franz continues to grow musically, and introduces excellent guest artists and composers year after year. The dance community is represented by the resurgent Ballet Idaho[35] under artistic director Peter Anastos, and the nationally known and critically acclaimed[36] Trey McIntyre Project[37] also make their home in Boise. All of these perform at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts,[38] on the Boise State University campus. The Morrison Center also hosts local and national fine arts performances. Rounding out the classical performing arts is Opera Idaho,[39] under the direction of Mark Junkert, which brings grand Opera to various venues throughout the Treasure Valley.

The Boise City Department of Arts and History was created in 2008 with the goal of promoting the arts, culture, and history of the city among its residents and visitors.[40] Since 1978 Boise City had a public arts commission like many cities to promote public art and education. The Arts Commission provided expert advice on public art installations to the city and private groups, as well as to develop many educational programs within the city promoting the arts. In 2008 the City and the Arts Commission made the decision to introduce history into the scope of the art commission and rename this new commission the Boise City Department of Arts and History.[41]

The Boise City Department of Arts and History oversees several ongoing projects and programs related to art, culture, and history, and a number of short-term projects at any given time. Some ongoing projects include: Maintenance of a public art collection valued at over $3 million,[42] Creation and maintenance of city historical and art walks and tours,[43] Maintenance of a city historical research collection,[44] Artists in Residence,[45] and the Fettuccine Forum.[46]

Idaho Historical Museum

In 2013, Boise celebrated its sesquicentennial, the commemoration was also known as the Boise 150. The commemoration was led by the City of Boise's Department of Arts & History. The Department of Arts & History focused the commemoration around the themes of Enterprise, Community, and Environment. For the sesquicentennial year, the Department of Arts 7 History inhabited a storefront at 1008 Main St. This Boise 150 headquarters, also known as the Sesqui-Shop operated as a store, exhibit space, and event venue. Local merchants produced authentic local products as part of the sesquicentennial. Sesquicentennial events included, Thinking 150, Anniversary Weekend, Re-Art Children's Program, Sesqui-Speaks, and Walk 150. Legacy pieces of the sesquicentennial included the Share Your Story Program, a Commemorative book featuring local writers, and a commemorative CD featuring local musicians. As part of the sesquicentennial, the Department of Arts & History also awarded a Legacy Grant to the Shoshone-Bannock Culture Committee, as well as 36 smaller community grants.

According to a 2012 study performed by Americans for the Arts, arts, both public and private, in Boise is a forty-eight million dollar per year industry.[47] The same study also cited the arts in and around Boise as a supplier of jobs for about 1600 people and producer of roughly $4.4 million in revenue to state and local government.

The Boise Centre on the Grove is an 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) convention center that hosts a variety of events, including international, national, and regional conventions, conferences, banquets, and consumer shows. It is located in the heart of downtown Boise and borders the Grove Plaza, which hosts numerous outdoor functions throughout the year.

The Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center offers water features and wildlife experiences just east of downtown. It is located adjacent to Municipal Park.[21] It features live fish and wildlife exhibits, viewing areas into the water, bird and butterfly gardens, waterfalls and a free visitor's center.

Boise has diverse and vibrant religious communities. The Jewish community's Ahavath Beth Israel Temple, completed 1896, is the nation's oldest continually used temple west of the Mississippi. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated a temple there in 1984 and the Boise Hare Krishna Temple opened in August 1999.[48]

Boise (along with Valley and Boise Counties) hosted the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. More than 2,500 athletes from over 85 countries participated.[49]

In 1972, John Waters set the final scene of his low-budget film Pink Flamingos in Boise.[50]

Professional sports[]

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Boise Hawks Northwest League Baseball Memorial Stadium 1987 6
Idaho Steelheads ECHL Ice hockey CenturyLink Arena Boise 1996 2
Idaho Stampede D-League Basketball CenturyLink Arena Boise 1997 1

Major attractions[]

Capitol building in July

Carousel in Zoo Boise

A number of recreational opportunities are available in Boise, including extensive hiking and biking in the foothills to the immediate north of downtown. Much of this trail network is part of Hull's Gulch and can be accessed by 8th street. An extensive urban trail system called the Boise River Greenbelt runs along the river. The Boise River itself is a common destination for fishing, swimming and rafting.

In Julia Davis Park is Zoo Boise, which has over 200 animals representing over 80 species from around the world. An Africa exhibit, completed in 2008, is the most recent addition.[51] Boise is also home to the Idaho Aquarium.

The Bogus Basin ski area opened in 1942 and hosts multiple winter activities, primarily alpine skiing and snowboarding, but also cross-country skiing and snow tubing. "Bogus" is 16 mi (26 km) from the city limits (less than an hour drive from downtown) on a twisty paved road which climbs 3400 vertical feet (1036 m) through sagebrush and forest.

Professional sports teams in Boise include the Boise Hawks of the short-season Class A Northwest League (minor league baseball), the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL (minor league hockey), the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League (minor league basketball), and the Treasure Valley Spartans (semi-pro football) of the (Rocky Mountain Football League). An arenafootball2 franchise, the Boise Burn, began play in 2007 but is now defunct.

On the sports entertainment front, Boise is home to an all-female, DIY, flat track roller derby league, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls, which on Labor Day Weekend 2010 hosted an international, two-day, double elimination tournament, the first Spudtown Knockdown,[52][53] featuring eight teams from throughout the American West and Canada.[54][55]

The Boise State University campus is home to Bronco Stadium, the 36,800 seat[56] football and track stadium known for its blue Field Turf field; and Taco Bell Arena, a 12,000 seat basketball and entertainment venue which opened in 1982 as the BSU Pavilion. Boise State University is known primarily for the recent successes of its football team, although it is also a fairly well regarded commuter school for undergraduate students.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl football game (formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl and the MPC Computers Bowl) is held in late December each year, and pairs a team from the Western Athletic Conference with a Mid-American Conference team.

The World Center for Birds of Prey is located just outside city limits, and is a key part of the re-establishment of the Peregrine Falcon and the subsequent removal from the Endangered Species list. The center is currently breeding the very rare California condor, among many other rare and endangered species.

The city has been cited by publications like Forbes, Fortune and Sunset for its quality of life.

The cornerstone mall in Boise, Boise Towne Square Mall, is also a major shopping attraction for Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, and surrounding areas. The mall received upgrades and added several new retailers in 1998 and 2006.

The state's largest giant sequoia can be found near St. Luke's Hospital.[57]


The greater-Boise area is served by two daily newspapers, The Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Press-Tribune, a free alternative newsweekly, Boise Weekly, a weekly business news publication Idaho Business Review, and a quarterly lifestyle magazine, Boise Magazine. In addition to numerous radio stations, Boise has five major commercial television stations that serve the greater Boise area. There are four major news outlets, KTVB (NBC), KBOI-TV (CBS), KIVI-TV (American Broadcasting Company; sister Fox station KNIN-TV airs additional KIVI newscasts), and Idaho Public Television.


The major Interstate serving Boise is I-84, which connects Boise with Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, residents in the Boise area are served with Interstate 184 (locally known as "The Connector"), a nearly five-mile stretch of freeway connecting I-84 with the downtown Boise area. Highway 55 branches outward northeast. There is a network of bike paths, such as the Boise River Greenbelt, throughout the city and surrounding region. Among US cites, Boise has the seventh highest amount of bicycle commuters per capita with 3.9% of commuters riding to work. This is commonly attributed to students and faculty of Boise State University, the largest center for higher learning in the state.[58]

Public transportation includes a series of bus lines operated by ValleyRide. In addition, the Downtown Circulator, a proposed streetcar system, is in its planning stage.[59]

Commercial air service is provided at the Boise Municipal Airport. The terminal was recently renovated to accommodate the growing number of passengers flying in and out of Boise. It is served by Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. The east end of the airport is home to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Gowen Field Air National Guard Base occupies the south side of the field.


Boise frequently receives national recognition for its quality of life and business climate. Some recent national rankings:

  • The Best and Worst Cities for Men 2013: #1 (Men's Health)[60]
  • Best drivers in America: # 2 (Allstate Insurance, 2011)[61]
  • Best Towns 2010: #1 Overall Town in Western U.S. (Outside Magazine) [62]
  • Top Ten Cities to Live In: #10 [63]
  • One of the 10 best places to live: (U.S. News & World Report, 2009)[64]
  • Best places for business and careers: # 2 (Forbes Magazine, 2008)[65]
  • Urban environment report card: # 6 (Earth Day Network, 2007)
  • Boomtowns: Hottest mid-size cities for entrepreneurs: # 9 (, 2007)[66][67]
  • Most secure places to live (500,000 or more residents): # 1 (Farmers Insurance 2006)[68]

Notable people[]

BoDo [69] district in Downtown

Boise's Carnegie Public Library opened in 1905 on Washington St. and remained at that site until the library moved in 1973. [70]

  • Robert Adler, inventor[71]
  • William Agee, businessman[72]
  • Joe Albertson, the founder of the Albertsons chain of grocery stores and
  • Kathryn Albertson, wife of Joe Albertson and notable philanthropist; born in Boise.[73]
  • Cecil Andrus, Idaho's only 4-term governor, secretary of the interior[74]
  • James Jesus Angleton, former chief of the CIA counter-intelligence staff
  • Steve Appleton, businessman and aviation enthusiast[75]
  • Kristin Armstrong, cycling gold medalist[76]
  • Matthew Barney, artist[77]
  • Bill Buckner, former Major League Baseball player[78]
  • Maggie Carey, director, writer[79]
  • John P. Cassidy, Los Angeles City Council member, 1962–67, born in Boise
  • Frank Church, U.S. senator, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee[80]
  • John Sanford Cole, Navy Cross recipient[81]
  • Heather Cox, sportscaster
  • John M. Haines, mayor and governor[82]
  • Mark Gregory Hambley, ambassador[83]
  • Gene Harris, jazz musician[84]
  • Michael Hoffman, movie director[85]
  • Howard W. Hunter, religious leader[86]
  • Eilen Jewell, Singer-songwriter and band leader.[87]
  • Scott Jorgensen, Mixed Martial Artist[88]
  • Dirk Kempthorne, mayor, governor, senator, and secretary of the interior[89]
  • George Kennedy, actor
  • Youth Lagoon, indie band, Trevor Powers
  • Mark Levine, jazz musician and educator
  • Doug Martsch, musician and songwriter
  • Bonnie McCarroll, rodeo performer[90]
  • Brett Nelson, musician and songwriter
  • Reginald Owen, character actor[91]
  • Thom Pace, musician and songwriter
  • Aaron Paul, actor[92]
  • Jeret Peterson, Olympic Silver Medalist, 2010 Winter Olympics, Freestyle Skiing[93]
  • William Petersen, television actor[94]
  • Jake Plummer, football quarterback[95]
  • Paul Revere, musician[96]
  • Brian Scott, auto racer[97]
  • Jeremy Shada, voice actor (Adventure Time)
  • Frank Shrontz, businessman[98]
  • J.R. Simplot, businessman
  • Robert Smylie, governor[99]
  • Michael J. Squier, United States Army Brigadier General and Deputy Director of the Army National Guard[100]
  • Gary Stevens, jockey[101]
  • Curtis Stigers, musician and songwriter
  • Kristine Sutherland, television actress
  • Wayne Walker, football linebacker and broadcaster[102]
  • Viola S. Wendt, poet
  • Torrie Wilson, model, entertainer and professional wrestler

Photo gallery[]


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Further reading[]

External links[]

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Template:Treasure Valley

Coordinates: 43°36′50″N 116°14′16″W / 43.613739, -116.237651

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Boise, Idaho. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.