Tis the season for reflecting and thinking about what we are thankful for. We thought of endless reasons why we should be grateful for living in the Gem State. Here are our top ten.
#10 – Weather
Idaho has a four-climate season so we get to enjoy a little bit of all Mother Nature’s magic: majestic snow-covered landscapes in the winter, light rain and beautiful blossoms in the spring, long and sunny summer days and a cool, colorful fall season. Not to mention, our high desert climate with hot, dry days and cool nights is pretty darn perfect.
#9 – Entertainment
The entertainment scene in Idaho is top notch from live theatre (Idaho Shakespeare Festival), local comedy, movie theaters, sports (we have blue turf), concerts and more! No matter your musical style — blues, fiddling (we host the National Oldtime Fiddlers Final, how rad is that?), hip-hop, Indie, EDM, classical, country, rock — Idaho is home to some incredible music talent, boasted at the Huckleberry Jam, Treefort Music Fest and the Boise Music Festival, just to name a few.
#8 – Elbow Room
Idaho has a winning combo of vast wide open spaces and cities which make it a fantastic place to live. Take a look at Boise for example, the state’s largest populated area is home to just over 200,000 residents ranking it #99 in the Top 100 US most populated cities. And Idaho natives are more than happy keeping it that way!
Let’s face it, we are downright nice people here in Idaho. Whether it’s a warm smile, a quick wave from a bike commuter, a 20-minute conversation with a stranger standing in line at Costco or a simple “hello” from a passerby in the hustle and bustle of downtown, the state of Idaho has some of the friendliest folks around.
#6 – Safety
In the Gem State, there are people who don’t even bother to lock their doors when they leave the house. Not saying we recommend it, however, it’s true, Idaho is one of the safest places to live with it’s biggest and most populous city, Boise, being ranked in the Top 25 Safest Cities to Live in America by Business Insider.
#5 – Outdoor Adventures
If you enjoy being outside, Idaho is the place to be. And with a landscape that ranges from desert to mountains with bountiful lakes and rivers in between, there isn’t anything you can’t do here! Whether your thrill is skiing, white water rafting, hiking, trail running, biking, fishing, kayaking, camping, hunting, rock climbing or surfing sand dunes – there is literally something here for the outdoor adventure enthusiast in everyone. If you’re looking for outdoor fun in Idaho, visit the Idaho Tourism website.
#4 – Cost of Living
Overall Idaho is a very reasonable state to live, especially when compared to our neighboring states. From the cost of houses to groceries, utilities, healthcare and transportation, Idaho is tough to beat! Did you know? The city of Nampa, ID was ranked #8 on Livabilitys Top 10 Best Affordable Places to Live 2015.
#3 – The Wilderness
Did we mention Idaho’s mountains and rivers? What about the rolling foothills with endless trails, pristine alpine lakes, roaring rapids, lush forests, hot springs and sand dunes? How about the state and city parks around every corner? Fact: The wilderness in Idaho is absolutely breathtaking. There is so much to explore and enjoy in this state from America’s deepest river gorge (Hells Canyon) to a vast ocean of lava flows and cinder cones (Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve).
Looking for an Idaho wilderness adventure? Check out the Idaho Tourism website.
#2 – Idaho’s Wine and Beer Industry
Regardless if consuming adult beverages is your thing or not, it’s hard to look past the fact that here in Idaho we have an outstanding local wine and beer scene. Our wine industry, which now has three AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas), is gaining national recognition for our award winning vinos. Visit a vineyard or winery and you will experience some of the most phenomenal views and finest wines with new tasting rooms popping up all over the state. And craft beer is booming! Did you know that Idaho is the #1 producer of barley and the #3 hop grower (the main ingredients in beer, other than water, which we have some fresh natural spring water here too!). So not only are our brew pubs local, they are using local ingredients in their craft beverages too, which we think is super cool.
#1 – Agriculture and Local Food
With agriculture and food and beverage processing contributing to 20% of Idaho’s sales each year, our top reason why Idaho is so awesome is both an economic driver and a palate pleaser. Idahoans are lucky to live in a state that is rich and diverse in local food. Of course we are known for potatoes, but did you know that we are the #1 producer of trout, #2 in sugar beets and alfalfa hay (which feeds our cows), #3 in milk and cheese and a top ten producer of apples, cherries, peaches and plums?! We produce a diverse and plentiful amount of fresh, local food that can be found right outside your front door. With farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants using Idaho grown and raised products there’s always an opportunity to eat local and support Idaho’s economy. And if you choose to support local, you know that our food just tastes better too. From our outstanding growing climate and conditions to the hardworking men and women who grow and raise our food, Idaho agriculture products are fresh, nutritious and delicious!