Boise, Idaho
Travel Guides

Boise, Idaho: Location Guide

Boise, Idaho is a fast growing city located in a gorgeous pocket of Idaho aptly named the “Treasure Valley”. It is rapidly becoming “the place” to move. People are migrating from California, Oregon, Washington, and frankly, all over the U.S., to this small city with ultimate vibes of coolness. It’s being called the “new Denver” as out-of-staters flock there for the views, outdoor recreation activities, new foodie hot spots, and that legendary western ambiance.

Oh, and just so there is no confusion it’s ‘boi-see’, not ‘boy-zee’

Where to Live- Best Places for Travel Nursing in Boise

West Boise (Garden City)– As the name suggests, this area is west of downtown Boise. It’s centrally located with just a short commute to downtown, and also close to Meridian and Nampa. There are a lot of dining and shopping options off Eagle Rd. The Greenbelt runs right through it, making outdoor recreation easy. Garden City is rapidly becoming more popular as the city grows and gentrifies areas that may not have been so residential. 

Boise Bench– What used to be a vast desert-y area of elevated plateau just south of downtown Boise, now is home to orchards, farms, creameries, and tons of residential homes with great views. “The Bench”, as locals call it, is just a step above Boise, but it allows some awesome views of the Boise Mountains that frame the city

Southeast and Northeast Boise– These neighborhoods are only separated by the Boise River. A little bit outside the city, nestled in the foothills, there is a more suburban feel in these places. There are plenty of coffeeshops, boutiques, and restaurants to choose from without having to drive downtown. 

North End– The northern parts of Boise tend to be the most expensive neighborhoods for cost of living. Close to downtown and the entrance to the mountains, this area offers tons of foodie spots and eclectic shops. Some of the houses are over 100 years old, and the area offers something for everyone. 

Downtown and West End– Both of these areas are filled with parks, Greenbelt access, eateries, wineries, breweries, and more. There are condos and apartment buildings lining the streets, making central living easy. People love West Boise for downtown access and an easy commute to areas like Nampa and Meridian.

Cost of Living in Boise

The costs of living in Boise and its surrounding areas are similar to Denver as well. Rent Cafe states that 43% of residents rent homes in Boise. Rent Jungle reports average costs for a 1 bedroom in Boise as $1091 and $1185 for a 2 bedroom apartment. Furnished Finder has rooms available from approximately $650- $900 per month, 1 bedroom/studios for $900-$1900, and 2 bedroom units from $1800-$2900. 

Travel Nursing Hospitals in Boise

Hospitals in Boise are travel-nurse friendly. There are several large health systems and a variety of acute care and long term care facilities. 

Saint Alphonsus Health System– This healthcare system is spread out over Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada, with several locations in the Boise area. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center was the first medical center in Boise, founded in 1894, and brought much-needed care to an underserved population. It is the only level II trauma center serving the metro area of Boise. Fun fact, there are NO level I trauma centers in Idaho. The 381-bed acute care hospitals serves as the community health center for many of Boise’s residents. 

St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center– And Idaho-based not-for-profit health system, their main campus is in Boise, but they also have locations in the nearby suburbs of Meridian and Nampa (both are within 30 min drive from Boise). Not far behind Saint Alphonsus, this system was founded in 1902 and the 437 bed medical center specializes in stroke and cardiac care. They also have high level pediatric care in Idaho’s only  children’s hospital

Travel Nurse Pay Rates in Boise 

Travel Nursing jobs in Boise right now are seeing higher than average rates. Pay packages for Boise, ID travel nursing jobs are $2000-$3300 per week! If you can claim a permanent tax home, you are eligible for tax-free housing and per diem stipends, increasing your take-home after taxes!

Boise Things to Do

Bogus Basin– This ski mountain is located only 16 miles from Boise. They offer downhill skiing for all ages, tubing, nordic skiing, fat tire mountain biking, and snowshoeing. A night skiing pass is only $99 for the season! They also have great summer activities like traditional mountain biking and horseback riding. Take a ride on their mountain coaster for some downhill thrill!

Sledding at Camel’s Back Park– An 11 acre urban park, Camel’s Back has year round outdoor fun. In the winter, the grassy hills are snow covered with perfect chutes for sledding tracks. Residents of Boise love coming here for some winter fun after a good storm. 

The Greenbelt– The Boise River Greenbelt is a 25 mile trail that meanders along the river, through the heart of the city. The smattering of parks along the trail are referred to as “The Ribbon of Jewels” and are notably named for remarkable women and their civil commitments to the community. Some of the ponds along the Greenbelt are stocked with fish for the pole and rod folks out there. 

Boise River Park Surf Wave– Boise even has something for the surfers, despite lacking a major coastline. The city has built the first part of a whitewater park for the surfers, kayakers, and paddle boarders on the Boise River. There is a ‘wave shaper’ that alters the shape of the wave for water enthusiasts to enjoy as long as the river is flowing! How many major cities can you surf inside city limits??

Kathryn Albertson Park– 41 acres of footpaths, gazebos, bird watching, and peaceful quiet fill this sanctuary in Boise. 

Capital City Public Market– An open air market held Wednesdays and Saturdays featuring fresh local produce, meat, and unique odds and ends. The pedestrian-only market is dog friendly and packed full of delicious treats to be enjoyed alongside sips of Saturday morning wine.

Foodie Spots

I could write pages about the Boise foodie experience. There are restaurants and cafes popping up all over the place, and they all deserve a try! The gentrification of certain neighborhoods is providing unique dining experiences by the mouthful. Experiencing Boise by way of food is a great chance to get cozy and devour some absolutely mind-blowing food. Here a few places to get you started:

Fork– Fondue, short ribs, burgers, trout, and loads of tasty food, this restaurant is a Boise staple. They have an excellent brunch and comfort food is their jam. 

Bacon– The name obviously means there are tons of unique bacon dishes on the menu- like bacon lasagna. But, their other breakfast options are equally as yummy and there is a lot to choose from. Open 7 days a week until 2pm.

Red Feather Lounge– A cozy atmosphere welcomes you to this lounge-like restaurant serving a seasonal menu that is sparkled with spectacular fare (there were butterscotch beignets when I looked!!). Locals and tourists alike flock here for a palate pleasing experience.

Goldy’s – Maybe the best breakfast in America, this popular bistro is renowned for its freshness and perfect breakfasts. A huge menu that is locally sourced, coupled with a fantastic and it’s no wonder they are voted best in Boise. 

Moon’s Kitchen Cafe–  A homey diner serving breakfast and lunch, this cafe hits the spot. The warm vibes and friendly staff make the experience extra special.  

Day Trips for Exploring Idaho and Surrounding States

There is a ton of area to explore in Idaho and the surrounding states. Overnight and day trips can get you into Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and the rest of gorgeous Idaho. The Treasure Valley is surrounded by fossil beds, national forests, massive mountains, canyons, and crystal clear rivers. There is never a lack of area for exploration. 

Idaho Hot Springs– Idaho is littered with hot springs throughout the state. Some are resorts that have been converted for your convenience, and some are rustic tubs in the middle of nowhere that promote solitude and a relaxing soak. The Springs in Idaho City is less than one hour from Boise and is a great place to get acquainted with hot springs if you have never had this truly chill-out experience. 

Rent a BackCountry Yurt– In the forests surrounding Idaho you can experience the winter wonderlands without being an expert skier or avid snowshoer. Picture yourself sipping on cocoa in one of the yurts within 90 minute of Boise as you gaze out onto the sparkling snow.

Twin Falls- Just over 2 hours from Boise, you can see the ‘Niagara Falls of the West’. Shoshone Falls (actually higher than Niagara) is the main attraction.

Snake River Wine Tasting– Hire a car and guide to lead you to some of the most amazing wine in the Treasure Valley. The wineries stay open year round- so hop in a van and get cozy while you prepare to experience some of the tastiest wine west of the Mississippi.

Public Transportation 

The Valley Regional Transit system offers buses and other shared ride systems to help the flow of traffic and get commuters into the downtown and central areas. The transit system provides transportation from outlying areas, such as Nampa, with a smart-booking program that enhances the efficiency of their routes. 

Weather and Best Time to Take a Travel Nurse Job in Idaho

Winters are temperate in Boise, with January being the coldest month having lows in the 20s, and highs in the 30s. Otherwise, winter months see highs in the 40s, and lows in the 30s. The warmest month in Boise is July with highs in the mid 90s and lows in the 50s. The average snowfall in Boise is only 18 inches per year, but the surrounding foothills and mountains see significantly more. 

Idaho is stunning year-round. Each season offers unique opportunities for outdoor recreation and fun. The view of the mountains from Boise rivals those of other western mountain towns. Fabulous food is served up year round, and the ski season in Idaho is underrated. Summer provides hiking and mountain biking opportunities, but winter is a divine peaceful paradise that is special for locals and visitors. 

Find your next travel nursing job in Boise on NurseFly!

Rachel Norton BSN, RN

I have been a critical care nurse since 2007. I grew up in the northeast but enjoy every corner of the country. My passions are people and travel. Travel nursing allows me to meet amazing people and satisfy my wanderlust. I love inspiring other nurses to travel and expand their practice.

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