I'll try to remain impartial on certain things, because I know different people want different things in a city. Boise by itself has around 218,000 people. But if you include the nearby towns/suburbs it is approximately 435,000 people. It is growing quickly and there are a lot of people moving here, especially coming from California and Texas. Traffic is getting worse, I don't think the city planned for so many people to move here so quickly. As far as weather, summers are very hot. You can expect about two weeks of 100+ degrees, and the rest to be in the nineties. Sometimes the smoke from wildfires gets stuck in the valley and makes the air quality terrible. But usually it doesn't last too long. Fall is short and cool. Winters are mild. We get snow, just not a huge amount. Except this last winter, we broke the record for the amount of snowfall. Normally we get less than 2 feet on the valley floor. It's a 45 -60 minute drive up the hill to bogus basin ski resort where there's a lot more snow. Most people here can't drive in the snow. There are a ton of car accidents whenever it snows more than a couple inches. There are inversions in the winter so the air quality isn't great. Spring is nice but by June it's already hot. It's very dry here. We live in a desert. Boise is considered the "city of trees" because as early settlers were crossing the desert, they came across the tree lined Boise River. Everything here is irrigated, otherwise everything not directly next to the river would die. Around town there are trees, but once you get outside the city limits everything is desert like. Sagebrush everywhere. Until you get up to the higher elevations anyway. Crime here is low compared to similar sized cities, however there has been an increase in home robberies in certain areas. Idaho is a "red" state. Very Republican. And lots of people who are LDS/Mormon. Lots of churches, and two temples in the area. Because of this, a number of stores and restaurants are closed on Sundays, and good luck finding a liquor store that's open after 9 (6 on Sundays). There is very minimal "night life" here. There's some bars and clubs, and a growing brewery scene. No casinos here, but you can still play the lottery and try your luck at scratch tickets. Most of the people here are either White or Hispanic. Very few people of other races. Idaho as a whole isn't very LGBTQ friendly, but Boise is a little better. There's been a few gay pride events, but not a lot. Schools here aren't great. Although the sports and music programs at some of them are really good. But there was a kid who graduated this year from one of the high schools that I wouldn't consider good, but he got accepted to all of the Ivy League schools. If you are into doing things outdoors, you'll enjoy it here. There's lots of hiking and biking trails, the Greenbelt is especially nice as it goes along the river. Camping, (scenic)horseback riding, white water rafting, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and tubing are all within a hour and a half drive. Boise also has many themed 5k runs. Bubble run, inflatable run, and wine run are some examples. There's a lot for families with kids to do here. There are a lot of different parks to take them to. We have a zoo, an aquarium(it's small), ice rink, sledding hills, skate parks, a really nice water park, arcades, mini golf, bumper cars, batting cages, lazer tag, and bowling. There's a nice music and art scene here. There's a number of different concert venues in the area. There are a few different art sculptures around town in addition to the art museum. One of the alleys in downtown is all graphitied and is kind of cool to take pictures at. Downtown Boise is safe to walk through, even at night. If you want a different feel than downtown, you can head over to the Village at Meridian. It's very nice, has a theater, gorgeous fountain, several nice restaurants and higher end stores, as well as small outdoor concerts during the summer, a mini ice rink in the winter. It's a popular place to go.
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Crime in Boise, IdahoMy family and I are considering moving to the area and are wanting to know if Boise has a low crime rate. Also, are there certain nearby cities or neighborhoods that are better than others? We have 4 young children and are looking for a safe area with good schools to relocate to.