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11 Best Neighborhoods in Boise, ID

By: Emily Kho
September 2, 2021

If you want to make a big move to the Gem State, you must know a few things. For starters, it’s a good idea to understand the cost of living in Idaho. Once you have an understanding, you can start focusing your search towards which city you’d like to live in. If Boise has caught your eye, you can begin sifting through the hundreds of apartments for rent in Boise.

Historically, Boise was developed for fur trappers, eventually becoming a booming gold town. Today, Boise is a recreationalist’s paradise and has even been ranked #11 in the Best Places to Live by U.S. News.

With so much to offer in one city, finding the best place to live can be challenging. Here is a look at the best neighborhoods in Boise to give you a better idea of where you should be searching for your next apartment.

1. Southeast Boise

Southeast Boise is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Boise. The location alone makes it an excellent place for anyone looking for quick and easy access to downtown, the river, and the greenbelt.

Boise State University calls Southeast Boise home, giving this neighborhood a slightly younger demographic than the rest of the city. There is plenty to do thanks to the influx of new businesses, including coffee shops and brunch spots opening up regularly. Despite being a college town, Southeast Boise still provides residents with a close-knit neighborly feel, and you’ll often see children playing around in the front yard.

Local landmarks in Southeast Boise include the Simplot Sports Complex, Brown Crossing, and Barber Park. The neighborhood seamlessly blends fun, young, urban living with the old-fashioned suburban feel.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Southeast Boise.

2. Central Bench

Another highly esteemed neighborhood of Boise is Central Bench. Historically, the Boise Bench was once a barren, uninhabited desert. However, over time, orchards, farms, and dairies began popping up in this area, making it more popular. Today Central Bench offers a blend of housing that ranges from its earliest homes of the 1950s to new construction.

This particular area of Boise is rich in culture, with a community that has countless traditions and several get-togethers throughout the year. The Central Bench Neighborhood Association keeps an updated list of events for residents to participate in, including the annual Chili Feed in December.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Central Bench.

3. Boise Heights

  • Population: 2,649
  • Median Household Income: $99,934
  • Walk Score: 10
  • Transit Score: 18
  • Bike Score: 26

Boise Heights, though a very condensed neighborhood, is one of the best places to live in the entire state. Anyone looking for a densely suburban living arrangement will enjoy living in this Ada County neighborhood.

This quiet area of Boise is home to many retirees, but that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do in Boise Heights. Here you will find a wide assortment of parks, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.

Additionally, the schools nearby Boise Heights are highly rated, making it an excellent place for young families looking for more land to call home.

4. Downtown Boise

Anyone looking for housing options in a more urban neighborhood should look to Downtown Boise. While still maintaining a sense of community that the city is known for, Downtown Boise offers countless entertainment, shopping, dining, and art options throughout.

Downtown Boise is the epicenter of meetings, conferences, government, and all other city-based businesses. Best of all, the Boise River Greenbelt runs through this neighborhood, and the foothills are a short bike ride away, making Downtown Boise centrally located to all things Boise.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Downtown Boise.

5. Hillcrest

Hillcrest, another Boise neighborhood located in Ada County, is another region that provides its residents with a sparse, suburban feel. One of the many reasons young professionals and families move to Hillcrest is to take advantage of many well-maintained parks in the area.

Some of the favorite local parks in the area include Cassia Park, Owyhee Park, and Phillippi Park. Generally speaking, this neighborhood has low crime rates and is a great place to raise a family thanks to highly ranked schools nearby.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Hillcrest.

6. East End

If you are looking for history and culture like none other in Boise, the East End is where you should consider planting your roots. The tranquil and tight-knit neighborhood has an unbeatable location to all of the greatest Boise offers. You can easily maintain an active, urban lifestyle with close proximity to downtown, all while enjoying the quiet suburban life at home.

Take a bike ride along the Greenbelt or visit the MK Nature Center, Kristin Armstrong Park, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, or the Idaho Botanical Garden, all located within the East End.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in the East End.

7. Central Hills

  • Population: 2,163
  • Median Household Income: $98,333
  • Walk Score: --
  • Transit Score: --
  • Bike Score: --

Central Hills is another highly-ranked Boise neighborhood. It primarily offers residents a strong sense of suburban living and is home to many families. Not surprisingly, schools near the Central Hills neighborhood all rank highly as well.

In addition to its excellent public schools, Central Hills ranks high in terms of jobs, outdoor activities, and health and fitness. This neighborhood offers plenty of parks, restaurants, and bars for residents to enjoy regularly.

This small neighborhood in Boise has a population of just over 2,000, which means you can anticipate a very tight-knit sense of community.

8. Maple Grove - Franklin

If you’re looking for a slightly larger neighborhood in the West Boise area, the Maple Grove - Franklin location might be ideal for you. With a population of just under ten thousand, this neighborhood is another small suburb of Boise. Unlike some other Boise neighborhoods, Maple Grove - Franklin has minimal public transportation and bike lanes, meaning you will have to have your vehicle to live comfortably here.

Some of the local restaurants in this dense suburban area include Tree City Juice and Smoothies, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, and LongHorn Steakhouse.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Maple Grove - Franklin.

9. North End

North End is one of the more prominent neighborhoods of Boise, boasting a comfortable and quaint lifestyle with quick and easy access to the booming downtown area. The charming streets of North End Boise are known as the City of Trees and are home to the famous Hyde Park.

If you’re interested in outdoor activities, North End is an excellent neighborhood for you. Some of the state’s most beloved activities, including mountain biking, golfing, camping, and skiing, are available in this neighborhood.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in North End.

10. Highlands

  • Population: 5,061
  • Median Household Income: $129,328
  • Walk Score: 13
  • Transit Score: 7
  • Bike Score: 29

The majority of Boise has similar development that began in the mid to late 1800s, but Highlands was developed by a small group of farmers along Crane Creek. It wasn’t until the 1950s that this region began to see the development it is known for today.

Highlands is not built on an urban grid but rather with curving streets following the surrounding geographical landmarks. Within Highlands, you’ll find 35 subdivisions, each with its own unique characteristics. Despite the expansive suburban feel, the Highlands area still has a strong sense of community.

11. Northeast

  • Population: 25,203
  • Median Household Income: $49,372
  • Walk Score: --
  • Transit Score: --
  • Bike Score: --

The Barber Valley neighborhood of Northeast Boise is one of the newest developments, with most of its own homes built in this century. This area has Lucky Peak for a backyard, so not surprisingly, those who call this area home tend to be heavily involved in outdoor activities like boating, biking, or walking.

Since Barber Valley in Northeast Boise is on the newer side, many young individuals and young families are drawn to this area. Still, Northeast Boise offers that sense of community the city is well-known for as well as a highly affordable cost of living.

Which Boise Neighborhood is Right for You?

No matter what you are looking for in Boise, whether it be close proximity to nature in Highlands or the hustle of Downtown Boise, there's something for everyone. Thankfully, some of the best places to live in Boise are still reasonably priced.

If you are interested in moving to Boise, Idaho now might be a good time to start your research. First, find out more information about the cost of living in Idaho. Next, register with Apartment List today and start checking out the hundreds of apartments for rent in Boise!

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Emily is a professionally trained writer who covers a wide range of topics but specializes in business and hospitality content. With over a decade of professional writing experience in the hospitality industry, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a BS from the world-renowned William F. Read More
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