According to the US Census Bureau, Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the country. From 2017 to 2018, the population increased by approximately 2.1 percent and is projected to keep growing. In other words, if you’re thinking of moving to Idaho, you’re in good company. And who can blame everyone for wanting to relocate to Idaho? The scenic western state is basically a living postcard. Home to towering mountains, evergreen forests, hot springs, charming towns—and yes, a whole bunch of potatoes—Idaho is the antidote to life in the big city. If you’re not already sold on it, here are seven reasons why you should consider calling the Gem State your new home:
Yes, the Sawtooth Mountain Really Are That Pretty
There’s no other mountain range quite like the Sawtooths. This section of the Rocky Mountains located in central Idaho is looks exactly as the name implies. Visit the quaint town of Stanley and gaze up at the jagged peaks, 57 of which rise to over 10,000 feet in elevation. Check out the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and hike, camp, fish, raft or simply sit and enjoy the wilderness. You’ll be roaming the same mountains that Ernest Hemingway once loved when he called this area home. Fans of the famous author can even visit his gravesite in Ketchum, Idaho.
There’s No Place Like Lake Coeur d'Alene
Witness the sparkling turquoise surface of Lake Coeur d'Alene and you’ll wonder if this body of water is actually the reason why they called Idaho the Gem State. When summer arrives, you’ll definitely want to head to Coeur d’Alene where you can fish for salmon, jet ski, hike and get a hole in one at the only floating green in the world at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.
The Potatoes Are Famous
Good news for french fry fans: Nobody grows potatoes like Idaho. The state is the top producer of spuds. Get them farm fresh and make some mashed potatoes, and then pay homage to the beloved dinnertime side by visiting the Spud Drive-In Movie Theatre in Driggs. Be sure to take a picture of the giant potato on the bed of a 1946 Chevrolet truck that you’ll see when you enter.
Idaho Skiing is Incredible
When it comes to ski resorts, Idaho is kind of a big deal. Sure, there’s the iconic Sun Valley area, where you just might find yourself riding the chairlift with celebrities, but there are plenty of other amazing ski resorts in Idaho that are worthy of buying a season pass to. Near Coeur d’Alene, you’ll find Silver Mountain, Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Lookout Pass. Other ski resorts in Idaho include Tamarack Resort, Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain.
There’s Plenty of Room to Roam
Idaho may be growing, but it still boasts the seventh lowest population density in the nation at just 21 people per square mile. If you’re looking for a big backyard or you’d rather not have neighbors, you can find space and solitude in Idaho.
The Cost of Living is Low in Idaho
There’s a reason why so many people are moving to Idaho from California. The cost of living is affordable, and you get more bang for your buck. According to Zillow, the median home value in Idaho is $275,100 and the median rent is $1,400 as of 2019. Compare that with California, where the median home value is $552,100 and the median rent price is literally double Idaho’s at $2,800, and you can see why Idaho is so appealing. Prices in Idaho are expected to rise by 7.1 percent in the next year, however, so now is the time to move.
Idaho is a Great Place to Find a Job
Coupled with affordable housing prices is this other key factor that makes Idaho a great place to call home: a promising job market. U.S. News studied each state’s unemployment rate and labor force and determined that Idaho is the seventh-best state for job growth. Major industries here include agriculture, education, architecture, outdoor recreation and tourism. Go forth and get that rafting guide instructor gig you’ve always wanted!