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Old 05-23-2012, 02:10 PM
246 posts, read 256,020 times
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I grew up in N. Idaho and most of my family now lives in Boise (I live in Houston) so I know a bit about these two cities. I prefer Boise myself. The OP listed this:

Spokane vs. Boise in terms of cultural amenenties, historic neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, and just quality of life in general for a younger professional new to the area.

Cultural amenities: Probably a tie, if you mean operas, concerts, museums, etc. Boise is the state capitol so has that as a plus. As far as universities, Boise has BSU, CofI, NNU, CWI. This probably matches up to Gonzaga, Whitworth and the other community colleges in Spokane

Historic Neighborhoods: Spokane became a city much earlier than Boise did (Boise's 1960 census pop was 35,000), so it may have the historic edge, but Boise' North End with Harrison Boulevard is fantastic. Warm Springs is also nice.

Vibrant Downtown: Boise's downtown is ALIVE. It matches up well with cities bigger than it. I am sure Spokane has some decent places but Boise has the edge here.

Quality of life: Spokane has nicer summers, but the winters are rough. Boise's summers are hot and dry, but shorter winters. Both places have four seasons. Climate is based on preference. As far as nature, both cities have nice rivers, Spokane has waterfalls and Boise has tubing and kayaking. Boise has mountains right near the city. Spokane has pine coveredrolling hills. Spokane has North Idaho nearby, but Boise has McCall, Sun Valley, and the Sawtooths. Both places are great for outdoors.

The OP asked about which is better for young professionals. Boise seems to have the edge in this area. Spokane seems to be a city geared towards people who are older or more working class. Spokane does have an old money aspect to it, whereas Boise is more of a place for up and comers.

Just my thoughts. If I could, I'd pack my bags and move to Boise in an instant, but if someone offered me a decent job in Spokane I'd jump on that as well. Over the two, Boise would be the best place for me.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:12 PM
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Default Boise is a great place for the young, old, conservative, and liberal

I've lived in Boise on and off for 20 years now.....every time I leave I miss it and always come back. I've also spent time in Spokane and have friends there. In my opinion Boise is the nicer city, with no offense to Spokane. Boise's weather is fantastic if you like four seasons, but do not like harsh winters. My favorite seasons are the spring and fall, but Boise summers are simply incredible.

Floating the Boise river, fishing, and boating are among my favorite water activities here. Boise has more than 200 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails along the foothills and has a paved greenbelt along the Boise river for biking and walking that spans over 20 miles with beautiful scenery. If you like skiing, Bogus Basin Ski Resort is only 20 miles up the mountains from downtown. Nightlife in Downtown Boise is pretty decent for a city of its size for both the young and old.

Economy- Boise has some pretty large employers including Micron, Albertsons Inc., Simplot, Hewlett-Packard, Boise Cascade, and Boise State University......which is a great school btw.

Crime is very low in Boise and there really are no dangerous or shady areas in the city.....unlike so many cities in Washington state that you really don't want to be walking in the wrong place after sunset. Traffic is not bad except in certain areas, like near the Boise Mall area during rush hour.

Politics are a perfect blend of conservative and liberal and mostly in between. If you are a hippie liberal the north-end is your hang-out. If you are an ultra conservative there are plenty of churches in which to meet like-minded folks.

I love this city and have never been happier to be alive since moving back here. The scenery here brings a smile to my face every day. I think I would be happy in Spokane also, but definitely think that Boise has the edge.
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