Boise #4 Best Downtown in America



Top Ten Downtowns 2012 |
October 26, 2012 

Boise has been named a Top 10 Downtown by, a national website that highlights more than 500 of America’s best places to live and visit.

The list is the second installment of an annual listing of the best downtowns in America and includes communities with downtowns that are walkable, well thought out, and that have a wealth of dining and entertainment options.

For the 2012 list, editors narrowed down the more than 500 cities on to those with populations between 100,000 and 300,000. They then considered the downtown’s economic vitality, which was assessed by analyzing the city’s unemployment rate, downtown vacancy rate, the distance between residential areas and downtown amenities, and residents' average income levels. 

Boise was chosen for its downtown revitalization projects and economic development efforts and for the wealth of quality-of-place amenities – arts and cultural attractions, restaurants, nightlife, shops and boutiques – the downtown area offers residents and visitors.

Top 10 Downtowns

1. Fort Collins, CO
2. Charleston, SC
3. Alexandria, VA
4. Boise, ID
5. Little Rock, AR
6. Stamford, CT
7. Lincoln, NE
8. Provo, UT
9. Hollywood, FL
10. McAllen, TX



Small-town charm meets urban cool in downtown Boise, ID. Plus it earns extra accessibility points for walkers and bikers thanks to its well-maintained sidewalks and 30-mile path along the Boise River.

Basics: While more than 3,900 people currently live in downtown Boise, the city projects that number will swell to 13,686 by 2025. Groups like the Downtown Boise Association actively market and enhance the area, and office and retail vacancy rates are among the lowest in the region. A collection of art galleries, museums, event centers, a trio of movie theaters and zoo provide plenty of entertainment options.

Details: Approximately 30,000 people work in downtown Boise, which has more than 300 retail and service businesses. That figure includes more than 90 restaurants, and most are locally owned. The area has six districts, with Central Downtown being the largest. Five covered garages representing a total of 2,000 parking spaces offer one hour of free parking. Meanwhile, all downtown meters allow 20 minutes of free parking. For Boise State home football games, a free shuttle takes riders from downtown to the stadium and back.

Don't Miss: Bittercreek Ale House for drinks, Knitting Factory for concerts, Zoo Boise for animal encounters

Clark Krause
Executive Director
Mobile: 208-863-9675
Phone: 208-472-5230
Charity Nelson
Director of Economic Development
Mobile: 208-863-8521
Phone: 208-472-5240
Ethan Mansfield
Project & Research Manager
Mobile: 208-921-4686
Phone: 208-472-5246
250 S. 5th St.
Suite 300
Boise, Idaho 83702
© 2018 Boise Valley Economic Partnership