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As you research, explore, and consider moving to a Idaho community, here’s an overview of what you can expect when living in The Gem State.

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Climate & Geography
Entertainment & Recreation
Cost of Living

Craving an idyllic life against a backdrop of volcanic wonders and snow-capped peaks? Idaho's master-planned communities offer the perfect blend of nature's majesty and modern living.

Imagine waking up to views of the otherworldly lava flows of Craters of the Moon National Monument, or picture yourself teeing off with the Sawtooth Mountains as your stunning backdrop. Idaho's diverse landscapes—from subalpine meadows near Sun Valley Resort to the dramatic canyons of Hells Canyon—draw over 20 million visitors each year. Explore Nez Perce history, cast a line in the Snake River, or simply relax by the shores of one of Idaho's many sparkling lakes.

This natural beauty comes with affordability (cost of living in Idaho is well below the national average), making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts, active adults, and retirees.

Master-planned communities elevate Idaho living even further, combining resort-style amenities like championship golf courses and top-notch recreation facilities with stunning scenery and a ton of outdoor recreation. Discover your dream Idaho lifestyle within a master-planned community, just a stone's throw from some of the state's most captivating natural wonders.

Idaho Climate & Geography

Idaho offers a taste of everything from desert landscapes to alpine meadows. The climate varies depending on location, but generally features warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters.

Regions & Landscape

Rugged and Diverse: Idaho's landscape is a tapestry of mountains, canyons, deserts, farmlands, lakes, and waterfalls.

Mountain Ranges: The Rocky Mountains dominate the state, with the Sawtooth Mountains and Bitterroot Mountains adding to the scenery. Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America, is another impressive feature.

Water Features: The Snake River, Idaho's largest river, carves its way through the state. Numerous lakes and abundant streams provide ample opportunities for water recreation.


Continental Divide Influence: Idaho sits between the wet Pacific Northwest and the drier Great Plains, creating a unique climate.

Elevation Matters: Temperatures and precipitation vary greatly depending on elevation. Higher elevations receive more snowfall and cooler temperatures, while valleys tend to be drier and hotter in summer.

Rain Shadow Effect: Mountain ranges to the west block Pacific moisture, making much of Idaho semi-arid. The Snake River Plain is the driest part of the state.

Idaho Entertainment & Recreation

Hiking and Camping: With mountain ranges, forests, and scenic trails, Idaho is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Popular destinations include Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Camping options range from primitive campsites to developed campgrounds with amenities.

Water Activities: Idaho boasts numerous lakes and rivers, perfect for boating, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Whitewater rafting on the Snake River is a thrilling adventure, while calmer waters like Lake Coeur d'Alene are ideal for relaxing cruises.

Fishing: Fly fishing for trout in pristine mountain streams is a popular activity. The Snake River and its tributaries are known for their world-class salmon and steelhead fishing.

Winter Sports: Idaho's mountain ranges transform into a winter wonderland, perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Sun Valley Resort, known as "America's First Destination Resort," and Schweitzer Mountain Resort are popular destinations for downhill skiing.

Beyond outdoor adventures, Idaho offers a variety of entertainment options. Catch a show at the Boise Centre, browse through shops in downtown Coeur d'Alene, or explore the Basque Block in Boise, a historic neighborhood known for its Basque culture and cuisine.

Idaho Cost of Living

  • Overall: The cost of living in Idaho is estimated to be 6% lower than the national average.
  • Housing: 16% lower than the national average.
  • Taxes:  
    • Income tax: Flat rate of 5.8%
    • Property tax: No average rate due to local control system, but the average Idaho homeowner pays $1,817 annually
    • Sales tax: 6% (average state and local combined)
    • No tax on Social Security benefits

Idaho Healthcare

Idaho's healthcare costs generally trend lower than the national average, which can be a major draw for retirees and those on fixed incomes. However, access to care can vary depending on location. Urban areas tend to have more options compared to rural communities, which might face shortages in healthcare providers, particularly specialists.

Residents can obtain coverage through the Idaho Health Exchange under the ACA or through employer-sponsored plans.

Top medical facilities in Idaho include:

St. Luke's Boise Medical Center (Boise): Consistently ranked #1 in Idaho by U.S. News & World Report, St. Luke's offers a wide range of services and excels in specialties like cardiology and neurology.

Kootenai Health (Coeur d'Alene): This major medical center in northern Idaho provides advanced care across various specialties.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (Boise): Another leading medical center in Boise, Saint Alphonsus offers a comprehensive range of services.

St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center (Twin Falls): A top-ranked facility in southern Idaho, serving the Magic Valley region.

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