1. Higher education: Ten colleges and universities within a 50-mile radius of Meridian, ID, including Brigham Young University-Idaho, Boise State University, The College of Southern Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College.
2. Perfect location: near mountains and lakes; not too far from major cities such as Denver, Salt Lake City and Seattle; and 45 minutes from Nampa (the second-largest city in the state of Idaho).
3. Reasonable cost of living: housing is around 93% cheaper than the national average, groceries are 39% cheaper, utilities are 26% more affordable, and health care is 32% cheaper than the national average.
4. Great for outdoor lovers: more than one million acres of public lands within 45 minutes, including the Boise National Forest and Lucky Peak State Park.
5. Friendly people: The motto is ‘City of Good Neighbors’, so good neighbours you will have!
6. Opportunities for employment: Meridian has a 3% unemployment rate, nearly 2% lower than the national average. The unemployment rate in Idaho is 3.9%.
7. Good elementary schools: According to Greatschools.org, 43 elementary schools have ratings of 9 or 10, which means they are considered very good by that website’s standards.
8. Healthy environment: Meridian has a score of 7 for air quality, compared to Idaho, which has a score of 5 and the US as a whole, which is at 3.
9. A wide range of home prices: homes under $100,000 up to homes over $1 million.
10. Easy commute: most people drive less than 15 minutes to work.
11. Near many outdoor activities: 40 minutes from ski resorts, 45 minutes from mountains for camping, fishing and hunting.
12. Access to trails: there are 159 miles of trails within the city limits of Meridian, which is good for biking, running, walking or hiking during the day or night.
13. Coffee shops: there are over ten coffee shops in Meridian, from Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts.
14. Near many cultural events/venues: 15 minutes from downtown Boise and the Basque Block.
15. Health care is affordable: health insurance costs are 25% less expensive than the national average, doctor’s visits are about 25% cheaper than the national average, and dental visits are 32% cheaper.
Tips Before You Visit Meridian, Idaho.
1. Bring your ID–you won’t need to bring your passport, but don’t forget it either!
2. Have a good time at the Basque Block on Grove Street–start at Brandi’s Cafe for some authentic Basque food and finish it off with some ice cream from Moxie Java Creamery.
3. fly fishing or hunting in Lucky Peak State Park.
4. Ride your bike around–you can ride from one end of the city to the other on the Boise River Greenbelt Trail, which is about 16 miles long and runs along both sides of the river.
5. Visit Zoo Boise–start with a picnic at Island Park, then walk over to Zoo Boise and show the kids the animals.
6. Bring your skis, snowboards or sledges and go tubing at Bogus Basin–it’s about a 40-minute drive from Meridian, but it’s worth it.
7. Enjoy local theatre by attending the Civic Theatre on Meridian Street–from comedies, dramas to musicals, you are sure to find something that you will enjoy.
8. Don’t forget the hot springs–there are private spas in Idaho, but there are also free ones, so check your map for some of those locations.
9. Bike the Greenbelt–Meridian is one of six cities with a Greenbelt path designated by the Rails To Trails Conservancy in 2006.
10. Check out the historical attractions–there are several, including the Meridian Historical Society Museum and Old Towne Meridian.
11. Snacks: Cafe Vicino is located on State Street in Old Towne Meridian, and they serve great Italian specialities such as pizza, meatballs, salads and sandwiches.
12. Go to the Boise River Greenbelt and take a walk or hike–there are 160 miles of trails that you can choose from, including parks along the way for picnics.
13. Outdoor activities: Lucky Peak is great for fishing, boating and camping, with over 1,000 acres of water and over 4,000 acres.
14. Restaurants: the Jackalope Grill is located on Fairview in Old Towne Meridian and offers various local dishes with Alaska salmon, Borracho Beans, homemade bread and desserts. They also have an attached bar for those who are interested.
15. History: visit the Boise Depot or the Idaho State Capitol on Front Street; both are historical.