This Boise neighborhood ranked as one of the best ‘urban havens’ in the United States

As cities around the nation continue to grow, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a place to live close to the city center but with a feel of the countryside.

Boise is no different. Once-quiet neighborhoods are now bustling with activity as Boise continues to grow and extends its reach. About 45% of Idaho’s population lives in the Boise metropolitan area, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting, and about 236,643 people live just in Boise.

However, some neighborhoods, including one in Boise, still evoke that less-urban feel while remaining close to a large hub.

A recent survey conducted by EasyCoops interviewed 3,000 participants to determine the most “idyllic” neighborhoods in the United States that blend city convenience with more rural tranquility.

The survey detailed the top 100 neighborhoods, and Boise’s North End came in at No. 22. It was the only neighborhood from Idaho that made the list.

“North End is known for its historic homes, tree-lined streets, and proximity to both downtown Boise and the extensive trail systems of the Boise Foothills,” EasyCoops writes. “This neighborhood is cherished for its outdoor accessibility, vibrant community atmosphere, and the iconic Hyde Park area, filled with cafes and shops.”

Created by Easy-Coops • Viewlarger version

How did the North End make the list?

Participants were asked which aspects of country living that they find most appealing. The results show that 29% of respondents find tranquil surroundings and natural landscapes the most important. That was followed by 14% of participants citing a slower pace of life and reduced stress compared to city life, while 13% longed for the sense of community that larger cities tend to lack.

Over 70% of respondents also emphasized the importance of easy access to outdoor areas, with just 8% saying that outdoor living isn’t a significant factor.

Considering those parameters, it’s no surprise that the North End ranked highly.

Located north of downtown Boise and nestled against the Foothills, the aptly named North End has a homey feel that suggests it isn’t just a five-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The area is bound on the east by the Military Reserve and on the west by 28th Street.

The North End isn’t just a local neighborhood out of the mind’s eye, either. Hyde Park Pub and Grill on 13th Street was voted in 2022 as the best bar in the Treasure Valley for watching March Madness — it’s pretty cozy even without the sports, too. The bar is also a Green Bay Packers fan favorite during the NFL season.

Hyde Park Pub and Grill is part of a unique block of restaurants along 13th Street in the North End. If you’re not in the mood for sports, just across the road is Goody’s, an iconic ice cream and candy store in Boise, and longtime favorite Mexican restaurant and hangout Parilla Grill.

Of course, the North End’s access to outdoor life and location cozied against the Boise Foothills are unparalleled.

Hundreds attend the Hyde Park Street Fair held at Camel’s Back Park in Boise, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Hundreds attend the Hyde Park Street Fair held at Camel’s Back Park in Boise, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

If you keep walking north along 13th Street from Hyde Park, you’ll find yourself at Camel’s Back Park. The park sits at the base of the Boise Foothills and includes a steep hill, offering some of Boise’s best views and sunsets.

The North End also extends deep into the Foothills and encompasses many of the 190-plus miles of hiking and biking trails, including local favorites such as the Hull’s Pond Loop and the extensive Hull’s Gulch Interpretive Trail.

Some of Boise’s best biking trails, such as Owl’s Roost and Kestrel Trail, also originate in the North End.

Most idyllic neighborhoods in America

If you want to try and do even better than the North End, here are the top 10 neighborhoods in the U.S. that perfectly balance outdoor serenity with city convenience.

  1. Old Northeast - St. Petersburg, Florida

  2. Highlands - Denver, Colorado

  3. Beacon Hill - Boston, Massachusetts

  4. Armory Park - Tucson, Arizona

  5. Ashland Park - Lexington, Kentucky

  6. South End - Portsmouth, New Hampshire

  7. Historic Oakwood - Raleigh, North Carolina

  8. Downtown Thomasville - Georgia

  9. South Hills - Charleston, West Virginia

  10. Back Bay - Boston, Massachusetts