When I drive through Southeast Boise, dropping my kids off at school or showing homes to clients, I feel a sense of calm wash over me. The streets grow quieter, winding around the curve of the Boise River. The scent of cottonwoods in bloom mingle with the dappled sun on the river banks. I think to myself, “This is Boise.”   

The City of Trees gets its nickname from the canopy that blooms over the river, and when I meet clients who want better access to the outdoors or a shorter commute, the lifestyle of Southeast Boise immediately comes to mind. Its family friendly communities sprawl along the banks of the river, with peaceful streets and excellent schools. The short ride to downtown and proximity to nature and local restaurants make it an ideal location. Not to mention ,the neighborhoods range in age and affordability, from older starter homes near BSU to multi-million dollar houses on the river. There are many reasons to love this area, so I’ve outlined the highlights for you below.

Adventure Abounds:

Southeast Boise has a quintessential Pacific Northwest feel. Greenery, bald eagle nests and a heron rookery make up just some of its amenities. Some of the available activities on the river include fly fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding, while cyclists, walkers and runners flock to the Greenbelt trail system. These are some of my favorite natural areas within Southeast Boise:

  • Bethine Church trail: A 1.6 mile path within a riparian area on the Boise River 
  • Barber Park: Active in the summers as a launch point to float the Boise River
  • Greenbelt: Boise’s renowned 25-mile paved path for biking, walking and taking in the scenery
  • The Boise River: From floating on tubes and rafts, to swift-and-slow-water kayaking and meditative fly fishing for trout, the Boise River is a playground all its own.

The serene Boise River at sunset.

Close Knit Communities:

From a fully planned community at Columbia Village, with a high quality pool and clubhouse, to the riverside luxury homes of River Run. The neighborhoods within Southeast Boise feel a world away from nearby downtown. They fall into a few main areas, which I’ll outline below with some of the neighborhoods that make them up. 

  • Columbia Mesa: Columbia Village and Surprise Valley both offer a clubhouse, tennis courts, pool and gathering areas for neighbors.
  • Boise River Corridor: River Run, Spring Meadow, Wood Duck and Oakmont are well-established areas with mid-level to luxury homes on or near the river.
  • Historic Southeast Boise: The area between Broadway and Parkcenter includes the original Southeast Boise neighborhood. With a more urban design and proximity to Boise State, it’s more active than some of the quieter neighborhoods, but it also boasts one of Boise’s best city pools: Ivywild.
  • South of Boise River Corridor: Pier Pointe, Lakewood, Promontory Ridge offer well-established homes mostly from the ‘80s and ‘90s, starting in the $500K range.

A for Excellent:

My kids go to school in Southeast Boise, where some of the nation’s best institutions are located. These schools make the area competitive, even more so for those relocating from out of state. Timberline High School ranks high nationally as a traditional public school, while Riverstone and Sage offer an international experience and IB-focused curriculum. The elementary schools are also top-notch, including Riverside, White Pine and Liberty . For more information about Boise’s school district, visit www.boiseschools.org.

Bown Crossing in Southeast Boise

Loving Local:

The small businesses of Southeast Boise make it a destination no matter where you live. For my family, this means a bike ride to Cravin’s Candy Emporium in Bown Crossing for an after-dinner treat, or a Boise Fry Company vegan burger. I love the nachos at The Tavern and two-for-one happy hour at Barbacoa is a fan favorite for all Boiseans. On weekends, we love to meet friends for breakfast at The Griddle and Egg Man and Earl. St. Al’s new Urgent Care center, Zero Six Coffee Fix and the Library! at Bown Crossing are also frequent stops for us. Not to mention, all the big box shopping options on Federal Way and at Apple & Parkcenter make the area self-contained.

Convenient Commutes:

Should you need to leave the friendly confines of Southeast Boise, downtown, Boise State University, the airport and the interstate are all a short ride. For commuters, the neighborhood could hardly be more convenient. The same is true for those who want a night out on the town or attend events at BSU. Other parts of Idaho are also easily accessible via Highway 21 and Interstate 84.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s View

Lucky Peak State Park and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival are also within a short bike ride from most parts of Southeast Boise, contributing even more culture and recreation to the community. The Barber Valley and Harris Ranch neighborhoods lie just across the river to the north. I’ll expand on those in a future post. After all, the vibrancy of Southeast Boise flows beyond the banks of the river on which it’s located.