Friends who call themselves native Idahoans jokingly tell me Idaho is full.  At least I believe they’re joking.  We know a lot more people are coming.  As another friend said a few weeks ago, many view this as the “Promised Land”.  It’s the image the state is among the last frontiers.  Some may be disappointed when it doesn’t measure up to expectations.  This morning I came across an outside review.  You can read it by clicking here.

Look, if a city is going to grow from 35,000 to 230,000 in a few short decades, it’s going to have modern construction.  It’ll also look like sprawl.

The writer was really, really impressed by the Panhandle.  Because it’s covered with trees and green.  He had an entirely different reaction when visiting Boise.  He isn’t a fan of sprawl and the modern look of a city that is almost ten times its size from 60 years ago.

Look, if a city is going to grow from 35,000 to 230,000 in a few short decades, it’s going to have modern construction.  It’ll also look like sprawl.  The writer complains the surrounding hills and mountains also look barren.  If you’re want something comparable to the Boise of 1960, try Helena, Montana, although.  It’s also experiencing some growing pains just like everywhere else in the Mountain and Intermountain West.

As for the barren features, the high desert may not be everybody’s idea of something to behold.  Several years ago I shared some photographs of the Snake River Canyon with a former co-worker.  She replied it was beautiful but thought it lacked color.  The pictures were taken during the colder months.

For me, I like the look.  Because I like variety.  Idaho offers variety like few other places in North America.  You can be looking at the canyon or the waterfalls and then in a short while be surrounded by green in the South Hills.  You can leave Boise and drive up the mountain to Idaho City.  In a matter of minutes the topography changes dramatically.  In North Idaho, the Palouse doesn’t look like the hills of Wallace.  In East Idaho there’s a stretch between Rexburg and Teton County that winds through fields reminiscent of the Palouse.  Then, suddenly, you’re staring at peaks jutting 13,000 feet above sea level.

You need more than a few days to see Idaho.  You need a lifetime.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.