As retirement beckons, many seniors seek restful and welcoming communities to make their forever home. Idaho, with its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and friendly atmosphere, has become an increasingly popular destination for retirees. Below are the towns that welcome those who are ready to begin a more sedate pace in life but don't want to sacrifice natural beauty, community, or senior-friendly amenities. So whether you're already retired or just daydreaming (we won't tell!), there is a haven just for you.
Boise regularly lands as one of the top cities in the country to retire to, and there's a good reason for it! Boise boasts a vibrant art and theater scene, verdant gardens and parks, a healthy healthcare net with extremely competent and friendly staff, a low cost of living compared to other medium-sized cities, and warm summers. Boise also boasts a rich history – being a trading post for Hudson's Bay in 1834, and that history is preserved in its over 20 art galleries and museums for you to explore.
Boise also offers large community activities for all ages, so whether your tastes are bridge, crochet, or yoga, there is a group out there just waiting for you to join! Getting around is a breeze, too, as Boise is ranked the 16th best city in the US for public transportation.
Coeur d'Alene is a beautiful town and a prime reason why Idaho is one of the most breathtaking states the US has to offer. Whether you feel like biking through the mountains, spending some time on the lake (or in it!), or skiing, Coeur d'Alene has much to offer you. If spas and golf sound like more of your speed, there are multiple for you to explore! The weather is nice and warm in the summers, and a fairly mild winter considering you are in the north of the country. Although the cost of living may be a bit higher than some others on this list, it is well worth it with a gourmet level of food and drink on offer all over the city. No matter where you go, you will be leaving with bellies full and smiling faces.
If you or someone you love needs assisted living further down the line, Coeur d'Alene can provide that as well, with many reasonably priced assisted living facilities and programs right in the city. If you want to leave Coeur d'Alene (and why would you?), the hustle and bustle of Spokane and Seattle are just a stone's throw away by car, plane, or train.
Situated on the beautiful Snake River and a short drive to none other than Yellowstone National Park, Idaho Falls is an active retiree's dream! Whether it is fishing for trout in the summer or snowshoeing in the winter, there is no shortage of events for you to do in this beautiful setting all year round. If you'd prefer some socializing with your fitness, the Idaho Falls Senior Citizens Center has extensive programs and services. Or, if you want to be immersed in community, there are several retirement communities for those who need a higher level of assistance or even no assistance at all.
Idaho Falls has several state-of-the-art hospitals, medical centers, and clinics – so you're always going to be well taken care of. The cost of living in Idaho Falls is very reasonable, too, far lower than the median average, enabling you to stretch your retirement savings to do that thing you've always been dreaming of!
Idaho Falls even has its own airport, meaning your loved ones can come to visit you whenever you'd like! When they see how nice the town is, they might never want to leave!
With a population of over 20% retirees, Sandpoint is a town of seniors for seniors. Don't think that this sleepy town of 8,000 has nothing to offer, though, having a beach, marina, art galleries, ski resorts, and golf courses. Nestled within three mountain ranges, Sandpoint is a popular tourist destination not only for its beauty but also for its outdoor activities. With the Canadian border just 60 miles away, why not hop over for a day trip too!
Although the winters can be a little cold, there will be plenty of snow for skiing and snowshoeing. The summers are nice and mild, though, allowing you to enjoy Sandpoint's many biking and walking trails. Although the town is a bit more remote, Bonner General Hospital is nearby, so any health concerns are well in hand. Sandpoint has options to reside either on the resort, in new housing on a golf community, or for a premium, lakeside living!
If you're an active senior who wants off-the-grid living, Sandpoint is the town for you!
Still, Idaho's best-kept secret, Moscow, is a charmer with its relaxed way of life, sweeping vistas, and 'crunchy' vibe. This is the site of the University of Idaho, which gives the town a youthful vibe – bringing rise to coffee shops, art displays, and food co-ops. Moscow started out in the late 1800s as a farming community, and that laid-back lifestyle is still alive today, with biking being the predominant mode of transportation.
Although the winters here can be as harsh as its namesake, the Moscow community spirit will warm even the most chilled bones. It's common here to run into friends at the grocery store, making this town of 26,000 feel like the small community of its roots. There is nothing quite like University sports, and Moscow has football, baseball, and basketball games year-round for you to enjoy.
The Gritman Medical Center is in Moscow and is accredited by the Joint Commission. There is also a vibrant senior center offering bingo, public computers, and travel clubs. Getting around the city is easy, too, with free public buses available to all residents. If you feel like 65 is the new 20, the rolling fields of Moscow might just be for you!
Coming back to the Snake River Canyon, we arrive at the hub of the 'Magic Valley': Twin Falls. It has a variety of stunning views, including the Shoshone Falls (which are higher than Niagara Falls, by the way!), a botanical garden, and a national forest. Twin Falls offers many outdoor activities, including fishing, golf, whitewater rafting, and, if it's on your bucket list – base jumping. With a hospital that's only 12 years old, know that you are receiving state-of-the-art care, even in this rural setting. The College of Southern Idaho also makes its home here, offering many classes for adults and fun community events. With competitive house prices, you can either snag a house for your own or retire into a community.
If you prefer a slower pace, 'The Niagara of the West' has something to provide for you too. There are many shops and excellent breweries downtown that benefit from Twin Falls' biggest export: dairy and agricultural goods. Farm to table is the name of the game. As well as art exhibits on the first Friday of every month and theater productions from the nearby college, you will have your fill of culture.
It does have that typical Idaho winter; however, do not fear! You'll see about 200 days of sun, but the Twin Falls always has a ray of sunshine tucked away.
If you'd prefer a mixture of hustle and bustle but still want some privacy, Eagle is the perfect place for you! A suburb of Boise, Eagle offers plenty of natural beauty and well-kept outdoor spaces. And with an average monthly living cost of almost $1,000 less than the national average, it's for the thrifty spender, too!
Eagle has numerous excellent assisted living facilities, being labeled as one of the top 10 places to retire in the whole state. Don't drive? Don't worry! ValleyRide (providing public bus services all through the Boise Valley) and Commuterride (a van and carpooling service) are both options for you here in Eagle.
If you are seeking community, look no further than Eagle Island State Park or any other of the fine green spaces nearby, which are always well-kept and full of people of all ages. Banbury Golf Course can also provide some much-needed time on the green.
If retirement is just your next great adventure, Ketchum is the city for you! With majestic mountains and glacial lakes offering ice fishing, biking, and hiking, as well as a lively downtown, there's always something to do in Ketchum. The city hosts annual festivals like the Ketchum Arts Festival, where you will see the bright colors the Sun Valley has to offer.
With over 81 holes of golf and 250 days of sunshine to play it in, this is the golfer's dream! When night falls, the Dark Sky Reserve means that you can see the stars as they're meant to be seen – light pollution-free!
Ketchum also has The Senior Connection – literally! The Senior Connection is a senior community center with congregate lunches, fitness classes, a gym, and resources for those who would make this beautiful city their home.
With St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center nearby, you can be assured that any medical need, big or small, is taken care of with the utmost care. Although the cost of living is a bit higher than in the rest of the state, there is a reason why Hemmingway had such a connection with the Sun Valley!
So whether you are drawn to lakeside living, urban convenience, or alpine retreats, there is something that will suit your golden years. Whether you want to live active, relaxed, or somewhere in between, this picturesque state will provide for you and your family for years to come. Idaho stands as a mecca of retirement living at its highest: all of the upsides with none of the compromises. You have many more chapters left to write; why not do it in a place that has it all?