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MERIDIAN, IDAHO - If you want to be in the center of it all, look no further than Meridian, Idaho. Rated # 9 by Money Magazine in 2019 as one of the best places to live in the U.S., Meridian is quickly emerging as a vibrant and growing hub for shopping, family fun, and quality living in the Treasure Valley. Meridian was the fastest-growing city in Idaho in 2019 and is now the second-largest city in the state. It is conveniently located 15 minutes from downtown Boise and only 10 miles east of Nampa, the third largest city in Idaho. Being a stone’s throw from other destinations in the Treasure Valley, Meridian is an easy central location that serves as a bridge between the vibrant state capital and the small-town, rural feel of the surrounding communities of Eagle, Star, Middleton, Nampa, Caldwell, and Kuna.
Meridian has seen a huge growth explosion since 2000 and today has a population of 114,680, an increase of more 8,000 residents from last year. Silhouetted by the gorgeous Boise Mountains in the distance, people are flocking to Meridian for its family-oriented infrastructure, affordable housing prices, city planning, business opportunities, wide variety of shopping venues, and proximity to neighboring cities.
The City of Meridian boasts its own cosmopolitan shopping experience. The Village at Meridian has emerged as the center of upscale shopping, dining, and more. This outdoor shopping mall is beautifully designed as an enclave of specialty retail stores, restaurants, a luxury movie theater with private seating, a fitness center, plus a bowling alley and arcade. It offers ample outdoor seating, a children’s playground, and a beautiful fountain showcasing hourly water displays with lights and music. During the holidays, the central courtyard is transformed into a festive outdoor ice rink, featuring an enormous, lighted Christmas tree and Santa’s workshop.
Ask anyone on the street what they love about the City of Meridian and you’ll hear a very consistent message—the people. Despite rapid growth, residents of Meridian have a strong community spirit and a kind of helpfulness found in small towns; locals are kind, friendly, and welcoming. That small-town feel is never more evident than when attending community events in the heart of downtown or at two of Meridian’s approximately 60-acre parks. Meridian is a place of belonging — it’s safe, clean, and a great place to raise a family. It’s a place where families ride their bikes to the local snow-cone shack and let their kids play at the park until dusk.
You’ll have trouble deciding where to begin your family adventures, but look no further than two major offerings located just off the Meridian Road exit. Visible from the freeway, a beacon that shrieks excitement into the heart of every kid (and kid-at-heart) is Roaring Springs Water Park, chosen as one of the Travel Channel’s Top U.S. Water Parks. Just next door is Wahooz, which features 70,000 square feet of family fun, including a new four-story indoor adventure park, plus a ropes course, bowling alley, laser tag, climbing wall, arcade event center, and grill. Outdoor options include year-round go-carts, bumper boats, miniature golf, and batting cages. Just down the road, the Meridian Speedway is another popular summer attraction for NASCAR fans young and old who feel the need for speed.
Conveniently situated throughout the city are 21 public parks and two sports parks, including Settlers Park, which hosts free outdoor movies and live music venues during the summer months. Many of the parks have fun splash pads for cooling off during the hot days of summer.
In historic downtown Meridian you will find the Youth Farmers Market near City Hall Plaza each Saturday. Young entrepreneurs will invite you to taste samples of their delicious homemade goodies while browsing other vendors’ booths featuring locally grown produce and handmade arts and crafts. The market is open from the end of June through September.
Meridian is booming. With rapidly growing industries and businesses both large and small, entrepreneurs and business leaders have found Meridian a wonderful environment in which to flourish. Careful planning and development forged between the City of Meridian and Idaho State University created Meridian’s Medical Core. This partnership has set in motion the emergence of Meridian as one of the nation’s elite health and science industry hubs. Meridian is home to Blue Cross of Idaho, St. Luke’s full-service acute care campus, Idaho State University’s Meridian Health Science Center, and Idaho’s first medical school, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ICOM, which began instruction in August of 2018. The addition of ICOM to Meridian’s Medical Core is exciting, employing more than 90 senior instructors, attracting a wealth of new business industries, and training physicians to care for people in a five-state region.
Along with the health and science industry boom, Meridian is the center of retail and commercial development. With an unemployment rate well below the national average, retail merchants, professional services, restauranteurs, and recreation venues are seeing the value of doing business in Meridian. It’s easy to attract good employees with its convenient access to 1-84 and Highway 55, the ease and proximity of the outdoors, low cost of living, excellent schools, mountain views, and beautiful neighborhoods.
Meridian is a thriving, growing, family-friendly community, centrally located in the beautiful Treasure Valley. It’s easy to see why Meridian is the fastest-growing city in the state of Idaho.