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Nampa encapsulates the best of Idaho’s character and charm—friendly, affordable, outdoorsy, and convenient. Although Nampa is the state’s third largest city, it is still an idyllic small town with a population of a little more than 100,000. Nampa is the perfect-sized city to experience what Idaho is best known for—its friendly, laid-back way of life.
For those who call Nampa home, all the conveniences of shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation can be found without having to leave the city limits. Whether it’s a newer subdivision near Costco, an older home in the historic downtown area, or acreage on the outskirts of town with a view of the Owyhee Mountains, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Nampa.
Downtown Nampa is alive and well. Anchored by the new Library Square—which includes the beautiful 62,000-ft., state-of-the-art Nampa Library—the revitalization of this historic district over the past few years has spurred new life into the area. The historic Nampa Train Depot Museum, the Nampa Farmers Market, art galleries, consignment shops, retail boutiques, and hip little restaurants are all within walking distance.
Downtown eating establishments such as Boise Fry Company, Flying M, Messenger Pizza, Brick 29 Bistro, Stella’s Ice Cream, and the new Holy Cow Idaho, 2C Family Brewing, and Mesa Tacos + Tequila have transformed Nampa’s downtown into an up-and-coming dining hub. As more dining options emerge on the scene, retail merchants are transforming vacant storefronts into bustling places of business. It is an exciting time for this historic area as it develops into one of the best downtown Main Streets in the state.
Nampa’s history goes back to the early 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Granger, Wyo., to Huntington, Ore., which passed through Nampa. As the Oregon Short Line Railroad originally bypassed Boise, Nampa had the fanciest railroad depot in the area.
The Nampa Train Depot Museum sits in the center of downtown Nampa. Saved by a group of citizens in 1972 from demolition, this grand historic building features exhibits on Nampa’s railroad history, antiques, souvenirs, and more.
Located in South Nampa, Lake Lowell is a recreation lover’s paradise. With 28 miles of shoreline, it is one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the West, constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in the early 1900s. Surrounded by the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it is a prime location for bird watching. Activities such as boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing are also major attractions to the area. During the summer, enjoy swimming, water-skiing, wakeboarding, and all the fun one can have on this 14.5-square-mile lake.
Nampa offers both public and private schooling options. The city’s teachers reflect the best of Nampa’s citizens—hard-working, honest, caring people who provide your child the best education possible.
Three great colleges call Nampa home — Northwest Nazarene University, one of the top Christian universities in the Northwest, College of Western Idaho, and Stevens-Henagar College Nampa campus.
Nampa’s friendly business climate, low unemployment rate, and low cost of doing business are attracting many new companies to expand or open here. Coming in the fall of 2020 is a brand-new Amazon fulfillment center that will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs in Nampa. Treasure Valley Marketplace and Treasure Valley Crossing are retail magnets with anchor stores such as Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as Costco. Nampa has added two full-service hospitals to the area—St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center, located off Midland Boulevard, and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Nampa, located off Garrity Boulevard at I-84.
With a plethora of amenities, the quality of life in Nampa is rounded off by the neighborly people who live and work here. It’s a diverse culture ranging from agriculture to service professionals, retail to start-ups. The costs of living and housing are lower than other areas in the valley. With a variety of parks and trails to explore and the proximity to other nearby communities in the valley, Nampa is a solid choice for those who want to retain a small-town feel while living in a vibrant and growing community.
For a town this size, Nampa has a lot to offer for family entertainment and fun.
For the aviation lover in your family, the Warhawk Air Museum is a must-see. The museum has beautifully captured and preserved military aviation history and offers visitors a glimpse of U.S. aviation from its earliest days. The museum started as a tribute to WWI and WWII veterans and has expanded to include veterans’ history up to the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars.
The Nampa Rec Center is another gem found only in Nampa. This immense facility has five indoor pools, the latest in cardio and weight equipment, indoor and outdoor tracks, racquetball, rock climbing, preschool and kids’ camps, senior activities, and a host of other events throughout the year. The staff is friendly, and the facility offers year-round swim lessons, gymnastics, and several other classes. The Nampa Rec Center is one of Nampa’s true treasures.
Nampa is also home to the Ford Idaho Center. This massive complex includes a stunning outdoor amphitheater that hosts world-class musicians, an indoor event center where one of the nation’s top-10, regular-season, professional rodeos takes place—the Snake River Stampede, and the Northwest’s leading horse facility, the Ford Idaho Horse Park. This multi-use facility also draws people from all over southwest Idaho to enjoy the best live outdoor concerts, attend the circus, shop seasonal trade shows, and many other family-friendly events.
If golfing is more your game, Nampa has three beautiful golf courses within its city limits. For business and cultural events, the Nampa Civic Center offers 28,000 square feet of event space for meetings, conferences, and trade-shows and is home to the John Brandt Performing Arts Theater.