Welcome to The West End - Boise’s Oldest ‘New’ Neighborhood
Posted by Lisa Kohl on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at 12:14pm
Historic and diverse with laid-back friendliness, Boise's West End neighborhood is enjoying a renaissance.
On the west side of downtown Boise, you’ll find a charming neighborhood with hundred-year-old roots and an exciting future. The West End sits between State Street and the Boise River between 19th and Veteran’s Parkway, and it’s no surprise that this area is turning a few heads recently.
In the past, the West End was popular as one of the most reasonably priced places to buy a home in North Boise. Today, the neighborhood is garnering renewed interest from prospective home buyers and renters. As the area continues to grow and attract new businesses and residents, there’s a sense of renewal and renaissance everywhere you look.
The West End neighborhood boasts a highly desirable location, with Quinn’s Pond, the Boise River, the Greenbelt, and downtown just bike ride away. The West End feels secluded with its easy access to outdoor recreation and tall, shady trees, but with State Street, Chinden, and the connector close by, all of Boise is less than 20 minutes away.
One of Boise's original 'End' neighborhoods, the story of the West End began in 1903.
Why Residents Love the West End
The West End tempts new residents with a mix of historic charm and affordability. Many home-search hopefuls turn to the West End as a budget-friendly alternative to the North End with some of the same picturesque landscaping and historic homes. The West End still shows signs of its 116-year history, including many pre-war era houses to choose from.
Serene but Urban
Many home buyers find the West End attractive because it offers a quieter version of urban life; although the neighborhood sits just minutes away from busy thoroughfares like State Street and Chinden Boulevard, it’s still nestled away and shaded by a mature canopy of towering trees.
Quiet streets are lined with gardens and generously-sized lots, so even urbanites can enjoy a sense of nature and tranquility. The West End neighborhood also features several beautiful parks, bikeable and walkable streets, and highly-rated schools.
Close to Everything
Among the West End’s biggest appeals is its location. The neighborhood continues to receive boosts of revitalization such as the widening of State Street and construction along Whitewater Park Boulevard, making getting around a breeze. Families and business professionals alike are drawn to the West End and its central location and proximity the Boise River Greenbelt, among the best in the city.
An Overlooked Neighborhood Regaining a Sense of Community
The West End is still a neighborhood in transition after years of being underrated and overlooked. Today, it’s more recognized than ever for its character and charm. The West End has gone through waves and changes but has emerged as a staple in Boise.
While reminiscent of the North End, the West End has its own unique fabric and feel, and residents are continuing to build a shared sense of community. This diverse neighborhood is writing its own future with an emerging identity.
Whitewater + Wildlife
Residents also choose the West End for access to outdoor recreation. This neighborhood has unparalleled recreation opportunities right in residents’ backyards.
- Esther Simplot Park: One of the newest parks in Boise, Esther Simplot Park is a beautiful combination of ponds and walking paths. It sits on the greenbelt and offers over 23 acres of ponds for fishing, swimming, and paddling.
- Boise Whitewater Park: Maybe you don’t think of surfing when you picture an Idaho neighborhood, but Boise Whitewater Park offers urban wave-riding at its finest. West End residents can walk, bike, or drive just minutes to BWP and catch a wave.
- Boise River Greenbelt: Proximity to the greenbelt is a tempting draw for anyone searching for homes in Boise, and the West End’s location delivers. Enjoy the shaded beauty of the paved pathway along the Boise greenbelt just minutes from most West End homes.
- Bernadine Quinn Riverside Park: This 31-acre park is home to the expansive Quinn’s Pond. Paddleboarding, fishing, swimming, and kayaking are all popular activities at this summertime hotspot.
Map of the West End illustrated by Stephanie Inman.
West End Real Estate & Homes
West End real estate offers a variety of options. The area east of 27th and west of 19th streets features some of the most desirable homes with aesthetics and streetscapes reminiscent the North End. Many of these homes were built during the turn of the century to 1940s with the largest concentration in the 1920-30s.
The architecture is eclectic like the neighborhood itself— Craftsman Bungalows to Colonial and Tudor Revival with new construction mixed in. Homes in this area are often swept up fast when they come available on the market.
For the budget-conscious, the West End provides terrific options. West of 27th and north of Stewart Avenue, you will find newer construction "row" homes, perfect for growing families or career-focused professionals. South of Stewart, you will find smaller, more modest houses with plenty of historic charm, true to this neighborhood’s working-class roots.
The West End Lifestyle
West End residents take advantage of their prime location to find entertainment, recreation, and fun right in their own backyards.
During the winter, you’ll find West End locals hitting up neighborhood hot spots like Clairvoyant Brewing Company or Mazzah Mediterranean Grill for a weeknight break. Many residents will head downtown for happy hour or live music to relax at the end of a long work week.
On the weekends, you’ll see West End residents enjoying their proximity to outdoor recreation and Boise’s buzzing city center. With the neighborhood’s proximity to the Greenbelt and inviting walkability, you may find that many West End dwellers choose their bikes or a refreshing walk over a car ride.
During the summer, they’ll likely lounge on the sandy shores of the ponds at Esther Simplot Park, or get out the kayaks or paddleboards for some time at Quinn’s Pond. The West End is also close to the foothills and Camel’s Back Park, tempting residents to enjoy the outdoors on warm days.
Popular West End Area Shops and Restaurants
State and Lemp: Fine dining with an exclusive air, State and Lemp has received national recognition and awards. Don’t miss out on an unforgettable dining experience right around the corner from West End homes.
Westside Drive-In: Sure, there’s another Westside Drive-In in Southeast Boise, but this 50s-style drive-in is the original and chock-full of nostalgia (and delicious food). Try a retro milkshake and a classic burger.
Mazzah Mediterranean Grill: Quick-serve Mediterranean bites and a relaxed vibe make this place a local staple.
Clairvoyant Brewing Company: Clairvoyant calls a retrofit auto shop its home, and has all the DIY charm to match. It’s a popular spot during the evenings and weeknights and often features a rotating food truck parked nearby for delicious eats to go with your craft beer.
Cloud 9 Brewery: Organic beers and a small restaurant delight beer-lovers with a hip feel and a welcoming patio.
Serendipity Boutique Clothing Consignment: Looking for something funky, vintage, or just more affordable than new? Serendipity has a fabulous selection of clothes for the expert thrifter.
Lit&Co. Candles: Grab a beautiful locally-made candle or make your own at Lit&Co. Candles’ State Street location.
Press and Still: Shop boutique, small-batch botanical perfumes at Press and Still’s State Street location
Penny Lane Kids: Classic toys line the walls of this whimsical store.
The West End At a Glance
- Location: Bounded by the Boise River and State Street, west of downtown.
- Distance from Downtown Boise: 5 minutes
- Walk Score: 77
- Bike Score: 96
- Median Home Value: $312,500
- Average Rent: $1,312
Helpful West End Links
- The West End's Historic Trail
- Neighborhood Boundaries Map
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to the North End, up to Eagle and west to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.
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