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Daniel from Idaho Falls, ID
Idaho Falls, ID
What you see is what you get If you visit here before moving here you'll know exactly what you're getting in to. After living here for three years I can't say there have been a lot of surprises. Yeah there's lots of white people and mormon's but that's what a lot of Idaho is so it seems kind of silly to bag on Idaho Fall's for it. They (the "mormon's") did for the most part settle the area 150+/- years ago so I'm not sure what people expect? I guess I "fit in" because I'm both, but as a guy from the east coast, both have their drawbacks. Fitting in here is more than just stereotypes or the difficulties of not matching a homogeneous population, it's a close knit, old community with a lot of long established and extensive family/friend relationships so that can have it's challenges too. There's really great people here and some people you just roll your eyes at. Volunteering in community organization's is a great way to fit in here. Working at a moderately diverse (if we make faith a factor of diversity) employer I haven't seen or experienced or received any discrimination or benefit for any of my "affiliations", or to anyone else for their's, for that matter. Yes, some places close on Sunday but so does Chick-Fil-A which is definitely not a mormon establishment. A lot of people who aren't mormon (and some who are!) really like to go out to eat, shop and go to the movie theater on Sunday because half the population isn't there, but yeah, some places might be closed. From my personal experience there are definitely people here that openly hate mormon's and I'm more reserved to wear BYU clothing, i.e. reveal my "mormon-ness", than I have been in more diverse communities or even more specifically, the southern united states. Whether the hate is justified? I can't say, but I've heard plenty of anecdotal evidence from my non/ex-mormon friends / co-workers in the community so I'm sure some people might have legitimate gripes. Like I said, there's really great people here and people you just roll your eyes at, but I'm willing to bet you could say that about a lot of places. It's pretty dry most of the time, I would say that big snow storms are more common than big rain storms but neither happen too often. Winter's are long, cold and seem to extend or come back too long into the spring. Summer's can be hot but generally not too hot. Warm days and cool nights are the norm for half the year. Summer nights/evenings are fantastic and the fall weather can be great if winter doesn't show up early. Be ready to wear a winter coat when you go trick-or-treating! Beautiful sunrises and sunsets can be found in many places. When the days get longer I love getting outside at the break of dawn. When it's windy it's WINDY. If you aren't in to the outdoors, this might not be the place for you. There are so many great places to explore in central and eastern Idaho and along the eastern border. Hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, etc. and it's incredibly beautiful country in the mountains. Relative to my experience, food is cheaper here and there's a lot less bugs. Gas is more expensive, cost of housing is going up fast. The area is growing and there are good people that are working/investing to improve the community, especially downtown along the river. Melaleuca puts on a great fireworks show every 4th of July which is a can't miss (coming from someone who has attended many a 4th in Washington DC). I'm not really sure why the community is growing as fast as it is as I don't see a lot of new / growing businesses in the area. Though my political opinions haven't changed, I was a conservative republican in Virginia but I feel like I'm a liberal democrat in Idaho Falls. I have to take multiple allergy medicines every day to breathe / sleep here and sometime's that's not enough. Crime is low enough that I don't really notice it but not to the point where I don't lock my doors. Public schools are good but not great here. While we appreciate the focus on STEM, the Arts are woefully under-represented. Overall, I like living here. I wouldn't be disappointed if I work to retirement here and I wouldn't be sad to leave if other opportunities took me away.

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