Although it stands near the center of the fourth-largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Sunset
resembles a rustic mountain village. The modest homes
— including a log cabin or two — lie tucked away from the streets, shielded by curtains of willow trees and towering evergreens. The area attracts families with its privacy and small-town charm as well at its close proximity to schools and to downtown Boise.
Drive just three miles southeast to the city center and its plentiful employment and business opportunities.
Sunset's population consists of young families and lifelong Idahoans. This neighborhood doesn't try to be hip and its residents want to keep it that way. Like a time capsule, the community captures a simpler time in Boise before it grew into a modern, energetic metropolis.
Schools in Sunset
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
This neighborhood remains entirely residential until you reach State Street, where you find a variety of casual dining chains. For more exciting dining options, head downtown — Boise's thriving culinary scene rivals that of much larger cities and is only a ten minute ride away.
Stay close to home and kick back at Dutch Goose. Grab a bowl of steamed clams with butter sauce and watch the big game, or make friends with the regulars over a game of pool. The beer menu includes both cheap dive favorites and craft brews to suit every taste. On hot summer nights, make your way to the patio and play a game of horseshoes. Never pretentious, the Goose lets you relax and be yourself.
If you take the short trip into downtown, head to Cloud 9 Brewery, enjoy classic pub fare created from fresh, local ingredients. Start your meal with a platter of Bleu Cheese Fries for a decadent twist on Idaho's most famous vegetable. You can't go wrong with a grass-fed beef burger — even the ketchup is homemade. When you think of dessert, beer probably doesn't come to mind, but let go of your preconceived notions and try a pint of salted caramel ale. This brewpub offers very limited seating, so arrive early to avoid waiting for a table.
Spend a lazy Sunday morning at High Note Cafe. Famous for its brunch special and $1 specialty mimosas, this little cafe draws a huge crowd. You won't find a microwave in the kitchen as everything, including the bread, is made fresh each day. Try the blueberry basil mimosa with the Pico Scramble. Most dishes can be made vegetarian or gluten-free to accommodate dietary restrictions. Be sure to make reservations in advance, especially if you're dining with a group.
Finding good pizza in the Northwest can be tricky, but trust the culinary skills of the chefs at The Front Door. Piled high with portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, kalamata olives and much more, the Gambino takes pizza to new heights. Share it with friends over a few pints of local microbrews, and soak up the comfortable, folksy atmosphere.
Nightlife in Sunset limits itself to low-key neighborhood bars, but you can experience the youthful exuberance of Boise's clubs and music venues in less than 15 minutes from your front door.
Visit Stagecoach Theater for drinks and drama. Boise's oldest community theater produces eight plays each season, from romantic comedies to murder mysteries and musicals. A full bar enhances your viewing experience and makes this the perfect alternative to an ordinary "dinner and a movie" date.
History & Culture
Abundant timber, clean water and a sheltered valley location drew settlers to this area as early as the 1830s. First came fur trappers, then the U.S. Army, which was followed by miners seeking their fortune. Boise became an important player in the timber industry, which spurred its rapid growth. The Sunset neighborhood was part of the city's mid-century expansion toward the foothills,
and while it once stood on the outskirts of the city, it's now fully surrounded by other neighborhoods.
Boise supports the arts all year, but particularly during the Treefort Music Fest. The name deceives as music comprises only a portion of the festival. In addition to seeing local musicians, hear spoken-word poetry, watch independent films and experience performance art by Idaho's most promising young artists. The Fest takes place over five days at venues throughout the city, making it the area's largest independent music and art celebration.
Residents of this neighborhood drive everywhere, but the highways and interstates aren't easily accessed. An abundance of free parking shows the forethought of city planners who predicted a large number of cars.
When you can't drive, request an Uber car or phone a taxi service as the ValleyRide bus provides the only public transportation in Boise and makes very limited stops between the suburbs and downtown.
You'll find bike lanes throughout Sunset and many other neighborhoods, so you can bike safely across most of town. Take advantage of the Greenbelt for scenic recreational riding as well as for avoiding traffic.
Residents fly out of Boise Airport,
which only offers domestic flights. International travelers must obtain connecting flights out of larger airports.
The cost of living in Sunset is less than 1 percent higher than the Boise average, making it one of the more affordable neighborhoods. This area doesn't feature apartment buildings, so potential renters should look elsewhere.
Gas prices are on par with the rest of the city at 1 percent higher than the national average. Public transportation is similarly inexpensive, with all bus tickets priced at $3 or less. Expect to pay less for pint than you would downtown — around $5.
With an Albertsons right down the street, grocery shopping never becomes a hassle. Unfortunately, if you crave the convenience of big box stores, you must drive at least 20 minutes across the city. On Saturday mornings, take a trip downtown to the Boise Farmer's Market, where hundreds of local vendors sell fresh produce, baked goods and handcrafted items. The farmer's market moves indoors during the winter months, so you can shop local year-round.
The Towne Square Mall houses Boise's designer apparel and upscale department stores and remains the most popular shopping destination. However, this city possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and the downtown area inundates you with boutiques and unique shops.
For local shopping, the Salvation Army on W State Street offers tons of lightly used clothing options for the discerning shopper. If they don't have the book you're in the mood for, walk down the road and visit Bargain Books, where the owner knows his stuff and will give you a good deal on your selection. Cyclists in the area go to Bikes 2 Boards to get their bicycles tuned or repaired. If you don't have your own set of wheels and you're not quite ready to invest in your own bike, they have some you can rent.
When you want to treat yourself to pure extravagance, visit Blush which is just a little outside the neighborhood. Sample high-end skin treatments, or find your new signature fragrance. Give the gift of indulgence to a special someone with a set of luxury perfumes or bath products. Take care when giving a box of handcrafted bath cupcakes as they look good enough to eat.
A store with a very cryptic name, BANANA Ink stocks nothing but Idaho-themed items. Find belt buckles, shirts, hats and more, all emblazoned with stylized Idaho shapes. Whether you were born in Boise or just moved to town, show your pride in the Gem State.
The Sunset neighborhood encompasses two major parks — Sunset Park and Veterans Memorial Park. Residents appreciate the care and attention to detail that make Boise parks so special and help the city live up to its name. Bring the whole family, including the dogs, to play at Sunset Park. Playground equipment, tennis courts and open fields provide something for everyone. Over four acres of the park have been set aside as an off-leash dog area, affording your canine companions with plenty of room to run and explore. Enter the park for free, but all dogs must be licensed.
Outdoor enthusiasts take advantage of the hiking trails at Veterans Memorial Park, while history buffs appreciate the educational war memorials. Feel free to walk your dog along the trails, but keep him leashed at all times. This park encourages quiet contemplation more than play, but does maintain two playgrounds — one for pre-school aged children and one for older children. Spend a tranquil evening fishing for trout, and watch the sun set over the Boise River.