As of 2019, Meridian, Idaho ranked among the top ten places to live in the U.S., and to those who know that city, it is not surprising at all. At just over 129,000 inhabitants, Meridian represents the sweet spot between big-city bustle and small-town boredom. With its semi-arid climate, Meridian is a haven for people who suffer in humid regions. Yet, unlike in many southwestern cities, Meridian residents enjoy distinct seasons throughout the year. With plenty to see, do, and enjoy, living in Meridian may just be your dream come true.
History of Meridian, Idaho
Meridian, Idaho started as a small settlement of a few settlers living along Five Mile Creek. In 1885, the settlers opened their first school, and soon afterward, a post office. At first, the town was called Hunter. However, after the Order of the Oddfellows opened a chapter named for Idaho’s main meridian, the town was renamed Meridian and established as a town in 1893. By 1903, Meridian was a village of 200 with a thriving business center. Then, after a creamery opened in 1897, Meridian was on its way to becoming the dairy center for all of Idaho.
Meridian continued to grow, adding a flourishing fruit growing and shipping industry in the 1940s. Meridian became a city in 1941. Since that time, Meridian has continued to grow, reaching an estimated 129, 555 by 2021. In fact, in 2018, experts predicted that Meridian would place on the next census as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.
Real Estate in Meridian, Idaho
The real estate market in Meridian, Idaho offers many opportunities to purchase single-family homes, with a median price of $574,900. Most of the homes are relatively new, with plenty of space for a family. Also, there are several new home communities. What is more, if you ever decide to move to another house, you should be able to sell quickly, with so many individuals and families clamoring to move here. In fact, as of 2021, the median time on the market is a mere 36 days.
Best Meridian Neighborhoods
A family-friendly mid-sized city, Meridian is made up of a variety of neighborhoods. From upscale areas like Sonna and City Center to fast-growing neighborhoods like Paramount and Bridgetower, you are sure to find the ideal spot to live.
Paramount is a large development with outstanding schools and abundant amenities. Here you will find walking and biking paths, pools, parks, and clubhouses.
In Bridgetower, homes are situated on larger than average sized lots, allowing you plenty of space to enjoy your yard and patio. This neighborhood also has the advantage of being right next door to the Ten Mile Interchange, giving it easy access to I-84.
Saguaro Canyon is a unique neighborhood with a southwestern theme. Its scenic highlights include giant red rocks and large cacti. For those living in this Meridian subdivision, life is easy with wide pathways for strolling through the development, parks, and pools.
One of the newest communities in Meridian, Spurwing Greens has a lot to offer. Here, you can play on the new tennis courts, get a swimming membership to the country club, or simply walk the neighborhood on its abundant paths.
Sonna is a popular neighborhood where many people with upper-middle level income live. More people here work from home than in other parts of the U.S. Other common occupations here include executive, professional, and management jobs. Homes are typically medium-sized to large single family dwellings.
City Center has mostly small to medium-sized single-family homes and apartments. Most people living in this neighborhood have mid-level income, and homes are more affordable than in some other Meridian neighborhoods.
E Amity Road/South Eagle Road
Here, the median price of homes is $483,000. Most homes are medium-sized or large single family homes. Although the main occupations here are professional, management, or executive, there are also many residents who are in sales or service jobs.
West Chinden Boulevard/North Ten Mile Road
Many people consider this the best Meridian neighborhood for families. It has excellent schools, mostly single-family homes, and low crime rates. People living here typically have above average incomes and work in professional, executive, or management positions or are employed in sales or service.
West Ustick Road/North Meridian Road
This is one of the more affordable neighborhoods, with a medium home price of $375,305. Medium-sized homes with three or four bedrooms or large homes with four or more bedrooms are the norm. This family-friendly neighborhood has a strong commitment to education.
East Ustick Road/North Locust Road
This newer neighborhood has a median home price of $340,508, and most residents have mid-range incomes. The primary occupations are executive, managerial, professional, sales, and service.
West Franklin Road/North Meridian Road
This is one of the most affordable sections of Meridian, with average home price at $266,659. Many people with lower-middle income live here and work in executive, professional, managerial, labor, or manufacturing jobs.
Things to Do in Meridian
You need never be bored when you live in Meridian, Idaho. From outdoor recreation to shopping to sports, there is always something to do. Here are some of the best things to do in Meridian.
Splash in a Waterpark
Kids and adults alike love to play in the water at Roaring Springs, southwest Idaho’s largest waterpark. With waterslides, boat rides, and wave pools, it is a great place to spend a sunny summer afternoon.
Go to the Races
There is always something exciting happening at Meridian Speedway. Here you can watch classic autos, vintage vehicles, monster trucks, or even flame-throwing vehicles tear up the track as you party in the stands.
Take a Walk in the Park
Meridian has several beautiful parks to enjoy with your friends and family. For example, Kleiner Park not only offers a gorgeous natural setting but you can also go there to play bocce ball or fish at a pond.. Plus, you can go to the amphitheater for a concert or enjoy a cold brew from the beer garden.
Shop and Relax in Style
You can shop, dine, watch a movie, or take in the nightlife without ever leaving Meridian. Two unusual spots to do it are The Village and Downtown Meridian. In the Village, you can walk down cobblestone streets, marvel at the beautiful fountains. While you are there, you can shop at the many boutiques, or catch the latest movie. In Downtown Meridian, you can wander along the oak-lined streets and stop at any of the charming brick storefronts to browse for your next great find.
Stop for a Sip
If you enjoy wines or beers, you are sure to find something you like in Meridian. Places to stop for a sip include Slanted Rock Brewing Company, Sunshine Wine Tours, Heritage Hop Haus, Divine Wine Cork & Fork, PreFunk Beer Bar, the 127 Club, and White Water Saloon.
Enjoy Some Recreation
For some good family fun, you can take your pick from a variety of recreational activities. Go bowling at the Pinz Bowling Center or at Meridian Bowling Lanes. Play your choice of arcade and video games at Wahooz Family Fun Zone. Get daring with a rock climb at Vertical View.
Best Schools in Meridian, Idaho
Meridian has both public and private schools for kids in kindergarten through high school, as well as many nearby opportunities for post-high school education.
Public Schools K-12
The public school district serving Meridian is the West Ada School District, also known as Joint District No. 2 or simply the Meridian School District. In its 49 schools, over 35,000 students attend each year. Some of the highest-rated public schools in Meridian are:
- Paramount Elementary School
- Victory Middle School
- Heritage Middle School
- Discovery Elementary School
- Renaissance High School
- Hunter Elementary School
- Sawtooth Middle School
- Rocky Mountain High School
Private Schools K-12
As of 2021, there were five private schools in Meridian. The Challenger School is a highly-ranked private school with a strong focus on academics and achievement. This nursery through eighth grade school was founded in 1963. Students at this school taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills score above the 90th percentile. Another outstanding school is Ambrose School, a Christian K-12 private school. Its 500+ students enjoy many extracurricular activities including a variety of sports. Other private schools in Meridian are Cole Valley Christian Schools (nursery through high school), A Child’s Choice Montessori School (PreK-kindergarten), and King’s Kids Preschool & Kindergarten (PreK-kindergarten).
Colleges and Universities
As for higher education, Boise State University, just 20 miles from Meridian, offers over 200 different undergraduate majors as well as an active sports program. As of 2021, about 26,000 students attend Boise State. However, if you prefer online, religious, or other nontraditional educational opportunities, there are lots of options to explore, including:
- Boise Bible College
- The College of Idaho
- Northwest Nazarene University
- Franklin University
- Stevens-Henager College
- University of Phoenix
- Brown Mackie College
Art, Culture, and Entertainment
When you are living in Meridian, you will find many ways to enjoy art and culture. For a classic music experience, go to a performance of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra or listen to a concert by your favorite band.. If you like theater, you can see a production at the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater or enjoy the more casual setting of an outdoor amphitheater at a local park
There are also several fine museums and galleries in Meridian. Here, you can view the latest exhibits at the Jeff Callihan Gallery, the Initial Point Gallery, or take the kids to the Children's Museum of Idaho. You can also see unique precious stones at the Astro Gallery of Gems.
In Meridian, you can find a vast variety of dining experiences, from upscale fine dining establishments to casual restaurants with affordable fare. When you move to Meridian, Idaho, take time to explore all the dining options. Whether you settle on a few favorite restaurants or mix it up every night, the taste sensations you find here are always satisfying. The following are some of the local favorites among Meridian foodies.
Gino’s Italian Ristorante and Bar - A classic Italian restaurant with tasty bread, a luxurious ambiance, and scrumptious Italian favorites old and new.
Red Pavilion Mandarin Cuisine - A great place to take the family for Chinese food that is both beautiful and delicious.
The Habit Burger Grill - A casual dining spot with the best burgers in town and a friendly staff.
Moe Joe’s Breakfast Eatery - Novel and delightful breakfast creations for the entire family.
Kahootz Steak & Ale House - Outstanding place to go for prime rib, steaks, and seafood.
Epi’s A Basque Restaurant - Excellent dinner selections, beautifully plated and exquisitely seasoned.
Goodwood Barbecue Company - Barbecue favorites, friendly waitstaff, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Lucky Fins Seafood Grill - A vast array of seafood dishes, served up in the most elegant style.
Pueblo Lindo - Outstanding Mexican food and a south-of-the-border ambiance.
Heritage Hop Haus - Casual, friendly place to go for drinks and foods that range from sushi to the best American bar foods.
Big Daddy’s BBQ - Brisket, pulled pork, and a host of barbecue dishes, along with a fun atmosphere.
Coned Pizza - A unique take on pizza - served in a cone for easy eating and carrying.
The Joys of Living in Meridian, Idaho
Moving to Meridian, Idaho gives you a world of advantages and opportunities. Its area offers plenty of sunshine in all seasons and beautiful surroundings. You will always find plenty to do and see, with lots of options for dining, nightlife, and recreation. A variety of neighborhoods offer everything from luxurious homes to affordable family houses. Unlike small towns, there are abundant different experiences waiting for you to enjoy. And unlike big cities, Meridian has little crime and a more laid-back attitude. So, if you are moving to Meridian, you have much to look forward to in the coming years.