Northwest

The greatest places to live in the West 2011

POCATELLO, IDAHO

POPULATION: 55,000
LAND STARTS AT: $5,000 per acre
AVG. HOME PRICE: $129,900

Start with a plot of land nestled in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Add the history of early 18th-century explorers Lewis and Clark, legendary guide Sacagawea, and the gold-rush era of the 1860s. Sprinkle in farms, ranches, hard-working people, and a business-friendly environment, and you’ve got Pocatello—a.k.a. the “Smile Capital” and gateway to the Northwest. Old Town Pocatello
and the Fort Hall Replica honor the old days, while opportunities for fishing, biking, hiking, skiing, and horseback riding surround the town. Pocatello is also the retail hub of southeastern Idaho and home of Idaho State University
and has been rated by Forbes.com as one of “the best small places to do business.”

Annual events:
WESTERN FRONTIER PRO RODEO, April (pocatellorodeo.org)
ENDURANCE FESTIVAL, May (peakinspiration.com)
ANNUAL IDAHO MUSIC AND WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL, June (pebblecreekskiarea.com)
POCATELLO MARATHON, September (pocatellomarathon.com)

LEWISTON, IDAHO

POPULATION: 32,000
LAND STARTS AT: $50,000 per acre
AVG. HOME PRICE: $159,900

Named for legendary explorer Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame), Lewiston remains an outdoorsman’s paradise. The gateway to Hells Canyon on the Snake River—the country’s deepest and wildest river gorge—the area is defined by wilderness. Closer to home, September’s Lewiston Round-Up
has been celebrating the cowboy way since 1935, the spirit of which is on display in the Lewiston Historic Shopping District.

Annual events:
NAIA WORLD SERIES, Memorial Day weekend (lcsc.edu/naia)
LEWISTON ROUND-UP, September (lewistonroundup.com)
67TH NEZ PERCE COUNTY FAIR, September (npcfair.com)
SNAKE CLEARWATER STEELHEAD DERBY, November (steelheadderby.com)

BAKER CITY, ORE.

POPULATION: 16,435
LAND STARTS AT: $60,000 per acre
AVG. HOME PRICE: $142,000

Welcome to rugged northeastern Oregon, where ghost towns, the Oregon Trail, and ranching and logging thrive. Baker City embodies the Old-West pioneer spirit. Take the trolley to the Historic Downtown District, and then tackle the Snake River on a white-water rafting excursion. Or drive the historic Elkhorn Drive National Scenic Byway, a 106-mile loop.

Annual events:
SPRING FLING, April (visitbaker.com)
HELLS CANYON JUNIOR RODEO, June (hellscanyonjrrodeo.com)
BAKER COUNTY QUILT SHOW, July (visitbaker.com)
SHRINERS EAST-WEST ALL-STAR FOOTBALL GAME, July (oregonprepsports.net)
90TH BAKER CITY FAIR – PANHANDLE RODEO, Labor Day weekend (visitbaker.com)

KENNEWICK, WASH.

POPULATION: 68,500
LAND STARTS AT: $50,000 per acre
AVG. HOME PRICE: $199,900

A river runs through it—three, actually. The Snake, Yakima, and Columbia rivers converge in Kennewick, which along with Pasco and Richland, comprise the so-called Tri-Cities. Visitors can see the history of ancient Kennewick Man at the East Benton County Historical Museum and enjoy informative hikes on the Sacagawea Heritage Trail. With the lowest cost of living index in the state and a steady job growth, Kennewick is a hit with families and businesses, too.

Annual events:
COWBOY GATHERING, April (cowboygettogether.com)
SPRING BARREL TASTING, April (columbiavalleywine.com)
BENTON FRANKLIN FAIR & RODEO, August (bffairrodeo.com)
TRI-CITIES WINE FESTIVAL, November (tricitieswinefestival.com)

American Cowboy Picture

A saddle maker in Baker City, Ore.

The greatest places to live in the West

American Cowboy Picture

Photo by Beth Watson/Watson Design Services, Inc.

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