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Nestled in the secluded Emmett, Valley, and part of Gem County, Emmett, Idaho could be Idaho’s perfect small town. First and foremost, this valley is beautiful. Surrounded by large hills, the Payette River runs through the Emmett Valley, providing incredibly fertile ground so the valley stays green year-round. The hills are green in the spring and golden in the summer, and it’s just a slice of pastoral paradise.

With just over 8000 residents in 2023, Emmett has been largely protected from the massive growth the Boise area has seen. And that is largely due to the topography of the area. In order to get to Emmett, Idaho from Boise, you need to drive up Highway 16, heading North from the Star/Eagle border. It’s only about a 20-minute drive from there, but you go up a hill, through a little canyon, top over Freezeout Hill, and then down into the valley. This road can be sketchy in the winter. The story goes that’s it’s called Freezeout Hill because in 1864, a freighter and a wagon came to the top of the hill, and due to ice and freezing conditions, nearly froze to death, and said they “we nearly got froze out of the valley”. But the good news is today, that you can drive up and down the hill with your heater on and some good tires in the winter, and people regularly make the daily commute from Emmett over the hill into Ada County. And there are actually 3 other ways into Emmett as well.

There is Highway 52 heading East towards Horseshoe Bend and coming out on Highway 55, which you can then go north to the mountains or South to Boise, there is Highway 52 heading West towards Payette and Ontario Oregon, and another way I have taken quite a bit is to go on Emmett Road out towards Middleton and then Caldwell. It is important to note that there may be more growth coming to Emmett, as they are currently in the process of connecting Highway 16 to Highway 84, providing a direct route from the main freeway over to Star and then up to Emmett.

So where exactly, is Emmett Idaho? Well first, don’t forget that I have a downloadable custom Google map so you can see exactly where Emmett is and have that map for when you come for a visit.

Okay so Emmet is 31 miles, or about 45 mins from Downtown Boise. It’s 20 miles or about 26 minutes from Eagle. It’s 25 miles, or about 35 mins from Caldwell. It’s about 30 minutes over to Highway 55 to get up into the mountains, And it’s about 40 minutes from Payette, Idaho out towards Ontario, Oregon. So, it is a commutable distance from the major cities in the Boise area, and it’s about 45 minutes to the Boise Airport. Oh, and of course, there is no Costco in Emmett, Idaho, so, you’ll drive to the Meridian Costco, which is about a 30-minute drive. So, it’s a pretty good location to be under 45 minutes from all the things a major city has to offer while enjoying small town life.

So, if you wanted a small town in the Boise area, even places like Star and Middleton don’t offer a full-service city like Emmett does. But just like Star and Middleton, the one thing Emmett does not have much of is shopping for clothes or home goods. There are a few lovely local stores for decor and other things, but you’ll still need to make the 40-minute drive to Meridian or Nampa shopping for things like Target, Wal-Mart, or mall type shops. Or of course, use Amazon.

So, does a self-contained small city offering tons of community events, all the great things for outdoor Idaho living, a quiet peaceful valley, seclusion from the rat race lifestyle, but still only a 45-minute drive to any big city amenity, and a chance to live a true country lifestyle sound good to you? Well, Emmett, Idaho may be calling your name.

For the most current information on the Emmet housing market, click HERE


Restaurants, Drinks and More in Emmett, Idaho

Places To Eat and Drink in Boise, Idaho

  1. Cowboys Chophouse
  2. Beijing Restaurant
  3. La Costa Mexican
  4. Idaho Pizza Company
  5. Pizza Factory
  6. Elements Kitchen and Bar
  7. Roe-Ann Drive-In
  8. Arctic Circle
  9. Happy Teriyaki
  10. Tacos El Dorado
  11. The Corner Deli
  12. Kate’s Country Kitchen
  13. Fourth Street Fusion
  14. Good Ol’ Boys Food Truck
  15. Huck-N-Finns Sports Bistro
  16. Black Canyon Brewing
  17. Tom’s Cabin

Dessert, Coffee and More

  1. Blue Ribbon Cafe and Bakery
  2. HeBrews Coffee
  3. Emmett Ice Cream Shop
  4. Banducci’s Tanning and Espresso
  5. Newstead Farm and Market


Let’s Talk About The Parks in Emmett, Idaho

Click HERE to learn more about the amazing parks in Emmett.


Exploring around Emmett, Idaho

Top Sights in Emmett


Emmet, Idaho Area Golf

Click HERE for to learn more about the areas golf courses


Emmett School District

Emmett School District has 3 elementary schools, with Carberry being a very highly rated school, and then Emmett Middle School and Emmett High, with the distinctive dome architecture.  Football is huge in this valley and tackle football starts in 4th grade. There is also a large homeschooling population here, and I’ll put a link down below for my video all about school choices in Idaho, but you can also have your children do dual enrollment with homeschool and public school, as well as homeschool and have them participate in public school extracurricular activities.

Click HERE to learn more about the schools in Emmett




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