You know those movies you love that depict a community event in a small country town? You know what we’re talking about! It’s dusk, strings of lights twinkle overhead, the band is playing, and everyone knows everyone. Gals in sundresses and cowboy boots are sipping wine laughing with friends. Guys are swinging their gals on the dance floor while Grandma’s playing with her granddaughter nearby. Welcome to Caldwell, Idaho.
Life is a little simpler here, filled with rolling farmland, big tractors, and friendly folk. “Farm-to-table” is as common as drinking a glass of water, and the local farmers market is busier than the grocery store. Caldwell is a growing area with a revitalized downtown and many community events throughout the year.
As you might guess, rodeos and county fairs are a pretty big deal in the Caldwell corner of the Valley. The Caldwell Night Rodeo, or CNR as its known to most, is Idaho’s #1 outdoor rodeo. It is the largest and longest running annual event in Canyon County, drawing more than 45,000 fans with its five-night extravaganza. The Canyon County Fair is the biggest summer attraction in the county, attracting more than 50,000 fair-goers over four days. This quintessentially downhome fair is fun and affordable for the whole family. Top country acts perform each night, and attendance is free with paid fair admission of under ten dollars. And what fair wouldn’t be complete without farm animals, hair-raising carnival rides, and sticky cotton candy? What is surprising to many is the number of wineries in the region. Oenophiles (a.k.a. wine connoisseurs) are slowly but surely learning about the excellent wineries in Caldwell’s Snake River Valley, booking their Airbnb’s, and taking to the wine trail.
Snake River Valley’s rich soil, cold winters and hot, dry summers make it an excellent place to grow grapes. Golf is also a big deal in Caldwell. Purple Sage Golf Course is one of the Valley’s most affordable and excellent 18-hole municipal golf course in the Treasure Valley. The 9-hole Fairview Municipal Golf Course has character and charm that reflects the city that surrounds it. Downtown Caldwell’s revitalization of Indian Creek Plaza has brought new life to this quiet town. The Plaza features an outdoor venue and hosts wine and art festivals, music events, and more. A new 11-screen movie theater recently opened, and trendy new restaurants and retail boutiques are popping up. In winter, the Plaza turns into a magical festival of lights and offers outdoor ice skating on the all-new ice ribbon.
Residents of Caldwell love that their city is not that big, which keeps it very friendly and community-minded. Although Caldwell is a smaller city, Boise is just 25 miles down the freeway. The many parks, splash pads, and the farmers market are as lovely as you’ll find anywhere in the Valley. Residents are also excited about all the renovation being done downtown. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the pride of Caldwell, The College of Idaho. Founded in 1891, Idaho’s first private college is the crown jewel of Caldwell’s historic district. Caldwell is the perfect mix of old and new. Overalls and cowboy boots mix with designer jeans and high-heels. Friends gather in Grandma’s kitchen or at the latest restaurant downtown. It’s an exciting time to live in this treasure of the Valley.