There is a reason the city came up with the slogan “Nampa Proud” and why the community voted in favor of it: the people of Nampa are proud of their small town. Although it’s the third largest city in the state of Idaho, the laid-back pace and friendly locals help Nampa hold onto its small-town feel. And this town has a lot that it is proud of. Let’s start with its history: In the early 1880s, the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Wyoming to Oregon, which passed through Nampa. Because railroad had bypassed Boise, Nampa had the fanciest railroad depot in the area.
This brings us to the Nampa Train Depot Museum. This grand, historic building sits in the center of Downtown Nampa. Saved from demolition in 1972 by a group of citizens, the Nampa Train Depot Museum features exhibits on Nampa railroad history, antiques, souvenirs and more. A Downtown Future Downtown Nampa is another source of pride for residents and business owners alike. Anchored by the new Library Square and the library, it’s easy to walk to the Nampa Train Depot Museum, Nampa Farmers Market, art galleries, consignment and retail boutiques, and hip little restaurants. Downtown Nampa is home to Flying M Coffee Garage, Messenger Pizza, Brick 29 Bistro, Stella’s Ice Cream, Boise Fry Company, MESA Tacos + Tequila, and Crescent Brewery to name a few.
Just about everyone in Nampa loves their local Lake Lowell. Located in South Nampa, this 9,000-acre reservoir is a recreation-lover’s paradise. The reservoir was constructed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in the early 1900s. It is surrounded by the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. If bird watching is your thing, this is the place. During the summer, enjoy picnicking, water skiing, wakeboarding, SUP, and all the lake fun you can handle. In the fall, hunters are on the watch for waterfowl.
For a town this size, Nampa has a lot to offer. The Warhawk Air Museum preserves military aviation history and attracts over 25,000 visitors a year. The Ford Idaho Center hosts world-class musicians and events in its outdoor amphitheater and indoor arena. It’s a top venue for numerous horse shows and rodeos like the Snake River Stampede, one of the nation’s top 10 regular season professional rodeos. If golfing is your game, Nampa has three beautiful golf courses within its city limits. The Nampa Recreation Center is a great place for families. This immense facility has five indoor pools, cardio and weight rooms, indoor and outdoor tracks, racquetball, rock climbing, preschool and kids’ camps, senior activities, and a host of events throughout the year. You can also enjoy the performing arts at the Nampa Civic Center.
Residents are also proud of the schools in the friendly town of Nampa. At public and private schools from early childhood on up, the teachers embody the town spirit. They’re hard-working, caring people who are passionate about making sure your child gets the best education possible. And Nampa boasts three great colleges – Northwest Nazarene University, one of the top Christian universities in the Northwest, College of Western Idaho, and Stevens-Henager College.
As great as Nampa is with all its amenities, it wouldn’t be much without the people who live and work here. These salt-of-the-earth type folks work hard and are welcoming and supportive. It’s a diverse culture of farming families, service professionals, retail workers, and entrepreneurs. Housing is more affordable than other areas in the Valley and crime is low. There are many parks and trails to explore, and the proximity to everything around the Valley is a huge bonus.
Nampa’s business-friendly climate and low unemployment rate have encouraged many companies to open or expand here. The community is a retail magnet with major stores like Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, and Costco. Nampa has added two new full-service hospitals to the area – the 87-bed St. Luke’s and 100-bed Saint Alphonsus. Amazon recently opened a new distribution center in the area, adding more than 1,000 new jobs in the process.