Boise isn't the only city in the Treasure Valley that can claim some of the most sought-after real estate around. West of the capital city, Eagle is wedged between the Foothills and the Boise River, while Star's easy access to the river makes the two communities increasingly popular options for area residents.
Not long ago, Eagle was a sleepy farming community, but the city has transformed itself into a land of McMansions, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Gone are the feed stores and the expansive farms, replaced by antique stores and multiple wineries.
The vaulted ceilings of a historic church now look down on those who sing the praises of caffeine. A latte at Rembrandt's Coffee House (93 S. Eagle Road) is a ritual for some, while others make weekly summer pilgrimages to the Eagle Saturday Market (Heritage Park, 185 E. State St.) for fresh produce, home-baked goods and crafts.
Eagle is big on upscale entertainment, be it outdoor concerts at the Eagle River Pavilion (landofrock.com) or Woodriver Cellars Winery (woodrivercellars.com), or gallery strolls through downtown, especially during First Friday, when downtown galleries and businesses keep their doors open late.
The outdoors are also a part of the community, with walks along the Greenbelt, swimming at Eagle Island State Park (parksandrecreation.idaho.gov) or more hard-core adventures along the mountain biking trails or the new BMX track at the Eagle Bike Park (eaglebikepark.org).
Tradition has managed to hold on at Eagle Fun Days (eaglechamber.org), the annual community festival that includes a parade, rodeo and the chance to partake of that particularly intimate of Western cuisine: Rocky Mountain oysters.
Star has its fair share of expensive homes lining the Boise River, but on the whole, the hamlet has maintained its rural personality. It's still a place where there's no confusion about which road is main street and grabbing a drink after work means selecting between two bars.
Still changes have come all the same. The newer of those two bars, Sully's (11123 State St.), is an Irish-style pub that boasts a massive patio. Those who prefer a glass of vino can spend some quality tasting time at Helina Marie's (11053 State St.).
Over the last few years, the city has worked to improve its riverside pathway. The Star River Walk (staridaho.org) might not be paved but that makes it easier to ride a horse on. Keep an eye out—you might find the governor riding the other way.