Nampa in 1906

Get To Know Nampa

Nampa, ID was incorporated in 1890 and has deep roots in Southwest Idaho's agricultural history. It sprung up initially as a railroad town as a key stop through the Treasure Valley; the historic train startion is now a museum in the heart of downtown. Today, Nampa has a population of about 90,000 people.

Some interesting things about Nampa:
  • The origin of the word "nampa" is unknown, but is likely from a Shoshone word for "mocassin" or "footprint."
  • Just south of town is Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which was founded in 1909 by Theodore Roosevelt.
  • The streets can be confusing: when first created, the city grid was based on the straight lines of the railroad tracks, which do not run true north-south. As a result, many of the streets in Nampa have a large curve to correct for the directional discrepancy in later planning phases.
  • Are those potatoes? Nope. You may see large trucks carrying what look like potatoes; they are actually sugar beets! Nampa is home to a large factory for the Amalgamated Sugar Company, which makes granulated sugar out of sugar beets.
  • Lakeview Park, which you will likely pass as you head through town coming from and going to the freeway, used to actually be a lake. It was drained in the 1920s because of frequent flooding.
Where are we? Here are some of the closest major cities to help you get your bearings in the big wide West:
  • Seattle, WA to Nampa: 480 miles
  • Portland, OR to Nampa: 415 miles
  • Salt Lake City, UT to Nampa: 350 miles
  • Helena, MT to Nampa: 500 miles
  • Yellowstone National Park to Nampa: 400 miles
  • Canadian Border (approx.) to Nampa: 500 miles
Looking for coffee? The Northwest coffee culture is alive and well in Idaho. The place most of our students would recommend is the Flying M, an independent coffee house in downtown Nampa. Located in an old converted Firestone Tire garage, the M roasts its own beans in-store and offers a wide selection of drinks and treats. There are also several coffee stops in Boise you might want to explore, including The District, Big City Coffee, Slow by Slow, and Dawson Taylor. We also have all the staples close by: Starbucks and Dutch Bros. are just around the corner.

Looking for food? Here's where to eat:

Easy Eats

Blazen Burgers
Blimpie Subs & Salads
Carl's Jr.
Cold Stone Creamery
Dairy Queen
Idaho Pizza Company
Jack In the Box
Panda Express
Panera Bread
Rigoberto's Mexican Grill
Sonic Drive-In
Taco John's

Sit Down Affairs

Brick 29 Bistro
Buffalo Wild Wings
Chapala Mexican Restaurant
Cracker Barrel
Hong Kong
LeBaron's (Honker) Cafe
Messenger Pizza
Olive Garden
Outback Steakhouse
Red Robin
The Nest (breakfast and lunch)
Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta
Thailand Express

Worth the Drive

Boise Fry Co.
Cheesecake Factory
Flatbread Community Oven
Flying Pie Pizzeria
P.F. Chang's