With the increase in metropolitan home prices and the ability to telecommute, more and more families are moving to less known and less expensive towns around the state. North and South of Denver along the I-25 Corridor, there are several small towns that offer big benefits to living outside Metropolitan Denver as well as East in more rural communities, and South in the four corners region of the state. I have lived in just about every region of the state at one time or another and have traveled to and through these areas as well. They are all, unique in their own special way and have a lot to offer based on your preferred lifestyle. Many of which have made the Top 150 Best Places to live in the U.S. 2021-2022, According to US News and World Report. Keep checking back, as we will add new areas and towns regularly to help you make the best decision about where you would like to live when you decide to make the move and relocate to Colorado.
It is no wonder that Fort Collins is ranked as #17 Top Places to Live in the U.S., due to its beauty and laid-back lifestyle. Fort Collins has so much history and character, from the trolly that runs down Mountain Avenue and it's historical homes, to 'Old Town' structures and buildings with stories from another time, more than a century ago.
This town is well known for its craft beer and outdoor recreation. Being home to New Belgium Brewery and close proximity to Lory State Park, Horsetooth Reservoir and Poudre Canyon, it is not uncommon to spend the morning hiking or mountain biking in the foothills and hanging out on a patio at a brewery or distillery in the afternoon. This town offers a unique, laid-back lifestyle not easily found in other cities around Colorado.
Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, the second-largest public state University in Colorado. It is home to more than 33,000 students, many of which stay through the summer and after graduation because of the beauty and chill atmosphere. With the influx of students every fall, it does increase the population of the town by nearly 20% in the fall.
Fort Collins has some great claims to fame. It's the home to author, Temple Grandin. A League of Their Own (1992 movie featuring Madonna and Tom Hanks) had scenes filmed at CSU and Walker. Walker Texas Ranger was also filmed in this small town. But, the most famous fact of all is that downtown Ft. Collins was the inspiration behind Disney’s Mainstreet.
Climate: Fort Collins has a January low of 15 degrees and a July high of 87 degrees.
Average Snowfall: 48 inches/yr
Boulder, Colorado is a gorgeous little town set at the base of the Flatirons in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This town is primarily known for its beautiful campus at the University of Colorado, its historic collection of high priced homes in the downtown district and its close proximity to the foothills providing a multitude of outdoor activities.
It was once known as a popular hippie town back in the 1960’s, but has now become more known for outdoor activities, progressive politics and home to a hand full of well known tech companies such as Apple, Cisco, IBM and Google Boulder.
In all its beauty and charm, Boulder has become one of the most expensive cities in Colorado due to the limited regulations on building out and up. They have preserved their open land and limited the ability to build up, unless it is part of University of Colorado. With the limited amount of building space available and the continued high demand to live in Boulder, It is now 30% higher than Denver and 76% higher than the rest of the nation to buy a home in Boulder. So, if you are thinking of moving to Boulder for the amazing views and lifestyle, it will come with a very expensive price tag.
Boulder's Claim to Fame: Consistently topped the lists for happiest and healthiest places to live in the US. Ranked #1 on US World Report for “Best Places to Live 2021 – 2022”.
Average Snowfall: 71 inches/yr
As you can imagine, Franktown, Elizabeth, Elbert and Kiowa – Elbert County and everything in between – is becoming more and more popular since people have begun moving away from urban living. There are certainly some pros and cons to every area considered. But, if you enjoy a more quiet life and nightlife is not really your thing any more, then this area is perfect for your lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, there are places to go for an evening out. It just isn’t the same as a club in downtown Denver. This area is known for its friendly residents, wide open spaces, rolling hills and millions of stars at night. This is true country living with city shopping and conveniences within a 10-30 min commute. The closest town with full shopping experience is Castle Rock, home to the Castle Rock Outlet Mall.
The reality of this area is that it is very rural. If you have kids and you want to get them back to basics and away from the screen time, this is the place to be. A few acres, a half dozen chickens and a couple ATV’s and you will get those kids out of the house more and away from the digital devices.
Colorado Springs is located 71 miles south of Denver along the I-25 Corridor. It is the second largest city in the state, second only to Denver. This town has grown into quite the beauty, located at the base of one of Colorado’s most famous 14er’s, Pikes Peak.
With three military bases located in the area, this town is heavily populated with active duty and retired military veterans. It was ranked #6 by US News and World Report “Best Places to Live” 2021-2022 and with the average home price being 2% lower than the national average, it is a great alternative to trying to live in the Denver Metropolitan area. It is only a 45-60 minute commute to Denver and offers a more laid back, quiet and affordable alternative. What is even more appealing about this small city, is that it is a very bike friendly town. It offers 120 miles of city trails and bike lanes within the town itself and more than 60 miles of unpaved mountain bike trails outside the city proper.
Colorado Springs weather is very similar to Denver, but the thing I love most about this city is the outdoor activities and adventures that surround it. Sure, there are the usual tourist attractions of the Garden of the Gods (an absolutely gorgeous must see), Cave of the Winds and the, always awe inspiring, Pikes Peak Highway. But, for the more adventurous resident looking for a thrill, consider ziplining, whitewater rafting or climbing the Manitou Incline or, Via Ferrata.
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