Colorado is among the fastest-growing states in the US, with the population climbing every year. In 2018 alone, the population grew 1.37% with 5,684,203 recorded. Colorado is quite literally one of the best places to live in the country, but why have so many chose here to reside?
A hundred years ago, Colorado only boasted a population of approximately 940,000. There’s a clear boom in overall growth and many reasons the Centennial state is unique and, ultimately, a favorite destination. Most notably, its stunning beauty and diverse landscapes have made this state one of the most popular in the US. According to US News, Colorado scores #10 overall for livability. In addition, many cities in Colorado feature some of the best restaurants and chefs in America, several world-famous breweries and more.
Ultimately, there is something for everyone in Colorado, from humble ski towns to big cities and everywhere in between. Here are the top 7 best places to live in Colorado in 2019:
Ski Towns in Colorado
Many of the cities and towns throughout Colorado have something to offer. Preferences can be ranked according to likes and dislikes, so we’re starting with a very popular, appealing aspect of living in Colorado: the outdoors and the Rocky Mountains.
Additionally, Colorado has no shortage of majestic mountain towns. If you’re someone who enjoys outdoor settings and activities then this is the list for you. Whether your activity of choice includes: skiing or snowboarding, rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and even fishing on Colorado’s beautiful lakes these Colorado mountain towns may get you to pack up and move.
Winter Park, CO
Ski towns like Winter Park, Colorado are a great place to raise a family, enjoy diverse outdoor activities year-round and have access to some of the best skiing in the state right in your backyard.
Winter Park is cupped by the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Residents of the serene mountain town can enjoy top of the line skiing both in the backcountry and at the well-known Winter Park Resort. In the summertime, hiking, biking, and rock-climbing are readily available in the surrounding wilderness. James Peak makes for a popular destination with its hiking trails, a glacier lake, and stunning wilderness.
Winter Park is all about small-town living with a modest town center. However, Winter Park is only an hour and a half from Denver in case residents feel like visiting the big city.
- Population: 706 (20.7% growth)
- Median Age: 37.7
- Median Income: $79,375
- Median House Value: $420,000
Some of the best experiences in Colorado await you in the Rocky Mountains. We’d wager a guess that most people make Colorado a top choice to live due in part to its climate — the summer months are certain spectacular — and the great, beneficial mountain air. There is really nothing quite like it! If you’re seeking a ski town in Colorado, Fraser might be a good fit.
Furthermore, if you seek to escape the hustle and bustle of the city but within proximity of a metro area, Fraser, CO might be your next one-way ticket. Fraser, CO is a quaint mountain town less than an hour’s drive from the Mile High City of Denver. Like Winter Park, Fraser has all of the fun outdoor activities and events, including skiing, tubing, sledding in winter months and hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, water sports, and even a rodeo during the summer stretch. Fraser also has an Area Nightlife with breweries, restaurants, and other attractions.
Get the best of both worlds when living in Fraser. Further, home prices in this area make this one of the most affordable mountain towns in the Rockies.
- Population: 1,688
- Median Age: 30.6
- Median Income: $52,267
- Median House Value: $282,300
Breckenridge has long been hailed one of the best ski towns in Colorado for vacationers worldwide. With sky-scraping peaks, picturesque scenery, and plenty of shopping in town, there’s definitely no shortage of fun. Aside from just the usual winter activities, Breckenridge is a sight to see during summer months, too. There are world-famous hiking areas, high alpine lakes, and a plethora of trails for walking or mountain biking. You might notice, people tend to come to Breckenridge for the winter, but stay for the summer.
Aside from the tourist attractions and activities, Breckenridge is considered one of the best mountain towns in Colorado to live. It has a population of over 20,000, a median income of $73,538, and a median house cost of just under $400,000. It stands a bit more pricey than other nearby areas like Fraser and Winter Park; still, it boasts the serenity and friendly atmosphere that newcomers seek. Breckenridge has plenty of outdoor areas to explore.
If you’re looking to call Breckenridge home, we encourage you to get outside as much as possible. The wonderment of the surroundings will certainly bring you peace.
- Population: 29,722
- Median Age: 39.2
- Median Income: $73,538
- Median House Value: $547,700
Big Cities in Colorado
Used to big city living? Well, Colorado has that, too. Denver is a bustling city filled with things to love for city-dwellers. Several districts feature breweries, nightclubs, and bars perfect for a night out with your friends. These urban districts also feature some of the best concept restaurants in the nation. The Rocky Mountains and huge portions of the National Forests surrounding them are right in Denver’s backyard, making for great mountain biking, hiking and skiing opportunities.
US News named Denver the number 2 destination to live in America in 2019.
It’s no secret that Denver is a main hub for people looking to live in Colorado. It sits in close proximity — maybe 45 minute drive — to the wonderful outdoor adventures we described above while also offering the benefits of a metro city. There are numerous restaurants, breweries, local attractions (Denver Zoo, museums, sporting complexes, events), plus it’s home to four different professional league sports: NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. Whatever your tastes, preferences, or lifestyle, Denver is guaranteed to offer something wonderful.
Over the last decade, Denver has experienced exponential growth both economically and with its population. Metro Denver is home to a little over 700,000 people, but in combination with neighboring suburbs like Lakewood, Aurora, and Glendale, Denver’s population exceeds 2M.
- Population: 704,621
- Median Age: 34.5
- Median Income: $65,224
- Median House Value: $395,400
Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs to the south of Denver is another great example of a big city. Colorado Springs is near both the famed Pikes Peak at the eastern edge of the Rockies and the iconic Monument Valley. The sweeping sandstone rock formations and prehistoric history of Colorado are highlighted in the many parks, museums, and local businesses. However, Colorado Springs has everything you could ask for in a big city, including nightlife, unique dining and more.
Colorado Springs is also home to the Garden of the Gods, a world-famous park full of natural sandstone formations that defy the imagination. It is a mecca for the versatility of the Colorado terrain and is a fantastic year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Population: 723,878
- Median Age: 34.7
- Median Income: $65,593
- Median House Value: $274,100
Small Cities in Colorado
In addition, some may enjoy the balance that a small city offers between remote ski towns and bustling urban centers.
Boulder and Fort Collins are two examples of such cities, that have everything you could ask for in a city but a more tight-knit community. Both Boulder and Fort Collins host large universities, which means that nightlife and unique dining are present in both and plenty of things to do for a younger demographic.
In addition to nightlife, Boulder hosts several music and food festivals throughout the year, as well as emphasizing the arts. National Geographic named it the happiest place in the United States. This is in part due to the unique balance of outdoor activities, craft breweries, world-famous chefs and concept food and drink. Boulder always has something to do!
- Population: 322,514
- Median Age: 36.5
- Median Income: $80,834
- Median House Value: $504,800
Fort Collins, CO
The city of Fort Collins also offers a similar mix of activities. It is surrounded by the Horsetooth Reservoir, Horsetooth Mountain and Open Park, and Lory State Park. The rugged wilderness lends itself to a large rock-climbing and hiking presence. The Old Town Historic District of Fort Collins is also immensely popular and features several pubs, eateries, and boutiques.
- Population: 343,976
- Median Age: 36
- Median Income: $69,102
- Median House Value: $359,800