Boulder Colorado Relocation Guide
Boulder is known all around the United States as one of the best places in the world to live. People in Boulder
seem to be fitter, happier, and more content than people almost anywhere else. Why is that? Boulder has some
unparalleled access to the outdoors, a great school system, amazing restaurants and a stunning city center. There
are endless things to do in Boulder, so here are the most important things to know if you are considering
relocating to this glorious Colorado city.
The US News & World Report ranked Boulder as number one place in America to live and number two in the
nation for the best place to live for quality of life in 2020-2021. Factors that played into this ranking include the
job market, housing affordability, general quality of life, desirability rankings, and education. Aside from the
concrete factors that make Boulder so great, it was also ranked the Happiest City in America, by National
With such close proximity to the stunning Colorado mountains, a vibrant downtown, and plenty of friendly
people, there is no short supply of activities to do in Boulder, Colorado. Whether you are an avid outdoor
adventurer, a homebody, or an artist, there is a community of people and activities for you in Boulder.
When you think of Boulder, it is near impossible to not picture the jagged and imperfectly beautiful mountains
that make up the boundaries of town. No matter where you are in the town of Boulder, you’ll be able to see
these distinct rocks. The Flatirons are not only spectacular to observe, especially as the sunset lights them up
with a bright orange/red glow. Within and beyond the flatirons are endless hiking and mountain biking trails.
You can leave from almost anywhere in Boulder and wander around for as long as you’d like.
There is no shortage of rock climbing addicts in Boulder and luckily, there is also no shortage of options for
climbing. You can enjoy climbing outside all over those jagged flatirons, or in a gym if you prefer. There are a
few options for a gym so you can conveniently find one near your work or home!
The Pearl Street Mall
The Pearl Street Mall is a staple Boulder activity. The Pearl Street Mall is a lot of fun for the whole family. You
can stop in a wide variety of shops that range from internationally known ones such as Patagonia and Free
People, to local stores like Peppercorn that sell a really fun variety of items. After shopping, there are plenty of
restaurant options to choose from. If you are there with kids, they will love to watch the street performers and
play on the structures scattered along the five or so blocks of the mall.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
One of the coolest things you will find in Boulder is the Dushanbe Teahouse. This teahouse looks like it came
straight out of Tajikistan. Boulder’s sister city is actually Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan and the Teahouse
was a gift. It is an incredibly unique place and going for tea at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is an experience
you will never forget.
Located at the base of the Flatirons, Boulder residents have extremely easy access to not only hiking and
mountain biking trails, but also mountain lakes and reservoirs. The population of Boulder is extremely active,
and when you learn about all the recreational activities out there, you will understand why! Outside Magazine
has called Boulder the number one sports town in America, and with good reason. Boulder is home to some of
the world’s top runners, cyclists, mountain bikers and rock climbers. This community of outdoor enthusiasts
creates a very active and fun-loving environment.
The Boulder Reservoir
The Boulder Reservoir is a great resource for Boulder residents. Because Colorado is a landlocked state,
residents will take all the access to water they possibly can! The Boulder Reservoir is a 700 acre, multi-use water
recreation facility. At Boulder Reservoir, you can go for the day and set up a cookout setup on the beach, rent a
boat and float around the water all day, hop on a paddle board or kayak around. The beach area of the Reservoir
has a lifeguard-monitored swimming area with docks to jump off of. If you have your own equipment you are
able to bring it, or you can rent from the boat house located on the water.
Of course, Colorado is known for its skiing and high-end resorts but there is one that is close to Boulder
residents’ hearts. Eldora Mountain is only 21 miles from Boulder, making it the closest mountain by far. You can
leave early in the morning and be back by the time happy hour starts. CU students can go in the morning and
make it back in time for their afternoon classes. Unlike some of the other Colorado mountain resorts, Eldora is
really laid back and even though it is small, it has some really great terrain and a fun park.
Perhaps the best recreation Boulder has to offer is its unique geography surrounding it. The flatirons create
some amazing hiking opportunities that are hard not to enjoy. Whether you are an avid hiker looking for some
of the most difficult summits to peak, or someone who enjoys a long, flat, leisurely hike, there are plenty of
options for everyone. There are so many trails to pick from right there in your backyard but if you are looking
for more options, Boulder is in very close proximity to plenty of other towns with hundreds of other trails.
The city of Boulder rests in the Boulder Valley, where the Rocky Mountain Flatirons meet the flat plains of the
west. Given its location in a valley. There are excellent options for both intensive mountain activities and flat,
more moderate activities on the flat plains. Boulder Creek is the main flow of water through the City. Most of
Boulder creek’s flow comes from snowmelt and rainfall up in the flagstaff mountains.
Boulder is a very easy city to get around. If you have a bike and you like the extra exercise, there is a great
variety of bike paths that can get you around the city. If you have a car, there is plenty of parking downtown
Boulder and pretty much anywhere you find yourself going. If you rely on public transportation, then you are in
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has a bus routing service in Boulder and the greater Denver area.
Single rides on the RTD buses cost around $2.60 and $4.50 per person depending on where you are traveling.
There is another option to pay $3 for unlimited access for three hours. This would be great if you need to get
around to many different places quickly. You can also purchase weekly or monthly passes, which would be
worth it if you rely on the bus for regular transportation.
Given the growing population of Boulder and the presence of a large university, there are plenty of amenities
available at residents’ and visitors’ fingertips! There are plenty of shopping options for those looking to purchase
groceries, clothing, furniture, or anything else they need! There is a healthy mix of regional and national chains
that you would find in a traditional mall, smaller boutiques that are unique to Boulder, and chains that you can
find all over the world. The options for shopping are near limitless in Boulder.
Aside from traditional shops you would expect to see in a city, Boulder has a huge volume of stores that
specialize in outdoor adventure equipment. Whether you are into mountain biking, rock climbing, or hiking,
there are plenty of stores that sell strictly the equipment you are looking for. Because Boulder is such an active
town and there is such a huge university aged population, there are plenty of gyms and indoor exercise
amenities to keep residents active and healthy.
Again, because there is such a large mix of age groups in Boulder, there are restaurants that cater to each age
group. There are fancy restaurants to go out for celebration or with your family, there are chain restaurants for a
quick bite, and there are some less healthy options around the college campus. Whatever you are in the mood
for, you can find it in Boulder.
AVERAGE HOME SALES
The real estate market in Colorado has grown consistently across the state, and Boulder is no exception. Boulder
itself is a growing city and like in many other places in the country, people are buying and selling houses rapidly
due to the onset of the pandemic. In Boulder, Colorado, the median home prices have risen from around $500k
in 2015 to almost $700k in 2021. This increase is due to an increase in demand and number of people moving to
Boulder. The median price per square foot is $444 and houses on the market do not typically remain available
COST OF LIVING
Being one of the most desirable places to live in Colorado does come at a cost. Boulder is one of the more
expensive municipalities you can find yourself living in in Colorado. Best Places does an analysis of the cost of
living in a specific city and then compares that cost to the state as a whole and the country. For Boulder, some of
the most important factors are well above the national and state average.
The overall cost of living in the United States is set at 100, to easily compare against individual states and cities.
While the United States is ranked 100 for general cost of living, Boulder falls at 141.7, well above Colorado’s
general 121.1. Some of the most important factors that you would want to know about are housing, health, home
cost, and grocery. Costs like groceries, transportation, and miscellaneous things lay close to the national average.
Housing is ranked a staggering 232.2, more than 100 above the national average. The median home cost in
Boulder, Colorado is $682,300, compared to the national average of $291,700 and the state average of $488,600.
In other areas, Boulder is actually more affordable than other locations. Health in Boulder is ranked at 94.2,
below the Colorado average of 95.8 and the national average of 100. Utilities in Boulder are also more affordable
than Colorado and the United States, on average.
One of the things that draws so many people to the Rocky Mountain State is the surprisingly mild and beautiful
winters. While western Colorado gets coated in snow that makes it one of the best skiing states in the Country,
the flatirons and eastward experience a fairly sunny and warm winter. The coldest month of the year is January,
where average temperatures remain around 45 degrees. The hottest month of the year is July with an average
daily temperature of 87 degrees but because there is very little humidity in Colorado, you may even find
yourself needing a sweater when sitting in the shade.
Boulder gets an average annual snowfall of 89 inches but depending on the week, that snow storm can be
followed by a 60 degree day and simply melt away. Boulder is a great place to live and the moderate seasons
make it that much better.
Boulder has a few great options for shopping. There is the iconic Pearl Street Mall, which is full of shops,
restaurants and bars for about 5 blocks. Here you will find a great mix of national stores that you know and love,
as well as artisan booths and small bookstores. There are plenty of street performers on Pearl Street too, so you
will be sure to be entertained on your shopping trip.
For a more traditional mall experience, you can try going to Twenty Ninth Street. Twenty Ninth Street is an
open-air shopping experience where you can find all the stores you would in a traditional mall as well as
delicious restaurants, fast food options, and a movie theatre.
These are just a few of the options available for shopping in Boulder. There are plenty of other shops and retail
stores located around Boulder. “The Hill”, nicknamed by the students at CU Boulder, is full of affordable
restaurants and shops, catering to the university students.
Boulder Valley School District spans an enormous area. Within Boulder Valley School District, there are over 35
elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools, and a solid number of options for non-traditional
schools, and charter schools. There are so many options available for sending your children to school.
In addition to a great K-12 public school system, one of Colorado’s biggest state schools is located in Boulder.
The University of Colorado at Boulder has a huge campus in Boulder. Students at CU have access to the amazing
shopping, activities, restaurants, and outdoor recreation that Boulder has to offer. It is an extremely popular
school and for good reason!