Colorado Relocation Guide
Colorado is a rapidly growing state and for great reason! The Rocky Mountain State has beautiful weather,
stunning mountains, and vibrant cities that keep its residents entertained, happy, and healthy! This western US
state has a diverse landscape of desert, canyons, snow-covered mountains, and unique rock formations.
Depending on where they reside within the state, Colorado residents have easy access to vastly different
landscapes that offer endless opportunities for adventure, activity and sport. Best known for its mountains,
Colorado’s alpine towns offer residents and visitors close access to hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and
exploring the quaint towns that reside at at least 8,000 feet. These towns have a rich history of mining turned
outdoor adventure. Colorado’s most populated cities, Denver and Boulder, are growing at a rapidly increasing
rate. With booming industries and trendy, eclectic, and historic neighborhoods, these areas are great hubs for
innovation and excitement. Residents of Colorado’s lively cities enjoy a wide variety of delicious restaurants,
fun-filled bars, and locally owned stores and boutiques.
MOST POPULATED AREAS OF COLORADO
Colorado is a very large state. With over 104,000 square miles of land, the Rocky Mountain State has a few hubs
where many residents live. The best part about the urban hubs of Colorado is that each has their own flare.
Cities on the Front Range are drastically different from those on the Western Slope, as are those in the Northern
area of the state. Here are some of the most populated cities in Colorado.
Denver, of course, is Colorado’s capital city. The population of Denver’s metro area is just under 3 million
people and it is rapidly growing. There are exploding industries in Denver including tech. Tech companies that
would have chosen California as their hub 5 years ago are now moving to Denver, or at least opening up an
office in the Mile High City.
Denver sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet, which earned it the nickname of the Mile High City. Denver has so
many attractions for its residents including Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play, Mile High Stadium,
where the Broncos play, and the Pepsi Center which is home to the Colorado Avalanche and Nuggets. It is a
bustling city with great sports teams, so there is always something to see! Denver is full of delicious and popular
restaurants, fun bars, and a wide range of shopping. Denver is also home to not only one, but two amusement
parks! Elitch Gardens is a Six Flag amusement park that is located in the city’s center. Lakeside Amusement Park
is a smaller, older amusement park that is located on the western side of the city.
One of Denver’s most attractive qualities is the number of major parks it has. Many homes in the Denver metro
area do not have yards, so having large parks nearby is a huge perk for many. Washington Park is one of the
city’s largest parks. It is located south of downtown and acts as a centerpiece for the Wash Park neighborhood.
Washington park features two large ponds that offer the chance of fishing, renting a paddle boat, and running,
biking and rollerblading around the 2.6 mile paved path surrounding them.
Located close to Wash Park is Cheeseman Park. Cheeseman is located closer to the city’s downtown in a historic
neighborhood. Old mansions that have been converted into museums or apartment buildings surround the
park, giving the park an old-timey feel. On one side of Cheeseman is the Denver Botanic Gardens, a great place
to spend an afternoon looking at beautiful flowers and exotic plants.
City Park is located just east of the downtown business district and is home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver
Museum of Nature and Science. City Park has a huge area allowing for endless activities. During the spring and
summer months the park hosts a farmers’ market where Denverites can walk around shopping for local produce
and eat from food trucks, while listening to live music.
Sloan’s Lake is located in western Denver, bordering Wheat Ridge. This park features a huge park with a large
lake that is perfect for water sports! Jet Skiing, boating and fishing are exciting activities available in the warm
months. Park visitors can also walk the path along Sloan’s lake, or take to it with a bike, or roller blades! There
are also tennis courts, soccer fields, and play structures, providing all day fun for the whole family! Sloan’s lake
gives visitors an excellent view of both the Denver skyline and the Front Range Mountains.
Boulder is Denver’s neighbor to the northwest. However close you think you are to the mountains in Denver,
you are closer in Boulder. It is always awe-striking when you drive into the city and realize just how close you
are to the base of the Front Range Mountains. Boulder has the stereotype of being a hippie town. In some ways,
it is. Boulder seems to be a fairly laid back city in relation to other cities around the country. For some, the best
part about Boulder is the access it has to the outdoors. Residents can step outside of their house, hop on their
bike or throw on their hiking shoes and spend their afternoon in the mountains and make it back in time for
dinner. The city offers great opportunities for mountain biking, climbing, running, hiking, and whatever other
activities you can think of.
Boulder residents are generally very active, meaning there is a whole community of people who want to explore
the mountains with you if you are interested in that. The city’s geography is a key to the active lifestyle its
residents enjoy. With flat plains and rugged mountains and rock faces, Boulder has so much to offer!
The US News & World Report ranked Boulder as the 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
Colorado University has their largest campus in Boulder. The CU Campus is surrounded by residential
neighborhoods, delicious restaurants, and shopping centers! The Pearl Street Mall is a staple to Boulder
residents. There is a wide range of shops that include internationally known ones such as Patagonia and Free
People, and small ones like Peppercorn that are locally owned. There is so much shopping to be done as well as
plenty of restaurants to choose from. There are often street performers that offer entertainment for the whole
Longmont, Colorado is located just about 33 miles northwest of Denver. Longmont is a smaller city in Colorado,
surrounded by the state’s most populated municipalities: Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. The population of
Longmont is just under 100,000 people, making it one of the bigger towns in Colorado. This is a great place to
raise a family. There are great schools and plenty of activities to enjoy!
With such close proximity to the mountains in Colorado, a vibrant downtown, and exciting surrounding towns,
there is no short supply of activities to do in Longmont, Colorado. Whether you are an avid outdoor adventurer,
an art lover, or a homebody, there is a community of people and activities for you in Longmont.
Colorado is a large state with vastly different regions. Each of these regions has their own towns and cities that a
lot of the population resides in. Aside from Denver, Boulder and Longmont, there are other large and important
cities in Colorado!
Grand Junction is another of the big cities in Colorado, and the largest city on Colorado’s Western Slope. The
area is known for its peaches, vineyards and year-round mild climate.
Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland are located north of Denver and Boulder on Interstate-25. These urban spots
are more known for farming and agriculture than their neighbors to the south. Fort Collins is home to Colorado
State University, a huge university in Colorado.
Colorado Springs is located south of Denver and has its own unique history and urban activities. In Colorado
Springs is Colorado College, another popular university in Colorado. Colorado Springs has an urban center
surrounded by natural beauty like the Garden of the Gods and endless trails to hike or bike on.
Popular Ski Towns
To people all around the United States and even the world, Colorado is known as a ski utopia. There are so many
mountains and so many different resorts that bring travelers from far and wide to ski its powdery slopes. While
the resorts are the main attraction for many, Colorado’s ski towns have a lot to offer to exciting winter events,
delicious restaurants, and unique culture and history. Here are some of the most popular Colorado Ski Towns:
Aspen has the reputation of being one of the fanciest mountain towns in Colorado. Aspen has four different ski
resorts in it and its distance from Denver gives it a more exclusive feel. The Aspen mountains give riders some
of the best skiing in the country. Aspen is filled with expensive restaurants and bars, fancy hotels, and some
great mountains. Aspen is legendary and whether or not you partake in the fancy part of its offerings, you will
enjoy the endless number of opportunities to get outside and explore.
Vail is also one of those resorts that has a reputation of being high end and expensive. Just like with Aspen, there
is a good reason for its popularity. The back bowls at Vail are regarded as legendary and it has some of the best
skiing the state has to offer! This is a really great place that will guarantee fun for the whole family!
Steamboat is further west from Denver than the close by mountain resorts, so it is not a day trip from Denver.
Steamboat is over Rabbit Ears Pass, up north close to Wyoming. This is a unique ski town that has earned the
nickname “Ski Town USA” because of how many skiers it sends to the Olympics. There are some truly
outstanding skiers that have come from Steamboat. The mountain is the third biggest ski mountain in Colorado,
right behind Snowmass and Vail. Steamboat also has the unique feel of a western town. This area is still
populated by ranchers, cattle, and horses. In the summer Steamboat hosts a weekly rodeo that brings the best
cowboys and rodeo competitors from all around the west.
Crested Butte has the reputation of being “The Last Great American Ski Town”. Crested Butte is about four
hours south of Denver and because of its remote location and killer surrounding mountains, it makes for a
paradise for outdoor lovers. The ski resort at Crested Butte is small but mighty. The runs are short but there is a
lot of expert terrain that brings many people to attempt to take on the challenge. During the summer there is
great mountain biking and other mountain activities to partake in. Don’t miss the wildflower festival in July,
where the town lights up with beautiful wildflowers.
Telluride is fairly far from Denver. It is located in southwestern Colorado, over on the Western Slope by Grand
Junction. Telluride is about a 7 hour drive from Denver. The former mining town boasts historic houses and
landmarks surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains you have ever seen. Because of the
surrounding trails and natural beauty, Telluride makes for the perfect mountain vacation during any time of the
Top Activities To Do In Colorado
With so many interesting, lively cities and sprawling mountain landscapes, there are endless activities to do in
Colorado; you will never get sick of it. Whether you love pushing your limits and experiencing the outdoors, or
you’re more of a homebody and want to explore your city, there are so many options. Here are just a few of the
best ones that Colorado has to offer:
As we have already discussed, skiing is one of the most popular activities to do in Colroado. Though we only
mentioned a few of Colorado’s best mountain towns and ski resorts, the state contains 32 different ski resorts, so
there is plenty of powder to find! If downhill skiing or snowboarding is not for you, crosscountry skiing is
another popular activity to do to take advantage of Colorado’s snowy winter months. Whether you are a
seasoned pro or just starting out, there is no better place to participate than in the Rocky Mountain State.
Hike the Flatirons
Boulder is pushed right up against the base of the Flatirons. The Flatirons are giant sandstone peaks that are
intertwined with hiking trails as far as the eye can see! 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, but 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.
Visit the Denver Zoo
Within City Park is the Denver Zoo! It houses animals from all over the world including African Lions,
penguins, American Flamingos, and Asian Elephants. There is so much to see here, it is a great activity for the
whole family! The zoo is not only a fun experience for kids, but an educational one as well! Learning about
where animals come from is fascinating and important to understanding the world around us.
Like many zoos around the country, the Denver Zoo prioritized conservation. They work with the Association
of Zoos and Aquariums to support animals through voluntary programs like the Species Survival Plan, a
program that facilitates the survival of many species by keeping zoo populations healthy and abundant. Even
though the Zoo is located in City Park, you still need to purchase a ticket to enter the zoo. Online tickets are
required for all guests. The Zoo is open daily from 10am and closing time varies per day. During the holiday
season the Denver Zoo hosts Zoo Lights, which is a beautiful display of holiday lights decorating the property. It
is a big attraction for Denverites, so if you find yourself in the city around the holidays, it is not to be missed!
Catch a Concert at Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Red Rocks was the world’s most visited music venue last year, and it is conveniently located just about 25
minutes outside of Denver. Whether it is because of the stunning atmosphere, beautiful wild awe, or the great
shows that come to the amphitheater, it is an experience that you do not want to miss. Once spring comes,
Coloradoans flock to red rocks to see some of the coolest music shows you can think of. The world’s top artists
come to play here, and though it is a smaller theater than Denver’s Ball Arena, it holds a huge number of guests.
Going to a show at Red Rocks is a completely different experience than going to another music venue. Sit along
the stone rows of benches and enjoy a beautiful light show surrounding you. The stage at red rocks is built right
into the rocks, so the backdrop for the concert is mother nature herself.
If you are not a concert lover, you should still make a trip to Red Rocks to see what all the hype is about. During
Colorado’s warmer months, visitors can enjoy hiking trails around the amphitheater and enjoy some stunning
trails. If you are an early riser, Red Rocks’ sunrise yoga on the rocks is not something you will want to miss. It is
a unique experience that gives you the best Colorado has to offer: beautiful sunrises surrounded by glorious
nature and other Colorado-loving individuals. It is a really unique experience and is a must-try for so many. If
you are not interested in yoga, Red Rocks is a great place for any self-guided workout. Plenty of people come to
the theater to work out next to nature and test their strength with the impressive number of stairs the
amphitheater is made up of.
Points of Interest in Colorado
Garden of the Gods
Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is seriously something that looks like it came straight from a
movie scene. It is a cluster of jagged red rocks pointed up at the sky. The rock formation was formed during a
geological upheaval along a natural fault line. Just as the Rocky Mountains were formed, natural shifts in the
earth’s tectonic plates forced rocks up into jagged structures that look like a playpen fit for the Gods. The park is
a great place to explore when you are in Colorado Springs. There are driving paths so you can tour around the
park from the comfort of your car, or you can hike around on various paths or rock climb in certain sections of
US Olympic & Paralympic Museum
Also in Colorado Springs, is the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum. Colorado Springs has earned itself the
nickname of Olympic City USA. This is due to its culture of achievement, national pride, and dedication.
Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). The city has an
incredible number of natural training grounds, historic sites, and stunning views to continue the inspiration. The
US Olympic & Paralympic Museum is a 60,000-square foot attraction in the city. The mission of the Museum is
to honor the Olympic and Paralympic ideals, document and share the history of the United States’ Olympic and
Paralympic participation, and the achievements of United States’ athletes. Visitors can learn stories about
American athletes that inspire our United States’ Olympic and Paralympic pride!
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a must see for anyone living in or visiting Colorado. Fort Collins is the closest
large city to the vast and beautiful national park, but it is easily accessible for people living in Denver, Boulder,
or nearby cities as well. With the park so conveniently located, Colorado residents and visitors have a full range
of activities at their disposal.
Rocky Mountain National Park offers countless trails and areas perfect for the avid hiker or mountain biker. The
park is really quite spectacular. It covers 410 square miles and includes 18 peaks above 13,000 feet, 150 lakes and
a scenic road called Trail Ridge Road running through it. You can find beautiful spots suitable for a picnic if you
are looking to travel for a day trip, or great places to camp, if you are looking to spend a few days out in the
If outdoor adventure doesn’t excite you enough to spend your days and nights in the wilderness of the national
park, you can take Trail Ridge Road through the park and find the town of Estes Park, where you can enjoy the
small mountain town and observe wildlife from the comfort of your car. If you’re a fan of spooky things, you
can book a stay at the Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is located near the towns of Cortez and Mancos and was home to the ancestral Pueblo
people who inhabited the dwellings in the park between 600 and 1300 AD. In the park are thousands of
archeological sites, including the spectacular cliff dwellings. The dwellings are extremely impressive and easily
viewable from a road allowing access to many of the top sites. There are hiking trails as well if viewers would
like to get more up close and personal with the dwellings in the park.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. If an unsuspecting
traveler came across these sand dunes, they would probably be very confused as to why there are these giant
mounds of sand in the middle of the mountains. The tallest dune is 750 feet and when contrasted with the
mountains in the background and the glow of the sun, it is extremely spectacular. Visitors can enjoy climbing
the sand dunes for a great challenge, and camping either directly on the dunes or in a nearby campground.
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument is located just outside of Grand Junction and near Fruita. Travelers here can take
a scenic road that snakes its way through some outstanding and breathtaking scenery. This landscape features
huge rock spires, cliff walls, canyons, and desert-like surroundings with small trees and scrubby bushes. It is a
spectacular place to go to see a diverse Colorado landscape.
Four Corners Crossing
Four Corners is a point of interest at the southwestern tip of Colorado where it meets with the corners of Utah,
Arizona, and New Mexico. This is the only place in the United States where four states touch at a single point, so
it is interesting and fun to go see!
GEOGRAPHY OF COLORADO
Colorado is a western state featuring the beautiful Rocky Mountains. While that may be what many first think of
when they think of the state, the reality is that the geography of Colorado varies more than one may think. The
state’s geography encompasses both the well-known rugged mountain terrain, but also desert lands and mesas.
The eastern side of Colorado features vast plains that are great for farming, even with the sparse rainfall the area
experiences. It seldomly has a very rainy season and for that reason this region is fairly dry.
As you move farther west from the eastern plains, Colorado grows in elevation before reaching the continental
divide and then starts to lower in elevation as you continue west. Before you get to the drastic elevation jump
you have the Front Range Urban Corridor. This is where most of the state’s population lives. It is protected from
storms by the mountains to the west and as a result features a fairly mild climate. This is where you will find
Denver, Longmont, Boulder, and other densely populated urban areas.
When you get to the Western Slope you begin to notice the desert landscape of the area. This region is arid and
does not experience much rain. This is a great location for certain types of farming, like grape farming for
example. This region is rich with wineries that produce wine with a unique taste due to the elevation the grapes
are grown at. Because of the drastically different landscapes in Colorado, there are endless activities to discover
TRANSPORTATION OF COLORADO
Colorado has a few different major airports, the most prominent being the Denver International Airport (DIA).
DIA is the largest airport in North America and one of the busiest too. It not only services flights from states
around the country, but from countries all over the world and regional airports in Colorado! The other major
airports in Colorado are Colorado Springs Airport and Grand Junction Regional Airport. The airports in Denver
make it easy to get around the state and to come home from wherever you are traveling!
Once you’re in Colorado, transportation is easy too. The Regional Department of Transportation has created a
public transportation system that is easy and inexpensive! It is easy to get from one urban area to another, even
if they are a bit of a drive away. For example, the Flatiron Flyer brings travelers between Boulder and Denver,
the Bustang connects Denver, Colorado Springs, Loveland, Fort Collins, Idaho Springs, Frisco, Vail, Eagle,
Glenwood Springs, Estes Park and even more locations. Driving on I-70 on a weekend in the winter can be a
miserable experience due to how many people are doing the same thing, so public transportation is a great idea
to keep you from being stuck behind the wheel of your car!
COST OF LIVING IN COLORADO
Best Places does an analysis of the affordability of locations and uses a scale of 100 to do this. The average cost
of living in the United States is 100, that is the standard. Anything above 100 is more expensive than the United
States average and anything below 100 is less expensive than the United States average. Colorado is more
expensive than the average state in the United States, partly because there are so many people that want to move
to the state.
The overall cost of living in Colorado lands at 121.1 on Best Places’ ranking, significantly over the average across
the US. Housing is also more expensive in Colorado than it is compared to the average in the United States.
Colorado ranks at 166.1 on Best Places’ which is much higher than the average cost of housing across the United
States. While this is significantly higher than the average cost, there are a few areas of costs that are average or
just a bit below average. Health, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous costs are all around 100 on the scale,
or slightly below, according to Best Places.
AVERAGE HOME SALES
The average price of homes in Colorado is going to depend on the city or area you are looking at. The average
home sale in Denver is not going to be the same as it is in Aspen or in Greeley. As a state, the average home cost
is $488,600, which is significantly more than the United States average home cost of $291,700. If you’re looking
in areas like Denver, Longmont, and Colorado Springs, this average is going to be pretty accurate. If you look at
homes in the bigger ski towns, the average is going to be much higher.
The average home sales in areas like Fort Collins, Greeley, and other towns that are further north or south of
Denver are going to be a bit below this average. Colorado is a popular state and it is growing rapidly! There are
so many people moving here or wanting to move here that the housing market has just been shooting up.
Again, since Colorado is such a large state the weather is going to vary depending on where you are located.
Colorado is a western state with impressive mountains so it experiences a wide array of seasons as well. The
winter is the wettest time for the mountainous areas of the state, while it is the driest for the Eastern Colorado
plains. The Spring can bring storms to Eastern Colorado as the mountain areas experience their driest months.
The drastically different locations and geography means the weather you experience in one corner of the state
will not be the same as one is experiencing in another corner.
Many think of mountainous regions and assume the winters will be terrible, but Colorado may have one of the
best winters in the United States. This is the time where the mountains get the most snow and skiers flock to the
mountains to have some fun with it, but Denver and surrounding areas east of the foothills experience a fairly
mild winter. Temperatures frequently get above 50 degrees in the urban areas, meaning that when it snows it
does not stick around for more than a day or two usually. Unless you are living in the mountains, Colorado
presents a mild winter that doesn’t make you curse every morning as you get into your cold car.
Summer in Colorado gets hot. The sun shines most days without the obscurity of clouds to shield you. The deep
blue Colorado skies are something that Colorado residents love, but when the sun is beaming every day it can
get exhausting. Luckily there is very little humidity in Colorado so when you are too hot during a summer’s day
all you need to do is step in the shade and you will cool down almost immediately.
The beautiful weather during all seasons allows Colorado residents and visitors to make the most of the state!
Outdoor activities are easily accessible and enjoyable year-round, as are urban activities. Neighborhoods in
Colorado’s urban areas put on farmers’ markets and outdoor concerts in the warm months, and host cozy indoor
activities during the cold months. Weather does not put a damper on this state, no matter the season!