Colorado is a one-of-a-kind place that has everything you could possibly ask for, and more. You have the vast High Plains, the Western Slope and everything in between, including the mighty Rocky Mountains, making any place here worth living in.
But just because one place might be perfect for us, that doesn’t mean that it is the best choice for you too. This is why we always recommend that you look through any and all of your options before making your final choice on a future place to call home.
In this article we’ve decided to help you out a little bit by giving you an extensive list of the 20 best places you could live in while in Colorado.
We’ve got a lot of cities, big and small, and charming suburbs to choose from, which is why we can’t afford to waste anymore time. So, let’s start off with one of your safest options:
Ouray is one of the most picturesque alpine places in all of Colorado. It may be a bit on the smaller side, with a population of only around 1,000 people. but it more than makes up for it by being surrounded by the dramatic San Juan Mountains.
Often times dubbed as the Switzerland of America, Ouray is where the largest ice climbing festival in all of North America takes place, and that’s not all. The place is packed full of resorts, hot springs, hiking trails and pretty much anything you could ever ask for.
The community here is also very friendly and down to earth, and on top of that the streets are quite safe and clean, making this a very good option for young families to raise their children in.
19. Idaho Springs
Idaho Springs is a small and secluded little town that has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to its vast and extensive culture and history.
It used to be a mining and ghost town back in the day, which is why so many people visit every year, but what a lot of these people don’t realize is that Idaho Springs also makes for one of the best places to live in Colorado too.
That is because Idaho Springs offers you plenty of recreational opportunities, ski resorts, and even a local hill called the Echo Mountain Resort where you can relax and ski under the lights.
Idaho Springs is also very safe and there are more than a handful of amenities for you to choose from whenever you feel like exploring the town.
18. Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan is a very popular small city with a total population of 11,000 residents. It is known for its affordable housing and for the fact that the cost of living here is 20% lower than the state average.
On top of that, Fort Morgan also has a ton of parks and open spaces for you to wind down in, and let’s not forget about the fact that you are about an hour and 15 minutes away from Denver at all times.
Most people associate Colorado with mountains and hills, but Fort Morgan is different. It is actually mostly flat, grassy plains, and strangely enough, it is a lot more modern looking than you’d think.
17. Pagosa Springs
This little town is probably one of the most fascinating destinations to live in, as it is set up at 7,000 feet in elevation. It can be found right next to the San Juan River, a place that is famous for its geothermal pools and many geological features.
You’ll also love your time here in Pagosa Springs during the winter, when the local ski hill of Wolf Creek becomes one of the most popular locations for snow chasers in the state, pulling in as much as 430 inches every year.
Even so, Pagosa Springs still experiences all four seasons distinctly, so while the winter will definitely be cold and frosty, you can expect every other season to have its turn too.
If you’re on the lookout for a good midsize town to live out the rest of your life in, Pueblo may be the best option for you.
On top of being a really clean and safe place to raise a family in, Pueblo is also pretty affordable, considering just how many shops, restaurants and events there are here all year-round.
Buying a house will usually cost you around $399,900, and the unemployment rate is definitely lower than the national average, standing at a mere 5.4%. The average income is of $42,902 too, and the community here is very friendly and welcoming.
If you’re on the lookout for ski slopes, trout fishing and more hiking and biking trails than you could cover in your whole life, Durango is definitely going to fit the bill for you.
On top of that, Durango is also amazing if you like the idea of living in a small town where everybody knows each other and the crime rates are as low as they can get.
Durango also doubles down as one of the most influential cities in southwestern Colorado, with tourism being its main industry. Do keep in mind however that the cost of living here and housing can be quite high, with the average home raking up around $874,000 or so.
Tellurite is known for being one of the most beautiful towns in the state and why not the entire country, especially because it is completely surrounded by the soaring peaks of the San Juan Mountains.
It is not the most affordable option you could make, but it does offer you world-class skiing opportunities, festivals that take place all year round and some of the best local food you’ll ever try.
It has a total population of around 2,500 residents, and although it may be a smaller town for now, it has a very charming personality that you will get attached to in no time.
Granby can be found in the Grand County, around 25 minutes away from the Rocky Mountain National Park. The sad thing about it is that very few people know about this stunning place, although this also means it might be quite the opportunity for you.
That is because Granby is still in its development phase, but as the years roll on by, the possibility for growth is rising exponentially.
There are so many sights for you to check out here, including Winter Park and Ski Granby which are always within reach, and for hiking enthusiasts, the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks are more than ready to take you in at any time.
Longmont’s community alone is a good enough reason to move in here, as it is by far one of the friendliest and most diverse ones on this list.
Other than that, Longmont is also known for being located very close to Boulder and Denver, which instantly makes it a great alternative to these big cities due to how much more affordable it is.
Longmont’s name comes from the Longs Peaks, a place you can always visit if you want to clear your mind while also taking in the stunning view that it comes with.
This city also has a ton of parks and trails for you to explore, and if you want to you can always just drive to Boulder and start hiking from there on, since it is so close to Longmont.
Frisco’s entire economy may rely on its tourism sector, but that doesn’t make it any less of an amazing place to live in permanently.
In fact, it makes it all the better since you can take advantage of the many different amenities that the town has in store for its tourists to make your life here all the better. You can also find work really easily at one of the two large ski resorts here, specifically the Copper Mountain and Breckenridge.
There’s so much more to do here than you’d think though: hiking, biking, plenty of water sports, snowshoeing and even skiing during the winter. On top of all of that, Frisco is very accessible and affordable.
Salida has a total population of 6,000 residents and it is located near the Arkansas River. It is known for being an outdoor lover’s dream come true due to how many hikes and parks there are to explore.
It is Chaffee County’s most densely populated place, mostly due to its close-knit community, tradition and history.
As such, it is one of the top choices for both families and single people, and as mentioned previously, since Salida is located at over 7,000 feet in elevation, it’s no wonder that the surroundings are absolutely beautiful to behold.
Evergreen is a very beautiful town that has a charming lake next to it, which is often times used for both boating and paddleboarding.
It can be found nestled deep within the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, making this the perfect location if you want to feel like you’re always close to nature, while also staying far enough from the mountain, so that you can still drive to work or take your kids to school no matter the weather.
Just keep in mind that it is a bit more on the expensive side, with the cost of living alone being 20% higher than the state average.
Gunnison also makes for a great option if you love hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of.
Besides that, Downtown Gunnison also has a ton of shops and restaurants for you to frequent, and let’s not forget about the fact that it is set only an hour away from the Black Canyon.
You’ll find plenty of jobs here too, albeit they’re mostly set in the tourism sector, but if that’s not something you’re interested in you can always work in the public lands, education or business sector.
Aspen has the highest cost of living in Colorado, which in itself should tell you right away whether this is the right place for you or not. If you can afford the immense price tag though, you’ll find Aspen to be the most beautiful city you’ve ever lived in.
It has more than its fair share of bars, restaurants, and as you can expect from Colorado, it has a ton of astounding ski resorts too.
The biking and hiking trails are just around the corner, and the nearby Maroon Bells will make for one of the best places to visit when you feel like donning your explorer hat.
Eagle may be a more expensive option, but it is still way more affordable than the neighboring Vail, and on top of that it is also one of the safest places in Colorado.
Eagle also has a lot of trails and parks, and we can’t forget about the plethora of restaurants and bars that are sure to help make your days go by smoother.
Another great thing about Eagle is the fact that it has some of the best schools in the state, and since the crime rate is so low, it often times tops the list for young parents looking to start a family of their own.
5. Fort Collins
Speaking of education, Fort Collins is known for being the home of one of the largest university in the state, CSU Fort Collins. On top of that, Fort Collins is also said to have been the primary source of inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA.
With almost 170,000 residents currently calling this town home, Fort Collins is also located close to the Cache la Poudre River, and as such you can expect it to be jampacked full of outdoor attractions.
Besides the CSU Fort Collins university, you also get access to the rest of the Poudre School District which is known for being one of the best in the state.
4. Glenwood Springs
Geothermal hot springs, hiking and biking trails, stunning views and more, there’s just nothing you won’t find in Glenwood Springs.
This wonderful resort town makes for the perfect option for adventure seekers that want to live a comfortable and easy life close to the mountains, without a care in the world.
Glenwood Springs is also known for being the home of the mountaintop Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which can be found on the banks of the Colorado River.
The college town of Boulder has around 100,000 residents currently living here, that’s why it has a very vibrant social scene.
Boulder also has a lot of tech employment opportunities and offers easy access to a lot of outdoor activities that will make sure that you don’t live a sedentary lifestyle. You are also around 40 minutes away from Denver, so you can always just drive there if you want to attend the concerts and sporting events that they organize every so often.
It’s by no means affordable though, as a decent-sized family home here will take as much as $809,319 or so, and the cost of living is also up there, but it does offer an elevated quality of life too, so if you like the idea of good and healthy living, Boulder may be the right option for you.
2. Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is the perfect option for you if you want to move to a place with breathtaking scenery, while also straying as far away as possible from the overcrowded big cities such as Denver.
It is also a bit more affordable to live here while also having a lower crime rate, making it a much friendlier town to raise your family in. Buying a house here will still cost you a pretty penny though, as you’ll still need to waste around $525,500 per average.
Just keep in mind that this will end up working out for you at the end of the day since the unemployment rate here is very low, sitting at 3.6% only, and the school district is one of the best in the state.
We couldn’t have a top places to live in Colorado without mentioning the state capital, could we? After all, it has one of the most promising job markets in the state, all of the big-city amenities your money could buy and some of the best natural landmarks in the country.
Of course, Denver is a bit of an expensive option, but it’ll be worth it if you want a safe and clean environment to raise a family in. And when you compare it to other similar-sized cities in the US, Denver is probably better in almost every category.
Buying a home here will cost you $637,000 though, on average at least, and families bring home around $72,661 per year, which is not too shabby considering the low 3.3% unemployment rate that Denver has.
In order to reach this conclusion, we made sure to look through every bit of data that we had on these places, while also discussing with Colorado locals to see which of these places is the most enjoyable one to live in.
There are plenty of other places to choose from though, so if you find a different place than this to better suit your needs and wants, definitely go for it. We just hope that we managed to steer you in the right direction as far as what the best places to live in Colorado are.
For more interesting places to live in, check out Colorado’s neighboring states: Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.