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Best Places to Live in Colorado

Colorful Colorado is home to some of our country’s most stunning natural beauty and wildest outdoor adventures. But it also offers top-notch performing arts, restaurants and shops.

Colorado’s got something for everyone. So if you’re looking for a good time—and a good place to raise your family—Colorado could be it. But which city or town is right for you? That’s the million-dollar question!

To help you find out, let’s tour nine of the best places to live in Colorado.

9 Best Places to Live in Colorado

Let’s get this out of the way first: What makes a city the best place to live depends on what you need—and what you can afford. So your first step is to get clear on what you're looking for in a new town and make sure you’re comfortable with the cost of living in Colorado.

Ready to look for specific cities? You can narrow your search right away if you know you want to live in the Rocky Mountains, the wide-open Great Plains, or the Front Range that sits between them both.

See how much house you can afford with our free mortgage calculator!

And, of course, you’ve got us! We’ll help you compare the top places to live in Colorado so you can better decide what’s right for you.

colorado's best cities

1. Boulder

Boulder’s motto is “Hip since 1871,” and it’s true! Boulder offers trendy breweries, delicious food and the Pearl Street Mall—where you can shop and admire the Flatiron Mountains. The city even limits building heights so you always have a good view.

To get a feel for Boulder’s art and culture, you can attend the city’s art, international film or music festivals. Or for a rowdy good time, head to a University of Colorado football game—where you may see cowboys charging onto the field with a real, live bison. 

Speaking of wildlife, Boulder is minutes from Boulder Creek, the Rocky Mountains, and Eldorado Canyon State Park, so you can see the local animals. Plus, outdoor lovers can hike over 300 miles of trails. You can also take the kids to the National Center for Atmospheric Research to learn what makes Colorado’s climate special.

So, what’s the catch? When a city’s this cool, everyone wants to live there—and that drives up housing prices. Boulder has the most expensive homes and rentals on our countdown. You’ll need to figure up how much house or how much rent you can afford . . . then stick to your budget like glue!

P.S. Pack a raincoat—Boulder is the rainiest city on our list.

Nickname

The People’s Republic of Boulder

Population

108,7771

Median Annual Income

$72,2792

Median Home Price

$851,7003

Median Rent*

$1,9404

Average Annual Rainfall

28.3”5

Biggest University

University of Colorado

Features

Trendy downtown, foodie culture, beautiful mountain views with great hiking, and heckin’ expensive housing

*Median Rents refer to the monthly costs for two-bedroom apartments.

2. Aurora

Aurora is technically a suburb of Denver—that’s why our population and housing stats are the same for them both. But Aurora’s gotten so popular we had to give it its own spot!

There’s a ton of cool stuff here, like the Colfax Canvas mural tour and live horse racing at Arapahoe Park. You can also visit dozens of historic sites and military memorials for free. In fact, Aurora is still an active military city—it’s home to Buckley Space Force Base.

Aurora is also one of the best places to live in Colorado for families who love the outdoors. It has 99 parks and several reservoirs where you can view wildlife, go on a wilderness adventure, or try winter hiking. Live here long enough and you may start using the Rocky Mountains to navigate like the locals.

Nickname

Gateway to the Rockies

Population

379,4346

Median Annual Income

$67,7237

Median Home Price

$649,5008

Median Rent

$1,7459

Average Annual Rainfall

16.3”10

Biggest University

Community College of Aurora

Features

Tons of parks and outdoor activities, artistic and historic sites, and a short drive to Denver

3. Castle Rock

Castle Rock sits on Interstate 25 just south of Denver, which can make for an easy drive to the city. But before you sign up for that commute, you may want to ask your Castle Rock neighbors where they work: It has the highest yearly income on our countdown!  

It also has a rich history dating back to the 1860s, when pioneers looking for gold and land settled by a big, castle-shaped cliff (hence the town’s name). Today you can still visit many of Castle Rock’s historic buildings, like its church, hotel and train depot. 

In the winter, the town boasts an outdoor ice-skating rink. In the summer, Castle Rock holds festivals celebrating wine, international art and the Renaissance. And if you really want to embrace the city, you can tour—or get married in—a real castle!

Population

65,17611

Median Annual Income

$113,58512

Median Home Price

$649,50013

Median Rent

$1,68214

Average Annual Rainfall

21”15

Biggest University

Colorado State University

Features

High yearly income, rich history, an actual castle, and small-town vibes close to the big city

4. Denver

Denver is the core of the biggest metro area in the state and one of the most popular cities for people moving to Colorado. That’s why housing prices here are higher than most cities on our list. (Salaries are more toward the middle of the road, though.) 

Denver has a rockin’ cultural scene. Tour the Denver Art Museum, hit up the shops in LoDo (the city’s oldest neighborhood), follow the Denver Beer Trail, or watch a game at Coors Field. You can also catch some great festivals, like Denver Restaurant Week.

Outdoor enthusiasts can ski, hike and bike in the nearby mountains. (Fun fact: Denver is called The Mile High City because it sits one mile above sea level in the Rockies.) Even if you’re not a nature lover, you can definitely enjoy the city’s 300 sunny days a year! s

Looking for the best places to live in Denver, Colorado? Locals recommend Holly Hills, Cherry Creek and Superior as the top three neighborhoods and some of the best places to live in Colorado for families.16

Nickname

The Mile High City

Population

715,87817

Median Annual Income

$72,66118

Median Home Price

$649,50019

Median Rent

$1,74520

Average Annual Rainfall

21.2”21

Biggest University

University of Colorado

Features

A variety of family-friendly neighborhoods, thriving nightlife, and great art and food scenes

5. Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is where U.S. Air Force officers and Olympic and Paralympic athletes train. You can visit their training centers for a fun, educational day out with the family.

Other attractions include the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center, Pioneers Museum, Peterson Air and Space Museum, and even a money museum. (You know that one’s our favorite!) And if you love the outdoors, you’re just mere minutes from famous places like Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.  

So, how does Colorado Springs compare to other cities in our countdown? Well, it probably has the most Victorian architecture! It also has the second-lowest yearly incomes (womp, womp). Fortunately, housing costs are fairly low. 

Locals have taken the liberty of ranking the best places to live in Colorado Springs. Their top three picks are the Woodmoor, Gleneagle and Monument neighborhoods.22

Nicknames

Little London

The Springs

Olympic City USA

Population

471,68623

Median Annual Income

$67,71924

Median Home Price

$488,51525

Median Rent

$1,41926

Average Annual Rainfall

20.9”27

Biggest University

University of Colorado

Features

Relatively affordable housing, lots of museums and educational centers, and awe-inspiring natural areas

Any of these cities catch your eye? Before you pack up, get our free relocation guide so you can be prepared for your big move.

6. Fort Collins

Fort Collins runs in the middle of the pack for yearly salaries and home prices. Renters can catch a bit of a break here, though—Fort Collins has the third-lowest rent prices.

This city is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Located in north central Colorado, it boasts several lakes and the Cache la Poudre River—where you can hike, bike, or whitewater raft if you’re feeling frisky. Fort Collins also offers birdwatching areas, hot air balloon rides, horseback rides and trout-fishing tours.

Want to take the kids—or yourself—for a fun day indoors? Check out the hands-on exhibits at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery or visit the birds of prey at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Center. Or enjoy a more upscale experience at one of the city’s many theaters, art galleries or museums.

Nickname

Choice City

Population

166,06928

Median Annual Income

$70,52829

Median Home Price

$620,00030

Median Rent

$1,50131

Average Annual Rainfall

20.3”32

Biggest University

Colorado State University

Features

Mid-range incomes and housing prices, great art and theater scenes, and outdoor adventures

7. Lakewood

Lakewood is a growing suburb on Denver’s west side. It has similar housing prices to its parent city and nearby suburbs, but residents here make about $3,500 more per year than people living across town in Aurora.

The Belmar Downtown District offers dining, live music and shopping. Another favorite shopping spot? Colorado Mills, which has over 100 stores! The local breweries and 40 West Arts District give you even more great options for a day or night on the town.

Lakewood also offers plenty of outdoor activities. Get in touch with your pioneer spirit by shooting a bow and arrow at Bear Creek Lake Park. Or head up into the Green Mountains at William Frederick Hayden Park for some spectacular views of Denver.

With so many things to do, Lakewood is one of the best places in Colorado for singles. But it’s great for families too. For a fun family outing, take the kids to Crown Hill Park (it has tons of play areas) or visit a local farm to see where your food comes from and buy some tasty, locally grown treats.

Population

155,73333

Median Annual Income

$71,23334

Median Home Price

$649,50035

Median Rent

$1,74536

Average Annual Rainfall

21.2”37

Biggest University

Colorado Christian University

Features

Lots of fun things to do for singles and families, mid-range salaries, and relatively high housing prices

8. Pueblo

Pueblo is a small town that celebrates cultural diversity in a big way. The El Pueblo History Museum showcases exhibits about the region’s cultural and ethnic groups, and the city’s Old Town restaurants let you sample food from around the world.

Other attractions include the historic Arkansas Riverwalk, Creative Corridor arts area, Pueblo Zoo, and interactive children’s exhibits at the Buell Children’s Museum. You can also catch a live dance performance by Grupo Folklórico—or even take a lesson yourself!

If you really want to get into Colorado’s Wild West spirit, Pueblo’s the place to be! Visit Lake Pueblo State Park, try whitewater rafting, or rock climb in the Green Mountains. Want to do something really different? You can actually adopt a wild horse in nearby Cañon City.   

So what’s the downside to living in Pueblo? Its yearly median income is $24,800 less than any other city on our countdown. But that doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. If your heart’s set on living here, you can find a good-paying job in Pueblo or negotiate a sweet remote gig.

Try our free Cost of Living Calculator to see how much you’ll need to make to live in Pueblo, and follow Ken Coleman’s advice to ask potential employers for your desired salary.

Nickname

Steel City

Population

111,77638

Median Annual Income

$42,90239

Median Home Price

$369,50040

Median Rent*

$82641

Average Annual Rainfall

14.6”42

Biggest University

Colorado State University

Features

Culturally diverse town with a Wild West spirit, rugged outdoor areas, and a semi-arid climate

*This number comes from 2015–2019 census data, so it’s not as up-to-date as other rent prices in our list. Rents in Pueblo have likely gone up since 2019.

9. Edwards

Edwards is a tiny town nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, just a stone’s throw from some amazing natural sites like Mount Elbert (the tallest peak in the Rockies), Hanging Lake (a crystal-clear lake at the top of a mountain), and the natural hot springs in Glenwood Springs.

Plus, Edwards sits right off Interstate 70 for easy commuting to Denver (unless there’s a blizzard). And it’s just 15 minutes from Vail, a world-famous ski town.

Edwards offers some truly unique adventures . . . like dog sledding, backcountry camping and heli-skiing. (That last one is when you jump out of a helicopter to ski or snowboard down a mountain. It takes a true daredevil to do that!) Want to do something a little more tame? Visit the downtown shops and restaurants, or play a round on the local golf course.

While Edwards has a lower yearly income than other cities on our list, it does offer the second-lowest home prices. (That could be because many Edwardians are seasonal residents who rent.) The town is also working on some eco-friendly projects. They’ll even help you pay for an e-bike to ride to work!

Population

9,34742

Median Annual Income

$68,89843

Median Home Price

$459,00044

Median Rent*

$1,54245

Average Annual Rainfall

21.5”46

Biggest University

Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley

Features

Small town vibes, unique outdoor adventures, an eco-friendly culture, and a thriving tourism industry

*This number comes from 2015–2019 census data, so it’s not as up-to-date as other rent prices in our list. Rents in Edwards have likely gone up since 2019.  

Ready to Move to Colorado?

Whether you’re coming from another state, or you already call Colorado home and you’re just switching towns, you need an expert real estate agent to help you find the best places to live in Colorado.

We recommend partnering with an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP). These top-performing real estate agents can help you find the best place to live in Colorado for you. From finding a great neighborhood for your family to picking the perfect house (or helping sell your old one), they’ll walk you through the whole process. And these guys and gals are RamseyTrusted—so they’ll put serving ahead of selling.

Ready to get started? Connect with a RamseyTrusted ELP today!

Fast Facts for the Top Places to Live in Colorado

 

Population

Median

Annual Income

Median

Home Price

Median Rent

Boulder

108,777

$72,279

$851,700

$1,940

Aurora

379,434

$67,723

$649,500

$1,745

Castle Rock

65,176

$113,585

$649,500

$1,682

Denver

715,878

$72,661

$649,500

$1,745

Colorado Springs

471,686

$67,719

$488,515

$1,419

Fort Collins

166,069

$70,528

$620,000

$1,501

Lakewood

155,733

$71,233

$649,500

$1,745

Pueblo

111,776

$42,902

$369,500

$826

Edwards

9,347

$68,898

$459,000

$1,542

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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