Downtown Denver at sunset.

The 10 Best Places To Live In Colorado

Sidney Richardson6-Minute Read
UPDATED: November 08, 2022

There are plenty of reasons to move to Colorado, from the gorgeous mountain views to space for outdoor activities like skiing, fishing and hiking. Plenty of people, from young professionals to retirees, flock to the slopes of the Rocky Mountains every year to find their new homes. If you’re ready to take on a new adventure, a move to Colorado might be just the change for you.

If the idea of moving to the mountains appeals to you but you’re not sure where to start, this guide is for you. Let’s break down 10 of the best places to live in Colorado.

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Is Colorado A Good Place To Live?

At a glance:
  • Population: 5,807,719
  • Median home price: $488,600
  • Median income: $59,448
  • Median age: 

If you’re trying to figure out where you want to live next, Colorado may be a great option for you. Colorado is known as the Centennial State because it became a state 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. According to World Population Review, a site that tracks U.S. population data, Colorado is the eighth fastest-growing state in the country.

Colorado is one of the six Rocky Mountain states and has gorgeous views of this range almost anywhere you go. It’s a paradise for people who love to ski, snowboard, hike or just enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a road trip away from many of the most popular National Parks in the west, like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Zion National Park in Utah.

Even if you’re not big on outdoor activities, Colorado probably has something for you, too. The state is consistently among the top five producers of beer in the country and is dotted with breweries, for craft beer fans out there. The cities of Colorado are experiencing a boost in economic opportunity, too, despite inflation and the pandemic. According to the University of Colorado Boulder, the state’s labor force participation rate was 68.3% in December of 2021, ranking it fourth-highest in the nation.

The 10 Best Cities To Live In Colorado

Ready to explore places to live in this mountain state? Let’s go through 10 of the best places to put down roots and have your next adventure in Colorado.

1. Denver

View of the city skyline of Denver, Colorado.

When you think Colorado, the first city that comes to mind is probably Denver. Denver is the largest city in Colorado by population and is considered one of the best cities in the U.S. for young professionals. There is plenty to do in Denver for people of all ages, from visiting Rocky Mountain National Park to exploring one of the city’s many museums or shopping at Larimer Square. It’s much more affordable to live in than other large U.S. cities like New York City or Los Angeles and has a strong job market, too, particularly if you work in aerospace, financial services or energy.

Check out homes for sale in Denver or research the area’s housing market here.

2. Boulder

Aerial view of Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder is another top destination in Colorado and is best known for its breweries. It’s one of the happiest – and healthiest, most active – cities in the country. According to Boulder Colorado USA, Boulder has an average of four bikes for every one person. This city is a great spot for people who love to move and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a hot spot for young professionals pursuing STEM careers.

Check out homes for sale in Boulder or research the area’s housing market on Rocket HomesSM.

3. Fort Collins

Aerial view of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University and is best known for the natural beauty surrounding the town. Residents can enjoy the beautiful Horsetooth River which is just a few minutes from Fort Collins’ historic Old Town Square. As a college town, Fort Collins has a lively nightlife and plenty to do for younger and older residents alike. It’s also a bit more affordable than bigger cities like Denver, which is a nice touch for home buyers checking the area out.

Check out home listings in Fort Collins and explore the area’s market trends.

4. Colorado Springs

Aerial view of Colorado Springs downtown.

Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado by population. Like Denver, it balances lively city life with an appreciation of the great outdoors. Residents will find plenty to do in the neighborhood, from zip lining across the Royal Gorge to horseback riding, eating on a restaurant inside a train, climbing the nearby Pike’s Peak and everything in between. Colorado Springs also has a very active job market if you’re working in aerospace and defense or IT and cybersecurity.

Check out homes for sale in Colorado Springs or explore the area’s housing market trends here

5. Castle Rock

Night time aerial shot of Castle Rock, Colorado.

Castle Rock is a city best known for the large rock structure that stands proudly over the city and bears a striking resemblance to a castle, hence the name. This city is filled with hiking trails and nature to explore and is perfect for home buyers looking for a place to adventure outside. Castle Rock also has quite a few breweries, like other Colorado cities, as well as excellent schools and a low crime rate. The city is also not far from Denver, if you ever want to spend a weekend in the big city.

Explore houses for sale in Castle Rock and check out the area’s housing market.

6. Aurora

Aerial view of neighborhoods in Aurora, Colorado.

Aurora is a great place to live for buyers seeking wide open spaces and makes a great location for families. The city is well known for its excellent healthcare, which offers job opportunities to those in the medical field and peace of mind for residents of all ages. Home prices here tend to be cheaper than bigger cities like Denver or Colorado Springs, and best of all, Aurora is known for being a spectacularly sunny city, with an average of 243 sunny days per year. The city is also home to the Aurora Reservoir, which boasts over 800 acres of water for swimming, fishing and relaxing.

Check out homes for sale in Aurora or explore the area’s real estate market trends.

7. Colorado City

Old and cracked asphalt road with mailboxes.

Despite being named “Colorado City,” this city is one of the smaller ones on this list with only 2,200 residents. Located right next to the beautiful Greenhorn Mountain, this rural destination is a perfect place for home buyers seeking their own private piece of paradise. Homes in Colorado City remain fairly affordable, too, with the average home sale price coming in around $275,000, which is significantly lower than the state average. What this city lacks in amenities it more than makes up for in gorgeous views and a more affordable cost of living.

Explore homes for sale in Colorado City and market trends in the area.

8. Pikes Peak

Distant view of Pikes Peak mountains.

Pikes Peak isn’t just a summit in the Rockies – it’s also a place you can live in Colorado. Located just beside Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak area exists as a rural extension of the city. It contains the town of Manitou Springs as well as the Cascade area. Pikes Peak is a great place for home buyers that want to enjoy all the amenities of Colorado Springs but live outside the city to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Explore homes for sale in Pikes Peak and check out the state of the area’s housing market.

9. Grand Junction

Large rock formations in Grand Junction.

Grand Junction is another slightly smaller city in Colorado, though it isn’t without plenty of things to see and do for residents. Grand Junction is considered to be the heart of Colorado’s wine country and has multiple renowned wineries across the city. Located near Colorado’s border with Utah, this city is home to breathtaking sights and is within a short road trip’s distance of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. If you love the outdoors – and wine – and want a mix of rural and smaller city life, Grand Junction is a great place to live.

Explore homes for sale in Grand Junction and check out housing market trends in the area.

10. Aspen

Aspen city at night backed by a large mountain.

Aspen, the last city on our list (but certainly not the least), is best known for being a winter wonderland. It has some of the best slopes for skiing in the world. The city is gorgeous year-round and has even had songs written about it by the likes of John Denver. It was a popular vacation destination for celebrities in the later half of the 20th century and remains a beautiful retreat, both for permanent residents and visitors. Housing can be on the more expensive side in Aspen, but if you’re a fan of the snow and winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, the city is one of the best places you could choose.

Check out homes for sale in Aspen and explore real estate market trends.

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The Bottom Line: Colorado Is A Great Place To Live

Colorado is a state on the rise for home buyers, both young and old. With access to the great outdoors and all the beautiful sights it has to offer in almost ever city, Colorado is a paradise for fans of hiking, fishing, skiing and anything else you can do outside in the snow or the sun. Some cities are on the more expensive side, but if you’re on the hunt for more affordable housing, there are definitely towns near the big cities where you can get a good deal on your own slice of Colorado paradise.

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Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson is a professional writer for Rocket Companies in Detroit, Michigan who specializes in real estate, homeownership and personal finance content. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in advertising from Oakland University.