As a native resident of Colorado, it’s been pretty mind blowing to watch how much this state has changed in the last few years. The influx of people in this state is truly astounding with over a hundred thousand people moving to Colorado in 2015. So far 2016 is showing no signs of slowing down, and we will soon find Colorado to be one of the most popular states in the country. And really, I cannot blame people for things to move here. Colorado is truly a gem natural beauty and a fantastic place to live. So if you’re new to the state or considering moving to Colorado here a couple things you might want to consider.
Denver is only a small part of Colorado
I think many people are inclined to immediately to think of Denver, the mile-high City, when the image of Colorado is in their mind. There is no doubt that Denver is a very fun city – it is much smaller and more accessible than New York or Los Angeles. But you must keep in mind the Denver metro area, while growing, is just a small sliver the land mass Colorado. Denver slightly to the northeast of the middle of the state leaving a large amount of the state to be explored. To the South you have cities such as Pueblo, Durango, and Telluride. Further north of these is Colorado Springs, home to both the Air Force Academy and NORAD. It’s at least an hour’s Drive from Pueblo to Colorado Springs, and then another hour to get to the southern reaches of the Denver metro area. Further north you have towns like Loveland, Boulder, and the largest city in the northern part of Colorado, Fort Collins. And these are just along the I-25 corridor.
To the east lies the Great Plains and many small farming communities dot the roadways. Into the Rocky Mountains there are towns both large and small – Ski towns like Breckenridge or Steamboat Springs, and towns from the boom days of mining such as Leadville and Georgetown. In short, there’s a TON of places to explore in this state, and while Denver is certainly fun it is just a piece of what Colorado has to offer.
We’re not all rednecks, and we’re not all potheads
It’s been kind of funny watching any sort of national news when it come to Colorado – I think sometimes the media likes to depict residents of this state as either all cowboys, or all stoners. While we’ve got our fair share of both, any time spent in Colorado will show how diversified the population can be. What you can generalize Colorado’s residents as: Lovers of the outdoors, hardworking and down to earth people.
Be ready for some crazy weather
I think that a lot of people that are moving to Colorado do not expect is the somewhat extreme weather we can recieve. The high country is its own animal – you should never assume that because it’s a nice day on the front range, that it will translate to be the same in the mountains. Our weather shifts from freezing temperatures and snow flurries (yes, it snows here. Sometimes it snows a lot!) to 100 degree temperatures complete with lighting storms and large hail. Despite these sometimes wild weather events, Colorado is generally a very sunny and warm state. We are commonly quoted as having “300 days of sunshine” (although this has been proven a myth, it’s still pretty sunny out here)
Some parts of Colorado are much more affordable than others
As you’re probably aware, Denver is one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States today. Due to a mixture of the legalization of cannabis, and Denver becoming a center of the country hub for businesses, rents and housing prices in Denver have skyrocketed. But fear not! There are many places in this state that are still affordable. The southern part of Colorado, when compared to the Denver metro is a much thriftier option, as are some areas west of the continental divide (that’s the point in the mountains where water will either flow to the east towards Denver, or to the west toward the state of Utah- Thanks geography class!!!) So, if affordability is an issue but you still want to live the Rocky Mountain Way, know that there are options.