Known for its abundance of sunny days, mild weather, outdoor recreation opportunities, and fun-loving lifestyle, Colorado consistently ranks among the top 5 U.S. relocation destinations. Each year, around 250,000 people move to the Centennial State to lay down roots in Denver and bustling cities along the Front Range such as Boulder and Fort Collins.
Read in for an insider’s look at what makes Colorado … Colorado.
Many of us spend more on our “toys” than our cars.
In many states, bragging rights belong to those who drive the fanciest cars and live in the biggest houses. In Colorado, many of us default to Subarus, but odds are good that the bike on top of the car might be worth more than the car itself. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying an upscale ride to your destination, we’re often much more concerned with your human-powered ride. Think powder skis, carving snowboards, stand-up paddleboards, mountain bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and more.
The housing market is intense.
The old rule of spending 30 percent of your gross income on rent can be a tough one to follow out here if you don’t want to go the roommate route. Colorado ranks in the top 5 states that people want to move into, so both rent and monthly mortgage payments can skew high. To ensure you don’t get out here and have to involuntarily call your car home, you might want to make finding an apartment your highest priority. It might not even be a bad idea to reserve a place sight unseen, as, yes, housing demand far exceeds supply these days, even with the cost to rent a 1-bedroom totalling more than $1,400 in many areas.
Seasons are a guideline, so dress in layers.
Weather is a common discussion topic across the U.S., but our fickle weather is something many of us share a perverse sense of pride in. We literally get “all the weather,” and sometimes the sampler platter shows up all in one day. The best way to prepare is to dress in layers or at least have extra layers readily available just in case you need to cover up those sandal-tanned feet with wool socks and waterproof hiking boots. (Also not a bad idea to keep an ice scraper in your car year-round.)
We’re OK with those who don’t live here thinking it’s cold and gray much of the year. But the reality is we typically enjoy more than 300 days of sun each year and mild temperatures. If you’re a fan of the outdoors – and most of us are – you can find something fun to do pretty much any day of the year. Just plan to dress for the unexpected.
The phrase “Rocky Mountain High” has multiple meanings.
Marijuana is what often comes to mind when hearing the phrase “Rocky Mountain High.” (The state legalized recreational use in 2012.) But “high” is also an accurate descriptor for something more tangible: the altitude. Locations range from 3315 feet to 14,433 feet above sea level (Mt. Elbert, one of the state’s 58 “14ers,” the name given to peaks that top the 14,000-foot mark).
That high-altitude lifestyle sounds alluring, but it brings with it some elements you’ll want to be aware of, a high and dry climate that can leave you feeling unwell if you’re not careful. So drink lots of water, pack effective sunblock, sunglasses, hats, lip balm, etc., and keep in mind that while beer has a high water content, it’s also great at dehydrating us when we indulge.
The higher altitude can also leave you short of breath if you’re more of a sea-level dweller, so plan to give yourself a little time to acclimate when visiting the Centennial State. Getting off the plane and heading straight to the trailhead of one of our 14ers is likely ill-advised.
Dogs reign supreme.
Dog-centric website Rover.com ranks Colorado as one of the better states for dogs, as evidenced by Colorado’s numerous off-leash dog parks, pup-hospitable hotels, and dog-friendly brewery patios. A recent census even found that dogs outnumber kids in the Mile High City. And while most of us love the four-legged fur kids, help accommodate others who might not by keeping Fido leashed in public areas and picking up their deposits.