Skyline of tall buildings in Downtown Colorado Springs at sun rise

11 Things to Know About Living in Colorado Springs

Moving to Colorado Springs? This Central Colorado city is growing rapidly! Mountain views, a quick commute to Denver, and ample job opportunities are just a few reasons The Springs is one of the best places to live in the U.S. Here are 11 things to know about living in Colorado Springs!

Elevated Growth & Job Opportunities

Skyline of tall buildings and businesses in Colorado Springs. Photo by Instagram user @properfilms
Photo via @properfilms

Dreaming of moving to Colorado? You’re not alone! The state overall has seen massive growth over the last decade, and Colorado Springs is frequently leading the way. In 2018, El Paso County—where Colorado Springs is located—saw the largest population growth in the state, followed closely by Denver County. As one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. with a lower cost of living than Denver, many people have flocked to Colorado Springs to find a budget-friendly place to live. However, the large influx of newcomers is leading to cost increases—the city even ranked #1 for the fastest-growing cost of living in 2018. That said, the housing costs are still 7% lower than the rest of the state, with median home prices around $222,100 and median rent prices around $958. And with one of the nation’s best job markets, Colorado Springs’ growth doesn’t seem likely to slow any time soon!

It’s Denver’s More Suburban Neighbor

A brown home surrounded by trees and mountains. Photo by Instagram user @coloradosprings.homes
Photo via @coloradosprings.homes

Wondering why you should move to Colorado Springs instead of Denver? With the bustling Denver metro just an hour north, Colorado Springs is a popular destination for families who want clean streets, top-rated schools, and a tight-knit community. Not only does Colorado Springs’ population of 472,688 help the area feel more suburban, but there are plenty of great neighborhoods for families featuring larger homes, spacious yards, and frequent community events. Families, retirees, and young professionals alike looking for green spaces, hiking trails, and numerous parks will find them here.

Everything Revolves Around the Rockies

The Rockies with snow on them during a sunny day. Photo by Instagram user caitlin.crane
Photo via @caitlin.crane

If you’re relocating to Colorado Springs and worried about getting lost, don’t! Navigating the city is easy with the Rocky Mountains as your guide. Just look up and find the mountains to help orient yourself in the city. Mountains on the left? You’re heading north. Not only can the famous Pikes Peak—known as America’s Mountain—be seen throughout the city, but it’s also an ideal drive for scenic views. Outdoor enthusiasts looking to take on a 14er (i.e., a hike that climbs to 14,000 feet in elevation or more) can do a strenuous hike via Barr Trail. Pikes Peak is also a top spot for mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, or taking a ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

It’s One Patriotic Place

Military cadets standing in rows. Photo by Instagram user @visitcos
Photo via @visitcos

Seeing people walk around in uniform is a daily occurrence in El Paso County, as many of the jobs in Colorado Springs are associated with the military. This should come as no surprise as the United States Air Force AcademyPeterson AFBFort Carson, and Schriever AFB are all located in the area. Thanks to Colorado Springs’ patriotic atmosphere, property tax exemption, and state-specific tax breaks for military pensions, many veterans choose to stick around when they’re done serving, making The Springs one of the best places for military retirement. Local residents can even show their USA pride at the Colorado Springs Veterans’ Day Parade and Pikes Peak Regional Airshow!

Outdoor Adventures for Every Season

Girl walking down stairs with snowy mountains in the background. Photo by Instagram user @eyethroughmike
Photo via @eyethroughmike

With its low humidity and 243 sunny days per year, the Colorado Springs weather is another reason why residents love living here. Just be sure to always carry an extra layer with you, as the elevation and mountain location means you’ll have to be ready for drastic temperature changes! Fortunately, there’s an outdoor activity for every season. In summer, go hiking at the Garden of the Gods or try your hand at whitewater rafting. Explore the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park on foot, gondola, train, or by hot air balloon in spring or fall. Winter is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, playing hockey, going snowshoeing, and much more. Those looking to raise their heart rates can take on the Manitou Incline—a one mile stretch that gains 2,000 feet in elevation—any time of the year.

Explore a Variety of Museums

Little boy looking into a telescope in space outfit. Photo by Instagram use @spacefoundation
Photo via @spacefoundation

Some of the best things to do in Colorado Springs are among the city’s unique museums. Learn about The Springs’ Western American history at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy. The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is an excellent stop for anyone interested in knowing more about the industrialization of the West and the impact it still has today. See the most expansive collection of figure skating artifacts and hear about the legacy of distinguished skaters at the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame. Spending the day at the Space Foundation Discovery Center is a top thing to do in Colorado Springs with kids. Peruse the permanent collection or see a traveling exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Home to Olympic Dreams

Guy lighting the Olympic torch. Photo by Instagram user @olympiccityusa
Photo via @olympiccityusa

Searching for things to do in Colorado Springs? Learn why it’s nicknamed Olympic City USA at the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. Take a tour to see where more than 10,000 Olympians, Paralympians, and aspiring athletes train each year. It’s also the headquarters for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committees, as well as the future home to the U.S. Olympic Museum. Expect to brush shoulders with some of your favorite Olympians in town, as great facilities and the challenging elevation leads many to settle down in Colorado Springs full time.

Cheer for Local College Sports

Hockey goalie stopping a puck from Colorado College. Photo by Instagram user @goaligram
Photo via @goaligram

While the entire state of Colorado cheers for the Denver Broncos (NFL), you’ll have to say goodbye to any Denver ties when it comes to college hockey. You’ll have to root for the Colorado College Tigers in ice hockey over the University of Denver Pioneers. The Tigers women’s soccer team is another local favorite to cheer on. Meanwhile, football fans can spend their Saturdays watching Air Force Academy football games. Looking to get your fill of basketball, volleyball, track, cross country, and other sports? Support UCCS athletics!

Soar High at the Labor Day Lift Off

Crowd of people by hot air balloons at the Labor Day Lift Off festival. Photo by Instagram user @labordayliftoff
Photo via @labordayliftoff

Hot air balloons and Colorado Springs go together better than PB&J, thanks to the area’s stunning mountain views. If you’re looking for one of the best free things to do in Colorado Springs, attend the Labor Day Lift Off event—the largest hot air balloon festival in the state. Watch over 70 hot air balloons take flight, participate in a free yoga class, get a front row seat to the Dunkin’ Donut Eating Championships, see an axe-throwing demonstration, and participate in many other family-friendly activities. If you missed this fun-filled weekend, don’t fret. See your new home from above on a private hot air balloon tour with Adventures Out West or Rainbow Ryders.

Sample Local Eats

Open face sandwich with ham and eggs from Edelweiss Restaurant. Photo by Instagram suer @edelweiss.restaurant
Photo via @edelweiss.restaurant

With so many tasty places to eat, you’ll have a hard time choosing among the best restaurants in Colorado Springs! Learn more about the area’s large German population by sampling dishes like Bratwursts, Hungarian Goulash, or Rumpsteak at Edelweiss German Restaurant. Head to Shuga’s to try unique recipes like the Quebec Sandwich, which combines prosciutto, brie, apples, and scallion butter on rosemary sourdough. Or indulge in Salvadorian comfort food at Monse’s Pupuseria. You may also recognize some of the top Colorado Springs restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. Visit TV favorite Mountain Shadows Restaurant to eat a Giant Cinnamon Roll for breakfast or Rocky Mountain Roast Beef for lunch. Or stop by the PigLatin Cocina to taste the Colombian Arepas and Latin-American cuisine with a twist!

Check Out the Craft Beer Scene

Glasses of beer in a row on table. Photo by Instagram user @goatpatchbrewing
Photo via @goatpatchbrewing

Spend happy hour or an evening out at one of the 20+ craft breweries in Colorado Springs! Head to Rocky Mountain Brewery to try the Mountain IPA, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, or The Blonde Lager. Sample Peaches and Cream Ale, Pistachio Nut Brown, Cantaloupe Gose, and more at Goat Patch Brewing Company. Hang out at Fossil Craft Brewing Company and order a Prickly Pear Sour, Mammoth IPA, and Tyrannosaurus Red. Attend a beer dinner or see the works of the current artist on display in the taproom at Local Relic. Or visit Peaks N Pines to sip on an Ohana Nut Stout, eat local food truck favorites, or attend Tuesday Trivia night.

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