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Skyline of tall buildings in Downtown Colorado Springs at sun rise

13 Things to Know About Living in Colorado Springs

Moving to Colorado Springs? This Central Colorado city is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! Mountain views, an abundance of outdoor recreation, and ample job opportunities are just a few reasons The Springs is one of the best places to live in the U.S. Plus, it’s one of the nation’s most dog-friendly cities. Here are 13 things to know about living in Colorado Springs!

Settle Down in an Affordable Colorado City

If you’re looking for an affordable place to live in Colorado, search no further than Colorado Springs! The Springs has a significantly lower cost of living than other popular cities in the state, including Denver and Boulder. The city has seen steady growth in population, which has led to a competitive real estate market and an increase in property value. Still, the median purchase price for a home in The Springs is $456,000—which is significantly lower than Denver’s median price of about $587,000—and the average rental rate is $1,553, compared to Denver’s $1,994. Of course, residents can find more ways to save money when buying a home in Colorado Springs by living in safe, affordable neighborhoods that have more budget-friendly prices.

Find Job Opportunities

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

Photo via @properfilms

Are you thinking about living in The Springs? Colorado has seen massive growth over the last decade, and Colorado Springs is frequently leading the way. Despite this, Olympic City boasts a lower unemployment rate than the national average, with key industries in Colorado Springs including the U.S. military and aerospace, healthcare, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and sports. Major employers in the area include businesses such as Vectrus, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Altia, and Bal Seal Engineering. Plus, Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, which is another major employer for the city! Job seekers will also have the opportunity to work at some of the world’s largest aerospace companies, such as Northrop Grumman and Boeing.

Experience Life in a Patriotic Place

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

Photo via @visitcos

Moving to Colorado Springs if you’re active duty or retired military is an easy choice! Seeing people walk around in a military 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 because the United States Air Force AcademyPeterson Space Force Base, Fort Carson, and Schriever Space Force Base are all located in the area. Thanks to Colorado Springs’ patriotic atmosphere, property tax exemption, and state-specific tax breaks for veterans, military personnel 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 patriotic spirit at the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade and Pikes Peak Regional Airshow!

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Enroll in Colorado Springs Universities

Students walking outside on the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus. @uccs

Photo via @uccs

With several colleges and universities to choose from, The Springs offers education for everyone! Learn anthropology, computer science, economics, molecular biology, and more at Colorado College. Enroll at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs to deep-dive into programs like accounting, cybersecurity, communications, and social work. Immerse yourself in nationally-recognized online degree programs for topics such as criminal justice, computer information technology, and nursing at Colorado Technical University. Check out popular fields of study like marketing, military science, and engineering at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Or take the community college route and check out programs in healthcare, humanities, law enforcement, and more at Pikes Peak Community College.

Raise a Family in The Springs

Colorado Springs offers great neighborhoods for families who want clean streets, top-rated schools, and a tight-knit community. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities in Colorado Springs for everyone to enjoy. Engage in a meet-and-greet with a barn owl or feed a sloth at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Foster a sense of imagination with an educational play space, treehouse, and campsite at Play Street Museum. Have a blast with Dance Dance Revolution, pinball machines, skeeball and more at the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade. Fulfill your thirst for adventure and get in the holiday spirit any time of the year with rides like the Candy Cane Coaster, Christmas Tree Ride, and more at the North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop—located less than 30 minutes away in Cascade, Colorado. And for even more family fun, make a trip to the bustling Denver metro, which is just an hour north of the city.

Outdoor Adventures for Every Season

With low humidity and 243 sunny days per year, Colorado Springs’ weather is another reason why residents love living here. Also, living at this elevation and in this mountain climate means you’ll need to get used to wearing layers—and you’ll always find Colorado Springs attractions to enjoy year-round. Go hiking, take a Segway tour, or ride horses at the Garden of the Gods. Try rock climbing or paragliding at Red Rock Canyon. Take a day trip to hike, bike, o drive your way up Colorado Spring’s grandest geological feature, Pikes Peak. Explore the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park on foot, gondola, train, or by hot air balloon—and try not to lose your paddle while whitewater rafting at the Royal Gorge! Raise your heart rate by taking on the Manitou Incline—a one-mile stretch that gains 2,000 feet in elevation. Or take the plunge with the Terror-dactyl ride, and tour an intricate cave system at the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park.

Explore a Variety of Museums

Some of the best things to do in The Springs can be found at the city’s unique museums. Learn about The Springs’ Western American history with exhibits like Heritage Hall and the Sculpture Garden at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy. Expand your knowledge about the industrialization of the West and the impact it still makes today at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry. Shoot for the stars and immerse yourself in the El Pomar Space Gallery or the Northrop Grumman Science Center at the Space Foundation Discovery Center. Peruse the permanent collection or see rotating exhibits at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Travel back in time, play antique arcade games, crank a butter churn, or take aim at the shooting range at the Ghost Town Museum. Deep-dive into interactive exhibits like Beads, Blankets, and Buffalo, or From Paris to the Plains at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Home to Olympic Dreams

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

Photo via @olympiccityusa

Searching for one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs? Learn why it’s nicknamed “Olympic City” when you visit the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center! Take a tour to see where more than 500 Olympians and Paralympians eat, sleep, and train each year. The center is also the headquarters for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committees, the site of the U.S. Olympic Museum, and home to the national headquarters for USA Swimming and USA Shooting! Consider enrolling the athlete in your family into one of the several sports camps offered at the OTC. Participate in a variety of events—like the Torch Relay & Cauldron Lighting, a meet-and-greet with your favorite Olympian, or dressing up for Halloween for free admission to Fright at the BOO!seum. And expect to brush shoulders with some of your favorite Olympians around town, since the state-of-the-art facilities and challenging elevation lead many athletes to move to Colorado Springs full time.

Cheer for Local College Sports

A hockey golalie stopping a puck from Colorado College. @goaligram

Photo via @goaligram

While the entire state of Colorado cheers for the Denver Broncos (NFL), there are also several local college sports teams to root for! Spectate Colorado College Tigers sports like the men’s ice hockey team, women’s soccer team, women’s basketball team, and more. Root for Division I football team Air Force Academy Falcons. Make a stop at UCCS to see the Mountain Lions volleyball team spike their way to victory, or watch the men’s basketball team dunk over their opponents. For more professional sports, head over to Weidner Field and watch the Switchbacks FC (USL) take control of the pitch.

Experience Colorado Springs Events

Family-friendly festivals and Colorado Springs go together better than PB&J, thanks to the area’s stunning mountain views and wonderful weather. If you’re looking for one of the best free things to do in Colorado Springs, attend the Labor Day Lift Off event to see over 70 hot air balloons take flight and enjoy tons of family-friendly activities. Head out to Old Colorado City to experience a three-day event featuring vendors selling unique handcrafted goods, several educational displays, and more, Territory Days! Put on your cowboy boots and prepare yourself to see the best in rodeo compete in a plethora of events like steer wrestling, barrel racing, and bull riding at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Have your pick of fresh produce and peruse crafts from locals at The Springs’ farmers markets. Get outside and hit the road on a self-guided tour of the local art scene—or meet artists and see live demonstrations during First Friday Art Walks. Throw on your green clothes for the Colorado Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or watch your kids participate in the Leprechaun Fun Run. Sip wine, enjoy live music performances, and fill up on delicious food truck fare at the Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival.

Sample Local Eats

With so many tasty places to eat, you’ll have a hard time choosing among the best restaurants in Colorado Springs! Sample dishes like Wienerschnitzel, Cordon Bleu, or Bratwurst at Edelweiss German Restaurant. Head to Shuga’s to try unique sandwiches like El Gaucho, Saskatoon, and Cuban Mojo. Indulge in Salvadorian comfort food like a Pupusa Colorado or Roasted Chile Relleno at Monse’s Pupuseria. Quench your thirst with mixed drafts like the Blacksmith, Snakebite, and Tropical Guinness, or eat unique dishes like the Irish Farmhouse Salad, or Celtic Rueben at Jack Quinns Irish Pub & Restaurant. You may also recognize some of the top Colorado Springs restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives—like Mountain Shadows Restaurant, where you can eat a Biscuit and Sausage Gravy for breakfast or Rocky Mountain Roast Beef sandwich for lunch. Or stop by the PigLatin Cocina to taste Island Tacos, Piggy Quesadilla, or the Cubano.

Check Out the Craft Beer Scene

Spend a happy hour or evening out at one of the 20+ craft breweries in Colorado Springs! Head to Rocky Mountain Brewery to try the Mountain IPA, Belgian Golden Strong, or The Blonde Lager. Sample the Czech Pilsner, Golden Pear Easy Ale, Blonde Ale, and more at Goat Patch Brewing Company. Order a Pikes Peach, Mammoth IPA, and Rye IPA when you hang out at Fossil Craft Beer Co. Sip on a Grapefruit Saison or Churro Stout and see work by local artists displayed in the taproom at Local Relic. Or visit Peaks N Pines to sip on an Ohana Nut Blonde Stout or American Pale Ale while attending Tuesday Trivia night—and bring your dog along to enjoy their dog-friendly space!

Enjoy Colorado Springs Nightlife

A man lining up his next shot on the pool table. @cowboyscs

Photo via @cowboyscs

With a ton of nightlife activities at your fingertips, you’ll never have to be bored in Colorado Springs! Laugh at a variety of comedians, or participate in open mic nights at 3E’s Comedy Club. Watch all the latest blockbuster films while munching on popcorn at Kimball’s Peak Three. Check out a classic cabaret show at La Burla Bee if you’re in the mood for a late-night experience that combines entertainment, food, and drinks. Shoot your shot at multiple pool tables, ride a mechanical bull, or dance the night away at Cowboys. Enjoy one of the most unique things to do in Downtown Colorado Springs and visit a speakeasy bar hidden behind a faux brick wall that changes themes every quarter at Allusion Speakeasy.

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