"When he first came to the mountains his life was far away On the road and hangin' by a song / But the string's already broken and he doesn't really care / It keeps changin' fast and it don't last for long / But the Colorado rocky mountain high / I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky / The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby" - "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver plant
Life in Colorado

Being near the center of the US, Colorado has both a blend of residents who have moved there from around the country and a mix of geographical features. Since gold seekers rushed to Colorado in the 1850s, the state has been a place to start a new life. Most famous for its snow-capped Rocky Mountains, Colorado also has vast areas of plains, forests and the dry, red mountains and canyons of the Southwest. From the metropolis of Denver to farm towns and ski resorts, Colorado offers any type of location you could want; well, except an ocean view.

Moving to Colorado

Finding rental housing in Colorado, even in Denver, isn't as difficult as in some of the crowded coastal states. But there are always a few hassles. Apartment managers will often ask for proof of income, rental history, a credit report, and a copy of your driver's license. Start your apartment search 4-5 weeks ahead of time, especially if you're set on a popular neighborhood. Better safe than sorry!

Winter in most parts of Colorado includes major snow storms that can happen as early as November and as late as April. So unless you can move your furniture in a snowmobile, we recommend trying to move in summer, late spring or early fall.

If you have to move in winter, have a mechanic make sure your vehicle is ready to navigate over snow and ice. And please drive slowly, very slowly. If you're not used to driving in the mountains, doing so even in summer could be a bit nerve-racking, but we think you'll get the hang of it. We just don't want to be in the passenger seat while you practice. You'll also need to go to the local DMV to get a new license (The line will probably be very, very long, like DMV lines are known to be).

The altitude of Denver is of course a mile high. Other cities may be higher or lower, but most of the state is high enough to keep in mind that altitude sickness is possible as you adjust. Know the signs, as they can sneak up on you. It's also easier to get sunburned in the thin air (not something you'll be worried about in January), so take care to cover up your skin with sunscreen and clothing on sunny days.

Cities in Colorado

So you're moving to Colorado but have no idea where to begin looking for a home. Check out our list of the more popular areas in the state.

Denver: Sorry, we can't list all 78 neighborhoods in this metropolis, but we can share some of the more notable areas in the city. Capitol Hill is one of the most urban parts of Denver, with a dense population living in rental condos and hi-rise apartments above endless restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. Rock out at a show in Ogden Theatre or The Fillmore, or relax and feed pigeons in nearby Cheesman Park. Uptown is just across Colfax Ave. from Capitol Hill and is officially called North Capitol Hill, but that's kind of lame. This is the oldest residential neighborhood in the city, but it's also one of the fastest developing. Victorian homes sit smugly beside luxury apartments. City Park is the biggest park in town, and provides great views of the Rockies, for when you're not feeling like a mountaineer. LoDo is the clever acronym for lower downtown. Okay, maybe it's not that clever, but this is a fun neighborhood. Rent an apartment here if you like sports bars, professional baseball (the Rockies home Coors Field is here), nightclubs and art galleries. If you're an avid shopper, or we should say a shopping maniac, then Cherry Creek is for you. Cherry Creek is filled with hundreds of stores, including an array of high-end clothing boutiques. There are also all the things you need to rest during a shopping spree: sidewalk cafes, gardens, public art, spas, swanky restaurants and the Cherry Creek Fresh Market.

Colorado Springs: Many people from out of state don't realize that Colorado Springs is a good-sized city. With a population of 416,427 in the 2010 census, it's the second most populous city in Colorado. Its land area is actually even larger than Denver's. Old North End in Colorado Springs offers new rental housing side-by-side with turn-of-the-century Victorian homes. Old Colorado City is the oldest district in Colorado Springs. You probably won't find any gold lying around, well, except in jewelry shops, but the old brick buildings are nice to look at. Downtown is filled with wide boulevards and tall trees give this neighborhood a comfy, residential feel, even though it's in the center of town.

Boulder: This bohemian city is just 25 miles from Denver, but has an independent aura as it sits in its mountain perch. The annual outdoor Colorado Shakespeare Festival is held here in summertime. If you prefer movies and darkness, Boulder also hosts the Boulder International Film Festival.

Durango: A small town in Southwest Colorado famous for its historic railway. The downtown is like a scene from a Western, only with lots of gift shops.

Thornton/Aurora/Lakewood: These three cities are all near Denver and serve mostly as suburbs for the metropolis. Plenty of places to rent in residential areas like these, but maybe not always a whole lot of action to be found.

Living in Colorado

Coloradans are known for their healthy lifestyles. With mountains that beautiful, and sunny days most of the year (let's try not to think about those winter blizzards) who wouldn't want to put down their cigarette and French fries to enjoy a little exercise? And believe us, you don't have to move around much at high altitude to get your cardio workout started.

Colorado is one of the hottest spots for music in the US. From bluegrass and folk, to punk and indie, plus symphonies, jazz ensembles and numerous festivals including the Country Jam Colorado, music in Colorado is a way of life.

Can't say not to a tasty beverage? Colorado has some of the best craft breweries in the country. Soar high with a pale ale from the Flying Dog Brewing Company.

Just driving through Colorado is mind-boggling, as you gaze down at sparkling clear rivers, green valleys, bizarre rock formations, and of course the Rockies. But get out and walk around a bit and you'll really be amazed. We know you know it's time to move to Colorado.

CO Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how CO ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Colorado’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Colorado renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "With expensive rents in tech hubs, it comes as no surprise that cost of living is a source of dissatisfaction in Colorado."

Key findings in Colorado include the following:

  • Colorado renters gave their state an A+ overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Colorado were weather, social life, recreational activities and pet-friendliness, which all received A+ grades.
  • The areas of concern to Colorado renters are commute time (B-) and affordability (F).
  • Millennial renters are very satisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of A+, while renters who are parents are less satisfied, giving it a B-.
  • Colorado earned similar scores to other Rocky Mountain states, including Idaho (A+) and Montana (A), but earned higher marks than Wyoming (F).
  • Colorado earned similar scores to other states nationwide, including Alaska (A+) and Minnesota (A+).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction including Alaska, Colorado, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.