Cost of living
Many Longmont residents choose to live here because they can get a decent apartment or a house and yard for way less than what theyd pay in Boulder. These days, anything within strolling distance of downtown Boulder will cost a fortune, and that's not including an arm and a leg. This is why so many would-be Boulderites decided to make the cruise up the Diagonal to Longmont. There are plenty of nice one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments in Longmont with rents that are about 30% cheaper than in Boulder.
Finding your abode
Searching for an apartment for rent in Longmont is pretty simple. When dealing with the large and fancy apartment complexes, expect to jump through all the hoops of background checks, proof of income and references. Look for a landlord-owned house if you dont want to deal with all that stuff.
Pets and other hurdles
Most apartment rentals is Longmont will gladly let you bring one or possibly two cats or dogs in, as long as they arent Cujos. Try your best to get an apartment on the ground level, since these usually have small fenced-in yards as well. If you have a big dog, do both yourself and your pooch a favor and try to find a house with a fenced-in yard.
When to move
Apartments can be found pretty much any time of year. Longmont is far enough from the University of Colorado that few students venture out this far. Having said that, if you want to live in a nice apartment complex, start your search as early as possible, since the best units get snapped up quickly. They are priced according to size, and some have much better views than others, so be ready to act quickly (put down your deposit that same day) if something good becomes available.
Downtown Longmont: Most of the action in town happens along Main Street, which runs North and South from Ken Pratt Blvd. Dozens of tree-lined streets on either side of this main drag give residents the opportunity to walk or bike around town, which was developed for people to actually walk around without risking their lives unlike most other parts of the country! There is a pretty good mix of people here, and the local restaurants offer plenty of variety for a town this size. $$
Northwest: North of town along Highway 66 near Macintosh Lake, there are some very nice apartment complexes with great views and access to open space. While commuting to Boulder will take a bit longer, they offer top-notch amenities like swimming pools, hiking trails and peace and quiet for those who dont mind being on the fringes of town. $$
Northeast: This part of Longmont is east of Main Street and has a few golf courses and more upscale homes. This neighborhood has more of a suburban feel to it. Expect to pay a bit more if you want to dodge golf balls on your deck or have a house that backs up to open land. $$$
Southwest: A lot of the sprawl and poorly-planned development is in this part of Longmont. If you dont mind living near the big-box stores and hulking, yet strangely deserted, Twin Peaks Mall, you can find some great deals on places to live. Large three-bedroom houses for rent in the area off Nelson Road cost less than those in most other parts of Longmont. $
Southeast: This neighborhood is east of the diagonal just as you get into town. It's quiet and has easy access to running and biking trails. Left Hand Creek cuts right through town, and there are greenways that can get you most of the way to Boulder without ever needing to dodge traffic. The downside to this neighborhood is that youll need to journey west to find some grub. $$
Longmont is home to a lot of people who want to live in Boulder, but cant afford the sky-high rents. This means that the people here come from very diverse backgrounds, which gives the town a great sense of community. You can find restaurants here offering food from the far corners of the world, or make the quick trip to Boulder to enter health food heaven there are four Whole Foods restaurants within a 10-minute drive of each other there!
Get yourself a bike
If youre going to live in Colorado, you better have a bike. This is the only place in the world (other than Boulder) where you routinely see rusty cars worth a few hundred bucks carrying $8,000 bicycles on them. That doesnt mean you have to pay the big bucks though -- any bike will let you cruise the trails and bike paths that cut through most of town. Expect to see large packs of riders on the roads, especially on the weekends, Give them plenty of room, since road rage between cars and bikers is common in these parts.
For getting around downtown Longmont, the bus is great. You can also get to Boulder, Lyons, Denver and the airport pretty easily, but expect the trip to take two to three times as long as driving in your own car.
Wining and dining
Longmont is far sleepier than Boulder, but does have a few great restaurants, coffee shops, and cool bars. For nightlife, youll have to head to Pearl Street or the Hill. Beer lovers will find solace in the two main breweries in town Left Hand Brewing Company and Oskar Blues.
Activities and entertainment
Every summer, the Boulder County Fair rolls up to town, complete with monster-sized pumpkins, livestock and carnival rides. For produce, the Longmont Farmers Market is the place to be every Saturday morning, except for in the dead of winter, with great deals on organic produce grown on local farms. The prices are better here than in Boulder, where the well-to-do will gladly fork over any price asked for organic veggies.
Pretty much all of the rest of the entertainment is provided free of charge by nature grab your bike and climbing gear, slip on your five-finger shoes, strap your kayak on the roof rack and head west to the mountains. In the winter, world-class skiing is a few hours away, and a bunch of 14,000 foot peaks loom just outside of town.