Boulder, Colorado

The People's Republic Of Boulder

Boulder was not the small town I had expected. It is a vivacious community of sophisticated people, who have the same aspirations and expectations you find in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Kimbal Musk

The Best Thing About Boulder?

The City Scene

While Boulder is most notable for being at the base of the Rockies and possessing an amazing outdoor culture, the city of Boulder has become as much a part of what makes this place spectacular as the mountain itself.

Boulder has three major music venues, a thriving culinary scene, some of the best craft beer on the planet (the Brewers Association is headquartered here), fantastic boutique shopping combined with a thriving arts/crafts scene, all topped off with legalized marijuana. For a city with a relatively small population you’re getting a social scene more akin to cities 5x its size.

While Boulder is most notable for being at the base of the Rockies and possessing an amazing outdoor culture, the actual city of Boulder is as much a part of what makes this place spectacular now as the mountain itself.

Boulder has three major music venues, a thriving culinary scene, some of the best craft beer on the planet (the Brewers Association is headquartered here), fantastic boutique shopping combined with a thriving arts/crafts scene, all topped off with legalized marijuana. For a city with a relatively small population you’re getting a social scene more akin to cities 5x its size.

Notes about Boulder from a local: Boulder gets good shows at the Boulder Theatre or the arena in Broomfield, and they put on a lot of events downtown like Band on the Bricks or another free concert series, if you’re into hyper-local music. If you’re a runner, there’s Bolder Boulder 5k, Ironman, and a few other races to train for every year.

Outdoor Activities: This is where Boulder and the surrounding area shines. If you’re into hiking, biking, running, etc., you simply cannot find a better place with more activities for outdoor adventurers and runners. A lot of that can be curtailed during fire season when the AQI is total shit, but for 10 months out of the year, it’s a beautiful place to live with no shortage of things to do if you’re into outdoor activities. You can even tube down Boulder creek, when we’re not in a drought.

The Worst Thing About Boulder?

More People

Growth is the inevitable outcome for a place as beautiful and compelling as Boulder. That growth comes as a cost. That’s both literally true, it’s damned expensive to live here, and figuratively true, as newcomers (particularly those damned Californians) flock to the city known as the Berkeley of the Rockies. This creates tension between the newbies and the long-termers, who wouldn't mind things staying more the same. You also get an influx of college students every year, which is both energizing and exhausting for a place whose growth has made it feel like it could probably use a good nap.

Also, if you’re hardcore MAGA then we highly recommend not putting Boulder (or Berkeley) on your shortlist of places to consider.

One local's pov on the huge downside to all that growth: The ridiculous real estate. I don't really have accurate numbers, but lots of houses sell for upwards of $3 mil. Some houses are made of glass. Some houses are literally built into boulders. Some houses are modeled after mushrooms. That one's actually pretty cool.

Lifestyle of Boulder

It’s Pretty Blended

Boulder is relatively small for such a well-know place and as a result it’s neighborhoods are less defined than some larger cities. It tends to feel more like you’re living in regions of the city, with North, East, West and South Boulder, the more notable distinctions for where you live. These regions are known for different things: North is the arts scene, East is for breweries and socializing, West offers access to the foothills and hiking, and South is home to the smaller, ethnic restaurants and more off-the-beaten path shopping. While Boulder isn’t very diverse, it has a bit of a culturally diversity in the South region.

Finally, Downtown is dominated by the Pearl-Street pedestrian mall, with lots of loft condo living and apartment rentals. For those looking for extremely short walks to commercial experiences, this is your best bet.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Economy & Sunshine

We know that lots of people are bailing on their cities to go to places like Boulder which offer a covid/post-covid respite from their old lives. They plan to work remotely and that all sounds perfect. If however, you ever choose to leave your old gig you could hardly be in a better smaller city than Boulder for finding a new job. This place is jumping with tech and aerospace and creative enterprises.

Also, as long as you’re living here, you might as well enjoy the 300 days of sunshine. After largely being shut in for a couple years it is really nice to go out and get some rays.