With remote working and a renewed focus on healthy lifestyles, a growing number of people are looking at moving to Colorado Springs. Why that area, in particular? Because the city has such a great variety of outdoor activities, walkable neighborhoods, and temperate weather that makes it an attractive place to live. It has also earned a reputation for its natural beauty, relatively affordable housing, and lots of family friendly places to visit, from parks to museums to restaurants.
Want to know more about what it’s like living in Colorado Springs? Here’s a closer look at what makes The Springs so appealing, as well as answers to some of the top questions people have about living, working, and playing in the city.
Colorado Springs at a glance
- Geography: Colorado Springs is located at the foot of Pikes Peak, 70 miles south of the state’s most populous city, Denver. Because of its proximity to mountains, you’ll find that the air is dry, there are several different elevations throughout the city, and there’s a large array of unique Colorado Springs neighborhoods and attractions, due to the surrounding natural geography.
- Size: The city of Colorado Springs is about 195 square miles, and there is about 18,360 acres of parkland.
- Population: Colorado Springs is the second most populous city in Colorado, with an estimated population of 498,879 in 2021 and a median age of around 35 (as of 2019).
1. The cost of living in Colorado Springs
Is it expensive to live in Colorado Springs? Actually, the cost of living here is 6% lower than the national average and 16% lower than close-by Denver. The average Colorado Springs utility bill is 26% lower than other parts of the country, and housing is about 2% lower. Be aware, though — cost of living is always fluctuating, especially in a city growing as rapidly as Colorado Springs.
2. Home prices and affordability
What are home prices like in Colorado Springs? It all depends on what neighborhood you settle into and what you buy. But for many, home prices in Colorado Springs are reasonable. Colorado Springs real estate is hot, though, just like the rest of the nation. The typical home value was about $457,000 as of December 2021. And the typical home value has increased dramatically (27% in the last year alone) over the past few years as the population has increased. However, this may be even more reason to act now if you’re looking to invest, as property values may continue to increase.
3. Rental market
If you’re going to be a renter, you may question: Is it better to live in Colorado Springs or Denver? Although Denver is certainly an amazing choice with lots of rentals, it’s definitely more expensive, and you have more competition for those rentals. Colorado Springs, on the other hand, is more affordable, has less competition, and may actually have more places available to rent than you think because of the high number of colleges, universities, and military bases in the area. The average monthly rent in Colorado Springs is $1,473, and the average apartment size is 849 square feet. Of course, this average goes up or down depending on the specific neighborhood where you rent. And while most residents tend to own their homes, 36% of households in the city are renter-occupied.
4. Recreational activities
If it’s not obvious already, Colorado Springs has great recreational options for everyone, no matter their age. In fact, it’s where the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center is located, so there are many like-minded fitness advocates literally running around.
There are tons of trails, mountain biking spots, and hiking areas around the city, especially in picturesque parks like Palmer Park and North Cheyenne Cañon Park. And if you’re looking for other things to do with family or friends, you can’t beat the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Centers, or the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to keep entertained any time of the year.
Here are some of the city’s major attractions:
- Cave of the Winds: You can tour this magnificent complex of caves daily and enjoy the rest of the Pikes Peak area while you’re there.
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: This Colorado Springs zoo offers up-close-and-personal attractions and covers 146 acres. The zoo gives you a good look at the Rocky Mountain habitats of many animals and has a great primate display, as well.
- Garden of the Gods: If you’re looking for a great place to hike and explore nature, then Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is the right spot to visit. It covers 1,367 acres with sandstone and limestone formations that are awe-inspiring.
- Pikes Peak: Talk about a view! Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the Southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It is just west of downtown Colorado Springs and makes for an unforgettable day trip from The Springs to its base city of Manitou Springs.
- Pioneers Museum: This is a cost-effective way to learn more about the history, heritage, and people of Colorado Springs. The free museum collects, preserves, and promotes the history of the Pikes Peak area and its original residents.
- ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy: This beloved local museum is best known for its efforts to preserve the legacy of rodeo and the cowboy. It seeks to educate visitors about the impact and history of rodeo on Western American culture and to recognize notable figures (past and present) within the rodeo community.
5. Great neighborhoods
One of the best things about Colorado Springs is how pleasant the neighborhoods are. From walkable downtown neighborhoods and family-friendly communities like Pleasant Valley and Shooks Run to rural suburbs with above-average schools and space to keep horses like Briargate and Rockrimmon, Colorado Springs really has it all.
6. Top schools
Colorado Springs has great schools, both public and private. As a matter of fact, several of The Springs’ schools (elementary, middle, and high) rank within the top five best schools in their category for the whole state of Colorado. A few of the area’s best schools include Cheyenne Mountain High School, The Vanguard School Junior High, Fountain Valley School, and The Colorado Springs School.
7. Must-see colleges
There is an array of major post-secondary schools in the area, from colleges to specialty universities. A few standouts include Colorado College, Colorado Christian University, Colorado Technical University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
|Fun Fact: Many people in Colorado Springs have a degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — nearly 40% of Colorado Springs residents ages 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree. The national average? It’s 32.1%.|
8. Plenty of employers
There is a wide array of industries within Colorado Springs, creating a diversity of employment. The unemployment rate within the city stays relatively low (4.3% as of December 2021). And the key industries in Colorado Springs include aerospace and defense, healthcare and medtech, IT and cybersecurity, manufacturing, and sports. The Pikes Peak region has more than 35 Fortune 500 companies, and some of the largest employers include Lockheed Martin, Progressive Insurance, Microchip Technologies Newmont Mining Corporation, and the U.S. Olympic Committee. Area military installations also account for some local employment, including Fort Carson Army Base, Schriever, and Peterson Air Force Bases.
|Q: Is Colorado Springs a good place to live? |
A: Yes, it definitely has a reputation for being an excellent place to live — even if it means making a cross-country move to get there. People come from all around for the great weather, natural beauty, and interesting things to do. One of our personal faves is the Garden of the Gods!
9. Wonderful weather
The summers are mighty nice (50°F- 84°F*) and winters offer snow-worthy temps (17°F -45°F*) — an average of nearly 5 feet of snow falls annually (ski trip!). What does that mean? The area’s altitude and nearness to the mountains keeps Colorado Springs’ weather temperate year-round, but you still get to experience all four seasons.
*Average temperatures (low and high) for the season
10. Cool restaurant scene
There are lots of local chefs that are making the restaurant scene in Colorado Springs one of the best. There are great places that have a national reputation such as Mountain Shadows Restaurant, known for its over-the-top, Instagram-worthy, giant cinnamon roll. And there are world flavors at eateries such as Monse’s Pupuseria for its Salvadoran eats as well as Edelweiss German Restaurant with its European favorites such as bratwurst, goulash, and rumpsteak. Another local favorite is the PigLatin Cocina, which serves Latin-American fusion with flair.
11. Easy transportation
The average commute to work is good at only 24 minutes despite the city’s large size of 194.5 square miles. When living in Colorado Springs, you’ll likely want your own car or perhaps two, depending on your family situation. The traffic is generally light (though there are definitely areas prone to congestion), and there is a reasonable amount of public transportation for residents through Mountain Metro Transit, the city’s bus system.
|Pro Tip: Having dry roads and lots of nice weather will make life easier if you’re considering moving to Colorado Springs and plan to drive a moving truck. Want to avoid driving a big truck through the mountains, though? Use a portable moving container instead and PODS will take care of the driving for you.|
12. A great reputation for the long term
If you are thinking Colorado Springs might be right for you, you’re definitely going to want to look further into moving there. After all, Colorado Springs is often ranked as one of the best cities to live as well as one of the best for retirement. Want more proof? U.S. News & World Report places Colorado Springs as No. 6 on its “Best Places to Live” list and No. 86 in terms of the “Best Places to Retire.”
And with its picturesque landscape and chance for a rare bear sighting, it’s hard not to fall in love with Colorado Springs. Ready to make the move? Next step is planning how to make the move. Moving yourself is all well and good, but it can be stressful, especially if you’re moving cross country. A PODS portable moving container, delivered right to your driveway so you can load on your own schedule, gives you flexibility and lightens the stress of your move. Once you’re ready, the container’s picked up and taken straight to your Colorado Springs home, or you can hold it in a PODS secure storage facility until you’re ready for it. All you have to do is get yourself there.
For more ideas on packing, moving, and organizing this next phase of your life, check out the PODS Blog.
Karen Dybis is a freelance journalist and a frequent contributor to the PODS blog. Her work has appeared in Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, The Detroit News, and more.
- Population, median age, geographic area: City of Colorado Springs
- Best Cities ranking and commute – U.S. News & World Report
- Rental rates for apartments: RentCafé
- Visitor information: Visit Colorado Springs
- Cost of living (Denver) – Payscale
- Cost of living (COS) – Payscale
- Typical home value – Zillow
- Schools – Niche
- Unemployment rate – bls.gov
- Pikes Peak region employment info – Colorado OEDIT
- Weather/climate – Best Places