Why People Are Moving to Boulder

In Boulder, every day feels like an adventure. Situated against the Flatirons, and in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the city offers exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. In winter, the hardcore can scale icy peaks or ride through the snow on a fat bike.

People here have a glow, like they just finished a half-marathon. Perhaps it’s why they’re so friendly. New residents are surprised at how eager everyone is to talk. Strangers strike up conversations waiting in line at the coffee shop.

But there’s more to Boulder than its relaxed, happy, and healthy lifestyle. It’s one of the most popular moving destinations in America. People come here from all over the country in order to advance their careers, raise families, and broaden their horizons. Besides wide-open spaces, the city also offers:

A Powerful, Innovative Economy

Boulder is one of the best-educated areas of the country. Three quarters of the city has a bachelor’s degree and one third has completed a master’s or doctorate program – a by-product of the region’s strong, fast-growing economy.

In 2013, Inc. Magazine named Boulder “America’s Startup Capital” and it remains one of the best places to launch a business. The city is a major center for:

  • Aerospace. Boulder is a significant producer of spacecraft, aircraft, and military technology. Notable companies include Ball Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
  • Bioscience. There are over 170 healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in the area, developing the next generation of lifesaving medicines.
  • Organic Food. Boulder has the highest concentration of natural food companies in the United States, leading the charge for sustainable agriculture.
  • Outdoor Recreation. The design, manufacture, distribution, and sale of outdoor products generates over $13.2 billion for the Boulder-Denver Metro Area.
  • Information Technology. Boulder has more tech workers per capita than any other American city. There are over 800 software and computer firms in the area, including Google, Microsoft, and IBM.

The city also receives enormous investment from the Federal Government through the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This dynamic mix of private and public capital was undoubtedly one of the reasons the city recovered so quickly from the 2020 recession. Employment has already returned to its previous high and the average salary is currently over $10,000 higher than the rest of the nation.

Safe Streets

Boulder’s crime rate is well below average. Bad neighborhoods are few and far between. No one’s afraid to walk the streets or stay out late having fun.

Sunny Weather

Boulder’s a surprisingly sunny city. It has over 300 days of sunshine a year, almost as many as Phoenix, Arizona. It’s one of the reasons people love spending time outdoors, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter.

Convenient Public Transportation

Boulder is one of the few American cities where it’s easy to get around without a car. It has a well-integrated network of buses, trains, and bike paths connecting the city and suburbs. Cyclists have access to over 300 miles of trails, enough to ride all the way to Denver.

Foot traffic is protected as well. Some of downtown's most popular attractions are pedestrian only and there are plenty of walkways linking local hotspots.

Fantastic Schools

Boulder is an education powerhouse. The city’s school district is one of the best in Colorado. Graduation rates are high, with most students scoring above average on the SAT and ACT.

The city has eleven institutions of higher learning, including the University of Colorado Boulder ‒ one of America’s top-ranked research schools. In addition to traditional courses in English, math, and history, students also work alongside leading figures in aerospace, health science, and sustainable energy.

The university has close ties to the business community as well. Students studying at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law and Deming Center for Entrepreneurship receive a thorough grounding in law, leadership, and commercial technology, in order to prepare them for today’s complex business environment.

Astonishing Food

Boulder is home to some of the country’s most celebrated chefs, not to mention 38 of the region’s stand-out restaurants, so residents don’t have to wander far to find a great meal.

Local favorites include huevos rancheros at Foolish Craigs or eggs sardou (poached eggs, shrimp, grits, and hollandaise) at Lucile’s Creole Cafe. For a new twist on a familiar favorite, try the fried egg sandwich at The Kitchen, made with ham and maple syrup.

Or visit the Hungry Toad for some English-style fish and chips. Motomaki lets guests roll their own sushi burrito. Then there’s the spicy chicken tikka masala at Tandoori Grill or the smoked Reuben at Fate Brewing Company.

Dushanbe Teahouse offers samosas and tea in the afternoon. There are over 140 breweries in the area as well, serving raspberry sours, honey brown ales, and mashed worts made from home-grown, Colorado hops.

For a truly award-winning experience, head to Blackbelly. It serves locally sourced pork, lamb, rabbit, duck, and chicken and has been one of 5280 Magazine’s top 25 since it opened. Or, for a rustic experience, check out OAK for seasonal specialties made with ingredients gathered from Colorado farms. Residents who enjoy Italian can indulge at Frasca Food and Wine, which pairs rich, Mediterranean cuisine with over 200 varieties of wine.

Preparing a quiet meal at home? Be sure to stop by the Boulder County Farmers Market for the freshest meat, fruit, dairy, eggs, vegetables, and tortillas. All ingredients sold here are grown and harvested by Colorado farmers.

Exciting Nightlife

Small towns have a reputation for being sleepy, but not Boulder. This is a young town, looking for new ways to have fun. When they’re not out exploring the wilderness, residents are hanging out at Pearl Street and the Hill ‒ the twin hearts of Boulder nightlife ‒ enjoying:

  • Live Music. Big name musicians perform regularly at the Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre. For local talent, head over to Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company, Upslope Brewing Company, or Boulder’s Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. In the summer, the city holds outdoor concerts at the Central Park Boulder Bandshell. Drop by the Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado Boulder for classic and contemporary symphonies.
  • Refreshing Brews. Thirsty residents love Bitter Bar and License No. 1, which serve some of the city’s most creative cocktails. Or they head over to Salt the Bistro to mix their own. For a more casual setting, there’s the West-End Tavern or the Attic Bar & Bistro. Or they can sample Czech pilsners at the Bohemian Biergarten. Press Play Bar lets visitors sip their favorite drink while playing classic video games!
  • Delicious Desserts. After a night of partying, Boulder residents love to indulge their sweet tooth. Swing by Sweet Cow, a local ice cream chain specializing in unique, small batch flavors such as OZO coffee, vegan banana Oreo, and, for the truly brave, grasshopper. Or check out the weekly specials at Crumbl Cookies. Salted caramel cheesecake and chocolate potato chips are just a few of the extraordinary flavors they offer.

Festive Culture

Bars and nightclubs aren’t the only way to stay entertained, however. Boulder’s packed with artistic, intellectual, and cultural events. Besides food fairs, wine tastings, and public concerts, residents can also participate in:

  • Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Watch the bard’s plays brought to life at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. For over 60 years, this professional company has dazzled audiences with its amazing talent and production values.
  • Boulder Arts Week. Painters, dancers, sculptors, and performers flock to Boulder for seven days of mural walks, lectures, readings, workshops, and public exhibitions by local artists.
  • Conference on World Affairs. Every year, the University of Colorado invites hundreds of experts from all over the world to share their perspectives on pressing global issues. Panels touch on everything from politics to film and social justice. Attendance is free for Boulder residents.
  • Tulip Fairy & Elf Festival. Every May 1, downtown Boulder is taken over by the Tulip Fairy and her subjects. The city plants more than 15,000 flowers along the streets. There are parades, concerts, and other fun family activities as well. Residents are encouraged to attend in costume.
  • Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival. Boulder celebrates the art of motion with two weeks of public shows and interactive workshops. Learn the basics of aerial dance while marveling at the amazing feats of these acrobatic artists.
  • Munchkin Masquerade. Boulder celebrates Halloween by turning Pearl Street over to trick-or-treaters. Children and parents can visit businesses downtown in order to show off their costumes and collect candy.
  • Snow Much Fun. Even though days are short in November and December, Boulder remains warm and welcoming. Downtown glitters with fantastic light displays, not to mention caroling, train rides, and refreshments.

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