I’m a Colorado local and in this guide, I overview the absolute best cities in Colorado!
There are over 272 incorporated municipalities in Colorado. Though, I’ve identified the 21 best Colorado cities after years of exploring the Centennial State.
This round-up begins with cities you’re probably familiar with — but continue down the list to a few hidden gems. You’re sure to find a desirable destination, whether you’re traveling or looking for places to live in Colorado!
Table of Contents
- 21 Best Colorado Cities
- FAQs About Cities in Colorado
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21 Best Colorado Cities
From art venues to outdoor fun, Colorado’s capital city has something for everyone.
The Mile High City is home to six pro sports teams and one of the largest performing arts centers in the U.S. Since Denver’s a consolidated city, the Colorado State Capitol and several museums are all within walking distance.
Browse places to stay in Denver to discover what draws so many to Colorado’s most populous city!
A city with red rock formations and Olympic history.
Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado, with several great places to stay while you’re in town. The city is near the Rocky Mountains, and there’s no shortage of beautiful places to hike, mountain bike, and otherwise get outdoors!
A college town featuring Colorado’s biggest university and the iconic Flatirons.
Boulder is a funky college town, home to the largest University of Colorado campus. Students and those living in the town’s affluent neighborhoods frequent local restaurants, bars, and shops.
The model for Disneyland’s Main Street, with lots of outdoor activities.
This northern Colorado city has a quaint downtown that was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Fort Collins also has a college, Colorado State University Fort Collins.
It’s home to many breweries, and nearby Horsetooth Reservoir offers plenty of outdoor fun. There are other state and local parks with hiking as well.
A gorgeous, affluent ski town with outdoor activities year-round.
Aspen is one of the most luxurious towns in Colorado. It has four amazing ski resorts, plus other outdoor experiences, cultural attractions, and many more things to do. The Maroon Bells are perhaps the most photographed part of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and well worth a visit!
A beautiful Swiss-inspired mountain town just off I-70.
In summer, flowers spill from window boxes and line hiking trails. Take the scenic gondola, ride the alpine coaster, and test your skills on the ropes course. Year-round, you can visit Vail’s outstanding spas to work out the knots after a hard day playing.
Check out our tips for where to stay in Vail if you’re planning a visit!
A Denver suburb featuring Cherry Creek State Park, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
Aurora is one of the biggest cities in Colorado. It’s found on the east side of Denver and is relatively close to the Denver International Airport.
There are lots of suburban housing developments, with plenty of space for residents to spread out. Cherry Creek State Park is one of its greatest draws, offering some of the best camping near Denver.
A Denver suburb with scenic lakes and hiking trails.
Lakewood is a suburb southwest of Denver that’s an easy commute for anyone working downtown. Bear Creek Lake Park has hiking, swimming, boating, archery, horseback riding, and more. Several other mountain parks are home to the best hikes near Denver.
A quiet suburb with spacious mountain parks and a historic downtown.
Littleton is about a twenty minute drive from downtown Denver. This suburb features quiet streets and good schools.
There’s a historic downtown area, and the nearby Littleton Museum provides plenty of history. Other things to do in Littleton include taking in a show at the Town Hall Arts Center and strolling through the free Hudson Gardens.
If you need a place to stay in Littleton, check out my recommendations!
A southwest Colorado town steeped in history.
Durango is in southwestern Colorado, about a six-hour drive from Denver. You’ll find lots of fascinating things to do in Durango. This includes the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a scenic train ride winds through the San Juan Mountains
Mesa Verde National Park, one of the best places to visit in Colorado, is another area attraction.
A modern, planned community with great views of the Rockies.
Highlands Ranch is another of the Colorado towns near Denver, offering an easy commute to the city. This affluent, planned community has many things to do, including hiking, eating at local restaurants, and enjoying leisurely afternoons at craft breweries.
A city situated between Denver and Colorado Springs, with plenty to do on its own.
Castle Rock is a city near Colorado Springs and Denver. Though, it has plenty of things to do all on its own!
Hike to the Castle Rock itself, head to the outlets for some shopping, or enjoy a game of golf in town. This suburb is also a great place to live, with lots of room and places to eat and shop.
A mountain resort town with the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool.
Glenwood Springs is tucked into the mountains on the Western Slope, and has several hot springs where people can soak. There’s also an adventure park, nearby ski resorts, and several whitewater rafting tours.
Skiing, hot springs, a lake, and other outdoor activities make Steamboat fun year-round.
Steamboat Springs has a lovely downtown area that invites strolling, with shops and restaurants lining the streets. Nearby Steamboat Lake is a great spot for swimming and boating.
Come for the hot springs, stay for the rafting or skiing nearby.
Pagosa Springs lies along the San Juan River and is known for the local hot springs. However, there are so many things to do in Pagosa Springs.
A scenic town tucked in the mountains just outside Rocky Mountain National Park.
Estes Park is one of the most popular cities in Colorado, as it’s the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether in need of an outdoor adventure basecamp or a relaxing getaway, you’ll find several places to stay.
Book a room or simply visit the iconic Stanley Hotel and paddle on Lake Estes. Check out our list of Estes Park attractions for more.
A city south of Colorado Springs with parks and forest.
Pueblo is south of Colorado Springs and is home to Lake Pueblo which is a popular spot for water skiing and fishing. For more outdoor recreation, check out the riverwalk and explore the San Isabel National Forest.
Also, when visiting, be sure to try local restaurants’ green chile, one of the best foods in Colorado!
A western Colorado city with monuments and great mountain biking.
Grand Junction is the biggest Western Slope city. Although it has a different feel (and different weather!) than the Front Range, some features of living in Colorado are the same wherever you go.
There’s plenty of hiking, paddling, and mountain biking, each surrounded by stunning landscapes. Fascinating museums and historic sites add to things to do in Grand Junction. Multiple places to stay allow you to explore the area, or simply make for a great road trip stop.
A fun, quick mountain trip from Denver.
Historic Georgetown has a downtown main street with local shops to browse. It’s one of the top small towns in Colorado, famed for the Georgetown Loop Railroad which ranks as one of the best train rides in Colorado. There’s also hiking and fishing, and the drive over Guanella Pass is scenic.
A great foothills town with boating, hiking, and restaurants.
Evergreen Lake has lots of things to do, including boating and fishing in summer and ice skating in winter. Downtown Evergreen has places to eat, shop, and drink.
An agricultural community and college town with live music venues.
Located in Greeley, the University of Northern Colorado puts on many concerts, musicals, and other events. These make for a fun evening out, and the historic downtown area has places to eat and drink.
FAQs About Cities in Colorado
What are the major cities in Colorado?
What is the nicest place to live in Colorado?
What is the cheapest city to live in Colorado?
Lamar is the cheapest city to live in Colorado. The average home price in Lamar in August of 2022 was $189,300. [Source]
Hopefully, this guide to some of the top cities in Colorado has been helpful! If you’re looking for more information on Colorado, check out our Ultimate Colorado Travel Guide.
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