Moving to Boulder

Pack your bags and swath your spirit in adventure, it's time to journey to the beating heart of Colorado: Boulder. Imagine moving to a place that effortlessly spins together sunshine-soaked landscapes, vibrant local culture, and innovative industries - an enchanting terrain cradled by the Flatirons and the Rocky Mountains, embracing the wonders of nature and progress in exceptional harmony. This comprehensive Boulder relocation guide is your first step towards a turning a fresh page in the story of your life, as we walk you through the sheer magic, untamed charm and dynamic lifestyle of Boulder, Colorado.

Moving to Boulder, CO landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Boulder


1. A Breath-Taking Combination of Mountain and Urban Living

Even before you unpack your bags, Boulder will greet you with a visual display that is nothing short of spectacular. Around you, you'll see mountains with jagged peaks that rise almost 9,000 feet into clear azure skies. And smushed in between all of that natural grandeur is a bustling, vibrant city, filled with distinguished architecture and green parks. Boulder offers the best of both worlds: Tons of hiking, biking, and climbing opportunities right in the city's backyard, as well as a lively and engaged community that is proud to call Boulder home.

2. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland...if You Don't Mind Shoveling Snow

Boulder's winter could be your new snowy paradise. We experience an average of 83 inches of snowfall per year, perfect for all the winter activities you can think of. But keep in mind, along with this snowy gift comes the job of shoveling your driveway - a chore turned contemplative exercise! You can check out the snow fall records on the official Boulder website.

3. Excellent Place to Raise a Family

Boulder is known for having highly-rated school systems, making it a great place to raise a family. Also, the city's commitment to maintaining a vast network of bike paths, nature trails, and parks makes it an ideal city to let your youngsters roam and explore.

4. A Foodie's Hidden Gem

Now, this might come as a surprise: Boulder is actually a gastronomic hotspot. Rated as America's Foodiest Town by Bon Appetit magazine, Boulder has everything from farm-to-table restaurants to unique pop-up food truck markets. So, if you're planning to move here, get ready for your taste buds to be regularly delighted and occasionally challenged.

5. Lovers of Craft Beer, Rejoice!

Unknown to many, Boulder has a thriving craft beer scene. It's home to more than 20 breweries and maybe as many home-brewers. The city even hosts an annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival that attracts beer enthusiasts from all over the country. So, if you like your pale ale with a side of friendly conversation, Boulder's the place to be.

6. It's Home to Celestial Seasonings Tea

Here's a fun tidbit that even some locals might not know: Boulder is the proud home to Celestial Seasonings, one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America. You can tour the factory for free and even smell some of their famous flavors in the 'Mint Room'. Yes, Boulder caters to tea lovers too!

Fun, fitness-focused, family-friendly, and flush with food and craft beer galore -- that's Boulder in a nutshell. This city embraces both the hustle of city life and the slow, calm pace of nature, offering the best of both worlds. But remember to brace yourself for some serious snow shovelling. And who knows? As you make a home in this charming city, you might just concoct your new favorite brew with Celestial Seasonings tea!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Boulder

Pros of Living in Boulder

Natural Beauty

Boulder is renowned for its natural beauty that includes majestic mountains, picturesque landscapes, and several outdoor recreational activities. With a plethora of biking and hiking trails, and parks such as the Chautauqua Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park nearby, it's an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.

Healthy Lifestyle

Boulder is widely recognized as one of the healthiest cities in the United States. The city promotes a fitness-centric environment with numerous gyms, wellness centers, and organic food options. Plus, the outdoor recreational activities encourage residents to stay physically active.

Strong Economy

Boulder boasts a vibrant economy fueled by a mix of sectors including tech, education, and research. The city is home to the University of Colorado Boulder, several startup businesses, and government research laboratories, offering ample job opportunities.

Quality Education

Apart from the highly regarded University of Colorado Boulder, the city is known for its strong K-12 public school system. Educational standards in Boulder are generally high, so families with kids can expect a good education for their children.

Vibrant Community

Residents of Boulder enjoy a sense of community and warmth. The city consistently hosts community events, farmer's markets, art festivals, and much more. Additionally, Boulder is an environmentally conscious city with a strong emphasis on sustainable living.

Cons of Living in Boulder

High Cost of Living

Boulder is widely recognized for its high cost of living. Housing costs are significantly higher than the national average, making it tricky for newcomers, particularly if you're venturing into property ownership. Food and healthcare also tend to be more expensive than other cities.

Traffic and Commute Times

Despite being a relatively compact and bike-friendly city, Boulder can experience traffic snarls during rush hour. Longer commute times are common, particularly when traveling to other big cities in Colorado like Denver.

Lack of Diversity

Boulder has been criticized for its lack of diversity. Although the city is home to people from different cultural backgrounds, it's predominantly white. Therefore, if cultural diversity is important to you, this may be a drawback.

Wildlife Encounters

Living in Boulder often comes with increased wildlife encounters, ranging from the harmless to the potentially dangerous. Encounters with animals like mountain lions, bears and snakes could be a downside for those not accustomed to cohabitating with wildlife.

High Altitude

Located at over 5,000 feet above sea level, Boulder's high altitude can take some adjustment. It can result in physical discomfort and may affect specific health conditions. People with heart conditions, for example, should consult with healthcare providers before moving.

Modern day picture of Boulder, CO highlighting pros and cons of living in Boulder, CO

Is Boulder a Good Place to Live?

Boulder, CO is a great place to live because of its vibrant outdoors life, stunning natural beauty, and a thriving food scene! You can also enjoy a span of exciting activities like hiking, biking, and skiing, making every day an adventure. Plus, the city hosts numerous cultural events and has a friendly, community-oriented vibe that makes you feel right at home.

What Is Boulder Famous For?


The Great Outdoors

With a location nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy rock climbing, hiking, biking, and more, thanks to the city's proximity to Boulder Mountain Park and other natural attractions. With over 300 miles of hiking and biking trails, the options are seemingly endless!

University of Colorado Boulder

As the home of the University of Colorado, Boulder has a vibrant academic scene. This prestigious university with impressive research programs also influences the city's cultural and social landscape, drawing students, faculty, and visitors from around the world.

Boulder\'s Tech Scene

Boulder has established itself as a hub for the tech industry. From startups to large corporations like Google and Twitter, the city has become an attractive location for tech professionals and entrepreneurs. This tech connectivity makes Boulder a vibrant city of innovators and industry disruptors.

Foodie Paradise

Peppered with unique local eateries, craft breweries, and farmer's markets, Boulder is a foodie's dream. You can enjoy hand-crafted dishes made entirely from local produce or sip on craft beers while enjoying some of the best views Colorado has to offer. The city even hosts the annual Boulder Burgundy Wine Festival, attracting visitors from all over the world.

' Capital building of Boulder, CO in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Boulder, CO is about 0.57%. This rate is significantly lower than the national average, which is approximately 1.07%. Therefore, Boulder residents pay less in property taxes compared to many other parts of the US.

Sales Tax

Currently in 2023, the sales tax in Boulder is 8.845%. Compared to the nationwide average of around 7.12%, Boulder's sales tax is relatively high. Consequently, Boulder residents pay more in sales taxes versus many other US residents.

Income Tax

In 2023, Boulder's income tax rate is pegged at a flat rate of 4.63% for all residents, which applies equally to all taxable income. This rate is in the middle range relative to other US states, many of which have rates that vary from 0% up to 13.3%.

Housing Market

Boulder, CO's housing market is notably robust with a median home value significantly higher than the US average. As per 2021, median home prices are nearly $800,000 while US average circles around $295,300. This reflects Boulder's high desirability and limited available land. The area's median rent is also high at about $2,130, contrasting the national average of $1,470. With rent growth expected, it's crucial for prospective renters and buyers to have a comprehensive understanding of this competitive market.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Boulder, CO currently lies significantly above the national average. This applies to diverse spheres such as housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and health care. Compared to other high-cost cities like San Francisco or New York, however, Boulder may still seem more affordable. In comparison with other Colorado cities, living expenses in Boulder can be up to 50% higher. Despite the high cost, many find the beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and thriving job market in Boulder covetable, making it a desirable, albeit pricey, place to live.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Boulder, CO experiences a semi-arid climate marked by distinct seasons. Summers encompass warm, sunny days, usually in the 80's to mid-90's degrees Fahrenheit, while winters bring cooler temperatures ranging from the 20's to mid 40's. Autumn in Boulder showcases a vivid array of colors, whilst spring often sees fluctuating temperatures and increased precipitation. Over the year, Boulder receives around 20 inches of rainfall and 83 inches of snowfall, making it an interesting mix of a high desert and a winter wonderland. In terms of natural disasters, wildfires and flash floods are the most common threats due to the city's location at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The potential for these disasters requires Boulder to maintain vigilant disaster planning efforts and strict building codes for hillside homes. Despite these challenges, Boulder's overall climate remains an inviting aspect of its unique appeal.

Typical weather in Boulder, CO

Economy & Job Market

Professional, scientific, and technical services

Healthcare and social assistance

Retail trade

Accommodation and food services

Education services

Boulder, CO has always been an enchanting kaleidoscope painted with the economic colors of a variety of industries. It has historically been a strong player in the agricultural sector, but like a butterfly bursting forth from its chrysalis, it has metamorphosed into a hub for robust industries. The professional, scientific, and technical services industry is the city's horsepower, fueled by the presence of several national research labsand a thriving startup scene. Healthcare and social assistance also play major roles, keeping the city hale and hearty. Not to be sidelined, the retail trade industry is also a heavyweight boxer in the ring, with accommodation, food services and education services dancing and twirling around in the Boulder economic ballet.

If you're contemplating moving to Boulder, you're on the brink of plunging into a thriving job market! Boulder's unemployment rate is considerably lower than the national average, which makes it an appealing siren's song for job seekers. The city is practically teeming with opportunities, especially in its top industries. So, if you're ready to roll up your sleeves in the professional, scientific or technical services sector, or if you're a heartwarrior keen on healthcare and social assistance, Boulder is your playground! And let's not forget about the spirited dancers in the retail trade, accommodation, food services and education sectors! There's plenty of room for you to join in and add your moves to this exuberant dance of economy and opportunity in Boulder!

Traffic and Transportation

Greetings, Boulderites and those soon to traverse the lively streets of Boulder, Colorado! You're in for a delightful adventure, starting with the average commute time of a smooth 19 to 20 minutes. Yes, you heard that right! It's a breezy ride in the majestic Rockies. Public transportation, you say? Of course! Boulder offers several feisty RTD bus routes which eagerly whisk riders around town, and guess what, they're green and sustainable, too! Lastly, let's not forget air travel. Boulder is just over the rainbow, approximately 45 miles, from Denver International Airport, a dreamy gateway to the rest of the globe. Make sure to keep an eye out for the resident bronco statue, aptly named 'Blucifer'! Whether you're cruising down our scenic roads, hopping on an enthusiastic RTD bus, or flying the friendly skies, transport in Boulder is a delightful experience! Buckle up!

What is the traffic like in Boulder, CO?

Best Neighborhoods in Boulder

1. Downtown Boulder

Get ready for a fun and vibrant lifestyle in the heartbeat of this happening city! The Downtown area is home to the renowned Pearl Street Mall, a four-block pedestrian mall packed with local businesses, restaurants and boutiques. Stroll down the Mall and you'll run into street performers, musicians, and artists, giving the area a very lively, cultural vibe. In this neighborhood, you'll also find Boulder Theater, a local favorite for live musical performances. The Downtown Boulder Farmer's Market is another staple, ideal for those who enjoy fresh, locally grown produce and handmade goods.

2. Foot of the Mountain

If outdoor activities are your cup of tea, then welcome to your hiker's paradise. Living in Foot of the Mountain means proximate access to amazing hikes and breathtaking views. Nestled into the base of Mt. Sanitas, this neighborhood offers easy access to the Mount Sanitas Trail, a popular hiking spot. Plus, the Boulder Creek Path runs right through this charming neighborhood, making it perfect for joggers or cyclists. It's an idyllic blend of city living with a big dose of nature.

3. North Boulder (NoBo)

Art lovers, rejoice! NoBo, short for North Boulder, is the city's creative hub and known for its thriving art scene. This area hosts the NoBo Art District, where the First Friday Art Walk occurs every month, allowing residents to explore various art studios and catch live demonstrations. The neighborhood is speckled with unique boutiques, funky coffee shops, and delicious eateries. Filled with colorful, quaint houses and enveloped in a strong sense of community, NoBo makes for an artistic, vibrant place to live.

4. Chautauqua

A blend of historic charm and scenic beauty awaits you in the Chautauqua neighborhood. Named after the Chautauqua movement of the late 19th century promoting education and enlightenment, the area still embodies this spirit with a number of cultural happenings at the iconic Chautauqua Park. Its lush green fields and the Colorado Chautauqua, a National Historic Landmark providing lodging and entertainment, are central to this neighborhood. Here, you can enjoy the peace of a residential community whilst staying minutes away from Downtown Boulder.

5. Macky-WHITT

A fusion of two neighborhoods, Whittier and University Hill, Macky-WHITT sits at the center of Boulder's history, culture, and academia. Here, the architectural charm of 19th-century homes meets youthful energy from the nearby University of Colorado Boulder. "The Hill," as locals call it, is lined with historic houses, locally-owned businesses, and quirky bookstores. The thriving student population brings a young, energetic vibe, making for a lively, community-driven neighborhood.

In conclusion, each neighborhood in Boulder carries with it a unique atmosphere and personality, just waiting for you to explore. Whether you're looking for culture and nightlife, outdoor adventures, creative inspiration, historic charm, or academia-infused energy, this delightful city has got you covered!

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Things to Do

Seeming to emerge from a picturesque postcard itself, Boulder, Colorado is a destination brimming with stunning natural views, diverse cultural scenes and all sorts of outdoor activities. If you're new to the city and are left wondering what to do in such an adventurous locale, don't panic. We've got you covered with a compilation of seven must-do activities that truly capture the spirit of Boulder.

1. Embark on a Hiking Adventure at The Flatirons

The Flatirons are synonymous with Boulder and for good reasons. These jagged rock formations offer several hiking trails coupled with breathtaking views of the city and its abundant vegetation. For a more relaxed walk, try the Mesa Trail or opt for the Royal Arch for a more challenging trail. Remember that a sunset or sunrise hike is a bonus experience!

2. Visit Boulder's Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening from April to November, Boulder's farmers market turns into a bustling local event. Here, you can get your hands on some of the freshest fruits, vegetables, flowers, and dairy products, all locally grown and ethical. Be sure to also try the local delicacies offered by various food stalls.

3. Traverse The Pearl Street Mall

Pearl Street Mall is the heart of Boulder where the city's vibrant culture truly comes to life. The fabulous four-block pedestrian mall is filled with quaint boutiques, nature shops, art galleries, and some of the best restaurants in town. Street performers add a unique charm to the vibrant atmosphere.

4. Sip and Chill at the Dushanbe Teahouse

Boulder's Sister City, Dushanbe in Tajikistan, gifted Boulder with one spectacular teahouse. Completely built in Tajikistan, then shipped and reassembled in Boulder, this teahouse has stunning hand-carved panels, tiles, and ceiling. And yes, the teas are genuinely outstanding, from classic brews to exotic occasional varieties, making it a soothing retreat in the city.

5. Play a Game of Disc Golf

Disc golf is somewhat of an occult sport in Boulder, adored by locals but largely unknown to outsiders. It's played with similar rules to golf, but instead of hitting a ball with a club, you fling a frisbee into a basket. The city has a couple of well-maintained courses that are open to the public and free of charge. It's unique, fun, and most importantly, a real Boulder tradition.

6. Go Boulder Bouldering

The sport of Bouldering, or rock climbing without ropes at lower heights, is quite literally named after Boulder, with countless spots around the city. Get your adrenaline pumping and soak in some stunning panoramic views all at once with this activity. Remember to take necessary safety precautions and start small if you're a beginner.

7. Discover Fossils at the Morrison-Golden Fossil Areas

Unknown to many, Boulder is home to a real dinosaur discovery area. Take a short day trip to the Morrison-Golden Fossil Areas Natural National Landmark, where over 1,200 fossil localities have been found. Dust off your archaeologist aspirations and explore the very grounds that prehistoric giants once roamed.

In conclusion, Boulder delivers enchanting experiences for everybody; diverse landscapes, fascinating history, adventure sports, and much more. This is just a little nugget of what Boulder has in store for you. The real adventure lies in finding your own favorite things to do while exploring the city. So buckle up, get out there, and let Boulder's charm bewitch you!

Things to do in Boulder, CO?

Find Movers for Your Boulder Relocation

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