Moving to Lakewood
Welcome, future Lakewoodians! Poised beautifully between the bustle of Denver and the serenity of Colorado's mountainous backdrop, Lakewood, CO offers the best of both worlds. Our comprehensive relocation guide is your golden ticket to perfecting your move to this vibrant city. With choices ranging from urban delights to natural wonders, Lakewood might just offer exactly what you've been yearning for. Here's to stepping savvy into your next adventure!
What to Know Before Moving to Lakewood
1. Enjoy All Four Seasons
When moving to Lakewood, Colorado, prepare to enjoy all four seasons in their full glory. From the picturesque snowfall in winters to the vibrant colors of fall to the blossoming beauty of springs and sunny days of summers. Each season brings a unique charm to the city. Make sure you have a wardrobe that can match up to the changing seasons!
2. Bring Your Hiking Shoes
With over 80 different parks within the city limits and the majestic Rocky Mountains just a short drive away, we weren't kidding when we said Lakewood is a nature-lover's paradise. The city is blessed with miles of trails for walking, hiking, and busting some serious mountain biking moves. Don't forget to stock up on sunblock and water, though!
3. Own A Dog (Or At Least Love Them)
Lakewood loves their four-legged friends! The city boasts more than a dozen dog parks, numerous canine-friendly businesses, and even an annual Furry Scurry, a dog walk that raises funds for the local animal shelter. Whether you're a dog-owner or just a dog-lover, prepare to see plenty of wagging tails around town.
4. Unexpected City-Within-a-City: The Federal Center
One of Lakewood's lesser-known features is the Denver Federal Center. This complex houses 28 government agencies in 44 buildings, employing around 8,000 people. It's essentially a small city within the city! But don't be intimated, it's cordoned off and is as much a part of Lakewood as everything else.
5. Local Cuisine is To Die For
Foodies, rejoice! Lakewood boasts an impressive culinary scene that ranges from authentic Mexican dishes, finger-licking BBQ, fresh seafood, to vegan indulgence. Whether you're a fan of white-tablecloth dining or prefer cozy hole-in-the-wall eateries, there's something for every palate in Lakewood. So, get ready to eat your way through your new city.
6. Find Your Inner Artist at Casa Bonita
Here's a fun fact for you, Lakewood is home to the world's most exciting Mexican restaurant - the Casa Bonita. Sounds obscure? Well, this wacky restaurant is not just a place for good food but a haven for entertainment. Cliff divers, puppet shows, arcade games, you name it. It will be like nothing you've ever experienced before. The restaurant even got its moment in the spotlight on an episode of South Park.
7. There's No Shortage of Craft Breweries
Lakewood might not be the first place that comes to mind for craft beers, but it should be. Home to a growing number of craft breweries, happy hour in Lakewood is a time to explore all the local taps. From golden ales to robust stouts and everything in between, you'll find something to quench your thirst. Cheers to a city that loves its brews!
8. Make Way For Majestic Views
Last but not least, Lakewood is a city with views. Located just west of Denver, the city overlooks the downtown Denver skyline to the east and the majestic Rocky Mountains to the west. Whether you're enjoying a morning coffee or winding down with an evening cocktail, you'll have a beautiful backdrop to accompany it. Get ready for some serious Instagram-worthy moments!
Pros and Cons of Living in Lakewood
Pros of Living in Lakewood
Lakewood has approximately 80 maintained parks and over 180 miles of trails for hiking, walking, biking, and horseback riding. The city also includes two golf courses and the popular Bear Creek Lake Park, offering residents plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment of Colorado's natural beauty.
Quality School System
Public education in Lakewood is served primarily by Jefferson County Public Schools, which is well-regarded for its high academic standards and diverse range of programs. Additionally, there are several reputable private schools and higher education institutions in or near Lakewood, offering great education options for families and students of all ages.
Located just west of Denver, Lakewood offers easy access to both the city advantages and the beautiful Rocky Mountains. With the light rail system and major highways nearby, Lakewood residents enjoy convenient commute to downtown Denver, the Denver Tech Center and the nearby ski resorts.
Arts and Culture
Lakewood's Cultural Center offers a variety of performances, classes and exhibitions each year, contributing to a vibrant local arts scene. Additionally, the city hosts a number of festivals and special events throughout the year, providing plenty of entertainment and cultural engagement for residents.
Strong Community Spirit
With numerous community events and local organizations, Lakewood offers a warm, friendly, and connected community atmosphere. Community-wide events, like the Lakewood Cider Days and Sounds Exciting Summer Concert Series, foster a strong sense of belonging amongst residents.
Cons of Living in Lakewood
Higher Cost of Living
Lakewood, like much of Colorado, has experienced a significant increase in cost of living in recent years. From housing to groceries, residents may find that living expenses are higher compared to other mid-sized cities in the U.S.
While Lakewood has a convenient location near major highways and transit, this also means it can experience significant traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. Going to and from Denver or other surrounding areas can take longer due to traffic.
Colorado is known for its rapid and unpredictable weather changes. Residents in Lakewood may need to adapt to sudden shifts in weather, from sunny and warm conditions to snowstorms within the same day, especially during the winter and spring months.
The high altitude of Colorado, including Lakewood, can cause various physical discomforts for some people, especially newcomers. Symptoms like shortness of breath, dehydration, and altitude sickness are not uncommon until one acclimates to the higher elevation.
Potential for Natural Disasters
Lakewood, like much of Colorado, is susceptible to certain natural disasters. While not as prone as some other parts of the country, residents may still have to deal with the occasional wildfires, blizzards, or severe hail storms.
Is Lakewood a Good Place to Live?
Lakewood, CO is a great place to live because it boasts vibrant outdoor activities with over 80 parks and a thriving arts scene. Known for its excellent schools and safe neighborhoods, there's always something going on, whether it's a farmers market, cultural festival, or live music. Plus, who could resist those intoxicating mountain views and the exciting close proximity to Denver?
What Is Lakewood Famous For?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Nestled in the foothills of Denver, Lakewood's Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an icon of the city and a famous outdoor concert venue worldwide. Its naturally formed, acoustically perfect red rock structure hosts a myriad of concerts every year!
Colorado Mills Mall
As Colorado's largest outlet and entertainment destination, the Colorado Mills Mall is one of the mainstay attractions in Lakewood. You'll find an impressive selection of more than 160 manufacturers' outlets, retail stores, full-service dining options, and entertainment venues.
Green Mountain and Hayden Green Mountain Park
Outdoor activities abound in Lakewood, especially at the Green Mountain and Hayden Park. This expansive natural area offers a variety of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and biking that are equally welcoming to novices or die-hard adventures.
The Heritage Culture Center
Offering a deep dive into the history of Lakewood and Colorado itself, the Heritage Culture Center is a must-visit. The museum and cultural center houses a variety of exhibits, archives, and collections emphasizing regional history and conservation efforts.
Overview of Tax Rates
In 2023, the property tax rate for Lakewood, CO is around 0.5%, which is considerably lower than the national average property tax rate of approximately 1.1%. The property tax in Lakewood is typically ranked among the lower tiers in the United States.
The sales tax rate in Lakewood, CO as of 2023 is estimated at 7.5%. This is slightly above the average U.S sales tax rate of around 7.3%, making it relatively moderate compared to other regions.
The state income tax rate for all residents of Colorado, including those in Lakewood, is a flat rate of 4.55% in 2023. This is fairly competitive, especially when compared to states with progressive tax systems that set high maximum rates for top earners.
The Lakewood, CO housing market presents a competitive landscape for both renters and buyers. Median home prices are around $450,000, appreciably higher than the national average, reflecting a robust demand. Rental rates are comparatively high as well, averaging around $1,500 per month. However, its appeal lies in the city's high-quality education and low unemployment rates. Buyers and renters need to move quickly in this market, as properties typically receive multiple offers and sell relatively swiftly. Despite high pricing, Lakewood offers a return on investment in terms of quality of life and future home value appreciation.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Lakewood, CO is slightly above the national average, primarily driven by housing costs. Though slightly costlier than other parts of Colorado, it's cheaper compared to the neighboring Denver metropolitan area. Other factors, such as groceries, healthcare, and utilities, are at par or slightly below the national average. Compared to cities on the coast, however, Lakewood is relatively affordable. The overall balance between cost of living and the quality of life makes Lakewood an attractive choice for many.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Lakewood, CO experiences a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons and a good deal of sunshine year-round. Winters can be cold with considerable snow, but the snow typically melts quickly due to the strong, warming sunlight. Summers are warm, with July temperatures peaking in the high-80s. The city has a moderate amount of rainfall, mostly concentrated in April and May. Apart from weather events, natural disasters in Lakewood primarily comprise wildfires and occasional, small-scale seismic activities. However, due to its location away from the major fault lines, the risk of earthquakes is generally low. Due to this mix of weather conditions, Lakewood offers both picturesque snowy winters and sunny summer days, making it an appealing place to visit or live.
Economy & Job Market
* Healthcare and Social Assistance
* Retail Trade
If you're a history buff, you'll find Lakewood, CO's past economic tale rather interesting. Historically, the city was a hub for the gold and silver mining industry. Fast forward to the present day, and you'll find that the city's economic portfolio has diversified. Today, the key industries include healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and manufacturing. So, whether you're a scientist, retailer, constructor, manufacturer, or health specialist, you'll find Lakewood is pretty much a vibrant economic playground.
Packing your bags for Lakewood, CO? Well, bring along your CV! The city's job market is as inviting as its panoramic nature views. Lakewood's unemployment rate is lower than the national average, pointing to a healthy job market. Most jobs are in the sectors of healthcare and retail trade, so these are great places to start your job search. But don't box yourself in - professional, scientific and technical services, construction, and manufacturing also offer fantastic opportunities. Welcome to Lakewood - where the jobs are as plenty as the city's sunny days!
Traffic and Transportation
Cruising around Lakewood, CO, is a breeze! With an average commute time of 25 minutes, your daily drive is smoother than the front range on a sunlit afternoon. Not a fan of driving? There are plenty of other transportation options to fit your style! Let someone else take the wheel by hopping aboard the RTD Light Rail or bus, offering a leisurely ride while you catch up on your reading (or napping). Your bus pass will even act as your ticket to Denver's bustling downtown. For those with a yearning for more distant horizons, the Denver International Airport is just a short ride away, your gateway to a world of possibilities! So whether you're bopping around town or jetting off to new adventures, Lakewood's got your transportation needs covered.!
Best Neighborhoods in Lakewood
First on our list is Belmar, a vibrant district located in the heart of Lakewood. Known as downtown Lakewood, Belmar features an outdoor shopping mall with over 80 stores, restaurants, and bars - making it an excellent choice for shopaholics and foodies. Walk along beautifully arranged, wide sidewalks and appreciate public artworks or catch a movie at Century 16 Belmar. The area also includes Belmar Park, a green retreat where you can unwind with nature or paddle around Kountze Lake.
Second is Applewood, a tranquil enclave beloved by families, retirees and everyone in between. Enjoy old-town charm in modern comfort, thanks to the perfect mix of renovated mid-century homes and new builds. The neighborhood offers convenient access to shopping, dining, and leisure activities, with Colorado Mills Mall just a short drive away. Plus, with great schools and parks, it's an ideal choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Green Mountain
Next up is Green Mountain, a neighborhood that is truly a gem for outdoor lovers. As the name suggests, the area is beautifully nestled against the Rocky Mountain foothills, providing ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking, and photography. The neighborhood also touts a tight-knit community feel and offers stunning city and mountain views. It's a must-see spot for nature lovers considering a move to Lakewood.
Solterra is another neighborhood that steals the show, especially when it comes to luxury living. Nestled between Red Rocks and Green Mountain, you're not only getting an incredible, panoramic view, but also access to a multitude of outdoor activities just shy of your front door. Architecturally, the area is populated by beautifully designed homes that harmoniously balance modern luxury with Colorado's natural beauty. Additionally, the community is known for its retreat-style clubhouse and infinity pool.
5. Bear Creek
Last, but certainly not least, is Bear Creek, a neighborhood named after the splendid Bear Creek Lake Park it encompasses. Here, you can hike, bike, fish, camp or simply enjoy a picnic while watching the sunset. Large houses with generous yards make up this community that offers a beautiful balance of city and country living. Additionally, the neighborhood boasts a host of amenities, such as a top-rated school system and local shops and restaurants, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle for its residents.
Each of Lakewood's neighborhoods, from the bustling downtown Belmar district to the tranquil trails of Bear Creek, has something unique and enticing to offer. Whether you're attracted to the urban vibe or the call of the mountains, living in Lakewood can cater to a variety of lifestyles. As long as you love good food, the great outdoors, and a friendly community, you'll easily find a corner in Lakewood that you can call home.
Things to Do
Welcome to Lakewood, Colorado - the vibrant jewel at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This urban refuge is a perfect blend of the bustling city and the tranquility of nature, making it a paradise for both thrill-seekers and peace lovers. Whether you're planning to move here or just visiting, here's a slate of must-do things for you to truly experience the magic of Lakewood.
1. Explore the Bear Creek Lake Park
One of Lakewood's finest, the Bear Creek Lake Park, is beckoning with its wide range of recreational activities. Biking, hiking, fishing, camping - you name it and Bear Creek has it. The Summer Beach at Big Soda Lake is also a favorite for families looking to cool off and have a splashin' good time.
2. Take a Stroll Down the Lakewood Heritage Center
Step back in time at the Lakewood Heritage Center and experience the city's rich history first-hand. This 20th-century museum and park boasts over ten historic structures, thousands of artifacts, and a 1900s-themed festival held every year. A stroll down this cultural oasis is sure to inspire nostalgia and appreciation.
3. Bask in the Glory of the Red Rocks Amphitheater
A blend of nature and art, the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater is a concert venue like no other. With its stellar acoustics and panoramic views, experiencing a concert here should form part of your Lakewood bucket list, whether you're a music aficionado or not.
4. Wine and Dine in Belmar
No trip to Lakewood is complete without a visit to its vibrant downtown district, Belmar. This bustling neighborhood is a hot spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment. From trendy boutiques to world-class cuisine, Belmar is bound to delight your senses.
5. Discover Hidden Gems at Antique Capital
Add a dash of adventure to your moving list by exploring Lakewood's Antique Capital. Tucked away on West Colfax Avenue, this hidden gem is a treasure trove of antique stores teeming with unique, vintage finds. Happy hunting!
6. Climb the Green Mountain
True to its name, the Green Mountain offers trail lovers sweeping views of Denver and the Front Range. This local secret is favored by hikers and mountain bikers for its varying levels of difficulty and raw scenic beauty. Brace yourself for a heart-pumping and jaw-dropping adventure.
7. Experience Unique Breweries
And finally, the vibrant Colorado craft beer scene makes its mark in Lakewood too. With several local breweries like WestFax Brewing Company or Great Frontier Brewing Company, hop on a sippin' journey to savor a variety of unique brews. Beer lovers, it's cheers time!
And there it is! A preview of the incredible experiences that await you in Lakewood. While you transition to your new life here, remember to embrace the unexpected, as the city holds many more surprises just waiting for you to uncover. Welcome to Lakewood, your gateway to adventure!
Find Movers for Your Lakewood Relocation
Having delved into the beauty, opportunity, and lifestyle that Lakewood, CO presents, it's clear why relocating here sparks excitement. Now, to make your move smoother and efficient, we invite you to take the next vital step. Great Guys Moving, known for connecting people with topnotch moving companies, can make this daunting process simpler for you. Submit your moving details, and let us link you with licensed, insured, and highly reputable movers so you can get competitive quotes. Don't let the hassle of moving retract from your anticipation. Request a free, no-obligation moving quote from Great Guys Moving, and make your first strides towards your Lakewood dream today.
See The Best Movers For Moving To Colorado From...
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia