back to GMH By Design

field report

a gmh magazine

Compiled List

best colorado towns for young families

The best Colorado towns are known for their outdoor culture, natural landscapes, and recreational activities. All things young families are interested in.


Gregory M Houston – Author

Gregory M Houston – Photographer/Illustrator

best Colorado towns - skiing

Moving to Denver, or somewhere in Colorado? Wel, I’ve complied a list of the best Colorado towns to live in. I have lived in Colorado the majority of my life, and am proud to call myself a Denver architect. Colorado is known for its outdoor culture, natural landscapes, and recreational activities like skiing, biking, and hiking. These qualities make it one of the most family-friendly areas to live.

Nerdwallet released its top-10 best Colorado towns list. They considered 57 cities and towns with populations of more than 10,000. Five factors were used to determine the winners. The most influential factor was the school system ranking in the area. Other factors were is it affordable to live there and is the town growing and prospering.

Their verdict is as follows:

1. Superior

Served by the Boulder Valley School District, the educational system is Superior’s biggest plus. Over 95% of the students in the area pursue college after graduation.

2. Highlands Ranch

While the more affordable housing in Highlands Ranch is cookie cutter, the big benefit here is it is only a 30-minute drive from Denver. RTD’s Light Rail system also connects Highlands Ranch to Denver. It also has high ranking schools.

3. Louisville

Residents of Louisville are just down-right happy! It has a very down-to-earth community which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. In 2011, at a rate of 5.3% it was two points lower than the state average.

best Colorado towns - trains
4. Erie

Erie sees 340 days of sunshine every year and is located in a scenic part of Colorado. In addition, it’s only 30 miles from Denver. It is a community that has embraced an environmentally-conscious attitude and often hosts performing arts shows.

5. Castle Rock

Castle Rock is cherished for its small-town appeal. Panoramic views, recreational activities and a laid-back atmosphere make it very attractive to families.

best Colorado towns - hiking
6. Parker

It is home to an amazing network of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Like Castle Rock it also offers the small-town feel some families look for. As a side note, hikers can see the remains of an infamous dam that broke in 1933 and sent a 15-foot wave into downtown Denver.

7. Broomfield

It is the “silicon valley” of Colorado. It flanks the technology corridor on U.S. 36 and is located about mid-way between Denver and Boulder. It is home to Flatiron Crossing, a beautifully landscaped shopping district.

8. Windsor

Windsor is located in the heart of central northern Colorado. It has easy access to Loveland’s art district, Fort Collins historic downtown, and Greeley’s rodeo grounds and jazz festival. It is home to Windsor Lake a popular fishing spot.

9. Durango

The single most charming attraction here is the heritage railway which runs from Durango to Silverton on steam-powered trains.

10. Littleton

A suburb of Denver, Littleton has mastered the art of converting old to new. Its downtown drag is a reference to main street America. It is lined with turn-of-the-century buildings housing a mixture of hip restaurants and bars, quaint antique shops and art galleries.