Colorado is renowned for its mesmerizing mountain views, countless recreational pursuits, and distinctive small towns. There are so many beautiful places to call home, from the historic Victorian villages of Central City and Georgetown to the mountain communities of Breckenridge and Aspen. These Colorado tiny towns are the best to live in, whether you’re seeking the ideal wilderness retreat or an urban hideaway.

Additionally, each of these communities offers something special to make your Colorado home memorable, with a range of services, diverse demographics, and a lot of charm. These little towns, which range from the vibrant nightlife of Boulder to the charming setting of Estes Park, will make you feel right at home. Read on to discover the best small towns in Colorado to live in and have an amazing experience.

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#1. Salida

Image source: Tripadvisor

This is one of the best towns in Colorado to live in and have a better life. You can reach Salida, a little town located in the Sawatch Range, two and a half hours south of Denver. It’s a terrific place to test your limits by hiking one of the several 14,000-foot mountains in the region, biking the Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain trail systems, or hanging out by the shady banks of the Arkansas River, which flows through the town, as the locals do. Whichever journey you take, you should end the day with a well-earned slice of pizza and a beverage on the terrace of Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub.

#2. Ouray

Image source: Paddle About

Ouray is frequently referred to as the “Switzerland of America” because of its breathtaking mountain setting. As a result, you can engage in ice climbing at the Ouray Ice Park, which draws thrill-seekers from all over the world, and go trekking in the lovely Box Canyon Falls Park.

In 1875, prospectors came to Ouray in search of riches in the numerous silver and gold mines in the region. The richness of the mines is represented in the city’s historic structures, such as the brick-built Beaumont Hotel and Ouray City Hall. The fact that some scenes from the original True Grit (1968) were shot in and around Ouray will be appreciated by moviegoers 

#3. Crested Butte

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One of the few Colorado ski resorts that have kept its small-town atmosphere is Crested Butte. The very fact that Crested Butte isn’t listed alongside popular resorts like Vail and Aspen is what makes it so remarkable. With over 750 miles of trails, the town transforms into a popular mountain biking resort in the summer. The skiing is challenging, and it is also quite adorable. You might even be able to experience the town’s famous wildflower season if you time it right.

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#4. Frisco

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Frisco is the town for you if you enjoy a little skiing. Nearby ski areas include Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone, to name just a few. In the Frisco Nordic Center, you can also cross-country ski. The Frisco Adventure Park is ideal for biking and hiking in the summer for individuals who aren’t interested in skiing. The neighboring Dillon Reservoir is ideal throughout the year for activities like ice fishing and skiing in the winter and yachting and rainbow trout fishing in the summer. It goes without saying that Frisco is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

#5. Snowmass Village

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This is also one of the best towns in Colorado to live in and have a better life. Although only 15 minutes by car from Aspen, Snowmass Town has a distinctive atmosphere all its own. The town’s four-mountain Aspen-Snowmass ski region is the center of activity throughout the winter. The Elk Mountains, probably the state’s most magnificent mountain range, are the place to go biking and hiking in the summer.

Make the Limelight Snowmass your base and enjoy touring the picturesque community before beginning the day’s adventure. It is ski-in, ski-out in the winter.

#6. Trinidad

Image source: Tripadvisor

Before Colorado was admitted as a state in 1876, Trinidad had already been colonized. Spanish and Mexican immigrants who enjoyed the handy location adjacent to the old commerce route, the Santa Fe Trail, introduced settlers in the 1860s.

The first rural hippie commune was formed in 1965 and later abandoned; it was called Drop City, and it was located north of Trinidad. Due to its 23 marijuana stores, or one for every 352 residents, Trinidad has earned the moniker “Weed Town, USA” today. Trinidad has a lot of history to explore outside of cannabis and counterculture; a wonderful place to start is the Trinidad History Museum.

#7. Silverton

Image source: Uncover Colorado

The old mining town of Silverton, which has a population under 1,000, is surrounded by towering peaks in addition to its high altitude (9,318 feet). If you want to do it right, take the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton, which will take you through some beautiful scenery. Go to Handlebars Restaurant & Saloon once you arrive in this Wild West town to get a basket of Rocky Mountain oysters.

#8. Glenwood Springs

Image source: Hotel Colorado

True to its name, Glenwood Springs, the county seat and largest town of Garfield County in western Colorado, is another of the state’s mineral spring towns. But at these hot springs, you won’t just be lying in the healing water. 

Also, there are numerous activities available, including paragliding, rafting, fishing, and skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort. There is also a scenic boardwalk hike around Hanging Lake. The downtown section of Glenwood Springs is the place to be for culture, cuisine, and drink; it was selected “Most Vibrant Small Town Arts Environment in the United States” in 2015!

#9. Pagosa Springs

Image source: Travel Lemming

This small hamlet, located in southwest Colorado close to the New Mexico border, is well-known for its natural hot springs. Mineral-rich waters are found in this area. The Springs Resort & Spa, Healing Waters Resort & Spa, and Overlook Hot Springs are the town’s year-round “official” springs. Alternatively, you can head to the free hippie dip beside the river. In either case, make sure to stop by the Pagosa Bakery Company for a sweet treat and your morning coffee (or three).

#10. Creede

Image source: My Colorado Parks

When it comes to history, Creede, a little town, has a lot to offer. From 600 in 1889 to well over 10,000 in 1891, Creede’s popularity skyrocketed after the silver boom of the late 1880s. After the boom ended, this inflow of people hoping to make their millions from silver withdrew, leaving Creede’s minuscule population of less than 300. 

In addition to being a beautiful area to visit, the original late-19th-century buildings and the high elevation of the Alps make this a great location for movies. The Shootist, a 1976 John Wayne movie, as well as The Lone Ranger, a 2013 movie, were just a couple of the several movies and television shows that were filmed in and around Creed.

#11. Steamboat Springs

best towns in Colorado to live in
Image source: 5280 Magazine

After a long day of excellent skiing, Steamboat Springs is one of the few towns in Colorado where you can bathe your legs in geothermal hot springs. But in addition to its natural hot springs and skiing, Steamboat is renowned for its distinct Western vibe, lakes that have won a Gold Medal for fishing, and its extensive network of hiking and biking paths. Grab a beer at The Barley Pub and Tavern after a strenuous day in the mountains, then stroll the 10 minutes to Laundry for a selection of small, sharing plates (we recommend the artichoke hearts).

#12. Vail

best towns in Colorado to live in
Image source: Travel Lemming

Vail town is also one of the best towns in Colorado to live in and have a better life. Vail’s largest ski mountain, the Vail Ski Resort, is without a doubt its main draw. All the skiing and snowboarding you could ever want are therefore within fairly easy driving distance of the town, so if you’re here for the skiing, you’re in for a treat.

The town’s lovely appearance goes hand in hand with the region’s absolutely breathtaking alpine environment, which includes crystal lakes, pine forests, and snow-capped mountains. For a charming, old-world atmosphere, visit Vail Village, or explore the Lionshead neighborhood’s winding streets and vibrant, European-style buildings.

#13. Breckenridge

best towns in Colorado to live in
Image source: Travel Lemming

The biggest ski resort in the state is Vail Ski Resort, although Breckenridge Ski Resort is the most well-known in Colorado and one of the busiest in the Western Hemisphere. Although everyone who visits Breckenridge probably comes for the skiing, this town’s roots are in mining. And the log and clapboard-faced buildings strewn about town, dating all the way back to the late 19th century, show the leftovers of that prospector-born prosperity. Also, the area is ideal for hiking; in the summer, visit Blue River for wildflowers along the picturesque pathways.

#14. Telluride

best towns in Colorado to live in
Image source: Texas Monthly

Telluride is flooded with historical structures, thanks to its past being based in the region’s mining boom in the late 19th century. In fact, these make up a sizable chunk of the town, making it possibly the greatest spot to visit if you want to travel back in time to the actual mining era.

The former silver mine camp’s 80 acres in the Downtown area, which are now populated with restaurants and shops, are ideal for exploring. A quick gondola ride from Telluride makes it a terrific starting place for skiing, and driving or trekking to Bridal Veil Falls is a wonderful way to take in the surreal scenery around this lovely town.

#15. Estes Park

best towns in Colorado to live in
Image source: Sunset Magazine

Estes Park is the place to go for anything outdoor-related because it serves as the command center for the Rocky Mountain National Park. If getting outside and enjoying nature is what you’re after, there are plenty of activities to choose from, like hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Incidentally, Estes Park is also recognized for being the location of The Stanley Hotel, which opened its doors in 1909 and served as the model for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Consequently, King is the focus of the tours of this Edwardian hotel.

Where Is the Cheapest Place to Live in Colorado?

The most affordable city to live in Colorado is La Junta, which takes the top rank. The least expensive city in Colorado is a little town called La Junta in southeast Colorado. There are many things to do, and it’s also one of the least expensive locations to live in.

Is it Worth Moving to Colorado?

The state provides newcomers with several job options and a decent standard of living. It consistently ranks as one of the greatest states to live in and has some very wonderful neighborhoods. At 5.8 million people, the state’s population has risen to an all-time high.

Are Colorado People Friendly?

Many individuals can agree that Colorado residents are generally warm, kind, and helpful people, despite the fact that this is not actually a measurable indicator of living quality. The majority of people who are fortunate enough to live in Colorado can be described as grounded. This can be because marijuana is legal here or because Colorado has hundreds of microbreweries.

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