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Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO City Guide

Boulder, Colorado is a vibrant city nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the wide-open plains of the front range. With a population of around 108,000, Boulder offers the perfect balance of outdoor adventures and cultural attractions. It has frequently been ranked as one of the happiest, healthiest, and most educated cities in the United States.

Some key highlights that make Boulder such an exceptional place to live include:

ᐧ Healthiest City in America (multiple years) by

ᐧ Highest percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher (59.8%)

ᐧ Lowest obesity rate of any US metro area (12.5%)

ᐧ 300+ miles of biking and hiking trails within city limitsOver 60 parks and 45,000 acres of preserved open space

ᐧ 245 sunny days per year on average

Boulder's active outdoor lifestyle, intellectual culture stemming from the University of Colorado Boulder, thriving restaurant scene, and stunning natural scenery make it a highly desirable place to call home.

Popular Neighborhoods in Boulder


One of the most sought-after neighborhoods, Gunbarrel offers quiet residential streets with a mix of newer subdivisions and some historic homes. It has top-rated schools, easy access to hiking trails, and a cluster of shops and restaurants. The lively Gunbarrel Town Center is a popular gathering spot.

Pros: Great schools, community feel, access to open space
Cons: Farther from downtown, can feel suburban
Median Home Price: $830,000
Demographics: 90% white, 37% families with kids

Downtown Boulder

As the name implies, this centrally-located neighborhood puts residents walking distance to the iconic Pearl Street Mall and all the dining, entertainment, and shopping it has to offer. Historic homes line quiet residential streets, while modern condos provide an urban living experience.

Pros: Walkable, lively atmosphere, close to CU campus
Cons: Higher prices, density, parking challenges
Median Home Price: $1.1 million
Demographics: 72% single-person households

Martin Acres
An upscale neighborhood with larger lot sizes and a pleasantly secluded feel, despite being just 10 minutes from downtown Boulder. Newer construction and luxury homes dominate this part of town nestled up against the foothills.

Pros: Privacy, open spaces, quality public schools
Cons: Farther commute, higher prices
Median Home Price: $1.4 million
Demographics: 51% families with kids, 76% white

Boulder Real Estate Market Trends

Boulder's real estate market remains extremely competitive and in high demand. With limited available land for new construction and many buyers looking to call this city home, prices continue rising year over year.

Current Mortgage Rates: 6.5% for 30-year fixed (as of March 2024)

Median Home Price: $875,000 (up 8% over last year)

ᐧ Single Family Homes: $990,000

ᐧ Condos/Townhomes: $525,000

Median Rent: $2,100 for 2BR apartment

Days on Market: 34 (homes going under contract very quickly)

Price per Square Foot: $482

Home Value Forecast: Projected to increase another 5-7% over next 12 months.

While the high cost of entry can be daunting, Boulder real estate remains an excellent long-term investment. Properties appreciate quickly in this supply-constrained market.

Top Schools in Boulder

The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) consistently ranks as one of the top districts in Colorado for its outstanding academics and special programs. With over 30,000 students across 56 campuses, BVSD offers a wide array of choices for families.

Elementary Schools:

Mesa Elementary (9/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1

ᐧ Math Proficiency: 75%

ᐧ Special Programs: STEM, Dual Language Immersion

Columbine Elementary (8/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1

ᐧ Reading Proficiency: 83%

ᐧ Special Programs: Arts Focus, Gifted & Talented

Middle Schools:

Southern Hills Middle (7/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 19:1

ᐧ Math Proficiency: 63%

ᐧ Extracurriculars: Robotics, Math Counts, Sports

High Schools:

Boulder High School (8/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1

ᐧ Graduation Rate: 92%

ᐧ AP Enrollment: 52%

ᐧ Extracurriculars: Over 50 clubs and 28 varsity sports

In addition, Boulder is home to the University of Colorado's flagship campus, providing ample higher education opportunities nearby.

Getting Around Boulder

Despite its relatively small geographic size, Boulder is regarded as a very walkable and bikeable city thanks to its thoughtful urban planning and public transit options.

Walk Score: 62 (Some Errands Can Be Accomplished On Foot)

Bike Score: 86 (Very Bike-able, Better Than Average)

Boulder has an expansive network of over 300 miles of bike lanes, multi-use paths, and trails that connect neighborhoods to open spaces and key destinations across the city. The city's BCycle bike sharing program provides an additional car-free way to get around.

For public transportation, Boulder has an extensive bus system known as the Dash with over 200 stops across the city and regional routes connecting to Denver, Longmont, and other municipalities. An upcoming rail line called the Northwest Rail is also in development to link Boulder with Denver's RTD rail system.

Average Commute Time: 22 minutes (shorter than national average)
26% of commuters bike, walk or use public transit

Culture, Events and Recreation

Though surrounded by ample natural playgrounds, there's also no shortage of cultural attractions and entertainment in Boulder.

Dining & Breweries

Boulder has over 500 restaurants, breweries, and cafes to choose from. Its eclectic food scene caters to every taste and highlights cuisines from around the world. Notable highlights include the West Flanders Brewing Co., The Mediterranean, and Waterloo.

Arts & Entertainment

The Boulder Theater, Dairy Arts Center, and Macky Auditorium host a steady stream of concerts, comedy shows, and live performances. Along Pearl Street, you'll find art galleries, street performers, and festivals throughout the year like Boulder Creek Fest


Parks & Recreation

In addition to having easy access to hiking trails, open space, and rock climbing adventures right outside the city, Boulder has over 60 parks and recreation areas. The most popular parks include Chautauqua Park and Settlers' Park. There are also several public pools, recreation centers, and sports complexes.

Outdoor Activities

Road cycling, mountain biking, running, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and skiing (at nearby resorts like Eldora) are all immensely popular outdoor pursuits among Boulder residents.

With its lively events calendar, public art displays, and so many ways to enjoy the outdoors, Boulder provides an exceptional lifestyle for those who appreciate an active cultural experience.

Colorado Climate & Environment

Located on the front range where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, Boulder enjoys a mild, semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons:

Average Temperatures
Spring: Highs around 65°F
Summer: Highs around 85°F
Fall: Highs around 70°F
Winter: Highs around 48°F, Lows around 22°F

With over 245 sunny days per year, Boulder gets less annual precipitation compared to the national average at around 18 inches. Summers can be dry with low humidity. Winter snowfall in Boulder averages around 83 inches per season.

Air Quality and Environment

Thanks to its location and environmental policies, Boulder boasts some of the cleanest air quality and most progressive sustainability initiatives in the country. It was one of the first cities to implement a Climate Action Plan.

Major Sustainability Efforts:

ᐧ 100% renewable energy goal by 2030 for municipal operations

ᐧ Zero Waste Program to reduce trash sent to landfills

ᐧ Nation's first Tax on Plastic and Disposable Bags

ᐧ Electric vehicle incentives and public charging stations

For outdoor enthusiasts, clean air and beautiful scenery are major draws of living in Boulder. Its commitment to protecting the environment also makes it an attractive place for eco-conscious residents.

Whether you're looking for an active lifestyle, cultural amenities, top-notch education, or simply awe-inspiring views, Boulder truly offers something for everyone. Let me know if you need any other details as you consider this incredible city!

Boulder, CO Resource Guide

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