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Lafayette Colorado City Guide

Boulder | Longmont | Lafayette

Welcome to Lafayette, CO

Situated in Boulder County just 8 miles east of Boulder itself, Lafayette offers a appealing small-town atmosphere combined with easy access to big-city amenities. With around 30,000 residents, Lafayette provides a tranquil setting perfect for families while still being close to major job centers.

Key facts about Lafayette:

ᐧ Money Magazine's #9 Best Place to Live (2021)

ᐧ Grew over 30% in population last decade

ᐧ Median age of 37.5 years old

ᐧ Cost of living 4% below national average

ᐧ 3 breweries and over 20 parks within city limits

ᐧ 300+ days of sunshine per year

Lafayette manages to strike the ideal balance of a peaceful community complemented by urban conveniences like shopping, dining, recreation, and arts/cultural offerings not far away. Its affordable cost of living and proximity to nature make it an enticing Denver suburb.

Popular Neighborhoods in Lafayette


One of the original neighborhoods developed in the 1980s, Baseline features winding roads, mature trees, and primarily single-family homes ranging from ranches to two-story dwellings. It has a real sense of community with neighborhood parks, trails, and community pool.

Pros: Larger lots, quiet streets, community amenities
Cons: Homes showing some age, farther from downtown
Median Home Price: $710,000
Demographics: 82% owner-occupied, 35% families with kids

Downtown Lafayette

The historic town center of Lafayette offers opportunities to live in the heart of it all. A variety of housing types from condos to turn-of-the-century bungalows surround the centrally-located Waneka Lake Park. Restaurants, shops, and community events are all within walking distance here.

Pros: Walkability, historic charm, lake views
Cons: Smaller lots/yards, street parking, railroad noise
Median Home Price: $800,000

Demographics: 65% single-person households, 20% renter-occupied

Indian Peaks

One of Lafayette's newer master-planned communities developed in the 2000s, Indian Peaks offers a suburban utopia with winding trails, neighborhood parks, and community pools/clubhouse. Construction is still underway on the final phases featuring larger semi-custom homes.

Pros: Upscale community amenities, new construction, great schools
Cons: More expensive, some construction noise/traffic

Median Home Price: $925,000
Demographics: 35% families with kids

Lafayette Real Estate Market

Like many cities along the Front Range, Lafayette is experiencing rapidly appreciating home values driven by abundant job opportunities, low inventory, and demand from relocators. It offers a relatively affordable option compared to Boulder's sky-high prices.

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

Median Home Price: $704,000 (up 11.2% year-over-year)

ᐧ Single Family: $719,000

ᐧ Condo/Townhome: $450,000

Median Rent: $1,950 for a 2BR apartment

Days on Market: 24 days (properties going under contract rapidly)

Price per Square Foot: $320

Home Value Forecast: Projected to increase another 7-9% over next 12 months

Job growth and population inflows should keep Lafayette an exceptionally hot real estate market for the foreseeable future. Buyers need to come prepared for potential bidding wars.

Top Schools in Lafayette

Lafayette is served by the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), long considered one of the premier districts in Colorado. There are 6 schools located within city limits:

Elementary Schools:

Sanchez Elementary (7/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1

ᐧ Reading Proficiency: 71%

ᐧ Special Programs: STEM, Dyslexia Program

Ryan Elementary (6/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 19:1

ᐧ Math Proficiency: 61%

Middle School:

Angevine Middle School (8/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1

ᐧ Extracurriculars: Robotics, Music, Athletics

ᐧ Special Programs: Gifted & Talented

High School:

Centaurus High School (7/10 rating)

ᐧ Student/Teacher Ratio: 20:1

ᐧ Graduation Rate: 87%

ᐧ AP Enrollment: 48%

ᐧ Extracurriculars: Over 30 clubs, 20 varsity sports

In addition to the strong public school options, Lafayette is just a short drive from the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The city's family-friendly amenities and quality education make it an ideal suburb for those with children.

Getting Around in Lafayette, CO

While located in a more suburban setting, Lafayette has made efforts to increase mobility options and multi-modal transportation to reduce traffic congestion.

Walk Score: 37 (Most Errands Require a Car)
Bike Score: 68 (Very Bikeable)
Transit Score: 37 (Some Transit Options)

Lafayette has an integrated system of bike paths and hiking trails connecting neighborhoods to parks and open spaces. Residents can take advantage of the city's Bike Lafayette program which provides bike parking, maintenance stations, and route planning resources.

For public transit, the Climbing Bines shuttle operated by Via Mobility Services provides on-demand micro-transit within Lafayette. Connecting to Denver or Boulder requires either taking the LNXX regional bus line or driving to RTD Park & Ride stations.

Lafayette is situated at the crossroads of several major state highways providing vehicle access:

ᐧ Highway 287 runs north/south

ᐧ Highways 7 and 42 run east/west

Average Commute Time: 29 minutes (most residents drive to job centers)

While more car-dependent than some Denver suburbs, Lafayette is working to create a more bike and pedestrian-friendly environment.

Dining, Arts & Recreation

Despite its modest size, Lafayette punches above its weight for dining options, craft breweries, and recreational activities thanks to its prime location.

Food & Drink Scene

Over 80 restaurants, cafes and three local breweries make up Lafayette's dining scene ranging from quick-service spots to upscale eateries. Notable establishments include The Post Brewing Company, 24 Carrot Bistro, and Acreage Cidery. Several spots offer lovely outdoor patios for enjoying pleasant Colorado evenings.

Arts & Entertainment

The Arts Hub at Lafayette's Collective Community Arts Center provides a focal point for artistic expression through works by local artisans, music performances, and hands-on classes. Downtown's Centennial Community Garden and adjacent Outdoor Theater also play host to live events like movie nights and concerts.

Parks & Recreation

Lafayette has over 24 parks and recreation areas encompassing nearly 300 acres of green space. Key locations include the Indian Peaks Golf Course, LaMont Does Park (with a skate park and baseball complex), and the paved trails looping around Waneka Lake. The city also maintains an indoor recreation center with pools, a climbing wall, and more.

Outdoor Access

Located just 7 miles from Boulder and along the mouth of Coal Creek Canyon, Lafayette provides easy access to hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and all the outdoor adventures the Rocky Mountain front range offers. Flagstaff Mountain is a half hour drive away.

While more affordable than nearby Boulder, Lafayette still delivers all the dining, entertainment, recreation, and natural amenities that make for active Colorado living.

Climate & Environment

Lafayette's climate exhibits characteristics of both a semi-arid mountain region and plains environment. Its weather patterns are similar to Boulder and Denver:

Average Temperatures
Spring: Highs around 65°F
Summer: Highs around 90°F
Fall: Highs around 70°F
Winter: Highs around 48°F, Lows around 20°F

Lafayette averages around 300 sunny days per year and only 17 inches of precipitation annually. Snow is common in winter months, but totals are very low compared to nearby mountain towns at around 40 inches per season.

Air quality is generally good in Lafayette, though high levels of ozone and particles in the warmer months can create moderate pollution. However, the city is taking steps to improve environmental sustainability:

ᐧ Adopted Climate Bill of Rights & Renewables resolution in 2019

ᐧ Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030

ᐧ Increasing public EV charging stations

ᐧ Xeriscaping programs to minimize water usage

While not as progressive as Boulder on environmental policies, Lafayette recognizes the importance of protecting its natural assets that make it such a desirable place to live.

Whether you're drawn by its affordability, location, strong schools or natural amenities, Lafayette makes an attractive option for those looking to settle in the northern Denver suburbs. Let me know if you need any other details!

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