Each November, we take time to reflect on the many things we are thankful for — including the opportunity to live in the incredible region of Northern Colorado. And while Thanksgiving provides a natural time to pause and count your blessings, we are thankful for NoCo and its unbeatable amenities all year long.
And just in case you need a little inspiration, we’ve listed just a handful of the countless reasons to be thankful you live in Northern Colorado, from the exceptional outdoor recreation to the thriving craft beer culture. Join us as we express gratitude for these factors — and so much more!
Whether it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter, the sun seems to always shine in Northern Colorado. That’s because the state as a whole experiences an average of 300 days of (partial) sunshine. That means it could dump snow in the early morning and be nearly melted by the time the sun goes down! Our seemingly eternal sunshine makes living here that much more pleasant.
Northern Colorado is packed with impressive peaks — perfect for climbing or simply admiring. The Front Range extends north to south along Fort Collins and the rest of our communities, providing a scenic backdrop unlike any other behind our otherwise fairly flat terrain. Not to mention, those living in Estes Park have immediate access to some of the region’s most renowned peaks found in Rocky Mountain National Park, including Twin Sisters Peak, Longs Peak, Prospect Mountain and more. To find out how some of the most prominent peaks in the park got their names, click here. And for a guide to local hiking trails near Estes Park, click here.
As a whole, Northern Colorado is a very family-friendly region. In addition to excellent schools, from elementary school all the way up to the college level (hello, CSU!), there is no shortage of family-friendly activities in the area. Just check out our list of 20 Things to Do With Kids in Fort Collins, featuring everything from indoor exploration at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery to outdoor recreation at Lory State Park. Several of our region’s cities are included amongst WalletHub’s list of the Best Places to Raise a Family in Colorado, including Windsor, Fort Collins and Loveland. And perhaps most notably, Windsor is at the #3 spot for the Education, Health & Safety Ranking, and Fort Collins is at the #3 spot for the Family Life and Fun ranking.
This one’s pretty obvious but certainly worth mentioning. Fort Collins has garnered attention for its incredible craft beer culture, with giants like Odell Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing in our midst. Plus, the region is packed with incredible craft breweries, from Greeley to Berthoud to Loveland — and even down to Johnstown. Whether you consider yourself a beer connoisseur or you are fairly new to the scene, you will love the creative and collaborative culture of this craft beer-loving region.
Whether you’re 5 years old or 50 years old, there is no shortage of things to do in Northern Colorado. We have everything — outdoor recreation, annual events (here are Fort Collins’ and here are Loveland’s most-anticipated annual events!), incredible restaurants, craft beer, museums, historic landmarks, and various attractions. You’ll never run out of things to do, whether you prefer lounging on an outdoor patio or hiking to the summit.
A steady job market has a lot to do with the overall draw of living in an area. After all, having a job is one of the most important factors! And we’re thankful to have an overall low unemployment rate throughout the region. As an example, Fort Collins has an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent and Loveland has an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent, which are both lower than the national average of 3.7 percent. A few of the largest employers in Larimer County include University of Colorado Health, Hewlett Packard, Banner Health: McKee Medical Center, Broadcom, and Woodward, all of which employ over 1,000 people each.
From our outdoor recreation and abundance of gyms to our farmers’ markets and state-of-the-art medical facilities, Northern Colorado is undeniably focused on health. The wellness-centered resources here make it easier to practice an active, healthy lifestyle. Just take a look at the many people biking to and from work (or to a brewery!) and you’ll be inspired to ditch the four wheels for two-wheel transportation in no time.
While tropical destinations are fun to visit, there is nothing quite like experiencing the fullness and variety of four distinct seasons. And we definitely do in Northern Colorado! The summers are all about hiking, biking and basking in the sunshine while the winters are reserved for skiing, snowboarding and bundling up in the snow. Not to mention, is there a prettier place to be than Northern Colorado during the spring and fall? We experience a vibrant contrast of green trees, blue skies and wildflowers in the spring and stunning yellows, oranges and reds in the fall.
The CSU Rams experience isn’t just about football. It’s about a community rallying together behind a common goal: to beat every team that takes on the Rams at Canvas Stadium. We sure love our Rams here, and it’s a uniting and spirited tradition we enjoy together each fall. Many loyal fans wear Rams gear, wave their green and gold flags, and tailgate before each home game.
Here in Colorado, it’s pretty obvious we love our dogs. In fact, it’s become a bit of a stereotype. We have so many dog-friendly hikes worth exploring, dog-friendly businesses (especially these businesses in Fort Collins and these places in Loveland), and plenty of dog-related businesses and attractions. Just take a look at The Dog Owner’s Guide to Fort Collins, which features everything you need to know about owning a dog here — including dog supply shops, off-leash parks, dog-friendly businesses, daycare and boarding facilities, training services, and much more.
If you haven’t yet gathered this, Northern Colorado is an absolute haven for outdoor enthusiasts. In total, the state of Colorado boasts four national parks, 42 state parks, 11 national forests, eight national wildlife refuges, and two national grasslands — and several of them are located right here in the northern part of the state. We could spend this entire list covering the many outdoor-related qualities we’re thankful for! Check out our list of 9 Things to Do in Northern Colorado for Outdoor Enthusiasts, which includes ideas for hiking, biking, swimming, camping, kayaking, fishing, rafting and more.
In our opinion, we get the best of both worlds here. Northern Colorado provides a laid-back, small town feel while still remaining close to the conveniences of the larger city of Denver. We can easily access Denver, and other cities like Boulder, for various attractions and events — not to mention, the Denver International Airport. Plus, some people even work in Denver and live in Fort Collins (and vice versa!), which opens up employment opportunities even further. Just hop on I-25 to access Denver in a little over an hour — but maybe avoid I-25 during rush hour!
Maybe it’s the abundance of sunshine, exercise and fresh air everyone is getting, but people in Northern Colorado are very friendly. Residents get to know their neighbors here, stop to chat at the grocery store, and come together at community events to mingle with old friends and make new ones. Establishing community is important to Northern Coloradoans — and to us here at The Group! To us, helping clients find a home goes well beyond the real estate portion; it’s about helping people find their place and eventually put down roots in their community.
This home is for sale here.
Looking back over the last year or so, we’ve seen healthy growth in the region, which has translated to a thriving housing market. In 2018, Larimer and Weld Counties were home to 14% of Colorado’s jobs. And at the same time, Larimer County added 5,226 residents between 2017 and 2018. Weld County added 9,925.
Since 2013, the Fort Collins and Loveland areas have seen only appreciation in average home sale prices, and those percentages have consistently been 7.5% or higher. In 2018, we saw an 8.1% increase. And you’ll find a similar pattern in Greeley where we saw an 8.6% increase last year. As those values have appreciated, we’ve also seen an increase in the supply of homes across the region, especially as new construction facilitates development and higher populations in our smaller communities. In 2018, total listings in Northern Colorado topped 13,000 for the first time at 13,005.
For the most up-to-date resources on that market, we recommend checking out our Market Info and Statistics page here. There, we provide detailed quarterly and yearly market data on the Northern Colorado region as a whole and on specific communities, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and Windsor.
There are countless reasons to be thankful you live in Northern Colorado. Share your favorite NoCo qualities in the comments below!