Simply put, we have a crush on Northern Colorado. And looking at the statistics of those relocating here, it’s clear that many of you do, too.
While we’ll sing its praises all year long, there’s no time like the month of love to express our undying admiration for Northern Colorado. From the endless outdoor recreation to the local food scene, there’s so much to love about living here.
Consider this our love letter to Northern Colorado!
To say Northern Colorado is a haven for outdoor recreation is an understatement. 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 (more on that later!). To get a brief overview of our favorite outdoor adventures, 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.
During the pandemic, many were drawn to Northern Colorado in pursuit of a slower, more laid-back pace of life. We all experienced a renewed emphasis on “quality of life” — which includes outdoor recreation, friendly neighbors, a small–town feel, and the ability to pursue the hobbies and interests we’re most passionate about. Our communities certainly offer that, while maintaining a proximity to the larger city attractions you might find just south of us in Denver.
Today’s mobility of the workforce allows many of us to work remotely, whether that started during the pandemic or well before that. However, we have plenty of jobs to go around right here in Northern Colorado. Before the economic downturn experienced during the pandemic, our region had low unemployment rates across the board, with rates as low as 2.2 percent in Fort Collins and 2.5 percent in Loveland (compared to a national average of 3.7 percent). COVID led to double-digit job losses across all NoCo counties in the spring of 2020, but after June, the region regained 46 percent of its jobs. We’re not out of the woods, but our region certainly fared better than most. 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 the vibrant and exciting activity in downtown Fort Collins to the laid-back rural towns off the beaten path, Northern Colorado contains a wide variety of communities to call home. There’s something for everyone here — whether you’re looking for a quiet suburb to raise a family or an area where there’s always something going on. And sometimes, you can find a combination of both! Learn more about our communities and all the unique amenities and characteristics they provide.
Sunshine makes the world a brighter place (literally). 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. You’ve seen it before — it can dump snow in the morning and be nearly melted by the time the sun goes down! Our seemingly eternal sunshine makes living here that much more pleasant.
We would be remiss to talk about Northern Colorado without mentioning CSU! Not only does the community rally together to support the Rams during football season, but Colorado State University is an excellent school — and a huge draw to living in the area. Fort Collins has a true college town feel, mostly due to CSU, but we have other notable colleges and universities in our midst, including The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley!
It may be hard to remember when you’re so close to it, but Northern Colorado (specifically Fort Collins) is known all across the country as a craft beer mecca. Not only is Fort Collins home to giants like Odell and New Belgium, but there are several other incredible craft breweries in town — and in neighboring towns. 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.
From the bike-obsessed city of Fort Collins to the wide-open bike paths and trails throughout the region, Northern Colorado is an ideal place to travel on two wheels. After all, Fort Collins is among the top of the list of bike-friendly cities scored by PeopleForBikes! Cruise through these bike-friendly neighborhoods in town or travel off the beaten path on these bike trails throughout Northern Colorado, which includes the renowned Poudre River Trail.
It’s nearly impossible to be bored in Northern Colorado. From annual community events to live concerts and local farmers’ markets to art walks, there’s always something going on here. No matter your interest or lifestyle, there’s something for you to get involved in, and an opportunity to meet others who share your same passions!
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When you visit an area, the first thing you usually plan on your itinerary is “where will we eat?” Thankfully, those who live in Northern Colorado never run out of things to taste. Just take a look at our Ultimate Northern Colorado Food Bucket List to see all that’s in store — from hearty chicken and waffles from a food truck to fine dining at Chimney Park in Windsor. There’s something to satisfy every craving in NoCo!
As mentioned, Northern Colorado is home to many renowned state parks and one particularly notable national park. Rocky Mountain National Park is a destination for many across the country and even the world — and it’s right in our backyard to explore whenever we please. Here, you can go hiking, snowshoeing, camping, swimming, fishing, and more. Check out our Complete Guide to Things to Do in Rocky Mountain National Park to plan your next adventure.
Northern Colorado is an excellent place for families to put down roots. Not only do we have excellent schools, from pre-school and elementary schools all the way up to college level and grad school, but we also have plenty of family-friendly attractions in the area. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Fort Collins, in Greeley and in Loveland, from museums and classes to outdoor recreation. 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.
There’s so much to love about Northern Colorado! What would you add to our love letter?