“Go west, young man, go west and grow up with the country.”
You may have heard this phrase before, either in literature, from your parents urging you to finally move out of the house, or maybe in a country song. What you may not know, however, is that this quote is often attributed to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune between the years of 1841 and 1872.
This phrase inspired a young settler by the name of Nathan Meeker to travel west along with 59 other settlers, and lay down roots in the gorgeous land we now call Greeley, which hosted panoramic views of the Front Range and plenty of fertile farmland. They named their new homeland Greeley as a tribute to the inspiration from Horace Greeley, Meeker’s boss and journalistic mentor.
At the inception of the community’s life, Meeker designed Greeley to be an agricultural utopia based on cooperation, irrigation, agricultural, temperance, faith, family and education. While society has certainly changed since the 1800s and those principles have evolved as a result, that foundation is still very evident in modern-day Greeley. There is still a tight-knit community that calls Greeley home, which constantly works towards maintaining and improving their surroundings.
Many are following Meeker’s example by going west, as Greeley now holds a population of 101,000. Greeley is now the largest city in Weld County, and it is always growing! There are so many reasons why people are moving to this charming and thriving community, so let’s take a quick look at what’s inside these city walls. Because, as you may have guessed by now…
In 2014, Greeley was ranked 14th in the nation on Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities, right behind Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Speaking of, the close access to these larger cities (56 and 64 miles away, respectively) makes Greeley that much more desirable. But so much exists within Greeley’s city limits that you won’t need to travel far!
That is why the University of Northern Colorado decided to settle in Greeley. This large university has approximately 12,000 students and six colleges, known for its exceptional programs in teacher education, business, performing and visual arts, nursing, and sports and exercise science. Their 19 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level, which makes watching their games an action-packed activity for Greeley residents. The annual UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival is the largest event of its kind in the nation, bringing together internationally recognized artists, jazz lovers, award-winning clinicians, and over 250 college, high school and middle school bands and musical groups. The festival attracts over 8,000 participants each year, and makes all of Greeley tap their toes.
When the weather is warmer (and it usually is, thanks to the 300+ days of sunshine we experience in Colorado!), spend your time in Greeley outside at one of the 40 traditional and open-space parks in the area. Need help finding one? Thankfully, there’s an app…or map…for that.
After you’ve worked up an appetite strolling through a park, stop by one of Greeley’s amazing restaurants. Need some direction? Might we suggest a steak from Greeley Chophouse, pizza from The Original Roma Restaurant or sushi from Lucky Fins Sushi Grill? You then might grab a drink from Brix Taphouse and Brewery or Crabtree Brewing Company.
Those early settlement days we spoke of earlier? Learn more about Greeley’s history in an interactive way at the Centennial Village Museum. The museum is an 8-acre living history experience featuring over 35 architecturally unique structures, costumed interpreters, heritage farm animals, beautifully landscaped grounds and interactive experiences. This is unlike any museum you’ve ever visited, as it presents fascinating information in a fresh and exciting way.
The residential community in Greeley is thriving as well, with so many new-construction homes in the area, and one we even highlighted for Mansion Monday. With so much to do in the area, wonderful educational opportunities, and the close proximity to Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver, many are making the move to Greeley.
All in all, Greeley is a community we’re proud to have on our Northern Colorado roster.
What is your favorite part about this community?
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: City of Greeley, The Group, Inc. Real Estate, Visit Colorado, The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley Chophouse, The Original Roma Restaurant, Lucky Fins Sushi Grill, Brix Taphouse and Brewery, City of Greeley Museums and Greeley Unexpected