Jump to Sections
- Colorado Springs at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Colorado Springs
- Economy and job outlook in Colorado Springs
- Real estate, cost of living in Colorado Springs
- The top neighborhoods in Colorado Springs
- How to get around in Colorado Springs
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Colorado Springs
- 10 can’t-miss things to do in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs At-A-Glance
Despite its founder giving it the nickname “Little London” after England’s populous capital city, Colorado Springs has long been considered a quiet, quaint town with picturesque views and great outdoor adventures. The truth is that the city homes over 500,000 people and is the second biggest city in Colorado behind Denver—it’s even projected to surpass Denver’s population in the next 30 years.
With this boom, Colorado Springs has gone from being considered a smaller neighborhood of Denver’s to a bustling city full of promise due to its healthy job market and influx of newcomers who are changing how the city develops. U.S. News even gave it the no. 2 spot out of 150 cities in its list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023.
Suffice it to say that if you’re moving to Colorado Springs, you’ve made a good choice.
Natural Beauty and a Vibrant Cultural Scene
Colorado Springs is known for its iconic landscapes, including the aptly named Garden of the Gods, and its many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, including plenty of hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and more.
Those looking to take in the arts and culture scene after a day of zip lining through the mountains will appreciate the wide array of museums, art walks, live music venues, and more that Colorado Springs has to offer. You may enjoy the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, southern Colorado’s only full-scale orchestra, or venture to the Gold Room for live jazz and bluegrass. Or you can check out one of the 65 galleries in the region, including the Ent Center for the Arts.
Although there are no major league sports teams based in the city, those moving to Colorado Springs and looking to catch a game can cheer for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, a professional soccer team. Those who love college sports will have plenty to choose from when pledging their loyalties, including the Air Force Academy Falcons, who play baseball, football, hockey, and more.
Colorado Springs Industries Topped by Defense and Aerospace
Given the heavy presence of military bases in the area, including the United States Air Force Academy and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, that and military contractors account for a large amount of employment opportunities for those living in Colorado Springs. The city is also putting effort into developing its tech presence and is home to the National Cybersecurity Center.
Other major employers include Lockheed Martin, Progressive, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Colorado Springs’ unemployment rate has returned to its pre-pandemic pattern, staying under three percent for nearly a year. It was just 2.8 percent in March 2023.
Colorado Springs Sees More Homes on the Market
While the cost of living in Colorado Springs is approximately five percent higher than the national average, its median household income of $71,957 also beats the national median by over $2,000.
This, coupled with the increase in the number of homes listed, is good news for those looking to buy a home when moving to Colorado Springs. In fact, Little London made it into the top 10 cities in the U.S. for year-over-year home listing increases. Although prices are still high, homes are also staying on the market longer than they were at the same time in 2022, making room for negotiation. As of March 2023, the median home sale price was $430,000.
For those who prefer to rent, the median rent in Colorado Springs is $1,528, just above the national average. Compared to the rest of the U.S., though, the Springs has seen a slowdown in rent increases, with no change between April and May 2023, and under half a percent increase since May 2022. This is significantly better for renters than many of the other major cities in the country.
Neighborhoods Perfect for Families, Military Members, and More
In many ways, Colorado Springs can give off a small-town vibe because its neighborhoods are spread out and often spacious. Whether you’re looking to be close to a nearby military base or want to be part of the energy of the city center, you’ll find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle. Check out these highly recommended neighborhoods for those moving to Colorado Springs:
Boasting walkability, mom and pop shops to big chains, restaurants, and vintage architecture, downtown is where it’s all happening. This neighborhood is ideal for those looking to be close to entertainment, nightlife, and an easy commute.
Military families prefer this neighborhood for its proximity to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Although Northgate has its own share of restaurants and breweries, downtown is just a short drive away for those looking for other forms of entertainment.
Known for its beauty and quiet atmosphere, Springs Ranch is ideal for families looking to be out of the hustle and bustle of downtown. There’s not much to do here in the form of nightlife, but busier neighborhoods are just a short drive away.
This up-and-coming neighborhood is friendly and boasts plenty of green spaces, low-key eateries, a summer farmers’ market, and one of the best school districts in El Paso County. It also homes one of the most popular shopping areas in the city.
This distinctive neighborhood is one of the wealthier ones in Colorado Springs, full of historic homes and large mansions. It’s perfect for those seeking plenty of greenery and a high safety rating.
Other neighborhoods to include in your Colorado Springs home search:
- University Park
- Patty Jewett
- Old North End
The Drivers Aren’t the Best, but Traffic isn’t Bad
Because so much of what there is to do and see in Colorado Springs involves the great outdoors, you’ll want to own a car or be able to rent or rideshare when you’re looking to get outside of the city center. It’s worth noting, however, that Little London has been recognized in recent years as one of the cities with the worst drivers in the U.S., losing points for speeders and DUIs.
Thankfully, if you’re living or working in the downtown area, walking is a great option in this sunny city. The public transportation system, Mountain Metro Transit, is also built for commuters, servicing more than 20 routes throughout the work week, with more limited schedules on the weekend. The walkability and bus and rail options keep traffic low compared to other major metro areas in the U.S.
If you’re into bicycling, there are nearly 200 miles of paved and unpaved trails, and the city’s bike-share program, PikeRide, is just $2 a bike.
Colorado Springs is a Highly Educated City
Public schools in Colorado Springs have a higher average reading proficiency percentage than the statewide average and rank in the top 50 percent of schools in Colorado for overall quality. As with any city, the quality varies throughout the city’s 17 public school districts, with Academy School District 20 being known for having high academic standards and strong performance. There are also 29 private schools to enroll in.
This is also one of the most educated cities in the U.S., with nearly 40 percent of those living in Colorado Springs having a bachelor’s degree or higher. This could be because the area has a number of great institutions to choose from when it comes to higher education, including Colorado College, University of Colorado, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Dry, Thin Air and Mild Weather
Colorado Springs is considered a high desert climate. At more than 6,000 feet above sea level, its air is very dry and thin, and it can take new residents (and visitors) time to adjust. Thankfully, this climate coupled with the high number of sun-filled days seen in the city results in relatively mild weather year-round.
The summers are not overbearing, with July seeing the highest temperatures of an average 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and although the winters do get a lot of snow, it tends to melt away quickly. December brings the lowest temperatures of the year, with average lows of 21 degrees.
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is full of cultural sites and events, rooted in the history of the Wild West, and is surrounded by magnificent nature sure to appeal to those who love the outdoors. Here’s a list of 10 must-dos in the Springs:
- Hike through the stunning Garden of the Gods, known for its dramatic red rock formations. Most of the trails are paved, making them accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
- Take your breath away with a visit to Pikes Peak, also known as America’s Mountain and the inspiration for Katharine Lee Bates’ song, “America the Beautiful.”
- Enjoy a guided tour of the world-class Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center to see where athletes train.
- Explore visual art galleries, art studios, and the performing art facilities at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
- Educate yourself on the region’s history at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, housed in the restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.
- Visit the nearby resort city Manitou Springs, known for its mineral springs, beautiful landscapes, and the ancient Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
- Tour the campus and visitor center of the United States Air Force Academy.
- Take the kids to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which provides plenty of animal encounters, including the chance to feed the giraffes.
- Enjoy sightseeing from above with a zip lining tour of the gorgeous Broadmoor Seven Falls.
- Get a taste of England at Glen Eyrie Castle, an English-tudor style castle built by the founder of Colorado Springs.