Your suggestions for traveling/living in Colorado - places with good food, fun night life, great hiking?

I'm planning a driving trip there within the next few months, to take challenging day hikes and also to figure out whether to buy a house there - somewhere convenient to great hiking in the mountains.
My question is, what are the best towns for good food, fun night life (live music + dancing), great places to live, that are within 30 - 40 minutes of varied and moderate to challenging day hikes and backpacking, with bonus points for those hikes being closer, within bicycling distance (10 - 20 miles).
Thanks, everyone. ;o)



Stephanie July 13, 2016
Really, unless you go east of the major front range cities (Co. Springs, Denver, Fort Collins) you're going to be within 30 minutes of a great hike. No shortage of accessible trails here! Also, great bike paths - if the biking and hiking don't necessarily have to be in the same trip.

The cities already mentioned are good options. I guess it really comes down to how big of a city you're looking for. I'm a Denver girl through and through - there are some great (and growing) suburbs west of Denver that would be within 30 minutes of both downtown Denver and mountain hikes. The housing market here has gone through the roof though - demand and price have skyrocketed in recent years - which might be a strike against Denver. I find Fort Collins a much more appealing town than ultra liberal Boulder or ultra conservative Colorado Springs.

And please let us know when the housewarming is - this Colorado contingent is, I have no doubt, eager to sample your amazing, I mean, welcome you to our beautiful state! ;-)
scruz July 12, 2016
s.o. loved fruita...located in s.w. part of state. he said it is a throwback town and very nice and full of music and great restaurants. had the best salad ever and great breakfast. also known for having the headless chicken, but that is for another time.
SKK July 12, 2016
Speaking as a Colorado native, both Boulder and Colorado Springs fit your requirements. Aspen is spectacular year round and much higher elevation, of course.
Rachel July 12, 2016
Telluride CO. The restaurants there are fabulous and the hiking is wonderful. It's a bit remote, but my husband goes skiing there in the winter, and we've gone hiking in the summer. Allred's at the top of the mountain is breathtaking, The Cosmopolitan and 221 South Oak are wonderful, and I especially love the cocktails at There (the name is just "There"). For being such a tiny hamlet, their dining options really punch above their weight in terms of both quality and diversity of cuisine.

The town itself has around 2,300 residents, so if you plan on buying there, keep in mind that it is quite small. The hiking is challenging and offers plenty of different trails around the town. If you're a climber, the Via Ferrata should be right up your alley. Last time we were there, we brought our climbing gear, but it was raining and the rocks were slippery enough that we didn't want to chance it. Hope you enjoy and you find an absolutely lovely place to vacation/maybe call home!
Rachel July 12, 2016
Also, here's a link to a map of the local hiking trails:
Niknud July 12, 2016
Woohoo! Colorado is a blast and there are so many great places to live. Evergreen is wonderful - lots of hiking, biking, close to ski resorts, 20-30 minutes from Denver (live music + dancing). Oh, and Red Rocks is right there, speaking of music.... Not the most affordable place, but fantastic. Colorado Springs is uber-conservative, but it's also filled with wonderful hiking places and tons of services - Garden of the Gods Park, Pikes Peak, etc. Feel free to send me an email if you want some more recommendations. Or a bed to crash on while you're looking around!
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