Nestled on the plains of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a city of natural beauty complemented by modern charm. New arrivals moving to Boulder will find themselves spending more time outdoors thanks to the availability of endless hiking, skiing, and mountain biking trails.  

Boulder is rated one of the healthiest cities in Colorado, ensuring an excellent quality of life for new residents. 

Cost of living in Boulder 

Although Boulder boasts an undeniably desirable quality of life, the high cost of living can be challenging for newcomers. To put it into perspective, the cost of living in Boulder is higher than that of the Denver metro area, making it the most expensive city in Colorado's Front Range.  

As demand increases, housing costs in Boulder continue to soar, regardless of whether you're renting or buying a home. Boulder is known as the biking capital of the US, so new arrivals who choose to cycle can save on transportation costs. Everything else, from groceries and healthcare to utilities, is priced above the national average. 

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Getting around in Boulder 

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) manages public transport in Boulder and offers an extensive and reliable bus network. RTD offers local and regional bus services and even has airport shuttles to encourage Boulder's residents to use public transit. While the City of Boulder is trying to reduce reliance on cars, most of Boulder's households still own at least two vehicles.  

With 300 miles (483km) of cycling paths and a thriving bicycle-sharing programme, Boulder is a haven for cycling enthusiasts. The Boulder B-Cycle programme allows residents to rent a bike for a single ride, a month, or a year. RTD buses also have bike-n-ride facilities and secure bike shelters at transit stations, allowing commuters to store their bikes safely.

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Healthcare in Boulder 

Boulder is home to an abundance of healthcare facilities offering excellent care. With 100 years of experience caring for Boulder's residents, Boulder Community Health has become synonymous with world-class cancer care, neurosurgery, cardiac services, and stroke care.  

The city provides easy access to essential healthcare services, including primary care physicians and mental health services. Boulder Valley Health Centre offers specialised women's healthcare, while Salud Family Health offers affordable family medicine. With all these fantastic services and health systems, it's easy to see why Boulder is rated the fourth healthiest county in Colorado.  

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Schools in Boulder 

Most residents in Boulder highly value education and hold multiple qualifications. The Boulder Valley School District is a top-rated district in Colorado, boasting a 19-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Parents moving to Boulder can easily find good schools for their children, as the city is home to over 55 K–12 public schools. 

Parents must consider catchment areas for school enrolments when choosing a place to live in Boulder. Fortunately, Boulder has excellent schools throughout the city, with charter and private schools offering alternative educational approaches. 

Several private schools, such as Mackintosh Academy and Boulder Country Day School, offer the globally recognised International Baccalaureate curriculum. Special-needs educational support is also comprehensive in Boulder's public and private schools.  

Boulder is also home to Colorado's flagship university, the University of Colorado Boulder, while Naropa University offers undergraduate and graduate liberal arts programmes.  

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Weather in Boulder 

The weather in Boulder makes it an ideal destination year-round. The summers are pleasantly warm, while the winter snow offers the perfect playground for skiing and snowboarding.  

Boulder has a semi-arid climate and experiences an average of 300 sunny days a year. Although Boulder's climate is mainly mild, the weather in the city is unpredictable, so new residents should be prepared for sudden temperature changes.  

January is typically the coldest month of the year, with the average lowest temperatures reaching 45°F (7°C). July is the hottest, with highs peaking at 87°F (31°C). Snowfall in Boulder usually begins in October, and the city sees the final snowfall of the season in April or May. When landing in town, those moving to Boulder from lower altitudes may experience altitude sickness, but this should go away within a few days.  

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Working in Boulder 

Boulder is home to a diverse and thriving job market. Thanks to the presence of educational institutions such as the University of Colorado Boulder, educational services are Boulder's major employers. Recognising the city's potential, Google opened a campus in Boulder in 2018, fuelling the city's growing tech industry and creating even more jobs. 

The city's tourism, finance, and insurance sectors are other vital employers. It's also possible to work in Denver and live in Boulder, as they are only 40 minutes apart by car. 

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Accommodation in Boulder 

Although Boulder is a relatively compact city, newcomers looking for accommodation in the budding metropolis will want to carefully consider the proximity of their home to their workplace and children's schools. Traffic in the city can become congested, which will make for long commutes. 

Boulder has a wide range of areas and suburbs that cater to newcomers from all walks. Those looking to purchase property in Boulder should consider the hefty costs involved. Nevertheless, they are guaranteed to find their investment well worth it thanks to the majestic views of the Rockies and the small-town feel of the city.  

Young and single professionals often base themselves in Downtown Boulder's low-maintenance townhouses to enjoy access to essential amenities and recreational activities such as Boulder Farmers Market and Pearl Street. North Boulder, or NoBo, is a former industrial area rejuvenated into a startup hub that houses many trendy cafés and apartments. While it's true that most of NoBo's residents are young, it's also a welcoming place for people of all ages. 

Families seeking large historic Victorian homes without sacrificing access to modern conveniences will love Mapleton Hill. This neighbourhood borders the downtown centre and is known for its stately Victorian mansions from the Queen Anne era.  

Located on the foothills of the Flatirons, Chautauqua is one of Boulder's sought-after neighbourhoods, with breathtaking views and beautiful homes. Families looking to adventure will be near Chautauqua Park's trails and can easily access stores such as Walgreens and Starbucks in East Boulder.  

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Lifestyle in Boulder 

As a health-conscious city with beautiful lakes, forests, and the Rocky Mountains at its doorstep, Boulder provides its residents plenty of hiking, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and kayaking opportunities.  

In downtown Boulder, Pearl Street Mall is a must-visit for shoppers and gourmands alike. This pedestrianised street is chock-full of unique stores, boutiques, and restaurants. During the summer, shoppers can enjoy exciting street performances on Pearl Street. 

The food scene in Boulder is vibrant and diverse, with restaurants serving a fusion of Indian and Nepalese cuisine, while some serve Mediterranean food and others specialise in surf and turf.  

History and art-loving newcomers to Boulder can enjoy a plethora of entertainment options. A must-visit is the Colorado University Museum, which boasts a collection of over 8,000 objects spanning over 10,000 years of human history. The university also has a National History Museum for palaeontology buffs. Performing arts enthusiasts will always find a show to attend at the Dairy Arts Centre and Boulder Theatre.  

As a college town, Boulder boasts an electrifying nightlife. From dive bars to upscale lounges, there is something for all revellers in Boulder. Most of the city's most popular nightlife spots are in The Hill, next to the University of Colorado. The city also has a strong craft beer culture, with taste rooms dotted around the city. 

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