Are you weighing your options between living in Denver vs Colorado Springs? It can be a tough choice! Both Denver and Colorado Springs are prosperous, growing cities that act as a central hub for their areas.
However, there are several key differences between the two that are important to keep in mind, especially because they tend to appeal to two entirely different lifestyles.
Cost of Living
Colorado Springs has a higher cost of living than the United States average, but it’s still more affordable compared to other parts of Colorado! In fact, Colorado Springs is very affordable compared to Denver, Colorado, which has a cost of living of nearly 1.5x the average American city!
In Colorado Springs, the median home price is $272,100, while the median home price in Denver is $421,900. The median home price in Colorado as a whole is $359,300, which means that Colorado Springs is a cost-effective option for home-buying for hopeful residents.
Colorado Springs and Denver residents usually encounter two completely different lifestyles when moving to the city. Colorado Springs has a very fit, outdoor-focused community because of the close proximity to Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and countless lakes and reservoirs. The Western Slopes are just a short drive away, where winter skiing and summer hiking, kayaking, hot springs and more drive the city residents to get outdoors and enjoy nature.
In contrast, Denverites are set further back from the Rocky Mountains, which lends itself to stunning views but a more relaxed lifestyle when it comes to fitness and outdoor adventure. In fact, Denver is known for its nightlife, concept restaurants, bars and cafes, and lively urban brewery and food scene. Famous clubs and concert venues like the Grizzly Rose, or the Fillmore, and more are located in Denver, as well as the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
The packed nightlife and urban buzz in Denver lend itself to congested city centers and high pricing, which is why many residents prefer the more laid-back vibe of Colorado Springs. After all, Denver is just an hour away!
Climate and Elevation
Colorado Springs sits nearly a thousand feet above Denver and enjoys a unique weather pattern created by nearby Pike’s Peak. Colorado Springs sits at about 6250 feet elevation to Denver’s 5300 feet elevation. Downslope winds from the mountains keep summers relatively cool in Colorado Springs, with the city only reaching 100 degrees three times on record in the past 100 years.
The interesting weather patterns created by the nearby mountains often mean that the southern part of Colorado Springs will be warm and sunny even as the northern part is experiencing a rainstorm!
Denver, Colorado has more extreme temperatures than Colorado Springs, with hotter summers and cooler winters. Denver sees about 57.3” inches of snow on average per year, which is 18.3” more than Colorado Springs. Denver also sees a few days over each summer that clear 100 degrees in temperature, although the average is a temperate 86.
Living in Denver vs Colorado Springs
As we mentioned, it can be a tough choice when deciding between these two major Colorado cities that offer lots of opportunities for both young professionals and families. The right choice for you will most likely come down to the type of environment you enjoy best. Colorado Springs is a large city with a small-town feel. Many areas of the city are planned with a spacious, suburban sprawl and plenty of parks and trails. This is ideal for a lot of families, outdoor lovers and those who seek to escape the crush of inner-city life.
In addition, major industries like Amazon, as well as fixtures like the many military installations, top Colorado colleges, and the ever-expanding Colorado Springs Airport bring plenty of new jobs and opportunity into the area for young professionals.
However, Denver is a great option for young professionals and families that prize nightlife, and always having something new or exciting to try. With an active nightclub scene, and new concept food and drink experiences popping up daily, Denver is another great city that appeals to the city-loving, culture-seeking future resident looking for the next new thing. Although Denver may be slightly more crowded and subject to traffic, smog and other dense city woes, the Rocky Mountains offer a great view and an outdoor escape with just a short drive away.