Nestled between the Rocky Mountains, Colorado’s high plains, and Denver International Airport – Northern Colorado (lovingly known as NoCO) communities consistently rank as some of the best locations in the country for business, lifestyle, and craft beer. With mountains to the west, rolling plains to the east, and a one-hour drive to Metro Denver, Northern Colorado’s location is hard to beat. Add in a mix of communities – Erie, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Estes Park – each with its own unique character, and you’ve got an idyllic place to put down roots.
It’s no secret that in recent years, Colorado’s economy has enjoyed steady growth and development in nearly every sector imaginable. What may not be as widely known is some of the top performing areas in Colorado are north of Denver through Erie, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Greeley. In fact, Northern Colorado has one of the highest performing economies nationwide. Companies in a variety of industries, from agriculture and energy to IT and bio-science, create a diverse economy making the region ideal for doing business.
As Colorado consistently ranks among the top five states for business, it’s no surprise that the region’s industries are flourishing. And there are no signs of the economy slowing any time soon. Rather, Northern Colorado is expected to remain the fastest growing region in the state. The State of Colorado has projected the population of Weld and Larimer Counties to grow by 45% by 2030. While Fort Collins and Greeley will more than double in population by 2050.
Northern Colorado attracts businesses and individuals alike to its world-class communities for many reasons. The communities continuously rank as some of the best places to live. Take Erie for example, which ranks as HomeSnacks.net #3 Best Place to Live in Colorado. The region also offers access to high-quality, award-winning educational institutions. Among them are Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado, and two community colleges that are both nationally accredited. If all that weren’t enough, NoCo boasts more than 330 miles of scenic trails for biking, running and hiking, and more than 125 parks with amenities such as tennis courts, skate parks, picnic facilities and illuminated athletic fields. It’s a true paradise for outdoor activities and recreation year round.
The region’s thriving economy, educated workforce, and recreational opportunities are an unparalleled combination. Amazing neighbors, an affordable cost of living and some of the best craft breweries in the country all make life a little sweeter in Northern Colorado.
Why Northern Colorado?
- Northern Colorado is home to 3 of the top 5 fastest growing cities in Colorado: Greeley (#3), Loveland (#4), and Fort Collins (#5).
- 70% of Colorado’s craft beer is brewed there! Northern Colorado has 33 microbreweries and boasts the fourth largest craft brewery in America – New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins.
- Weld County is the richest agriculture county East of the Rock Mountains.
- Northern Colorado is home to 13+ Museums, 30+ Art Galleries, and hosts the annual UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival.
- Companies such as Otterbox, HP, Intel, Woodward, Vestas, and AMD call Northern Colorado home.
- Forbes ranked Greeley as the #2 Best Small City for Jobs.
- Fast Company rated Fort Collins #4 for the Next Top Cities for Tech Jobs.
- Rocky Mountain National Park was voted the #15 Best National Park by Thrillest (Out of 58).
- Estes Park was rated the #1 Best Small Town to Visit by the Smithsonian.
- Fort Collins secured Time’s title of America’s Most Satisfied City.
Places to Visit
Location: 578 Briggs Street, Erie
“A fantastic farm to table gem in the growing town of Erie. While their weekend brunch menu may be small, it certainly doesn’t lack punch. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a popular entrée. And don’t forget an order of the French Beignets and one of their delicious custom cocktails to get you started.” – Matt King, Kentwood Cherry Creek
“The bar tender here is a scientist! Had the best Manhattan ever created. My only wish is for it to be closer!” – Tom Cryer, Kentwood DTC
Location: 370 Main Street, Longmont
“Located on the revamped main street in Longmont is a fast-growing area favorite. Samples was recently featured on the Food Networks Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It boasts a personal twist to the weekend brunch that will have you leaving satisfied. The joyful ambiance mixed in with vast collection of on tap craft brews and yummy cocktails, makes for a great brunch atmosphere.” – Matt King, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 1738 Pearl Street, Boulder
“For very fine or special occasion dining, go to Frasca. There’s a reason it has been chosen as 5280’s Best Restaurant multiple times for the combined Denver/Boulder area!” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 2600 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
“The Buff has been a brunch staple in the community for over 20 years. It has satisfied the taste buds of countless CU students and even the occasional American president, like when Barack Obama made a campaign stop a few years back. The menu offers plenty of selection, but also plenty of delicious flavors. The Buff is the perfect morning stop on your way up the mountain for a day of hiking above beautiful Boulder.” – Matt King, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 1011 Walnut Street, Boulder
“Brasserie Ten Ten on Walnut St. in downtown Boulder is my all time favorite! I’ve been going there for 11 years, and the quality of the food and service is consistent and wonderful! I also don’t think there’s a better value for nice dining in Boulder. I make sure to stop by for lunch or dinner every time I’m there.” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 4360 St. Cloud, Loveland
“When I show homes -on the other side, north of town – I call in my “to go” order and dinner is ready when I get home!” – Diane Sorensen, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Outdoors & Attractions
Location: 1942 Broadway #301, Boulder
“Every tourist guide for Boulder will tell you to check out the Pearl St. Mall, and while the pedestrian part is great, make sure you check out the much less crowded west end with shops, restaurants, and residential homes.” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 5565 North 51st Street, Boulder
“The Boulder reservoir is a fun place to go! It’s often the host of triathlons or races like the Boulder Half Marathon, and is a great spot to lounge on an actual beach in our landlocked state.” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: Baseline Road & 9th Street, Boulder
“Chautauqua Park is probably Boulder’s most famous outdoor attraction. It has multiple trail heads and hikes for every fitness level and distance. Try summiting one of the Flatirons, Green Mountain, or get in a half marathon by running the Mesa Trail from the Chautauqua trail-head to the South Mesa trail-head and back.” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: Sunshine Canyon Drive, Boulder
“Mt Sanitas is just a few minutes from downtown Boulder and is a great hike for those looking for something close by and not too long. It’s really accessible to most fitness levels, as you see families with visiting, non-acclimated friends and relatives stopping on the way up to rest and take in the view, as well as uber fit Boulder residents running up the mountain!” – Soley Maria, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 5564 Ziegler Road, Fort Collins
“Twin Silo Park is the newest park in Fort Collins and is an instant local favorite for a family with young kids!” – Diane Sorensen, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: 408 Mason Court, Fort Collins
“This is a favorite stop with little ones, lots of hands on experiences at this museum. You can use your Denver Museum of Nature and Science membership card here for free admission” – Diane Sorensen, Kentwood Cherry Creek
Location: I-25 & 136th Avenue, Thornton
“Previously agricultural land used for raising cattle and was one of the largest livestock artificial insemination facilities in the country will soon be the new home of the Prime Outlets in Thornton!” Brigette Modglin, Kentwood City Properties
Location: 2055 Regent Drive, Boulder
As one of 34 U.S. public research institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU)—and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region—their goal at CU Boulder is to directly affect Colorado communities through collaborative research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Their faculty, staff, and students work with the broader community to establish unique connections that have lasting outcomes—both across Colorado and around the world.
Location: 900 Oval Drive, Fort Collins
Inspired by its land-grant heritage, Colorado State University is committed to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching, research, service and extension for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States, and the world.
Location: 501 20th Street, Greeley
The University of Northern Colorado is a comprehensive baccalaureate and specialized graduate research university. The University offers an array of baccalaureate programs and master’s and doctoral degrees primarily in the field of education. UNC has statewide authority to offer graduate programs for the preparation of educational personnel.