Colorado has a long history dating back 12,000 years ago to when natives hunted mammoths. Over the years, as the wilderness changed and mammoths became extinct, hunters turned to the bison for meat.
But the big game-changer for the natives was the introduction of horses. In the 17th century, the Spanish brought horses to North America, changing the face of hunting forever.
Colorado has a rich Native American history since several different Indian tribes, such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa, called it home. These tribes were primarily nomadic living off the land by gathering and hunting for their food and other necessities.
Eventually, mining came to Colorado after William Russell, from Georgia, discovered gold, in what we now know as Denver, in 1858. Many miners came to Colorado in search of fortune, which soon led to the establishment of other communities. Finally, in 1876 Colorado became an official state in the union.
Colorado is an amazingly beautiful state, and many who love the outdoors find their way to this mountainous place. However, Colorado hasn’t just attracted the outdoor enthusiasts, but also many retirees who enjoy the arts and vibrant culture.
Colorado offers several advantages for those looking to retire to a quiet picturesque location. It is full of small mountain towns as well as larger urban areas such as Denver and Littleton.
Additionally, retirees can expect to take advantage of tax breaks such as large deductions on retirement income. The deductions for retirement income is substantial, $24,000 per year, for those at least 65 years of age.
Plus, Colorado has some of the lowest property taxes in the nation. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, Colorado does not tax food or medicine.
Colorado also boasts the second lowest obesity rate in the US. For active retirees, Colorado’s mild year-round weather will allow you to take advantage of favorite activities like skiing, biking, snowshoeing, hiking, which will help keep you active and healthy.
And if you aren’t the outdoorsy type of person, Colorado has a rich art and music culture. For those who find more enjoyment in museums, theater, and art galleries, you can find all three in abundance. Plus, you don’t need to live in an urban area to take advantage of these enjoyments.
For the foodies out there, Colorado has over 235 craft breweries, high-altitude vineyards that rival some California wineries, and unique restaurants you won’t find anywhere else.
So, if you are looking for a state to retire with other active seniors and not have to spend a fortune to live there, Colorado is the place for you!
Best Places to Retire in Colorado
- Percent of Senior Population 23.6%
- Overall Population 5,963
Salida is a small town snuggled in the heart of the Rockies. It is home to the Salida Hot Springs, the largest indoor hot spring in all of Colorado. Like many of the towns in Colorado, it has an abundance of outdoor activities such as:
- Skiing – only 30 minutes away
- Horseback riding
But if you also are looking for a bit more culture, Salida also hosts the Alpine Orchestra, plus a variety of outdoor music concerts and festivals.
Additionally, if you stroll down the main street, you will have your option to browse a variety of different art galleries. In fact, it is known for being one of the best small art towns in Colorado.
For those who have friends and family that love to visit, Salida is a tourist town, so there is an endless choice of hotels and resorts for your guests to stay. They have everything from small family-owned bed and breakfasts to large chain hotels, and everything in between.
And for those who have more adventurous guests coming to visit, bringing them to the Captain Zipline Aerial Adventure park will be a day they will never forget.
Plus, there is no reason to be concerned about medical care in Salida since it has 5.21 medical facilities per 1,000 residents.
- Percent of Senior Population 12%
- Overall Population 13,212
Steamboat Springs is one of the most relaxing places to retire. It is home to two different hot springs, one in Strawberry Park and the other in Old Town.
For those who love the old west, the Steamboat Springs downtown area has retained their old west feel, but with all of the conveniences of today.
Plus, if you enjoy horseback riding, multiple ranches offer trail rides through the mountains. And, for the hunters, Steamboat offers a variety of outfitters to bring out for a big game hunt.
Steamboat Springs has some of the fantastic skiing you will find in all of Colorado. Plus, many of the ski resorts are conveniently located right in town.
Additionally, their snow is so astounding that it is referred to as champagne snow, an experience all skiers should enjoy.
Steamboat Springs’s primary hospital is UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, which is a full-service hospital. This medical center features:
- Cardiac Rehab
- Heart and Vascular Clinic
- Surgical Care
Plus, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center has won numerous performance awards.
And when your guests arrive for vacation, they will have an abundance of places to stay from the economical motels to high-end resorts. And, if they come in February, they can take advantage of the great skiing and check out the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.
- Percent of Senior Population 16.8%
- Overall Population 48,007
Littleton is the largest city on the list. Its high population adds to the rich culture of this city. However, you don’t have to worry that the large city size means that there is a high crime to match. One of the greatest things about living in Littleton is that it is 51% safer than in other US cities.
Littleton is also home to several local parks and 200 miles of trails, which will keep you active and prevent you from ever becoming bored while you explore. Some of the best parks and trails in the area are:
- South Platte Park
- Mary Carter Greenway Trail
- Chatfield State Park
- High Line Canal Trail
- Roxborough State Park
Plus other outdoor activities available in the area are:
- Colorado SUP Sports
- Castle Rock Zip Line Tours
- Fly Fishing
Littleton, advantageously located a short twenty-minute drive from Denver and just southeast of the Rockies, is the ideal town for those looking to enjoy both urban culture and the quiet outdoors. This busy Denver suburb has every imaginable type of entertainment such as:
- Littleton Museum
- Town Hall Arts Center
- Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art
- Denver Botanical Gardens
- Denver Art Museum
- Children’s Museum of Denver
- National Ballpark Museum
Littleton also has an astounding ten medical facilities per 1,000 residents. However, all of these perks do come at a small cost. The one drawback to Littleton is that they have a slightly higher tax burden than other cities in Colorado.
Another advantage to living in Littleton is the access to the RTD light rail. The light rail gives you easy access to Denver, so on the days or evenings you want to dine out or shop in the Denver area, but don’t feel like driving, hop on the light rail and enjoy the ride.
- Percent of Senior Population 16%
- Overall Population 9,038
If Littleton is too big, but you still want to be conveniently located near Denver, Evergreen might be the perfect mountain town for you. This beautiful city is located 7,220 feet above sea level and is only 45 minutes southwest of Denver.
Evergreen has a very active community. And why wouldn’t it be with the thousands of acres of land open to the public? These different parks feature trails, creeks, and rivers, perfect for:
- Horseback riding
Plus, two different recreation centers with pools and workout centers that host yoga and pilates. Evergreen even has a new skate park for the grandkids.
It also features a wonderfully abundant art community. The town invests in the local artists filling the main streets of downtown with fun shops and galleries. Additionally, Evergreen hosts multiple art and music festivals throughout the warmer months.
Evergreen may be smaller, but it still has enough medical facilities to make you feel safe. There are two primary medical facilities:
- St. Anthony Health Center Evergreen
- Arapaho Peak Health Center
Plus, there is nearby urgent care in Golden, Colorado. However, if you need a major hospital, there are several about 25 miles away in Denver, some of the hospitals you will have easy access too include:
- Porter Adventist Hospital
- UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital
- Percent of Senior Population 13%
- Overall Population 34,690
Englewood is another larger city, but with easy access to the great outdoors. It is just a short 20-minute drive to Denver.
Englewood hosts several festivals each year, so it is the ideal city for those who enjoy large social events. Some of the more popular festivals you will find here are:
- Color in Color
- Various Independent Film Festivals
- Happy Trails – How the West Was Fun
- Paint it Forward
- Various Art Festivals and events
Plus there are fun attractions such as:
- Bellview Park
- Devil’s Head Distillery
- Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
- Museum of Outdoor Arts
- Gothic Theatre
Additionally, for those of us who like the outdoors, Englewood has all the many outdoor activities commonly found throughout Colorado, plus white water rafting and zip-lining. Englewood also offers an active nightlife and a wide variety of restaurants.
And what makes Englewood even more appealing is that they have 14 medical facilities per 1000 citizens, so you will never have to be concerned you won’t be able to find a doctor.
The one drawback to Englewood is that the crime rate in this city is higher than any other place on our list, coming in at 107% higher than Colorado’s state average.