17 Reasons Not to Move to Boulder, Colorado

Are you thinking of moving to Boulder, Colorado? Are you wanting to make sure you have considered all the pros and cons before making the final decision? Do you need a few more cons to weigh against all the pros? If you are finding yourself in this situation, this article can help you have some more points in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to move there.

To learn about some of the reasons you should not move to Boulder, Colorado, keep reading!

1. The Weather is Unpredictable

You never know what the weather will do next in Boulder. It is always hard to guess if you will have a full, sunny day at the park or if that will day at the park will be cut short by a sudden change in weatherOpens in a new tab.. While the weather is never really predictable anywhere, Boulder is special in the sense that the weather changes fast and drastically. One moment, it could be sunny and warm and the next, it could quickly become cold and windy.

It is possible to prepare for those weather changes and still enjoy your time outside, but if you are a fan of consistent weather conditions, Boulder isn’t the place where you will find them.

2. Living Expenses are High

The population of Boulder is constantly growingOpens in a new tab. quickly. That being said, because of the rate at which the city is growing, living expenses are high. In order to purchase a home that is ranked as an “average” type home in Boulder, it is necessary for the owner’s salary to be at least $100K to be able to afford it.

As far as rent in Boulder goes, it’s not much better. The rent for a standard apartment in Boulder is an average of $1,305 per month. Food expenses are also higher than normal here. Most Boulder residents spend about $348.53 per month, but the national average is $323.72. While that may not seem like a significant difference, it adds up after a while.

3. Sharing the Road is Difficult

Boulder drivers don’t have the best reputation. Colorado is ranked 6th in the nation when it comes to the worst drivers in the country. One factor that contributes to this high ranking is the fact that most drivers in Boulder fail to obey the rules of the road. This can make traveling through town difficult, having to deal with drivers that may have a tendency to disregard traffic rules.

If you are someone who values the importance of taking care on the road and being safe while driving, then having to face those chaotic drivers may not be the best way to go.

4. Hiking Trails are Always Busy

If you are an avid hiker, you may love living in Boulder because of the numerous hiking trails there are to go explore. However, if you are someone who recreationally hikes every once in a while and would like some nice, easy hikes, you won’t find them here.

Hiking trails in Boulder, especially the really popular ones, are always crowded with people, and it can be difficult to have an enjoyable hike unless you are on the trail very early in the morning. It can be done, but there are lots of other trails that don’t have quite as much traffic that may be better to go to.

5. Finding a Good Job isn’t Easy

Unless you are moving to Boulder with a job already lined up and ready to go, it will be pretty difficult to find one in a decent amount of time. Because of the population growth that Boulder is receiving, many of those new residents are looking for and filling available jobs in the area.

If you don’t have a job already prior to moving to Boulder, then it may be a good idea to figure that out before coming because the competition within the job market can make it extremely difficult to find one within a few weeks or months. Not only are the jobs themselves slim, but they are wanting to hire the best of the best in those positions, so even though you may be qualified, you may not be chosen to fill the job positions you apply for.

6. The Food is Nothing Special

Food isn’t a huge pull for people to come to visit Boulder, much less live there. If food is something that matters to you, specifically a wide variety of food, when it comes to determining if you want to live somewhere or not, you might as well take Boulder off your list now.

The food that Boulder is most well-known for is deep-fried bull testicles, so if unusual food like that is not something that you fancy, then it may be best to stay away from public restaurants if you do decide to move to Boulder. Aside from that, there are a good number of chain restaurants to choose from, but not much variety otherwise in regards to eating out.

7. Boulder is a Tourist Destination

Boulder Is not a quiet town. One of the reasons for this is because it is such a popular tourist destination when in Colorado. There are roughly 86 million people that come and go through Boulder every year as tourists. If you are looking for a place that has a quiet, easy-going atmosphere, Boulder is not it.

While tourism definitely brings in a lot of money for the city, there are some drawbacks that many locals dislike about living there during the tourist season. Some of these include an increase in traffic on hiking trails and roads, as well as an increase in bookings at popular hotels.

8. The Climate

In Colorado, because of its location, specifically in Boulder, you will be living in essentially a desert. This can come with some discomfort. Due to the extremely dry air, you will experience in the area, you may have to deal with the effects of that such as cracked and dry lips and skin and frequent bloody noses.

The environment suffers as well. Wildfires are always a possibility, with dust storms being common as well. The dry heat of the summer is not ideal for growing a garden, so if that is a hobby of yours, you may need to find a new one while you’re in Boulder.

9. Altitude Sickness is Common

Boulder is at a higher altitude than many other cities, which leaves altitude sickness to be an effect the city has on a majority of newcomers. If you haven’t experienced altitude sickness before, most of the symptoms people experience are similar to the flu including headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.

If you know that you are prone to altitude sickness, it would be best to stay away from areas like Boulder that have varying altitudes in such small stretches of land. Most people can adjust to it fairly well, but some locals that have lived there for years still experience altitude sickness from time to time.

10. Tree Hugger Culture

The culture in Boulder is very eco-friendly with a save-the-planet mindset. If that is your mindset as well, then you will fit right in! If not, you may be persuaded to think that way after moving there, as that is the norm there. Everyone contributes to going green and using paper instead of plastic.

If you don’t do so, you risk having feelings of judgment from others, as well as maybe feelings of guilt for not doing as much as your neighbor to help better the environment. If this is a culture in which you haven’t been involved previously, it may be a little uncomfortable to jump into a very eco-friendly community.

11. Safety is an Issue

If you have children at home, and you would prefer that they live in a more secure, safe town, Boulder is not the place to be. This city has a lot of safety issues that can make parents with young families feel a little uneasy.

Boulder has one of the top 10%Opens in a new tab. highest crime rates in the country. This percentage includes everything from robberies, and burglaries, to vehicle theft. Nothing is impossible regarding crime in Boulder. If safety is a high priority in the place you are looking to move to, Boulder should not be on your list, as it seems like safety is not the city’s top priority.

12. Lack of Diversity

In comparison to larger cities like San Francisco or Seattle, which provide a lot of diversity, Boulder is put to shame. There is hardly any diversityOpens in a new tab. present, and the town is predominantly made up of White residents.

While there are tons of tourists from all around the world that come and visit during the summer months to see what Boulder is all about, the residents of Boulder themselves really don’t provide a large variety of ethnicities. If this is something that you really are wanting to experience in a living situation rather than a tourist situation, Boulder isn’t at the top of the recommended list to be able to do that.

13. Population Size

Boulder’s population is made up of about 108,777 people. This is a good size if you are wanting a solid, metropolitan area feel. If you are more of a small-town person, then you will indeed be overwhelmedOpens in a new tab. by not only the number of residents that live in Boulder all year long but the large number of tourists that add to the number throughout the summer.

That being said, with that number of people and the number of tourists that come and go, the geographical space of Boulder is fairly small, so with those large numbers, it may feel even more crowded than you would like.

14. Boulder is a College Town

In addition to Boulder being a popular stop in Colorado for people to travel through, it is also a college town. The University of Colorado Boulder is at the heart of the city, which causes the city to get a little crazy with traffic and large swarms of college students during the school year. It is a trade-off for the tourists to leave after the summer and the students to come in during the fall and winter months, so there really is no rest from the chaos that both of those groups bring.

15. Unique City Laws

Every city has a law that is unique to their town that you may not have heard of before. Boulder is no different. One of those strange laws that Boulder has is that you cannot claim “ownership” of an animal, as family pets are considered part of the family.

Another law that many may find strange is that you are free to go out in public without a shirt. Most people are considerate and don’t take advantage of this law, but it is something to be aware of. There will be bizarre laws everywhere you go, but these are the ones to consider in Boulder.

16. Buildings Have Height Limits

This is definitely something to consider, especially if you are planning on working within the construction industry in Boulder. Within the city of Boulder, the law requires that any buildings built must be no higher than 55 feet. The reasoning behind this is due to the pull that the mountains surrounding the city have on tourists and they don’t want any tall buildings blocking the mountains from view for fear of losing tourist traffic. This is mostly regarding non-residential buildings that would be located in the heart of Boulder.

17. Everywhere You Go is Pet-Friendly

Pets are welcome everywhere in Boulder. Stores, hotels, and restaurants are all pet-friendly and if you are not a dog, cat, or bird person, you may want to reconsider moving to Boulder. Because all these places allow pets, you really can’t avoid them. There are dog parks all around the city, which may also be a deterrent if you want to be at the park without being surrounded by pets. You also may feel a sense of missing out and being judged for not having a pet and being a part of that aspect of the community.

Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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