The 8 Best Places to Live in Southern Colorado in 2023

In this article, we introduce you to the 8 best places to live in Southern Colorado that provide you with a great blend of quality of living and things to do.

Southern Colorado is famous for its natural beauty that can surprise you with breathtaking sceneries and vivid colors from dawn to sunset.

You will find yourself surrounded by majestic rock formations and you will be eager to discover more and more of them through hikes and jogs during weekends or during your vacation in Southern Colorado.

You can relax by the calming lakes and natural hot springs or take advantage of some of the best ski resorts and slopes in Southern Colorado.

Southern Colorado really has something for everyone.

Over the years, many people have decided not only to come to Southern Colorado to spend their vacations, but also to move here and call this state their home.

If you are thinking about moving to Southern Colorado or just to take some time off in this beautiful part of the state, this guide will detail the best cities to live in Southern Colorado.

Best Places to Live in Southern Colorado – Methodology 

In order to find the best places to live in Southern Colorado, we developed a methodology that uncovered our picks based on several key factors:

  • Cost of Living
  • Home Prices
  • Entertainment Options
  • Quality of Schools
  • Safety
  • Overall Livability

The cities that we chose provide an overall good livability that is based on a relatively affordable cost of living combined with many outdoor and indoor activities that will keep you entertained.

We also paid attention to find places that are safe and with good quality schools that are ideal for families to relocate to.

Without further ado, these are our top eight places to live in Southern Colorado.

The 8 Best Places to Live in Southern Colorado in 2023

8. Durango


Population: 17,817
Cost of Living Index: 14% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $668,031
Location: Check on Google Maps

We start off this list of the best cities to live in Southern Colorado with Durango, a city that is approximately an hour drive from the New Mexico border in the southwestern corner of the state.

This city is a heaven for outdoor lovers as it offers approximately 300 miles of biking trails, hiking trails in the nearby areas, lakes to sunbathe by, and rivers to raft and kayak in with families and friends.

Additionally, in the winter time, you can take advantage of its close distance to some of the best ski resorts Colorado can offer, such as Purgatory Resort, the Hesperus Ski Area, and Chapman Hill.

Residents of Durango love the feeling that this small town provides, with its cute little cafes and restaurants and welcoming people all around the city.

7. Pueblo

Population: 108,385
Cost of Living Index: 21% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $294,941
Location: Check on Google Maps

Pueblo is a city that is about 1.5 hours from the New Mexico border and approximately 2 hours from Denver.

The city is well-known for its sunny weather and for being a melting pot of different cultures that seamlessly blend together.

The Pueblo Riverwalk is a great place to relax and meet with friends. Drink a beer or eat a slice of pizza at one of the many restaurants there and feel welcomed in this community.

Residents of Pueblo also love the many activities that this city offers. It is common to go for a hike or discover a new bike trail during the weekends around here. 

Also, people who live in Pueblo appreciate its affordable cost of living and the almost total absence of traffic on the roads.

6. Dolores

Population: 1,074
Cost of Living Index: 12% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $395,651
Location: Check on Google Maps

The quaint town of Dolores is located 1.5 hours from the border with New Mexico and 1 hour from the border with Utah in southwestern Colorado.

Dolores is famous for the McPhee Reservoir and the San Juan National Forest, both idyllic spots for nature lovers. There are endless opportunities here to enjoy fresh air and the sun. You can also enjoy one of the many outdoor activities such as boating, biking, camping, and fishing.

The bike trails along the Dolores River are a must among locals and tourists as well.

Residents here have developed a tight-knit community with local businesses, such as restaurants, shops, and even a brewery in its downtown.

The public library is also a popular meeting point for younger and older generations.

Finally, Dolores is a relatively safe place to live and people feel comfortable walking downtown or riding their bikes around town.

5. Cañon City


Population: 16,445
Cost of Living Index: 14% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $311,643
Location: Check on Google Maps

Cañon City is located along the Arkansas River about an hour from Colorado Springs and 2 hours from Denver. 

Due to its unique geographical location and high elevation of 5,300 feet above sea level, Cañon City was named as “the Climate Capital of Colorado,with warmer temperatures during the winter season compared to other cities nearby.

This city is a popular tourist spot, especially during the summer time, when visitors come to experience the main attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

For instance, there is the world’s highest suspension bridge that soars over 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River as well as Via Ferrata, a guided climbing tour attraction.

But, Cañon City is also one of the best places to live in Southern Colorado for young families as it is calm and quite affordable.

The whole community is also known to be very friendly and welcoming and gathers frequently for festival events.

4. Telluride

Population: 1,972
Cost of Living Index: 57% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $1,359,422
Location: Check on Google Maps

Telluride is a small ski town in the Rocky Mountains about 2 hours from Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona in the southwestern part of Colorado.

There are plenty of things to do in Telluride, both in the winter and in the summer. 

In the winter time, you can take advantage of some of the best, uncrowded ski slopes, whether you are an experienced skier or a beginner.

You can also try fat biking, nordic skiing, or a ride with your little ones on a sleigh.

In the summertime, you can immerse yourself in nature, whether it is by relaxing around one of the city’s many lakes or by hiking on trails that will provide you with some of the best views that Colorado has to offer.

People consider Telluride a safe city and a great town to raise their children, which makes it one of the best cities in Southern Colorado.

In the summer, the community gathers together during wine events, film festivals, and music concerts.

However, the cost of living in Telluride is higher than in other places in Southern Colorado. But, if you can afford it, we think it is worth it.

3. Montrose


Population: 19,016
Cost of Living Index: 10% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $398,419
Location: Check on Google Maps

Montrose is located an hour and a half north of Telluride on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. 

There are plenty of activities that families and friends can experience together, including rock climbing, golfing, skiing, and snowboarding.

There are also unique hot springs located nearby in Ouray and Ridgway.

Residents love to raise their families here because the city offers a multitude of activities for people of any age and it is overall a safe city with a good school system.

Also, this is a good option for people looking for a place in Colorado to retire, since its cost of living is below the state average.

2. Salida

Population: 5,430
Cost of Living Index: 3% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $545,164
Location: Check on Google Maps

Located 2 hours west of Colorado Springs, Salida is a quaint town that is also rated as one of the best places to retire in Colorado.

In addition, this city scores highly regarding safety and their public school system, which make Salida one of the best places to live in Southern Colorado for raising a family as well.

The city is also a great getaway if you want to live in a place with plenty of things to do in the surrounding areas.

In the winter time, nearby Monarch Mountain is an ideal place to snowboard and ski.

Meanwhile, in the summertime, you can take advantage of being in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and explore the area through the numerous hiking and biking trails.

You can also get an adrenaline rush by whitewater rafting at the renowned whitewater park in Salida.

1. Colorado Springs


Population: 448,759
Cost of Living Index: 5% Below Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $469,987
Location: Check on Google Maps

Colorado Springs ranks first as the best place to live in Southern Colorado for several reasons.

Firstly, this city is a great option if you are thinking of relocating and you want to raise your family in a safe and welcoming environment. The public school system is very well-rated and the city is known for its cultural diversity.

Additionally, housing prices here are pretty affordable compared to the rest of the state.

Colorado Springs is the perfect choice if you are a nature lover and you are looking for a place that offers many outdoor experiences, such as hiking and exploring trails that offer waterfalls and caves.

If you prefer more indoor activities, Colorado Springs has those for you, too. From rock climbing to swimming, you will always find something to be entertained by.

For artists and art-lovers, downtown Colorado Springs is a creative district with museums and art galleries where you can enjoy the region’s rich culture.

Additionally, many events take place every year in downtown Colorado Springs, which makes this city come alive and brings together the community.

Finally, Colorado Springs even made our most recent list of the best places to live in The Rocky Mountain State in 2023.

Best Places to Live in Southern Colorado – Summary

Based on our research, we think that these are the best cities in Southern Colorado in 2023:

  1. Colorado Springs
  2. Salida
  3. Montrose
  4. Telluride
  5. Cañon City
  6. Dolores
  7. Pueblo
  8. Durango

These cities offer great outdoor and indoor activities for people of all ages and are also good places to raise a family due to their good school system and a safe environment.

These eight cities also provide endless entertainment throughout every part of the year, so you can also visit them before deciding whether any of these cities are a good place for you to relocate to.