By Stephanie Hyland, Storage.com

With endless outdoor activities and employment opportunities, Colorado Springs has so much to offer its residents. Whether you’re moving to “The Springs” (i.e., what locals and other Coloradans call it) or you’re already a resident, you’ll love this list of reasons why Colorado Springs is a great place to “Live It Up!”

1. MASSIVE MILITARY PRESENCE.

Photo by Phillip Stewart
Photo by Phillip Stewart

Colorado Springs is well-known for its strong military presence. With Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, NORAD, and the U.S. Air Force Academy all in the area, it’s a great city for active military and their families. Many of these bases rank among the top employers in Colorado Springs, too. Fun fact: Since 1955, NORAD (once known as CONAD) has been tracking Santa’s Christmas Eve trip. This annual event got its start when the Sears department store ran an ad saying children could call Santa. However, the telephone number listed was misprinted and calls came through to CONAD instead.

Moving to a Colorado Springs military base? Learn more about military storage, or find a storage unit near Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station or Peterson Air Force Base.

2. HIT THE BOOKS.

Photo by CollegeDegrees360
Photo by CollegeDegrees360

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, one of the fastest-growing universities in the state, is located on approximately 521 acres in northeast Colorado Springs. Besides a view of the Austin Bluffs, Rocky Mountains, and Pikes Peak every day, UCCS offers students 37 bachelor’s degree programs, 19 master’s degree programs, and five doctoral degree programs. UCCS has also been acknowledged by U.S. News & World Report for having top-ranked nursing, business, and public affairs programs. Also, 25 Olympic athletes have attended UCCS, including speed skater Apolo Ohno and figure skater Jason Brown.

3. NAVIGATING IS EASY.

Photo by Alan Stark
Photo by Alan Stark

There’s no need for a map when you’re in Colorado Springs. With the mountains to your west (a hard natural landmark to miss), you’ll always know which way you’re going.

4. BE YOUR OWN BOSS.

Photo by Fortune Live Media
Photo by Fortune Live Media

A recent survey by CNN Money named Colorado Springs as one of top eight cities in the U.S. for starting a business due to light zoning and regulation laws, the amount of UCCS graduates in the area, and a booming tech scene. There are also great networking events for entrepreneurs around the area, like Startup Colorado, which aims to support entrepreneurs and attract new generations of talent. If you’re looking to break into the tech industry or have an idea for a startup, Colorado Springs might be the place for you.

5. COLORADANS TAKE FITNESS SERIOUSLY.

Photo by Mark Gallagher
Photo by Mark Gallagher

There’s a reason why Colorado Springs is referred to as “a city on the move.” With trails for running and biking in Palmer Park, volleyball and basketball courts in Bear Creek Regional Park, and hiking and yoga events at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, it’s easy for residents to stay fit. Also, many residents participate in popular fitness events around the area, such as the Pikes Peak Marathon, American Discovery Trail Marathon, and XTERRA Marathon Of Trail Races. The city is home to the U.S. Olympic Training Center as well, where the best athletes in the country come to train in gymnastics, swimming, weightlifting, and more.

6. A CITY FOR MAN’S BEST FRIEND.

Photo by Jon Hurd
Photo by Jon Hurd

Do you love dogs? Colorado Springs does! There are a variety of dog-friendly parks and locations that Coloradans can enjoy with their furry friends. Some favorites where locals take their pets are The Crags Trail, Seven Falls, and Garden of the Gods. Fun fact: According to a U.S. News & World Report study, residents in Colorado Springs spend an average of $35.75 a month on their pets.

7. GRAB YOUR GEAR.

Photo by US Army JFK Special Warfare Center
Photo by US Army JFK Special Warfare Center

Colorado Springs has the rocks if you have the gear! There are endless rock-climbing opportunities in the area for all skill levels! Have you always wanted to learn how to rock climb? There are a number of locations and professionals that can help you achieve your goals. CityRock Colorado Springs, First Ascent Mountain School, The Colorado Climbing Company, and Front Range Climbing Company are some of the most popular locations in the area to learn the basics or brush up on your skills. Once you’ve become a seasoned climber, you can even take on heights at Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon Open Space.

8. CAVE ENTHUSIASTS ARE WELCOME.

Photo by Jon Roberts
Photo by Jon Roberts

A short 15-minute drive outside of Colorado Springs is a star attraction that you don’t want to miss! Cave of the Winds was discovered in 1881 and has been a leading Colorado attraction for travelers for over a century! Visitors can explore the ancient caverns and see the natural beauty of rock formations that are thousands of years old. If you’re feeling really brave on the day you visit, grab a seat on one of the rides like the Terror-Dactyl, which launches you 200 feet into the canyon at nearly 100 miles per hour. Do you have a busy schedule? Not a problem! The attraction and tours are open 364 days a year!

9. NEVER A DULL MOMENT.

Photo by Beverly & Pack
Photo by Beverly & Pack

You’ll never be bored in Colorado Springs! There’s a long list of festivals and events held throughout the year in the area. Some of the most popular are the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, Cripple Creek Ice Festival, Canon City Music and Blossom Festival, Territory Days, Manitou Springs Wine Festival, All Colorado Beer Festival, Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival, and Mountains Art Festival, to name a few.

10. LOVE HORSES?

Photo by carterse
Photo by carterse

Colorado has more than mountains! It’s also a major hub for horseback riding and a variety of equestrian events. There are a number of ranches and stables in the area where you can enjoy everything from a riding lesson to learning what life is like on a ranch. One of the best horseback riding opportunities in the area is the Academy Riding Stable, which welcomes riders of all skill levels and shows them how families 100 years ago viewed this area on horseback. If you have your own horse and need boarding, the Academy can also assist you! Colorado Springs is also home to the Black Forest Saddle Club! This nonprofit, volunteer-based organization schedules equestrians events, shows, and clinics throughout the year.

11. BUG-FREE CLIMATE.

Photo by David Wade Couch
Photo by David Wade Couch

Besides the clean mountain air and landscapes, Colorado residents and visitors love the fact that the area has extremely low levels of mosquitoes and other critters that can spoil an afternoon of fun. The only type of bug you need to look out for are moths in the fall, but they’ll be gone by the time the Colorado winter hits.

12. HIT A HIGH NOTE.

Photo by Jeffrey Beall
Photo by Jeffrey Beall

Art lovers will never be at a loss for something to admire! With art galleries like Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and public artwork like Art on the Streets, it’s easy to get your artistic fill. If live music and shows are more your speed, check out the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, The Mezzanine, The Millibo Art Theatre (or The MAT), THEATREWORKS, or Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show.

13. BEER LOVER’S PARADISE.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

If you enjoy expanding your knowledge of craft beers, Colorado Springs is a great place to experience a variety of brews. Whether you’re a Colorado Springs resident or just visiting for the weekend, make sure you grab a Laughing Lab Scottish Ale at Bristol Brewing Company, a Grandy Dancer Smoked Porter from Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, or a Nelson Pale Ale at Iron Bird Brewing Company.

14. BECOME A FOODIE.

Photo by Frankie Leon
Photo by Frankie Leon

Besides the long list of breweries in the area, Colorado Springs is also home to a number of charming restaurants that have won the hearts of locals. If you’re looking for the perfect breakfast burrito, head over to King’s Chef Diner. If you’re in the mood for a juicy burger, try a Bacon Jam Burger at Brother Luck Streets Eats. Or maybe you’re craving something sweet after dinner, in which case you should stop by John and Josh’s Naturally Homemade Ice Cream, where you can grab a waffle cone filled with one of the many homemade flavors, like Pikes Peak Coffee or Colorado Cookies and Cream. Have a first date coming up? Take your date to Shuga’s Restaurant and Bar, which was named one of the best places to grab a bite to eat with that special someone.

What awesome things would you add about living in Colorado Springs?

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

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