Moving to Boulder

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Feb 2005

We are considering a move to Boulder, CO due to career/family reasons. I understand that Boulder is not a wonderfully diverse community like Berkeley (At least it is pretty liberal). Can anyone recommend areas to live? Boulder high school vs. Fairview HS? Elementary schools that are particularly good? Thanks for your help. anon

We moved to Boulder in August and are liking it pretty well here. I miss the Bay Area's resources and urbanity, but everyday when I go outside and look at those mountains, I give a happy sigh. The outdoor resources are remarkable here. Without even leaving Boulder, we've seen foxes, racoons, coyotes (from a distance), deer, and lots of gorgeous birds. Houses are expensive in Boulder, so though it will be less than in the Bay Area, keep that in mind. There are also abundant and very ugly ''developments'' with uniform rows of homes all squinched in together. I recommend North Boulder, where we found a home. South Boulder seemed to us to be more tract homes that were close together. Older homes on ''the hill'' near the university or near Chautauqua can be beautiful but are prohibitively expensive (at least for us). There is so much public open space in Boulder that it might be worthwhile to keep that in mind as you look for a home: we live half a block away from a big hiking/open space area and it's really added to the pleasure of the neighborhood. I have also looked, recently at nearby towns like Longmont and Lyons, both of which are less expensive than Boulder and have nice older homes with character. Schools seem to be a public priority here, though I did not find the school district helpful as we moved in. There are some good charter and magnet schools, but when I called about enrollment, I was continually reassured that my kids couldn't get in because the open enrollment was over (calls were made February-June). That said, as I queried parents about their various elementary schools, each insisted that the school their child attended was THE most excellent in the area. Again, this is anecdotal, but I hear very good things about Boulder High from parents. I don't know much about Fairview, but I've heard that the kids there tend to be more affluent and more subject to the evil influences of our consumer culture. If you have other questions, feel free to e-mail me directly.
i lived in boulder for about 3 years. i liked it for the most part. the lack of diversity was a disappointment though. it's there you just have to search for it in the surrounding areas. boulder high school is great. atleast it was 4 years ago. my brother went there and they really worked hard to help him. the school has a lot of resources that i don't think fairfield high has. all in all i think if i had to pick a place in colorado to live it would be boulder. angela
Feb 2004

Hi My husband, 1 y.o. and I are considering a move to Boulder and would like recommendations onn neighborhoods and schools. We live in Rockridge now and love the feel of the neighborhood and would like to find something similar. Also, what are the good elementary schools and private schools. Is it any cheaper to live there? I know there have been previous postings but they don't really address these questions. Many thanks! Anon

Good friends moved to boulder about two years ago and prices were pretty comprabale to the bay area - they ended up outside of Boulder in Lewisville but are now regretting that and may try to move into Boulder. I guess I'd reccomend alot of research into the cost of houses. good luck
April 2003

Help! We are moving in mid July to the university area in Boulder, Colorado. Being native to California, I am particularly worried about actually living in and driving through snow (my daughter is thrilled) for an entire season. I would like some advice on surviving, perhaps even thriving, in winter conditions. I also welcome any recommendations about living in Boulder, but I am especially interested in preschools, cheap family thrills, restaurants, and Japanese grocery stores. Thanks in advance! Miki

Hi- Boulder is a great place to live, I went to CU about 12 years ago. I visit periodically still. Aside from the snow it is a lot like the East Bay. If you are uneasy about driving in the snow I would suggest having a four wheel drive vehicle. Even though it snows a lot it can warm up to the 60's the very next day and you would see people walking around in shorts when there is snow on hte ground and the sky is amazingly blue. Don't fret- Get yourself some good hiking/waterproof boots and enjoy the winter wonderland. It is not a wet/damp cold like the Northeast so you are in for a treat. Marion
Boulder is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It backs right up to the flatirons which are so amamzing!. Don't fret. I am from Hawaii and live here presently but went to UC Boulder for undergrad (1990-1994) and loved it. Can you think of two more different climates?! But both are equally gorgeous in different ways. I burnt out on the cold weather but that was after four years of college, a year after(because I couldn't bear to leave after school finished) and then another year after living overseas (1997)because I missed it so much. Like the other recommendation, you could get a 4 wheel drive car. I had a little Toyota Tercel (front wheel drive)and worked in the mountains. I just got special tires (with little cleats in them) for the winter season and did just fine. As for housing, are you moving there to teach at the university? They have housing info and there are faculty condos. If you are looking for regular housing just make sure you are out of the student populated areas (The HILL, and right below the campus) because these are party central and can be dumps with sleazy landlords and run down student houses. Up closer to Chataqua Park there are nicer homes as well as out on Table Mesa Rd. or more north of the university. In fact anywhere except the immediate vicinity of the univ. should have adequate living accomodations. Restaurants: I haven't lived there for a while but there is a great ethiopian place called Ras Kasas. It moved since I last was there because it was so popular but it's still in the area. There are a number of others too- pretty good selection of international cuisine for a small town. Thats what's nice about Boulder, it has a lot packed into it bacause it is a college towm. Speaking of, Boulder is pretty heavy on bars and breweries to keep all the students drunk and happy. Pearl St. is a closed off street with little shops and places to eat all along it and can be fun just to stroll and people watch. Drives into the mountains are always nice. If you are interested in getting into winter sports you can probably find some deals on lift tickets for the season. Hiking is right in your backyard around the flatirons. There are also lots of bike trails. Everyone bikes in Boulder. I'm not sure about the Japanese market but there is a good chance that you'll find one there. It's pretty diverse. There are lots of health food markets in the area if you like that. My biggest recomendation to you would be to separate yourself from the student areas as that could be really annoying. The summers there are great because the town empties out and it's pretty calm. Things get bustling again in the fall when the students return. I was there as a crazy student and not a parent so I'm not as aware of fun things to do with kids in Colorado but I'm sure you could find out more from better sources. Too bad there isn't a Boulder parents network- maybe there is. Boulder is really a very unique place and I hope you enjoy it and the beautiful winter weather. Stay warm and feel free to email with any questions. Courtney