The gorgeous town of Estes Park, Colorado.

8 Best Small Towns In Colorado For Retirees

For your sunset years, you might want it all slow-paced, peaceful, and quiet. Yet, this sumptuous ambiance should also feature patches and pieces of spellbinding natural attractions. Some spiraling cascades, shimmering lakes, beautiful wildflowers. Plus, you will need a closely-knit community. A place where people are infectiously friendly, helpful, and eager to strike up conversations randomly. Then again, it has to have some amenities. If this is what you are looking for, discover the eight best small towns in Colorado for retirees.


The quaint community of Littleton, Colorado.
The quaint community of Littleton, Colorado. Editorial credit: J Edwards Photography /

Littleton is an enticingly vivacious small town whose suburban feel and outdoor attractions make it a perfect retirement destination. Named for a well-heeled hydraulic engineer, this Colorado gem is only 11 miles from Denver and, hence, within smelling distance of big-city adventure and amenities. Plus, with a friendly population of about 44,000, Littleton is far from a lonely ghost town. The town's downtown area, for instance, hosts more than 200 businesses, including shops, boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. Also, within and around the town are several peaceful parks and shimmering water bodies that provide a world of adventure options and opportunities for experiencing nature's affectionate embrace. This includes the nearby Rocky Mountains and the South Platte River in all its spellbinding glory. Finally, Littleton hosts numerous healthcare facilities, most of which are within easy reach.


The highway approaching Berthoud, Colorado.
The highway approaching Berthoud, Colorado. Image credit: Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons.

Berthoud is a convivial community of just about 14,100 residents. This means you should expect enough elbow room to stroll through without fellow pedestrians puffing down your neck. Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains, approximately midway between Denver and Fort Collins — this underappreciated town has all the ingredients of a retirement venue. And with the picturesque Little River meandering close to town, it is no wonder Berthoud is often called "the Garden Spot of Colorado." You can spend a lazy weekend fishing at the Berthoud Reservoir or Bacon Lake, relive the town's history at the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum, or wander about at Fickel Park, whose massive trees provide abundant shade for strolling or resting. Wait for the most exciting part. About 13% of Berthoud residents are retirees. This means you will feel right at home.

Estes Park 

Long's Peak rising over Estes Park Colorado
Long's Peak rising over Estes Park, Colorado.

With just about 5,800 residents, Estes Park seems like the place where you would get to know your neighbors at more than a superficial level. But it is not just the air of geniality. Estes Park is a photogenic mountain town that often leaves first-time visitors completely blown away. It serves as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains National Park and is right by its eastern entrance. You will enjoy the November of your life interacting with the herds of elk that take over the town's streets most of the year — and floating on the glistening waters of Lake Estes. And with its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, you will not lack activities to keep your brain well-toned. Finally, about an exciting 1 in 3 Estes Park residents are seniors. You will be rolling with the right crowd.


Beautiful fall colors in Englewood, Colorado.
Beautiful fall colors in Englewood, Colorado.

The golden years often come with unquenchable wanderlust and the desire for an intimate experience with nature. If such is your expectation, Englewood might just be what your doctor will recommend. Curled up south of Denver, this California treasure of about 33,000 residents — is best known as an outdoor lovers' paradise. Your time may be split between hiking or biking its many scenic trails, including the South Platte River Trail, or traipsing through the Museum of Outdoor Arts. Besides, you can be teeing your afternoons at the Broken Tee Englewood Golf Course or fishing at Centennial Park. And as far as healthcare goes, you are in a safe territory. Englewood hosts numerous medical facilities, including the Swedish Medical Centre, the town's largest employer. The Swedish is the go-to medical facility for strokes in the whole state.


The beautiful town of Monument in Colorado.
The beautiful town of Monument in Colorado. Image credit: Jeffrey Beall, via Wikimedia Commons.

Who said the sunset years are a slow, uneventful process of rusting away in a period of inactivity? At Monument, seniors often enjoy burning their legs on several scenic trails, including the Santa Fe Regional Trail — which begins its eye-nourishing journey right at this Colorado treasure. While we are used to cobblestoned streets, Monument's historic downtown area, with its wooden sidewalks, is quite an experience to stroll through. Then again, since Monument is part of the Tri-Lakes area, a term that refers to a Central Colorado region famous for its three gorgeous mountain lakes, seniors usually enjoy indulging in several refreshing opportunities for floating on shimmering waters and getting wet. And with the Pike National Forest in its western backyard and serving as the area's lungs, you will enjoy wandering through the woods amid some cool, crisp air — and heart-ravishing sceneries.


Bear Creek Road, the Main Street in Evergreen, Colorado.
Bear Creek Road, the Main Street in Evergreen, Colorado. Image credit: Chris Light, via Wikimedia Commons.

Residents love the fact Evergreen is only about 30 minutes by car from Denver. That means the possibility of making sporadic visits — to pick an item or two — or procure some urgent service at a moment's notice. Boasting a population of about 9,000 residents, this Colorado stunner gives residents the chance to be on a first-name basis with a neighbor — or a restaurant server down the street. Then again, Evergreen is enticingly slow-paced, relatively uncrowded, and offers legroom for fun-packed recreational activities and adventure. Also, part of Evergreen's appeal for seniors living their sunset years is its strong sense of community. As to its flaunted natural beauty, here is the truth. The town's appetizing name is not just a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Think of this. Which other small town boasts a sparkling lake right within its downtown area? And with a picturesque golf course close to it, your afternoons should be well catered for.


Aerial view of Breckenridge, Colorado.
Aerial view of Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge, once a prosaic mining town, is a fine piece of Colorado that reclines at the base of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains about 80 miles west of Denver. While it has much to offer, including the world-class Breckenridge Ski Resort, this town is a particular favorite with seniors mainly because of its culinary landscape. For its numerous restaurants, Breckenridge arguably boasts more places to eat than any other Colorado mountain town. The Hearthstone Restaurant, for instance, is a fine place to sit down to a plate of some impossibly delicious Blackberry elk. Besides, the view from the restaurant's deck — is hands-down among the best views from any eatery in the area. And if you want to enjoy some early-morning biking amid scenes that often induce goosebumps, Breckenridge Fun Park fits the bill. Alternatively, check out the Breckenridge Nordic Centre.


Downtown Golden, Colorado
Downtown Golden, Colorado. Image credit: Yassie via Wikimedia Commons.

Golden is a town of about 19,400 that owes its birth and growth to the discovery of gold in Clear Creek — and other mineral resources in the area — in the mid-19th century. Years before Denver, Golden served as the capital of the Colorado territory. Known as the gateway to the West, partly because of the construction of the Colorado Central Railroad, Breckenridge would soon host the only paper mill west of Missouri and a brewery that would go on to become the world's largest single brewery — The Coors Brewery. Today, sandwiched between two table mountains, Golden's backyard features rolling hills where beautiful homes offer sweeping views of the spectacular scenery. The town's attractions include its numerous museums, such as the Colorado Railroad Museum. Seniors often enjoy biking along the trails at the scenic Tony Grampsas Park. Besides, the town's main drag is vibrant so residents enjoy many year-round activities.

The Take-home

From border to border, Colorado is one of a few states where spellbinding beauty almost does not suffer any interruption. The snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and vividly-hued red-rock formations are some of Colorado's most defining features. As a retirement home complete with unmatched access to nature, the Centennial State is a gem. If you are looking for a small town to spend your golden years, Estes Park, Monument, and Golden are all excellent options.

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