Are you dreaming of the pristine nature and peace & quiet of Colorado? Want to escape the humidity, bugs, and so on in Florida? You’re not alone. Relocating from Florida to Colorado has become a popular choice in recent years. From awe-inspiring mountain views to incredibly fun winter adventures and activities, the Centennial State scores 100 out of a 100 in many categories. Before you trade in Florida beaches for the Colorado slopes, be sure to check out this informative guide on how to make your interstate relocation an enjoyable one!
What to Know About Moving from Florida to Colorado
Colorado offers a breath of fresh air, but moving here from Florida can also be a bit of a shock. Below, you’ll find critical factors to consider before relocating to Colorful Colorado.
According to WalletHub, Colorado lands at #26 when it comes to tax burden by state (ranked from highest to lowest burden). This ranking is a full 20 spots worse than Florida’s, which is currently #46. Colorado’s average total tax burden, which includes property, income, and sales taxes, is 8.40% versus the Sunshine State’s 6.82%. When it comes to income tax, it also favors Floridians. While the Centennial State has an average rate of 2.22% (#28), its southeastern counterpart collects zero personal income tax. Finally, we end with property taxes. This category is where Colorado shines! With some of the lowest rates in the nation, the average county rate is 0.580%. Florida is also below the US average but higher than CO, with a rate of 0.874%. Overall, be sure to factor in a higher tax bill when you’re planning your budget.
Economy and Job Growth
Coloradans currently enjoy the best state economy in America. By comparison, Florida comes in at a highly respectable #9. The Centennial State scores high in terms of the business environment (#4), employment (#2), and growth (#7). At the beginning of 2020, it had an unemployment rate of just 3% (compared to the national average of nearly 4%). Experts project substantial future job growth at 46% over ten years (compared to the US average of 33.5%). The median household income in Colorado is $59,448 per year, which is higher than Florida’s median household income of $47,212.
Weather and Climate
The state of Colorado might be short on beaches. However, it makes up for it with stunning natural surroundings, winter fun, beautiful seasonal transitions, and more moderate & pleasant weather. In Florida, the humidity and heat can be unbearable. Now, it does get pretty cold in Colorado during the winter months (and the elevation change can be a trip), but for the most part, it’s a nice departure for the balmy temps of the Sunshine State. In CO, the average summer high is 86°F, and the average winter low is 13°F (compared to 91°F and 49°F in FL). Surprisingly, Colorado beats out Florida in terms of sunshine with 253 sunny days versus Florida’s 237 days. The Western state sees an average of 63 inches of snow and 16 inches of rainfall. In contrast, Florida sees zero snow but a hefty 55 inches of rain annually.
Whereas Florida is a Southern state located on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Colorado stands tall in the western portion of the United States. Full of mountains, numerous glistening streams & rivers, plateaus, rugged canyons, and rolling plains, it is the highest state in the country (with an average elevation of 6,800 feet) located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It’s not all about mountains here, though. The eastern portion of the state is pretty flat, comprising a section of the Great Plains. Overall, the state elevates gorgeous natural beauty in more than one way.
Housing and Cost of Living
Looking at housing affordability, both Colorado and Florida rank poorly (#48 and #42, respectively). These rankings account for monthly rent and mortgages. The median list price in Colorado is currently just over $428,000, which is substantially higher than Florida’s median list price of about $300,000. The market is cool in CO, while the market is hot in FL. As for the cost of living in Colorado, the state has a current index of 121.1. This index is higher than Florida (102.8) and the US average (100). Yes, it’s generally more expensive to live in the Centennial State. But for many, the sacrifice is worth it, as CO offers a high quality of life, better earning potential, and the best state economy in the United States.
Things to Do
If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’re going to be in heaven! Sure, there aren’t any oceanfront beaches here – though it does have unique lake beaches – but the state still has a lot to offer! First and foremost, Colorado is the top ski destination in the US (home to 26+ world-class resorts). There are also 40+ state parks and nearly a dozen national parks and monuments for endless adventures in hiking, biking, boating, hunting, climbing, and so on. The state is also home to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, arguably the most magnificent outdoor concert facility on the globe. Aside from the stunning landscapes and epic views, the state of Colorado offers a long list of activities to keep everyone entertained: amusement parks, brewery tours, ghost towns, hot springs, museums, mine tours, award-winning restaurants, arts & culture, and so much more!
Colorado is a highly educated state. When ranking the most educated states in America, it comes in third place (just behind Maryland and Massachusetts). Part of this score depends on the educational attainment level of its residents, in which the state comes in #2. Pretty impressive! When looking at education ranking (higher education and K–12), Colorado is #11 (while Florida sits at #3). Top colleges & universities in CO include the University of Denver (#97 nationally), University of Colorado – Boulder (#104), Colorado State University (#166), Regis University (#202), and the University of Colorado – Denver (#254).
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Okay, so this could be the biggest shock (and draw) for folks from Florida. The state of Colorado, with its rocky mountains and true four seasons, can take some adjustment for those used to year-round sun, humidity, and beach life. That said, if you’re an outdoorsy person, this is the place for you! The culture revolves around recreation, from boating and kayaking to skiing and snowboarding. When it comes to most diverse states in the US (based on socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household, religious, and political factors), Florida unsurprisingly ranks high at #8. Colorado, however, is not far behind at #18.
Transportation and Traffic
Are you wondering about getting around in Colorado? Well, it may not be in the Top 10 like Florida – the southeastern state comes in seventh place for transportation rankings – but it nonetheless sits pretty well at #20. This score derives from four subcategories: commute time (#33), public transit usage (#14), road quality (#32), and bridge quality (#13). Let’s go a little more in-depth with commute times. In Colorado, the average commute takes less than 26 minutes, putting it in 20th place in the US. Florida takes the 12th spot for the longest commute at just under 28 minutes.
Interested in rates of violent crime and murders? Colorado and Florida are very close. This fact might come as a surprise, but Florida ranks slightly better (#21, 384.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people) than the Rocky Mountain state (#20, 397.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people). The most dangerous cities in Colorado and Florida are Pueblo and Florida City, respectively. Pueblo has a violent crime index of 47.3 and a property crime index of 90.4. Florida City has a violent crime index of 95.8 and a property crime index of 95.6. For comparison, the US averages are 22.7 for violent crime and 35.4 for property crime.
When people think of Colorado, food typically isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But it totally should! Yes, Florida offers a distinct melting pot of cuisine that borrows from Caribbean, Southern, European, Latin, and various other influences. But the Centennial State gives FL a run for its money. Ranging from authentic to quirky, Colorado Cuisine offers a plethora of tasty eats sure to satisfy any foodie. What’s on the menu? Super fresh trout, bison burgers, organic melons, elk sausage, Palisade peaches, lamb, Colorado-style pizza, craft beer, and of course, world-famous Rocky Mountain Oysters (hint: they aren’t oysters) top the list. Another quintessential dish is The Slopper – a hamburger smothered in green chili and cheese!
Best Places to Live in Colorado
Colorado is full of incredible mountain towns and urban areas to call home, so it can be challenging to narrow down the list of potentials. Here’s our list of some of the best places to live in the Centennial State:
People move to Denver for its job opportunities, fast access to incredible outdoor recreation in the Rocky Mountains, and to live in the heart of the action. No matter what brings you to Denver, this city is easy to love and hard to leave. Situated on a high plain one mile above sea level and surrounded by mountains, Denver is a bustling city with a vibrant young vibe. Learn more about moving to Denver.
Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, Colorado Springs is home to nature lovers, fitness fanatics, and the military. Around town, you’ll see men and women in Air Force uniform alongside US Olympic athletes in residence for training. If you’re considering moving to Colorado Springs, learn more about the area in this guide.
The city is situated where the Great Plains meet the eastern flanks of the Rocky Mountains. Western Boulder nestles up against the famous Rocky Mountain foothills known as the Flatirons, an area that provides residents with extraordinary hiking, outdoor sports, and year-round leisure activities. Learn more about living here in our moving to Boulder guide.
Nicknamed the “The Most Active City in America” due to its 8,000 acres of open space, Aurora is a Denver suburb of over 350,000 residents. Here, you can get into any outdoorsy activity, from biking around town to cross-country skiing. Renowned for both daytime amenities and a bustling nightlife scene, Aurora attracts everyone from adventurous professionals to young families.
A lively city that lies about an hour and a half north of Denver, Fort Collins is surrounded by quiet and less developed rural towns so you can choose to escape city life whenever you want a dose of nature. As the home of Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins bustles with college students, events, festivals, cafes, coffee houses, and boutique shopping while holding onto its rustic allure. You’ll hear the phrase “bikes, beers, and bands” when locals refer to the city. If those attributes sound appealing, find out more about moving to Fort Collins here.
Lakewood is a mere eight miles west of Denver, located just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,500 feet. This location gives Lakewood residents access to all the outdoorsy activities of the Rockies plus the culture, art, and city amenities in the Denver metro area. Learn more about living in this Denver suburb in our Lakewood relocation guide.
This Denver suburb of just over 50,000 sits 23 miles southeast of the city. A quaint Western-Victorian downtown lends a familiar, small-town vibe to this municipality, despite its proximity to the big city. Also dubbed Tree City USA, Parker offers incredible recreational opportunities, with over 1000 acres of developed parkland and open space.
Midway between Colorado Springs and Denver on I-20, Castle Rock is an ideal home base for commuters who work in either of Colorado’s two major urban areas. Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, Castle Rock residents enjoy quiet residential neighborhoods and access to over 5,000 acres of parks and green space as well as 75 miles of trails. Read more about Castle Rock here.
Cost of Moving from Florida to Colorado
On average, it costs about $3200-$4000 to move from California to North Carolina. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff almost 2000 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination cities, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best Florida to Colorado movers now!