Colorado’s Largest Cities – Exploring the Top Five Urban Centers in the Centennial State

Travel Destinations

By Abigail Lewis

Colorado is a state known for its stunning landscapes, outdoor activities, and vibrant cities. With its diverse population and thriving economy, Colorado has become a popular destination for people from all walks of life. If you’re planning a visit or considering moving to Colorado, it’s helpful to know which cities are the largest in the state.

Denver is the capital and largest city in Colorado. Known as the “Mile High City,” Denver sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level. This bustling metropolis offers a variety of attractions, including world-class museums, professional sports teams, and a vibrant culinary scene. With a population of over 700,000 people, Denver is the heart of Colorado’s cultural and economic life.

Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado, located just 70 miles south of Denver. This picturesque city is famous for its stunning natural beauty, including the famous Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. With a population of over 480,000 people, Colorado Springs has a small-town feel while still offering big-city amenities. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the city’s extensive trail system and nearby opportunities for hiking, biking, and skiing.

Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado and is located just east of Denver. With a population of over 370,000 people, Aurora is a diverse and vibrant city. Known for its cultural diversity and strong sense of community, Aurora has a thriving arts scene, excellent schools, and a variety of recreational activities. The city is also home to a number of major employers, including the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado Community College System.

Fort Collins is the fourth-largest city in Colorado and is situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Known for its charming downtown area, Fort Collins offers a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. With a population of over 165,000 people, Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University and has a strong academic presence. The city also boasts a vibrant craft beer culture, with numerous breweries and taprooms to explore.

Lakewood is the fifth-largest city in Colorado and is located just west of Denver. With a population of over 150,000 people, Lakewood offers residents a suburban feel while still being close to the amenities of a larger city. The city is known for its beautiful parks and open spaces, including the stunning Bear Creek Lake Park. Lakewood is also home to a number of cultural attractions, including the Lakewood Cultural Center and the Colorado Mills shopping mall.

Overall, Colorado’s largest cities offer a diverse range of experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a bustling urban environment or a more relaxed suburban setting, Colorado has a city that will suit your needs.

Colorado’s Five Largest Cities

Colorado is a state located in the western United States. Known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, it is home to several large cities. Here are the five largest cities in Colorado:

  1. Denver: With a population of over 700,000 people, Denver is the capital and largest city in Colorado. It is known for its vibrant arts scene, diverse neighborhoods, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
  2. Colorado Springs: Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado. It is home to popular attractions like Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.
  3. Aurora: Situated just east of Denver, Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado. It has a growing population of over 350,000 residents and offers a variety of recreational activities and cultural events.
  4. Fort Collins: Known for its lively downtown area and close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is the fourth-largest city in Colorado. It is home to Colorado State University and offers a thriving craft beer scene.
  5. Lakewood: Located just west of Denver, Lakewood is the fifth-largest city in Colorado. It offers a mix of suburban and urban living, with numerous parks, shopping centers, and cultural attractions.

These five cities showcase the diversity and beauty of Colorado, making it a popular destination for both residents and visitors alike.

Denver, Colorado

Denver is the capital and largest city of the state of Colorado. It is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of over 700,000 residents, it is the most populous city in the state and the 19th most populous city in the United States.

Denver was founded in 1858 as a mining town during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. It quickly grew and became a hub for trade and transportation in the region. Today, Denver is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and thriving business community.

Denver is home to many popular attractions and landmarks, including the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the beautiful Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. The city also has a rich sports culture, with professional teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

The city’s economy is diverse and includes industries such as aerospace, telecommunications, and energy. It is also a major transportation hub, with Denver International Airport being one of the busiest airports in the world.

Key Facts:

  • Population: Over 700,000
  • Founded: 1858
  • Area: 155.1 square miles
  • Elevation: 5,280 feet
  • Nickname: The Mile High City

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Located in central Colorado, Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in the state. With a population of over 460,000 residents, it is a thriving urban center known for its beautiful natural surroundings and vibrant culture.

Colorado Springs is famous for its stunning views of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s most iconic mountains. Visitors can take a scenic drive to the summit or enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the surrounding areas.

The city is also home to a number of attractions and landmarks, including the Garden of the Gods, a spectacular park filled with towering sandstone formations. Visitors can explore the park’s trails, go rock climbing, or simply enjoy a picnic amidst the stunning red rocks.

In addition to its natural beauty, Colorado Springs offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities. The city is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters, showcasing the region’s rich history and vibrant arts scene.

Colorado Springs is also known for its strong military presence. The United States Air Force Academy is located in the city, and the Peterson Air Force Base and Fort Carson are nearby. The city has a deep respect for its military community and regularly hosts events and celebrations to honor those who serve.

With its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and strong sense of community, Colorado Springs is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, this city is sure to captivate and inspire.

Aurora, Colorado

Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado, with a population of approximately 380,000 people. It is located just east of Denver and is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Aurora is known for its diverse population and vibrant cultural scene. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and theaters, as well as a wide range of restaurants and shops. The city also offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including numerous parks, golf courses, and hiking trails.

One of the main attractions in Aurora is the Stanley Marketplace, a former aviation manufacturing facility that has been transformed into a bustling marketplace with a variety of food and beverage options, shops, and live entertainment. Another popular destination is the Aurora Reservoir, a large body of water that offers boating, fishing, and swimming.

Aurora is also home to several notable medical facilities, including the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Children’s Hospital Colorado. The city has a strong healthcare industry and is a hub for medical research and innovation.

Population of Auror, Colorado
Year Population
2020 380,000
2010 325,078
2000 276,393
1990 222,103
1980 158,588

Aurora continues to experience steady population growth and economic development. The city offers a high quality of life and a range of opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture, outdoor recreation, or medical advancements, there’s something for everyone in Aurora, Colorado.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is a city located in Larimer County, Colorado. It is the fourth largest city in the state and is known for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and thriving craft beer scene.

The city is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, providing stunning views and numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor adventures. Horsetooth Mountain, located just west of Fort Collins, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, rock climbing, and boating on Horsetooth Reservoir.

Fort Collins is also home to Colorado State University, which adds a vibrant and youthful energy to the city. The university’s campus is located in the heart of Fort Collins and contributes to the city’s thriving art and music scene.

One of the standout features of Fort Collins is its craft beer culture. The city is often referred to as the “Napa Valley of beer” and is home to more than 20 craft breweries. Visitors can explore the numerous breweries on foot or by bike along the Fort Collins Ale Trail.

In addition to its outdoor activities and craft beer scene, Fort Collins offers a variety of cultural attractions and events. The city has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. It is also known for hosting the Colorado Brewers’ Festival, an annual event that celebrates the state’s craft brewing industry.

Overall, Fort Collins offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, and a lively beer scene, making it a must-visit destination in Colorado.

Lakewood, Colorado

Lakewood is a city located in the state of Colorado, United States. It is the fifth-largest city in Colorado, with a population of over 155,000 people. The city is known for its vibrant community and numerous recreational opportunities.

One of the highlights of Lakewood is its beautiful natural surroundings. The city is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, providing residents with easy access to stunning outdoor destinations like Red Rocks Park and Bear Creek Lake Park. These parks offer a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and picnicking.

Lakewood is also home to a number of cultural attractions. The Lakewood Cultural Center is a popular spot for art lovers, with its galleries, theaters, and performing arts spaces. The city also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing its diverse arts and culture scene.

In addition, Lakewood boasts a strong economy and a thriving business community. The city is home to many large corporations, including Lockheed Martin and Terumo BCT. It also has a variety of shopping and dining options, with several shopping centers and restaurants located throughout the city.

Overall, Lakewood offers its residents a high quality of life, with a combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and economic opportunities. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a business professional, Lakewood has something to offer.

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Abigail Lewis

Abigail Lewis, a valued Cancun resident since 2008, skillfully combines her extensive knowledge of the region with her travels across Mexico in her engaging TravelAsker pieces. An experienced traveler and dedicated mother, she brings the lively spirit of Mexico to her articles, featuring top family-friendly destinations, dining, resorts, and activities. Fluent in two languages, Abigail unveils Mexico's hidden gems, becoming your trustworthy travel companion in exploring the country.

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