Moving to Lafayette, CO offers a blend of small-town charm and convenient access to urban amenities, making it an enticing destination for prospective residents. Lafayette is an excellent option for individuals seeking a rich, small-town lifestyle near cultural, educational, and outdoor activity centers.
It is about 10 miles east of Boulder and a quick 18 miles north of Denver. Nestled in Boulder County, Lafayette embraces a welcoming community spirit amidst its picturesque surroundings.
Here are eight things to know before moving to Lafayette, CO.
1. A cost of living index of 141
Lafayette has a cost of living index of 141, which is 41% higher than the national average. The median home price is $672,563. Living in Lafayette comes at quite a steep price.
The yearly cost of living for a single adult in Lafayette is $45,517, which is more than both the national average of $38,433 and the cost of living in Colorado of $40,026. This includes housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, and taxes.
2. Lafayette has a semi-arid climate
Lafayette enjoys a semi-arid climate, with over 300 days of sunshine per year. The weather is relatively mild, though it can change rapidly. Summers in Lafayette are hot and dry, with average highs in July reaching 87°F. Winters are cold and windy, with occasional snowstorms. January lows average around 18°F.
The city gets 17 inches of rainfall annually and 69 inches of snowfall per year. While the climate is generally comfortable, the low humidity means you’ll want to drink plenty of water. Having moisturizer and chapstick on hand helps too!
3. There are tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation
With the Flatirons mountain range to the west and the open Great Plains to the east, Lafayette offers fantastic access to outdoor recreation. Rock climbing is popular in the iconic Flatirons of Boulder and the nearby Boulder Canyon. Hiking and mountain biking trails wind through open space parks surrounding the city.
In town, residents enjoy community activities in places such as Thomas Open Space, Festival Plaza, and Waneka Lake Park. Lafayette also has a municipal golf course, tennis courts, and a skate park.
4. Check out Old Town Lafayette
Located in Old Town Lafayette, the downtown commercial corridor in Lafayette mostly follows Public Road and Simpson Street. The Public Road shopping district in Old Town Lafayette has a quaint, community vibe. Historic buildings from the late 1800s now house boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.
Don’t miss Lafayette’s annual Peach Festival in August, which celebrates the town’s peach-growing history with live music and food vendors. Old Town has activities year-round like concerts, art walks, and holiday events.
5. Convenient access to Boulder and other cities
Lafayette sits right off Highway 287, providing quick access to Interstate 25, Highway 36, and beyond. It’s an easy 20-minute commute to the amenities and attractions of downtown Boulder.
The university town of Boulder is great for dining, shopping, arts, and culture. It’s also a straight shot down Highway 36 to reach Denver in under an hour, and Denver International Airport in about 45 minutes. Lafayette’s convenient Front Range location puts the Rocky Mountains and the big city within reach.
6. A lot of people grow their own food
Gardening and farming are popular pastimes in Lafayette. The Lafayette Community Garden provides garden plots for residents to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The city allows backyard chicken hens with a permit, so fresh eggs are close at hand.
Lafayette’s semi-arid climate provides abundant sun but can require more irrigation for gardening. Locals have access to fertile soil and pure Rocky Mountain water.
7. Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, King Soopers, and Medtronic are some major Lafayette employers
Many residents commute to jobs in nearby Boulder or Denver. Within Lafayette, top employers include Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, King Soopers, Safeway, and Flatiron Construction. The city also has a growing tech and innovation sector, with companies like Solid Power and Medtronic operating here.
Job opportunities exist in healthcare, education, retail, service industries, manufacturing, and technology. The unemployment rate in Lafayette remains low at 3%, on par with Boulder County and below state and national levels.
8. The crime rate is lower than the national average
Lafayette boasts notably lower crime rates than the national average. With a violent crime rate of 11.4—over 50% below the US average of 22.7—and a property crime rate of 31.2—12% lower than the national average of 35.4—Lafayette stands out for its safety standards.
These statistics reflect the community’s low rate of crime compared to many other regions nationwide, fostering a sense of security among its residents.
To Sum it All Up
Moving to Lafayette, CO offers a blend of small-town charm within proximity to urban conveniences, appealing to those seeking a vibrant lifestyle near Boulder and Denver. This Boulder County gem offers a semi-arid climate with ample sunshine and diverse outdoor activities, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
However, the cost of living, notably higher than the national average, maybe a consideration for prospective residents. Yet, Lafayette’s rich history, thriving downtown scene, convenient access to neighboring cities, and lower-than-average crime rates contribute to its appeal, despite the higher living costs.