Moving to Erie: 8 Things to Know About Living in Erie CO [2023]

Moving to Erie, CO Living Guide

Erie, Colorado, nestled against the picturesque backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, is a wonderful and rapidly growing community that's waiting to be discovered. As more individuals seek out idyllic towns with a mix of nature and urban conveniences, Erie—widely considered one of the best places to live near Boulder—emerges as a top choice for many. 

Located less than 30 miles north of the city of Denver, Erie has been undergoing rapid expansion since the turn of the century. This article dives into the myriad of reasons that make Erie a desirable location, shedding light on its distinct characteristics and offerings.

10 Reasons to Move to Erie

  • Close to Denver and Boulder
  • Excellent Value for Homes
  • Access to Nature and the Rocky Mountains
  • Pleasant Weather
  • Strong Local Economy
  • Convenient to Interstate 25
  • Community Amenities and Events
  • Quality Local Schools
  • Downtown Erie Shopping and Dining Options
  • Nearby Golf Courses

Cost of Living in Erie 

There's a lot to love about living in Erie and the broader Denver-Boulder metro area. However, these benefits come at a price: a somewhat elevated cost of living. This is almost entirely a result of housing prices in the area, which are higher than the state and the nation due to Erie's high-quality and relatively new homes. Erie is, however, significantly cheaper than Denver to live in, and compared to the cost of living in Boulder, it’s downright affordable. 

Detached single-family homes make up the vast majority of Erie housing, and they can be found from the mid-$400s. Homes in Erie are all relatively new construction, and there are more homes being added every month. While most of the houses sell for less than $900,000, the beautiful luxury homes in Erie list from $1 million to $2.5-plus million.

Erie’s condos list from the $300s to the mid-$400s. Rentals—about evenly split between homes and apartments—can be found from around $1,700 per month for one-bedroom apartments to the $4,000-$5,000 range for larger three to five-bedroom homes.

Meanwhile, other expenses like utilities and the cost of food and restaurants are comparable to most other parts of Colorado and the United States. Healthcare spending in the area is below the national average, similar to Colorado's statewide level. Gas prices are also typically lower than statewide averages and comparable to the national average. 

Erie Job Market

Job Market in Erie

The job market for Erie residents is strong, resulting from both employers and industries within the town and the proximity to nearby cities. Unemployment is typically low overall, less than the national rate and comparable to Colorado's statewide percentage. Employers in the Weld County portion of Erie must pay the statewide minimum wage of $13.65 per hour, while businesses in Boulder County will pay a higher rate of $15.69 starting in 2024. 

Magnum Plastics and Safeway are among the community's most significant single job creators. The town of Erie itself is also an important local employer, hiring a noteworthy number of residents for local services and administration as the population has grown fivefold in the last two decades. In addition, local school systems like St. Vrain Valley Schools and the Boulder Valley School District provide many educational and administration jobs.

Many Erie residents commute daily to a larger, more diverse economy in Boulder or Denver. Boulder and Denver offer a wide selection of jobs in tech, healthcare, education, energy, retail, and tourism/hospitality. Both have grown rapidly in recent years and are likely to see continued job growth. 

Popular Industries in the Area

Erie remains primarily a bedroom community for the larger cities nearby. The largest industries in town include professional, scientific, and technical services, along with healthcare and social assistance, followed closely by education. 

Erie also has a smaller but notable manufacturing sector and employment in retail, food service, and construction—all of which have benefitted from the area's population boom. The Erie area's highest-paying jobs are in information, trade, manufacturing, and professional/administrative services. Tourism and hospitality are among the area's fastest-growing industries. 

More information about finding a job in Erie:

Things to Do in Erie

Activities & Entertainment in Erie

No matter what future residents enjoy doing, there are likely options in Erie or close by, ranging from enjoying the great outdoors to dining at delicious local restaurants. It's also vital to remember that the incredible diversity of things to do in Boulder and Denver are just a quick drive away, putting two of Colorado's best cities at residents' fingertips. 

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor fun is one of the top benefits of Erie and other Front Range communities. More than a dozen parks and green spaces are around town, including Erie Community Park, which offers walking trails, sports fields, a skate park, and more. 

Meanwhile, top regional options are just a short drive away, from hiking in the Boulder Flatirons to fishing and boating at Union Reservoir in Longmont. Golfers will also love hitting the links at Colorado National Golf Club—located in Erie but considered one of the best golf courses near Longmont—a championship 18-hole course with practice areas and an on-site restaurant. 

Numerous local farms like Lil' Buckaroos showcase the area's agricultural heritage and offer regular events and opportunities to explore. Even four-legged residents can have fun outdoors at spots like The Boneyard at Reliance Park and the Great Bark Dog Park in nearby Lafayette. 

Local Attractions

Various museums and cultural options are available in the area, particularly in Boulder, but with can’t-miss events like the annual Erie Hot Air Balloon Festival, there’s no need to leave town for some local fun. Some attractions in nearby Boulder include the University of Colorado's Fiske Planetarium and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. 

One of the best-known and most unusual local attractions is Erie's annual Biscuit Day in September. The festival offers live music, street vendors, historic photos, and, of course, delicious biscuit-heavy food. Finally, car lovers can catch a race at Colorado National Speedway, just a short distance away. 

Restaurants & Nightlife

Foodies and those who enjoy a good cocktail won't struggle to find great spots in Erie. Many are located along Briggs Street in Erie's downtown district, providing a walkable area popular with residents and visitors. 

  • 24 Carrot Bistro: Among the most beloved of these options, serving upscale New American cuisine
  • The Old Mine: Serves pizza and hard cider made in-house
  • Industrial Revolution Brewing Company: Another top local beer maker 

Meanwhile, coffee aficionados will love Fox Dog Coffee's high-end beans and carefully crafted drinks. 

Erie Climate 

Erie has a climate typical of its location at the transition between the prairies to the east and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains to the west. The year begins with the coldest temperatures through January and February, where highs rarely top the mid-40s and lows dip into the teens. This is also the heart of the snowiest time of year, which stretches from November through March, a period that sees an average of two to three inches per month. 

Temperatures rise from the high 50s to the low 70s from March through May, eventually peaking in June, July, and August, when highs hit the mid-to-high 80s. However, nights can still be cool, with summer lows in the 50s. 

Summer is also Erie's wettest season, averaging a week or more of rainy days per month. However, with rare exceptions, humidity is still typically low. Overall, late June through mid-August generally provides the year's best weather. 

Temperatures quickly fall from around 80 in mid-September to the mid-60s a month later, with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 50s from November onward. It's vital to remember Erie sits above 5,000 feet in elevation, leading to greater variations between daytime and nighttime temperatures and an elevated level of UV exposure when outdoors. 

Traffic in Erie

Erie offers an excellent location for getting around, situated between several major roads and highways. These include Interstate 25 to the east, US Route 287 to the west, County Road 52/Mineral Road to the north, and Baseline Road/Highway 7 to the south.

In addition, the Northwest Parkway is only a short drive away, making it easy to navigate the entirety of the Denver metro area. Typical drive times are about 30 minutes to the heart of Denver or about 25 minutes to central Boulder without backups or accidents. Ordinary delays can increase these commutes by as much as double. 

However, a wide selection of local roads provides backups when major routes in Erie are congested. Traffic follows common patterns with heavier flows into the cities during the morning rush hour and correspondingly heavy volume heading out in the afternoon.

Within Erie, residents can reach most destinations in easy drives of 10 minutes or less, making it far preferable to driving in Boulder. Parking is generally easy, as most homes have driveways, and businesses offer parking lots. Street parking is also available in many areas. 

Erie Public Transportation

Those looking to travel around the Erie area have a few different options. Regional bus service is provided by the Regional Transportation District (RTD). This allows Erie residents to travel to the city of Lafayette and the greater Denver area easily—and to access Boulder’s public transportation. RTD also provides paratransit service through its Access-a-Ride program. 

Ridesharing services like Uber operate in the general Erie area, though residents will likely see fewer drivers than denser areas like Boulder and Denver. Prices can vary based on demand, time of day, distance, and other factors. 

The community's proximity to big cities and other popular suburbs means residents may find carpooling options through websites and apps or their social networks. Erie also offers a Municipal Airport with a paved concrete runway. 

Schools in Erie

Schools & Education in Erie

Students of all ages and levels will find plentiful, high-quality options in and around Erie. As the town includes two counties, it's also split between two school districts, St. Vrain Valley School District—which is headquartered in the nearby Longmont community—and the Boulder Valley School District. Both are consistently among the state's top public school systems.

Kids from kindergarten through high school may attend one of more than two dozen schooling options between the two districts. There are a handful of private educational opportunities in the Erie area, including religiously affiliated and Montessori schools. 

While Erie isn't home to any colleges or universities, top choices are available within a short drive. These include the University of Colorado Boulder and Denver campuses, the University of Denver, the Colorado School of Mines, and more. Several community colleges offer two-year degrees and certificates, including Front Range Community College and the Community College of Denver. 

Is the Erie Lifestyle Right for You?

Making the decision to move is never simple, but Erie consistently proves itself as a place that captures the heart. With its blend of scenic beauty and modern amenities, Erie invites newcomers to find their own space amidst its vast landscapes and welcoming community. Whether it's the mountain views or the town's intrinsic charm, there's no doubt that Erie stands out as a place worth calling home.

Ready to call Erie home? Contact Boulder Home Source with RE/MAX Alliance at (303) 543-5720 to get in touch with Erie real estate agents who can help you discover your next home.

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