Moving to Arizona vs. Colorado
If the great outdoors are calling to you and you’re ready to pack up and head west, you might have your sights set on moving to Colorado or Arizona. Both states offer breathtaking views, hiking, biking, and camping to your heart’s content, and beautiful weather (at least some of the time.) But if you really want the nitty-gritty, these two states with so much to offer have plenty in common, but some not-so-small differences as well.
Differences between Living in Arizona vs Colorado
Population Demographic in AZ vs CO
While Arizona has for decades been considered to be a retirement state, there are certainly plenty of young people coming to The Grand Canyon State. Young singles, families starting out, and just about everything in between can be found throughout Arizona. This is an especially regional aspect of the state. Some neighborhoods are known to be family-friendly, while others offer more nightlife and adult-centric activities.
Colorado, on the other hand, is family-friendly to the max. This doesn’t mean there are not young people, there are plenty. But with so much to do in the great outdoors, families seem to flock to Colorado to raise their little ones and soak up the wide-open spaces. Even if you live in a more populated area, like Denver, you are still close to areas that many Americans can only dream of visiting. Cities with universities, like Boulder and Fort Collins, have a much greater young adult demographic.
Learn More: What is it like in Northern vs Southern Arizona?
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Tourism in Arizona & Tourism in Colorado
Both Arizona and Colorado are beautiful states that attract visitors from far and wide. In Arizona, even though there are plenty of year-round residents, there is obviously an influx of the “half of the year” residents retreating from snowy winters elsewhere in the country. This doesn’t just mean those with second homes, either. During the winter months tourism spikes in Arizona as people come to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, baseball spring training, and temperate weather while it is still bearable. As the spring creeps into summer, many of these outdoor activities will be accompanied by crippling heat.
Likewise, Colorado sees plenty of non-residents during the winter months. As one of North America’s premier skiing destinations, such as Breckenridge Ski Resort, the snow months are the money months for much of Colorado. Even Denver, which isn’t in itself a ski town destination, sees a boost in hotel bookings, car rentals, and even grocery sales as people come in via the Denver International Airport on their way to the front range resorts.
Sports in Arizona vs Sports in Colorado
A state is only as good as its pro sports, right? Well, hopefully not, because neither of these states have particularly good professional sports teams. There are good sports, and there are avid sports fans, but you don’t see home team support to rival sports towns like Chicago or Boston.
Speaking of big sports towns, you’ll quickly find in both cities that there is a significant amount of support for non-home teams. With so many transplants living in Denver and Phoenix, there are even sports bars that cater specifically to fans from other cities. It’s all in good fun, and after all, a little healthy competition is good for the game!
Learn More: Top Places to Visit in Arizona
Inflation between these two states
With growing populations in both Colorado and Arizona, home prices and cost of living have driven upward in recent years. Neither state is as expensive as coastal states, but buying a home in either is certainly not going to be as affordable as it might be in the Midwest. Of course, not every home is in Aspen, and not every home is in the middle of nowhere with a county road address. There are more expensive areas and less expensive areas, and for the most part, people find themselves somewhere in between. Big cities like Phoenix and Denver are on the upper end of cost of living. If you are willing to live a little further from the action, you can absolutely get a little bit more for your dollar and have a bit more room to yourself.
Arizona vs Colorado’s Bar and Nightlife Scene
Arizona and Colorado both attract a large population of young people, so with that usually comes plenty of places to drink and socialize. But while both areas offer plenty in that regard, it looks a bit different to each. Colorado is the Mecca of craft beers, home brewing, beer festivals, and going out to the bars in a fleece quarter-zip and beanie hat. If you move to Colorado ready to don your tallest spike heels or show off your expensive handbag, you’ll quickly find yourself a bit out of place.
Arizona, on the other hand, has a bit more to offer if you are looking for a more conventional club scene. It isn’t Los Angeles or Vegas, but it also isn’t drinking a Fat Tire right out of the bottle on an outdoor patio in the snow. Areas like Scottsdale are particularly well known for having plenty of fun and lively places for young singles to go out and about to drink and socialize. If you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, it can certainly be found in Arizona, there are just more options to choose from.
Nearby fun and adventures
There is so much more to Colorado and Arizona than just the big cities we know and love. Areas like Estes Park in Colorado, or Flagstaff in Arizona, are off the beaten path but well worth the extra effort to get to. If you think living in the desert means you will never see the beach, just a three-hour drive away is a Mexican beach oasis in Rocky Point, Mexico.
If you live in Northern Colorado, in an area like Fort Collins, you are only a few hours’ drive from Medicine Bow State Park in Wyoming, a stunning and unique natural wonderland. Yes, the hiking, dining, and nightlife are a bit more lively in the big cities, but if you are looking for more, both Colorado and Arizona have many tricks up their sleeve.
Moving to Arizona vs Colorado?
If you are thinking of calling Arizona your new home, reach out to me at AZLiveStlyes, I would love to help you find the perfect fit for you in the Phoenix Metro Area.
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Thank you for the great information. I am going through a divorce and I am planning on moving to Arizona. This article has great information thank you again
Hi Dawn. Sorry to hear about your situation and the late reply. I had another client who just recently went through a similar situation when moving from Denver as well. Not sure if you have made the move yet but would be happy to discuss with you if it is helpful? Feel free to reach out and we can walk through your needs. Thanks, Greg