Castle Rock, Colorado
Named after a boulder situated at the city's southern border, Castle Rock is a municipality located about halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs, making it convenient for families and young professionals who want access to bigger cities along with the perks of a smaller community.
The area saw an impressive 26.8% job growth between 2010 and 2018, and is projected to rise still further (an additional 6.6%) by 2023. Surrounded by stunning national forests and near national parks like Rocky Mountain National Park, there are plenty of ways to get outside. The Ridgeline Trail is a great option for hiking and mountain biking, and the Miller Activity Complex is a top-rated rec center with batting cages, indoor pools, a jungle gym for kids, and a running track.
The downtown alliance hosts a variety of events for residents in the charming downtown area, such as free concerts, movie nights, car shows, as well as a food and beer festival. An ice skating rink in an open-air pavilion, situated just beneath the namesake rock, is open every winter from November to February. With its one-hour proximity to Denver, there's no shortage of job opportunities while living in a safe and relatively affordable neighborhood. — Chloe Wilt