The second most populous city in the state, Colorado Springs, CO is home to five military installations, a number of higher learning opportunities, and plenty of outdoor activities. At nearly 195 square miles, the city is the most extensive municipality in Colorado and the seat of El Paso County. It sits a mile above sea level, along Fountain Creek and at the base of the picturesque Pikes Peak.
The military installations of Colorado Springs include Fort Carson Army base, the United States Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and NORAD/ Cheyenne Mountain Air Station. Those installations, and the defense industry in general, are among the top employers in the city, with tourism and the technology also accounting for a high number of area jobs.
In addition to the Air Force Academy, higher education institutions in Colorado Springs include the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, Colorado Christian University, Colorado Technical University, IntelliTec, Pikes Peak Community College, Regis University, and more. Colorado Springs is also home to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame, and the headquarters of Focus on the Family.
The U.S. Olympic Training Center brings about 140,000 visitors to the city each year. Public tours are offered year round of the weightlifting and wrestling facilities, the aquatics center, and the Sports Center gymnasiums. The USA swimming and USA shooting teams are headquartered at the complex, as is the U.S. Olympic Committee.
A common feature of listings for Colorado Springs, CO apartments is their accessibility to the area's military bases. Those listed as being close to the Air Force Academy will be located in the northern section of town, while those listed as close to Fort Carson will be found in the southern side of the city.
The Broodmoor area is considered one of the most desirable locations in Colorado Springs and the area with the lowest crime rate. This neighborhood is accessible to the city's southern military bases, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and a number of hiking opportunities.
The Downtown area, established in 1871, supports a unique feel. Amenities abound in this area, including nightlife and special attractions. Colorado College students often live in the downtown neighborhoods, which feature grand Victorian houses, Spanish style bungalows, and highrise apartments. It's the place to go for convenient, urban-style living that comes with the benefits of outdoor adventures at nearby Pikes Peak and the National Forest.
The Briargate and Rockrimmon neighborhoods are upscale locations in the northwest part of the city, near the Air Force Academy. Both of these neighborhoods are in the well regarded Academy School District 20 and feature family friendly homes and apartments, a sense of community, plenty of local parks and hiking trails, as well as a number of dining and shopping options, including the Chapel Hills Mall.
The Security, Widefield, and Fountain areas are in the southern part of the city, near Fort Carson as well as Peterson and Shriever Air Force Bases. These areas are also popular with those looking for an easy commute to the nearby city of Pueblo. The area offers numerous shopping and dining opportunities and price-friendly housing.
The Powers neighborhoods, named for the well-traveled Powers Boulevard in eastern Colorado Springs, is an area that has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Large houses, newer apartment complexes, and dining and shopping opportunities including popular chain stores and restaurants make this a popular place to live. The area also provides convenient commutes to all of the military bases, colleges, and other sections of Colorado Springs.
For those seeking a country lifestyle close to the city, the Black Forest neighborhood, in northeastern El Paso County, is a popular choice. Located among towering Ponderosa pines, the area offers more acreage and a small town feel with a reasonable commute to the bustle of the city. Though it suffered a devastating wildfire in 2013, the Black Forest is making a comeback and remains a popular place for those who want to get away from the traffic.