Find Greeley, Colorado 49 miles north to northeast of Denver, placing it in an ideal range for those seeking a quick commute to the big city and a small-town environment. Greeley itself is also home to several large businesses, which provide ample employment opportunities in several industries.
A town on the rise, Greely's up-and-up economy placed it as the only Colorado city to make the national top 20 for fastest growing incomes. Hitting high on the rankings for projected growth, this town touts community achievements, whether in academia, non-profit activities or through the innovations of its residents, is what make it a great place to live.
Restaurants & Nightlife
In addition to restaurant chains commonly found in large and moderately sized cities, Greeley features a few specialty restaurants that stand out above the crowd. Locals enjoy a reasonable choice of cafes and restaurants in the downtown area, with other options dotted throughout the neighborhood.
Rumi's House of Kabob features a range of Middle Eastern cuisine designed to impress, ranging from hummus and Falafel starters to gyro sandwiches and Shirazi salad. The owner makes a point of visiting with patrons during their meals to ensure a delightful dining experience. The restaurant opens for lunch and dinner most days, though most Sundays see it reserved for private events.
For a more relaxed evening's entertainment designed to help patrons wind down after a day's hard labor, Cranford Cove Tea Tavern ranks as a popular destination with locals. The Tea Tavern serves up specialty teas, both alcoholic and premium, as well as small snacks fresh from next door at the Cafe Panache. With a warm, inviting atmosphere, this establishment hosts local musicians who provide entertainment, while a portion of profits go to a local non-profit.
With a flair of Italian style in a youthful setting, Roma's claims a festive space near the college campus for the University of Northern Colorado. The reasonably priced menu and excellent fare explain the restaurant's popularity with student neighbors. Choose from deluxe pizzas, calzones and classic pastas, or stick with simple sandwiches and salads.
As a small town, Greeley's nightlife features fewer options than found in nearby Denver. Greeley boasts a small number of bars, ranging from typical fare to a more exotic experience. For live jazz music and a relaxed atmosphere, try Kress Cinema and Lounge provides dinner and a movie all in one. Patrick's Irish Pub has 31 unique craft beers on tap and features a huge selection of whiskeys. The pub celebrates live music, hosting The Stubby Shillelaghs every Tuesday night and providing local musicians a chance to showcase their talents during Wednesday open mics. The only independent movie theater in town, Kress features unique cocktails and hors d'oeuvres delivered in an intimate setting.
History & Culture
Greeley was originally known as the Union Colony. It started out in 1869 as an experimental Utopian society, founded on the combined dreams of temperance, religion, agriculture, education and family values.
City founder, Nathan C. Meeker, was originally a reporter for the New York Tribune. Arriving in the area with fellow settlers Robert A. Cameron and H.T. West, he purchased a site for the city where the Cache la Poudre met the South Platte River. He then entreated his readers to join him in his dream of a Utopia in the West and chose 700 of the 3000 who responded to help found his colony. The Union Colony was later renamed Greeley in honor of Horace Greeley, Meeker’s editor at the New York Tribune, who was best known for the phrase, “Go West, young man.”
Greeley was largely built on the back of agriculture, but the city has also made a point of keeping up with the latest technologies. Greeley residents had telephones by 1883, electric lights by 1886 and automobiles by 1910. The Greeley radio station, KFKA, was one of the first radio stations to broadcast in the United States, first hitting the airwaves in 1922, and Greeley’s airport was constructed in 1928.
Today, cultural activities are available in abundance. There are movie theatres, a civic center that hosts shows throughout the year and a handful of venues for live music. For residents interested in creating artwork of their own, the Clay Center of Northern Colorado offers classes for beginners or advanced students. The Colorado Model Railroad Museum meanwhile features a critically acclaimed custom-built miniature railroad and other train exhibits.
Elsewhere in town, the Greeley History Museum provides an in-depth look at how the city came to be, a rich exploration of the city’s past, and insight into other historically significant landmarks for the city and its people. For a more hands-on experience, the Centennial Village has a 7-acre property with more than 24 historic structures sharing what life was like in the area over 100 years ago. The Centennial Village is open from May until September, as of 2014.
Handle transportation in Greeley with ease thanks to the clearly numbered streets. Public transportation is also available, as is personal taxi services. The Greeley-Evans Transit provides public transportation in the area, with residents able to access its bus routes through an application that works on most smart phones.
A handful of taxi services are also available, all of them conveniently located on the Greeley Chamber of Commerce website. All methods of transit in the city are made simple by a street-naming system that makes moving from place to place intuitive.
The cost of living in Greeley is marginally lower than the national average and significantly lower than the average for Colorado. But while necessities such as gas are cheaper than elsewhere, others, such as coffee, are more expensive. Rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment set you back between $650 and $800 per month. Compared to nearby Denver, living in Greeley is around 10 percent cheaper overall. Health care and services tend to be slightly more expensive, but housing and utilities err toward the lower prices.
Abundant shopping venues dot Greeley, with standard chain stores, such as Foot Locker and JC Penney, located in the Greeley Mall. Meanwhile, specialty shops and boutiques cater to specific needs throughout downtown Greeley, such as Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts for alternative health remedies and Doug’s Hang Up for custom framing.
As with most small cities, the downtown are is the heart of the community. Downtown Greeley continually works to rejuvenate the area with new businesses and updated storefronts. Regular events and open houses entice residents to visit the area, with live music and art or history shows to round them out.
Residents have several options for milk runs and grocery shopping, with the local Walmart providing a convenient go-to option and a Save-A-Lot located on 25th street. For all-natural goods, try Natural Grocers on 35th Avenue or Sprouts Farmers Market on West 29th Street. Greeley also hosts an annual Winter Farmer's Market from November through April, every other Saturday morning. Goods on show generally include fresh baked food, teas, seasonal produce, and local arts and crafts.
Greeley houses more than 40 park locations, ranging from scenic spots, wind-down locations and adventure areas for a weekend break. Most fall into the former category, with recreation opportunities including walking paths or sports fields and, in some cases, public fishing.
The two most popular park destinations include Island Grove, a 145-acre property that plays host to events throughout the year, both free and paid, and Aven's Village, a playground designed for children of all capabilities. The Poudre River Trail, on the other hand, provides residents with a 20-mile trail stretching from Island Grove Park to the county line and welcomes all non-motorized recreation.