For small town life in the West, home buyers would do well to search in the town of Wellington, Colorado. Wellington is located in the northern center of the state, giving rise to the city's motto: Colorado's Northern Gateway. The motto was chosen after the city held a contest to determine what the city's new brand should be. It is the northernmost city on Interstate 25, leading into Wyoming.
Wellington is only ten miles away from Fort Collins and about an hour from Denver, which allows residents access to larger metropolitan areas while still being able to enjoy a small town lifestyle. Real estate in the area tends to appreciate in value, and the Wellington area was ranked #9 in a national survey of most secure places to live among mid-sized cities in 2011. The unemployment rate is low, currently at 4.4%, and jobs in the area are increasing. The town has three schools, which are part of the Poudre School District. The middle school has been a recipient of state and national awards, such as being named a National Green Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education and awarded the Colorado Environmental Leadership Bronze Medal Award in 2012.
For lovers of natural beauty, the area surrounding the town is dramatic, with wide open plains and the towering Rocky Mountains in the distance. In the ample space surrounding the town, residents partake in biking, hiking, and even stargazing at night skies unpolluted by excess light. The town itself is charming and quaint, especially its attractive downtown.
The town has an annual Fourth of July celebration, complete with pancake breakfast and car show. In 2000, attention was drawn to the town when woolly mammoth remains were found by construction workers and Colorado State University sent a team to excavate the bones.
Wellington is ideal for home buyers looking for small town life out west while still having access to larger metropolitan areas.