8 Colorado Springs

PopulationMetro: 723,878
This outdoor kingdom now fuels adventurer appetites with one of the best small-city culinary scenes in the country.

Situated at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is a wonderland for those who love adventure, unsurprisingly ranking at #12 in our subcategory of Parks & Outdoors.

But after you’ve burned off calories hiking the Garden of the Gods or biking Cheyenne Mountain State Park, there is no better town in the country to refuel.

What used to be a chain-dominated restaurant-scape has pivoted dramatically with new arrivals and old networks. Today, the fare is increasingly raised and grown locally and the long-standing brewing tradition adopted by startups.

Place 48
Product 69
Programming 57
People 48
Prosperity 40
Promotion 74

Even the Springs in Colorado Springs are being marketed for their terroir. It all comes together during mornings at Ivywild School, a local community marketplace for groceries or coffee to go, and during evenings at new spots that seem to open monthly.

The city is also getting the word out about its rise, moving up seven spots to #4 in our Promotions category, including piquing plenty of interest with the most Google Searches among small cities in the country (other than Charleston) and #4 for both Facebook Check-ins and Instagram Hashtags.