Boulder, Colorado named Happiest City in the US.

Via elephant journal
on Feb 24, 2010
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boulder best city rankings well-being usa today colorado

Yes! Woohoo! I’m psyched!

That’s just what I, as a citizen of Boulder, Colorado, say when waking up each morning.

As for this latest honor, I can practically guarantee it won’t even make water cooler talk at offices around Boulder. Why?

bob carmichael photography

Photo link to Bob Carmichael’s work here.

Because, of course, we already knew Boulder was a pretty special place to get to live. Many of us have tried to leave, go to hip NYC or happening LA…but we’re sucked back. Probably ’cause of Niwot’s Curse—the kindest curse ever laid at the feet of man.

boulder, colorado anniversary 150 best city cities USA

Boulder is, as a City, young: we just turned 150. But our mountains and the air and the trees are ancient; they are our gods, our Empire State Building, our history.

And, besides, here in Boulder, we win so many goshdarned polls each year: best place to live, best place to bike, best small city for singles, smartest city, fittest city, best real estate market in the country, best place to raise kids, Brett Greene’s favorite place to live, healthiest city, greenest, best place to be a runner, best place to retire, geekiest place to get rich, best arts culture (?!), greenest university, number one party college, gay-friendly, best best farmers’ market (for more lists, click here for an “official” list)…that, like the blissed-out lucky-and-don’t-we-know-it brats we are, we don’t even pay any attention (we’re too busy sipping maté and tapping away at our MacBooks while arguing about Gladwell or Pollan‘s latest piece at our favorite local indie café, then cycling off to yoga class).

I myself grew up here in Boulder, left when I as 13, visited every summer just about, and finally got sucked back in 10 years ago, when I was 25. While I’m not at all sure that I’ll live here forever, I’m acting like I am: I bought an overpriced lovely old Victorian (or, rather, the bank did), and green renovated it, I got a pooch (33% of Boulder households have a dog!), and work hard at getting friends to move here. I nearly ran for Boulder City Council last year, before realizing my time would be better spent trying to pay for my mortgage. That said, there’s more to Boulder than our gorgeous natural setting—the people here have, since back when it was a cowtown, cared about development and protecting our environment. That’s what made this place special, and not just another suburb. and that’s what keeps it special: our green-minded civic and business leaders.

I love the place.

boulder best city cities tech

Via Huffington Post:

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index was compiled based on interviews with more than 350,000 Americans, USA Today reports. The “life evaluation” for each city consisted of job opportunities, personal finances, physical health, moods, emotions, and communities.

Via USA Today (click for link and index to other cities)

happiest city usa today boulder


From my friend The Duzer:


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31 Responses to “Boulder, Colorado named Happiest City in the US.”

  1. Claire says:

    I mean, i love boulder and the arts culture is great but it aint the best.
    theres afew runner ups- the bigger ones like san fran, chicago and perhaps ny.
    just saying

  2. I lived in #10 Oxnard/Ventura up through 2nd grade. Does that count?

  3. They're not measuring best—they asked 350,000 folks about happiest. Kind of a key difference. While SF and NYC and LA and Portland may be hard to beat…maybe they don't have the 300 days of sunshine, cafes, skiing, running, cycling, small town / safety vibe.

  4. OMG my mom on my web site, first comment ever!

    Amen. Love Halifax—the history, the kind people, the shops and cafes and parks…though seems like crap weather and lots of drugs and poverty. Still, overall, it's where I'd want to move when am old and my children have left me and all I want to do is drink tea and stare out at the ocean.

    PS: last I checked, it's not in the US. If this were Happiest in North America, Halifax woulda cleaned up!

  5. We need to cafe it up, been tooooo long!

  6. We need to get you and yours here in Boulder!

  7. Boulderite says:

    Chicago? That dysfunctional mess? I suffered through years in that evil, self-aggrandizing city. San Francisco has culture in spades and the California vibe, New York is… well, New York — the capital of commerce for the western world and the gateway to America. We don't disagree there. But Chicago is an armpit.

  8. dks says:

    Happiness or somnambulism? I ask you.
    I lived there 22 years but managed to escape Boulder where god realm minor annoyances are regarded as hell realm nightmares.
    Making a go of it in Chicago, developing a taste for reality.
    I get back to Boulder every couple of years. It's very pleasant indeed.
    Not good training ground though for the rigors of the rest of the world, or the bardo.
    But, congratulations! 😉

  9. We're not warm, outgoing, I agree. But everyone's genuinely nice—the other week someone was rude to me, I got all hurt…after three hours of licking my wounds I remembered living in Boston (which I love) and how folks were rude every day, all the time. It's par for the course in a big city. Here, it's the norm to be decent.

    nice, yes. but generally ass-h*lish in my opinion. even me. isn't everyone out here an east coast transplant anyway? I'm a surly new yorker. the longer I live here the more I act up. just sayin…

    Yeah, I tend to think that all the naysayers have never lived in the Northeast. Compared to people in the NY metro area or Boston, Boulder folks are a DREAM! (And I can say that, because I grew up in Fairfield County, CT and now live in Boston, having spent some time in Boulder in between)

    I've honestly never understood the bad rap that some … See Morepeople give Boulderites. In Boulder, I would say hi to strangers and 8 out of 10 would say hi back. In the Northeast, 8 out of 10 just look right past you and don't say anything. (Sorry Northeasterners — you're just tough to get to know!)

    yeah — so what

    I'm a northeasterner, lived in Virginia for more than 1/2 my life. I find New Yorkers very nice. They're just abrupt. They don't have time to jerk around. I find some southerners nice to your face but nasty behind your back. Boulder people (I only really know one) are friendly and it's such a nice city. I would never live there though because it's too far from the ocean. Otherwise, I could see being very happy there.

    What's the big deal about strangers on the street saying "hi" anyway?

    I don't know what it is about saying hi to strangers — I just think it's a courtesy and makes my day generally brighter. I don't mean if you're in a crowd of people (that could take a while ;-), but if you and I were walking by each other on a trail or an otherwise empty sidewalk, I would say hi! 🙂 (And I've lived in the Northeast for most of my 34 years)

    I mean, I say "hi" to people I pass everyday. Some say it back some don't. I'm not crushed if they don't. Mostly, Phillip Morris employees I pass on the street don't say "hi". They're too busy thinking about new ways to kill all of us.

    Waylon Lewis
    For you, Aunty Liz, we'll dig a big hole and make an ocean.

  10. via

    Valerie Holmes
    I just knew there was a reason I wanted to move there…packin' my bags… 😉

    Roger Wolsey
    but then again… if everyone moves here… we may not continue to be so happy.

    Valerie Holmes
    ok…I'll unpack my bags… *sigh* … 😉

    Is that true, or is the oxygen thinner?

    Roger Wolsey
    yes, and yes.

    Waylon Lewis
    Come, Valerie!

    Waylon Lewis
    Plus, as Westword pointed out, we're all high here, so rarely anything but happy.

    Spenser Villwock
    That makes me happy!

    Bryan Bowen
    we're also just a bit smug…
    …but I do think folks are pretty satisfied with the life they have chosen and generally try to be kind to one another.

  11. swati jr* says:

    trust me, reality is in boulder. it's tough here. only the strong survive.

  12. swati jr* says:

    i have lived so many places. they all make me appreciate boulder even more. i have lived in communities that are more committed to spirituality and because of that, i find boulder an excellent balance. i suppose it's all relative. for me there are only a couple other parts of the country i could live in (the NW, VT or MT) and yet, boulder now has a big piece of my heart and always will. it's tough to make it in a town of such elitists, but that should only make you stronger, right? jobs though boulder, jobs, that has been a toughie…….

  13. Bill Schwartz says:

    I shall see you on Twitter, at noon (usually awake by then) and half of Boulder baked with the time change. Waylon and I have been trading barbs on our favorite topic via email. My inspiration, some snide Boulder-ini dharma comment jockey brat about my beloved home Chicago. Bite me, Boulder Buddhists. He likes to egg me on, just like my son, with his New Orleans. Like licking honey from the edge of a blade; "Samsara sucks even it you enjoy it" title for next Elephantjournal article; as suggested by Waylon. Not bad for a kid from the 11th nicest suburb of Chicago I fly over whenever visiting friends on the West coast.

    In the words of the Scottish American Poet @craigyferg from the shores of" lake Oprah" Bite me Boulder! With live, Bill Schwartz.

    P.S. Waylon what is that stink I smell upstairs every Friday afternoon? A little too much yogurt and granola (or not enough tequila and hot strippers)?

    Only your lama knows.

    (Why are the tormas on the shrine shaking? as Lama Collen emerges from retreat and has a few words for me from New York to give me a vajra rapping across my knuckles at my off color humor

  14. My mama is a lama. I'm not kidding.

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  29. Anna says:

    my partner and I are in love with Boulder. My dream is to move to Boulder, teach yoga, hike, bike and be a part of the community. Hopefully, soon.

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