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Discover the Charm of Arvada CO: Your Ultimate Guide to Living & Exploring

February 12, 2024

Curious about Arvada CO? Situated at the foot of the Rockies, Arvada seamlessly blends history and community with its vibrant city life and ample outdoor activities. Dive into our guide to uncover how this Colorado gem stands out with its small-town allure and big-city convenience.

Key Takeaways

  • Olde Town Arvada is the historic and lively center of the city, offering a variety of dining options, nightlife, coffee shops, and seasonal Farmers Markets contributing to a strong sense of community.
  • Arvada encourages an outdoor lifestyle with over 150 miles of trails for various activities and hosts historical significance as the site of the first major gold discovery in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Arvada provides diverse arts, culture, and educational opportunities through the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, quality local schools, and has a robust real estate market offering a range of housing options.

Experience Olde Town Arvada

Busy street in Olde Town Arvada with shops and restaurants

Known as the city’s heart, Olde Town Arvada is a bustling central hub where historic charm meets modern amenities. This bustling district is home to a variety of culinary experiences, including:

  • Authentic Italian cuisine at Mangiami
  • Savory Mexican dishes at Teocalli Cocina
  • Delightful bites at Lloyd’s Tasty Sandwiches
  • Delicious food and drinks at School House Kitchen and Libations

As the sun sets, Olde Town Arvada transforms into a hotspot for nightlife and craft beverages. From the thrilling atmosphere of action sports bars to the refined ambiance of wine cafes, Olde Town Arvada offers a wide range of nightlife experiences. And for those seeking a unique coffee experience or specialty snacks, spots like Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters and La Dolce Vita are just around the corner.

In the summer, the streets of Olde Town Arvada brim with life as vibrant colors and fresh produce mark the weekend Farmers Markets. These events not only provide a fresh shopping experience but also contribute to a community-oriented lifestyle that resonates with the residents living close to Olde Town Arvada.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

Scenic trail for hiking and biking in Arvada

With more than 150 miles of outdoor trails, Arvada provides a plethora of options for hiking, biking, and horseback riding for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. The city’s diverse trail system includes 20 walking trails, 15 running trails, and 12 specifically designated for hiking, ensuring that there’s a trail for every preference.

The scenic Walnut Creek Loop to Lindsey Ranch Loop traverses the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, offering refreshing grassland experiences, while the Ralston Creek Trail along Ralston Road offers a gentle, accessible path that’s perfect for an afternoon stroll or ride.

The Apex Recreation Center, a cutting-edge facility, enhances these outdoor recreational activities, underscoring Arvada’s dedication to fostering an active and healthy lifestyle for its residents.

Arvada’s Unique History

Historic gold mining site in Arvada, Colorado

Gold is deeply woven into Arvada’s history. It was here along Ralston Creek in 1850 that the first significant gold discovery in the Rocky Mountain region occurred, igniting the Colorado Gold Rush. This event brought about substantial changes to the region, both socially and environmentally, and led to the creation of nearby towns.

In a unique twist, Arvada also earned the title of the ‘Celery Capital of the World,’ thanks to its successful celery farming industry. This agricultural success brought prosperity to the town, contributing to its growth and development.

Arvada, located in Adams County, officially became a town on December 1, 1870, when Benjamin Franklin Wadsworth developed a plat for it, marking a significant milestone in its rich history.

Demographics and Lifestyle

Arvada, a vibrant city, has the following demographics:

  • Population density: 3,197.2 people per square mile
  • Population increase: 2.22% to 123,066 in 2021 compared to the previous year
  • Median age: 39.9 years
  • Average household size: three members

The City of Arvada, Colorado offers a predominantly suburban lifestyle, marked by a robust sense of community. It’s a city where neighbors know each other, families thrive, and community events are celebrated with enthusiasm.

With a rich history, a plethora of amenities, and a welcoming community, Arvada offers a lifestyle that appeals to families, young professionals, and retirees alike. It’s a city where the charm of the past meets the conveniences of the present, creating a unique living experience.

Education and Schools

The Jefferson County School District R-1 sets the educational landscape in Arvada with its 160 schools, serving around 80,099 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1.

The district has received the College Success Award for several consecutive years, reflecting its commitment to academic excellence. Proficiency rates of 53% in reading and 36% in math according to state test scores further highlight the quality of education provided by local schools.

In Arvada, 95.4% of persons aged 25 years and above are high school graduates or higher, with 47.6% holding a bachelor’s degree or more. These figures reflect the high-quality education provided by local schools and the city’s commitment to learning.

Real Estate and Housing Options

Diverse housing options in Arvada, CO

Offering a diverse array of living options, Arvada’s real estate market spans:

  • New build communities
  • Town center properties
  • West-side agricultural areas
  • Condo and townhome communities

The city’s new construction market is robust, with 502 communities from builders like Lennar, and homes catering to a variety of budgets, starting from $305,000 up to $3,300,000.

Homebuyers have the option to choose from 60 builders in Arvada, offering custom homes ranging from 790 to 5,196 square feet and featuring 1 to 7 bedrooms and 1 to 6 bathrooms. With 259 subdivisions, 591 move-in-ready homes, and 454 homes under construction, Arvada’s real estate market is continually growing to meet the needs of its residents.

The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Arvada from 2018 to 2022 was $553,000, with a homeownership rate of 74.9%, indicating a healthy real estate market for buyers.

In 2021, the median property value saw an increase to $456,200, a growth of 7.57% from the previous year.

Arts, Culture, and Events

Vibrant arts and cultural festival in Arvada, CO

As the city’s cultural pulse, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities hosts a variety of community-engaging events, exhibitions, and festivals for shared artistic experiences. Exhibitions at the Center range from student showcases to solo artist features, reflecting the wide range of talent and artistic diversity within Arvada.

Interactive arts events, concerts, and family-friendly theater productions further enhance the city’s cultural landscape, providing opportunities for residents and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the arts and co-create memorable experiences, especially during October. In addition, the city offers a variety of shops for leisurely exploration.

Arvada’s commitment to fostering arts and culture is evident in its vibrant festivals and events, which are supported by the Arvada Festivals Commission. The Arvada Arts and Culture Commission, created by the City Council in 2016, plays an instrumental role in promoting the arts through strategic planning and building relationships with local artists and cultural organizations.

Transportation and Connectivity

A network of major highways, including:

  • Interstate 25
  • Interstate 270
  • U.S. Highway 36
  • U.S. Highway 287
  • Interstate 76

ensure easy and convenient travel within and beyond Arvada. The Amtrak California Zephyr offers daily service through Arvada, with stops at the nearby Denver Union Station, while the Regional Transportation District (RTD) commuter rail G line provides reliable transit options within the Denver-Arvada metropolitan area.

The city’s air travel needs are served by the Denver International Airport and the conveniently located Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, ensuring that residents and visitors have access to a range of flight options. Moreover, local public transit is well-supported by numerous bus routes, providing additional options for commuting within the city.

Arvada’s commitment to sustainable transport is evidenced by its designation as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. This recognition underscores the city’s efforts to promote bike-friendly infrastructure and policies, making it an ideal place for those who prefer to travel on two wheels.

Notable Residents and Sister Cities

Arvada has been the residence of numerous nationally and internationally recognized individuals over the years. Among them are:

  • Taylor Marie Hill, known for her international modeling career
  • Clive Cussler, acclaimed adventure novelist
  • Karl Rove, a prominent political consultant and former Senior Advisor to the President of the United States.

Beyond its notable residents, Arvada has established international connections through its sister city program. This initiative fosters cultural exchange and mutual understanding, strengthening Arvada’s global ties.

Currently, Arvada maintains sister city relationships with Jinzhou in China and Kyzylorda in Kazakhstan, reflecting its commitment to fostering international relationships and promoting cultural awareness among its residents.


Arvada, with its rich history, diverse amenities, and strong sense of community, truly embodies the spirit of Colorado. Whether it’s the charm of Olde Town, the thrill of outdoor adventures, the excellence of its schools, or the vibrancy of its arts and culture scene, Arvada offers something for everyone.

This city, once a crucial part of the Colorado Gold Rush, is now a thriving community that seamlessly blends the past, present, and future. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Arvada invites you to discover its charm, explore its trails, and become a part of its vibrant community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Arvada Colorado famous for?

Arvada, Colorado, is famous for its rich history dating back to before Colorado’s statehood, including being the site of the first discovery of gold that started the Gold Rush in the West, as well as for its role in the development of the Colorado Central Railroad and as an agricultural hub for celery.

Where is Arvada in relation to Denver?

Arvada is a northwest suburb of Denver, located about 7 miles from the Colorado State Capitol. This makes it a close and accessible neighborhood to Denver.

Is Arvada Colorado expensive?

Yes, Arvada, Colorado is considered to be one of the more expensive cities in the US, with a median home price of $640,000 and a cost of housing estimated to be 128.8% of the national average.

Is Arvada a good place to live?

Arvada is a strikingly beautiful city nestled between Boulder and the Rocky Mountains, offering access to some of the country’s best outdoor activities and an unparalleled standard of living just a short drive from Denver. With a population of 123,066, it is considered one of the best places to live in Colorado, offering a dense suburban feel and a lot of parks.

What is Olde Town Arvada known for?

Olde Town Arvada is known for its vibrant atmosphere, featuring a variety of shops, galleries, eateries, and a bustling nightlife, as well as hosting weekend Farmers Markets during the summer.

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