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Ten most exciting Colorado communities according to Movoto

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What are the most exciting communities in Colorado? The folks at Movoto have compiled a list that's sure to invite debate among folks living in our fair state. There's a three-way tie for second, with at least one of the trio something of a surprise, and the choice for number one definitely won't be greeted with universal acceptance even though the data compilers say there was a considerable gap between it and the next highest finishers.

Count down the top ten below, complete with photos and excerpts from Movoto text. To check out the original post, click here.

Note: Here's the post's explanation of how the order of finish was determined:

We started with a list of all of the places in Colorado with populations of 20,000 people or more, which turned out to be a total of 26. Then, we used the 2010 U.S. Census, Areavibes, Yelp, and Sperling's Best Places to gather up the relevant data for eight different criteria:

• Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.) • Live music venues per capita • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.) • Arts and Entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.) • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better) • Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better) • Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better)

From there, we ranked each place from 1 to 26 in each category, with one being the best possible score. Then, we averaged the rankings for each place into one Big Deal Score, with the lowest score being the winner.

Number 10: Lafayette

Lafayette, is like the older, more mature, and yet still fun sibling to Boulder. Where Boulder is young and pretty much has a bar on every corner of Pearl Street, Lafayette is a little more low key, but still exciting in its own way....

Number 9: Greeley

Greeley may have been described as the town that is "The Exact Opposite of Hawaii" in a "South Park" episode (that one where Cartman and Kenny are placed in a foster home), but as our analysis shows, Greeley is way more exciting than that....

Continue to keep counting down the ten most exciting Colorado communities according to Movoto. Number 8: Colorado Springs

If you want a quick glimpse at what makes Colorado Springs so exciting, just Google "Colorado Springs." Your screen will quickly fill with a list of things to do there, from having your mind blown by the sheer beauty of Garden of the Gods, to hiking in Red Rock Canyon, to shooting your friend--with a laser gun, of course, at Battlefield Colorado....

Number 7: Wheat Ridge

Wheat Ridge also came in fifth for its number of nightlife options per capita, with places like Clancy's Irish Pub, Long Shots, Colorado Plus Brew Pub, and more. Sure, maybe only 22 percent of the population is between 18 and 34 here, but that certainly doesn't mean there isn't fun to be had. In fact, it may just mean a lack of people shouting "spring break!" before vomiting on the sidewalk. In our book, that's always a good thing....

Continue to keep counting down the ten most exciting Colorado communities according to Movoto. Number 6: Littleton

Whoever said that suburbs are boring clearly hasn't been to Littleton. Just outside of Denver, this city has the benefits of being close to the capital city, but with a distinctive charm that is purely its own....

Number 5: Grand Junction

Grand Junction is well known as a hub of entertainment, restaurants, and things to do in the area. Specifically, it ranked well for its nightlife and music venues per capita; places like the Ale House Brewery, Mesa Theater and Club, and, of course, the Country Jam Ranch.....

Continue to keep counting down the ten most exciting Colorado communities according to Movoto. Number 2 (tie): Englewood

Although Englewood has a slightly lower percentage of young folks than its neighbor and fellow second place city, it did rank better than 19 of the other places in our analysis, with a 27 percent of its population being between the ages of 18 and 34....

Number 2 (tie): Fort Collins

Apart from the steak skewers at Restaurant 415 (which, let's be honest, are pretty amazing), Fort Collins has plenty of other highly rated restaurants -- and a serious lack of fast food restaurants to offer its residents, ranking it No. 3 in both of these categories....

Continue to keep counting down the ten most exciting Colorado communities according to Movoto. Number 2 (tie): Denver

Denver, we'd love to tell you that Boulder just beat you by a hair, but the truth is Boulder won first place by almost four points, where the rest of our top 10 were only separated by two points at most....

Number 1: Boulder

Is anyone really surprised here? Boulder residents certainly shouldn't be. After all, Boulder is one of the most sought-after places to live in the country, let alone the state. It's home to Chautauqua Park, more outdoor activities than you could possibly do in a year and more restaurants than you could visit in 10....

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Top five happiness rankings of five major Colorado cities."

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