We recently noted that the Washington Post listed an astonishing sixteen Colorado counties among America's 100 best for climate and scenery.
The state made an equally impressive showing in Livability's Top 100 Best Places to Live ranking, predated to 2016.
The bad news: No Colorado cities made the second half of the list, from 51 to 100. And Denver didn't make the cut.
The good news: Seven appear among the first fifty. Actually, the first 44 — nearly 16 percent of the total for that portion of the list. And the winners are heavily weighted in favor of the letter "L."
Below, count down Colorado's top seven, featuring photos, Livability text and where each place fell among all cities. To see the original post, click here.
Number 7: Lafayette, Colorado
In recent years, Lafayette has experienced a rejuvenation of key commercial spaces that provide residents with more shopping and dining opportunities. Located in the rolling hills of the Front Range, Lafayette is just a short drive from both Denver and Boulder. Quality health-care facilities, varied housing options, and a politically and socially active population make Lafayette a great place to live. Residents have access to miles of trails and 19 parks.
Overall ranking: Number 44
Number 6: Loveland, Colorado
What’s not to love about Loveland? Sorry, couldn’t resist. But all kidding aside, this city - at the base of the Rocky Mountains - provides residents with quality health care, a strong economy and lots of things to do. Residents and visitors enjoy touring breweries, going on hikes, playing in the nearby lakes and checking out Loveland’s authentic arts community.
Overall ranking: Number 41
Number 5: Lakewood, Colorado
When they’re not admiring amazing views of the Rocky Mountains, residents of Lakewood enjoy a growing assortment of shops and restaurants, which is a result of the city’s strong economy. Among the largest employers in Lakewood is the Denver Federal Center, which has more than 7,000 workers. Lakewood schools perform well, and the city hosts Colorado Christian University. Outdoor attractions like the 2,600-acre Bear Creek Lake Park are easily accessible. See where Lakewood ranked on the 2014 Top 100 Best Places to Live.
Overall ranking: Number 26
Number 4: Littleton, Colorado
It seems like there’s always something going on in Littleton, a southern suburb of Denver. Nearly each week, residents can choose between art walks, concerts and festivals, including Western Welcome Week, an annual event that began in the late 1920s. A quaint downtown filled with shops and restaurants is surrounded by trails that lead to neighborhood parks, lakes, and the South Platte River.
Overall ranking: Number 24