Smack in the middle of the job-rich corridor between Denver and Boulder, Louisville has great weather, good schools, and the Rockies right out the back door. Louisville is tackling its growth challenges head-on, with improvements designed to accommodate an increasing population while preserving the open spaces that people love. Those include steps to ease traffic carrying workers to the tech companies along Highway 36, the main ­Boulder–Denver route, and adding more commuter buses to the two big cities. (There are employers in town too, including Sierra Nevada’s Space Systems unit and bike accessory maker Pearl ­Izumi’s U.S. headquarters.)
Louisville is also expanding its downtown district, building a mix of affordable housing and ­empty-nester condos while repurposing existing buildings. One highlight: the 110-year-old grain elevator at the heart of a new restaurant/retail center. –Vanessa Richardson

Population: 19,500
Highlights: Old Town, Main Street, outdoor dining, Farmer's Market, Coal Creek Golf Course, Coal Creek Trail, Summer Street Faire & outdoor concerts

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