This master-planned community was first developed in 1981 and has since grown to over 105,000 people. Highlands Ranch offers a wide range of home styles, including single-family custom homes, condos, and apartments. Estates and larger, luxury homes are also present here, some on a significant amount of land. There's a vibrance here unlike other areas and a strong sense of community.
Though Highlands Ranch is a large community, it maintains its small-time charm. Highland Ranch isn't a low-key, boring destination but rather an active place to live with plenty to do throughout the year, including hikes into the Rock Mountain National Park. The atmosphere is engaging and empowering – residents are often helping each other and being neighborly. It's also home to numerous cultural and historic destinations, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Arts District.
When it comes to dining, Highlands Ranch has a number of notable eateries, including Smokin Fins, a fantastic location for sushi, seafood, and grilled veggies. It’s also home to a large selection of local beers and wins, creating the perfect night out on the town. For those looking for an elegant experience, Purgatory Cellars Winery is an exceptional place for finely crafted wines.
The area has a number of fantastic small businesses, local artisan shops, and retailers. Elevation Cycles is one of them, noted for offering mountain, road, and children’s bikes, perfect for exploring the area’s outdoors. Hunting Gear Outfitters is also the perfect destination for those getting ready to take on the outdoors. It has all of the gear and insight necessary for hunters, too.
The many outdoor activities keep residents busy most of the year. Yet, there’s so much to see and do within this area as it spans some 22,000 acres of land. The Highland Ranch Backcountry Wilderness Area offers 8,200 acres of conservation space and is a true treasure in the community. Members of the Highland Ranch Community Association can explore 26 miles of trails, engage in camping, be a part of one of the horse programs, or help support this thriving area. Yet another outdoor activity is to make the trek to Highlands Point. It’s the ideal place to catch the sunset over the sky and enjoy views as far away as Pikes Peak.
Highlands Ranch also is home to a number of fun activities. Some visitors may wish to check out Highlands Ranch Mansion in the Highlands Ranch Historic Park. It’s a stunning place perfect for weddings, special events, and self-guided tours.
The city is also home to numerous festivals throughout the year. In May, Taste of Highlands Ranch brings people together to enjoy the fine wines and foods of local artisans. For many, the Highlands Ranch Beer Festival in June is the highlight of the season – the craft brews here are some of the best around.
The Douglas County School District provides public school access to residents of Highlands Ranch, though some students also attend Littleton Public Schools. Some area schools include Bear Canyon Elementary School, Chesthill Middle School, and STEM School Highlands Ranch. Others include Thunder Ridge High School, Valor Christian High School, Cherry Hills Middle School, and Arma Dei Academy.
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