Colorado vs. North Carolina
@easymoneyme is considering moving to Colorado or North Carolina. I've lived in both, albeit a long time ago.
About 30 years ago, I lived for a year in Englewood, CO. About 20 years ago, I lived for a year in Durham, NC. I'm sure things have changed since then!
But here are my observations about each place, given what I know.
1. If you're into outdoor sports, go to Colorado!
The whole culture there seemed to be centered around outdoor sports. I'd go mountain biking or hiking every weekend. After school, the kids would all drop their backpacks and play football. Lots of runners and climbers.
2. If you're a foodie, go to North Carolina!
Lots of amazing and diverse restaurant options, from what I've seen in the Research Triangle of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. I've had many an amazing meal in North Carolina.
3. Colorado has extreme weather
Overall, the weather is nice, but when you do get weather events, they tend to be extreme. Sizzling hot and dry summers broken up by massive thunderstorms with damaging hail. Harsh winters with below-zero temperatures and white-out blizzards.
4. North Carolina has a lot of bugs
I hate bugs. North Carolina has ticks, spiders, cockroaches, mosquitos, swarms of gnats, you name it.
5. Colorado has mountains and prairies
When you vacation, are you a mountain person or a beach person?
6. North Carolina has forests and beaches
I ask again, are you a mountain person or a beach person?
7. Colorado is in the West, North Carolina is in the East
Obvious, yes, but something to consider if you like taking road trips. Do you prefer to explore the West? Or do you prefer to explore the eastern US?
8. Colorado is a mile high, North Carolina is practically at sea level
Nosebleeds were common for me when I lived in Colorado. I've heard of people fainting at the airport when they arrive in Colorado. The air is noticeably thinner and drier up there. North Carolina is at sea level and the air can feel muggy and heavy in the summer.
9. Quality of Life Index
One site I like to look at is Numbeo. In particular, check out their Quality of Life Index scores for the cities you're considering. The site also has many other ratings if certain numbers are more important to you (such as cost of living).
10. If it were me, which would I choose?
Colorado. I enjoyed living in both places, but of all the states I've lived in so far, I tend to put Colorado at #1. (I've lived in 8 states, and visited about 36) I think it was the overall vibe in Colorado that I liked the best. The vibe (at least 30 years ago) was so energetic, vibrant, and positive.