You’re in one of two camps: you’ve either said it, or you’ve heard it: “Ohhhh, you’re from Greeley?”
Whichever camp you’re in, it’s either made you feel offended, like “why do you say it like it’s a bad thing?” Or it’s made you create a snap judgment about that person that probably wasn’t very favorable, am I right?
Well, enough’s enough, people! Greeley’s got it going on, and I’m here to shed a little light!
I’ve lived in Greeley almost my entire life. And before you go all, “well you can’t have an unbiased opinion” hear me out, okay?
When I was in high school, I would have been voted “Most Likely to Leave Greeley and NEVER Return.” I said “I hate Greeley!” more times than I can count. And yet, God has a funny way of working.
I found myself two years into college in Boulder, quite miserable, and returning to the motherland to finish school at the University of Northern Colorado. I reconnected with a childhood crush—a Greeley boy—and we kind of haven’t stopped hanging out for 12 years now.
Early in our relationship my hubby and I talked of moving away to Denver, Fort Collins, or even out of state. See, we are lovers of food and good drinks, and back in the day Greeley was known for serving up big box restaurants and $5 pitchers down at Bears. But with four parental units—we both have divorced parents—all right in town, and the idea of a family in our crosshairs, having lots of love and support for our family felt quite appealing.
We had two options: We could put down roots and help make Greeley the kind of city where we WANTED to live. Or we could move away from all support, and try to find our place in a city that already had a lot going on. You already know which we chose.
We put down roots in Greeley and have become the biggest fan girl and boy for anything that reinforces “THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS TOWN!” And now I want to share some of those things with you so you can either feel greater pride in this amazing city, or so you’ll bop over from your home town in Northern Colorado to check us out.
Sound good? Let’s do this!
Greeley Has Amazing Restaurants
Hands down, Gourmet Grub is Greeley’s best kept secret! Though based on the wait we experienced on a recent Saturday night, the secret is getting out. They do a monthly wine dinner that includes a five course dinner, paired with wines, that is out of this world! I would argue no one in Northern Colorado is doing food better than Chef Justin at the moment.
Love a good bakery? ME TOO! Le Petite French Bakery near the UNC campus is Out. Of. This. World! Our entire family has come to love our weekend outings for fresh warm croissants. The Chef also does special orders around the holidays, so if you want some amazing brioche buns that you don’t have to make yourself, give him a ring.
Sucker for Mexican food? We’ve more than got you covered! El Cielo is one of our favorites! Cancun Mexican Grill has one of my favorite margaritas—repasado + a little Cointreau+ fresh lime juice = delicious! Want the hottest green chili of your life? El Charro has ghost pepper green chili that will ruin your insides. Hankering for some fresh tortillas? You MUST visit Cazadores.
Keep reading, because this is only the tip of the iceberg, folks! I’ll come back to food…I always come back to food.
Greeley Has a FANTASTIC School District
Now if you’re a local to Greeley, you might be reading thinking “wait, what?” But if that’s the case, you haven’t been tuned into the school district for the past 5 years.
I’ll confess our school district used to be the laughing stock of Northern Colorado. When our oldest was born in 2012 there was NO WAY we were sending her to public school. Our administrators got a reputation for paying themselves big salaries and misusing taxpayer dollars. But enter our current Superintendent Doctor Deirdre Pilch mid 2015 and we’ve got a whole new ballgame.
Girlfriend has vision in a big bad way. Her passion? Innovation!
So much so that the districts current initiative and focus is “Innovation2020.” Priority number 1? Providing a personalized learning experience for all students. Ever felt like you struggled in school because they tried to fit you into a box? Yep! Those days are over friends. And Greeley is leading the way.
Some of our shining stars?
These kids can put on a show! If you’re ever looking to feel inspired that the arts are alive and well in our children, check out one of their plays!
They believe in creating a learning environment that nurtures the student while also preparing them for the world of tomorrow. A school encouraging positive self-esteem, problem solving, and creative thinking? SIGN ME UP!
Want your kids to be inspired learners? To love going to school each day? It’s not something of your dreams, it actually exists at this school. The collaborators (NOT teachers) believe that kids are natural born learners and curriculum should be created to encourage children to explore and create.
I mean, you guys, these schools are just some of the front running indicators of what is to come for School District 6! And it creates a really natural segue into my next point…
Greeley Has Great Real Estate Prices
We can all agree that Colorado real estate is INSANE right now. But in terms of Northern Colorado, Greeley will get you the biggest bang for your buck these days.
Whether you’re looking for some historic charm in the Glenmere and Cranford neighborhoods, or prefer a new build out west, we have some of the most affordable real estate prices in the area. Plus, if you want in on that amazing school district I just gloated about, you’re gonna need to put down roots, friend! I might even have a great real estate agent I can recommend to you *wink, wink*.
It wasn’t long ago that our downtown area was a desolate ghost town. Those days are long gone, friends! I’m just going to start listing things off here, because Greeley’s downtown is on fire!
Weldwerks Brewing Company—arguably one of the top breweries in the country right now, if you love beer, you’ll love this place!
Aunt Helen’s Coffee—Aunt Helen’s a snarky ol’ gal, but she’s got coffee, kombucha, and healthy grabs on the go. She’ll grow on you in a matter of seconds.
Blush Boutique—Adorable clothes and home goods, plus the sweetest owner on the planet, Mrs. Emilie Casseday. She’s also one of our amazing contributors. How she does it all is beyond me!
Warm Hugs —One of the OG’s of the downtown revival. If you’re looking for a gift for someone you love, look no further.
Tower 56 — My craft cocktail lovers heart is oh so happy! This place whips up a killer bevy and sells their spirits too.
The Kress Cinema & Lounge —Looking for that indie flick they were talking about on the Oscars? You found it here! Toss in killer craft cocktail and local jazz jam sessions and you get a best day ever! BONUS TIP: Go to the basement and flip on the light switch. A little secret you’ll thank me for!
The Mad Cow —Thursday night is smoked prime rib night. You won’t be sorry! And the clam chowder is delicious!
Greeley’s downtown is happening! And if you’re looking for something to do on those summer Friday nights, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) puts on a weekly “Friday Fest” with go cups, music, and plenty of fun for the entire family.
Should I go on? Well I certainly could (and if you want me to, make sure you tell us in the comments!) but statistics show our attention span is that of a goldfish, so you’re probably feeling like “let’s wrap this up, lady!”
If you live here, I hope you have a new sense of pride in this town you call home. If you’re not from here, I hope you’ll come on over and give this not so “cow town” a chance with a new set of eyes.
I can tell you, this community is ripe for growth! So if you’ve got a great idea, and the ambition to execute it well, Greeley as the “biggest small town” in Northern Colorado, will be behind you in a big bad way! People like me are just waiting to cheer you on.
Bottom line: Greeley’s got it going on, folks! And the next time you meet one of us try this on for size: “Oh! You’re from Greeley! I’ve read great things on Northern Colorado Moms Blog.”
P.S. I know I missed a ton of great places in Greeley, so share your favorites in the comments! We love hearing from you!