My DH works in Pueblo, but we live in the Springs. I visited Pueblo when we were considering whether to take the job, and I didn't care for it. Quite a bit of the city consists of run-down neighborhoods of tiny houses. Overall there is an "aging industrial city" kind of vibe. Parts of downtown are nice, and there are a few nice residential neighborhoods. I don't know much about the schools. There is also the option of living in Pueblo West, which is where we would live if we didn't live in the Springs. Homes in Pueblo West are built on large lots (like several acres is typical) so it is easy to have livestock there and do some homesteading if that's something that interests you.
For us, the arrangement of living in Colorado Springs works well. Yes, it is a more conservative city than Boulder or Denver. But there's a really nice crunchy mom community here. There is a free public Montessori charter school, and some folks are working on starting a Waldorf charter school as well. The downtown is nice, the library system is great, and there are many, many places right in town for outdoor activities (much more so than in Pueblo, I believe). We have several gigantic parks with hiking/biking trails and places where you can do rock climbing. And there is at least one pediatric practice here in town where they will not bat an eye at delayed/selective vaxing. My DH's commute to work is about 45 minutes, but it's an easy commute straight down I-25. There are definitely a few little towns south of the Springs where one could live to make the commute shorter but still be close to the good stuff in the Springs, too.
Unfortunately, we wouldn't really have much choice about where we live, and Colorado Springs definitely isn't an option. We would have to live in Pueblo if he got (and took) the job, and since I don't really know the area I'm not sure if it's west or downtown or what.
So are there any mamas in the area who can tell me more about it?
I have lived in or around Pueblo my entire life, so I can probably tell you whatever you need to know. Depending on where you are in the city it can look like a city of run down and tiny houses but that is the farthest from the truth. Do you know what company he is interviewing with? I can let you know what part of the city that it would be in. The east side of Pueblo is horrible, I try as hard as I can to NEVER go over the bridges to the east side, I also stay out of the west side if possible, but the north side is beautiful and so is the south side, the far south side is full of small houses, but they were built for the steel workers that ran the mill. This is an industrial town, we have never been anything but a working class town. On the far North side there are million dollar homes, and on the far south side there are million dollar houses. Mesa Junction area is right next to down town and has huge lots, and lots of parks, a library, lots of little stores and is within walking distance of all the down town shops and the River walk. There is a lot of recreational opportunities here, we have the Reservoir, the river trail, the river walk, a short drive of 20-30 min to the south or west and you are in the mountain communities of Beulah, or Colorado City, Rye and San Isabel, there is plenty of fishing and hiking in all of these areas. Beulah does a Yule Log festival every Christmas season. There is also the Chile Festival in September in Downtown Pueblo every fall. To the east of the city there are lots of small farms and ranches where you can buy your food directly from the farmers. I personally do not like Pueblo West at all, I went to school there when they first built the high school and they have a lot of drainage issues when it rains hard, and not many of the lots are big anymore, its filling up with apartment buildings and duplexes. I would much prefer living in the mesa junction area of Pueblo or out east in the farmland (which I do, we have 45 acres out east of the city about 20 miles). We do not have a Whole Foods but we do have a few small family owned health food stores, Vitamin Cottage is the main one. The city schools are horrible, I hate to say it but I have never been fond of anything they do, they are so backwards on spending they are closing schools so that the administrators can keep getting fat paychecks while the kids suffer. The county school district is much better, not perfect, but better than the city schools. As for doctors, I have had good and bad run ins with them, Colorado has good exemption laws, you can chose medical, religious or personal. I was a home birth transfer into a hospital and the on call Dr. was going to still let my midwife do the delivery in the hospital but I ended up with a c-section in the end. My husband is from Florida and I asked him what the one thing he would tell someone about pueblo if they considered moving here, he says Green Chile and Fair food. Pueblo hosts the Colorado State Fair every year and its slightly expensive if you buy stuff, but to just go and hang out its not bad and has a lot of free shows, lots of farm animals for the kids to see. Also its still close enough to go to Denver for a day trip, I have never been to boulder so I don't know about that, and if you ski you can be at Monarch Mountain in Salida in 2 hours. Hope this helps, let me know if you need any more info.
Thank you so much for your response, it's very helpful and makes me think Pueblo may not be the right place for us. Good schools are really high priority for me. Where we live now, we're zoned for top-notch schools all the way through high school. And since we don't have to move, we both have good jobs here, I don't see why we would move for a situation that's not as good.
I can't tell you which company my husband is interviewing with because he's in a confidential search process, but I can tell you we'd be in the area near Mineral Palace Park, which looks to me to be just north of downtown, is that right?
We currently live about 6 miles from his work, and we're done with this whole car commuting thing. Previously we lived both within less than a mile and a half of our workplaces, and commuted by bike, we're looking for that lifestyle again. We want to walk or bike mostly and have just 1 car. If my husband worked more than 10 minutes from where we lived (as he does now), we'd hardly get to see him. My kids cry at night because they want daddy to be home for dinner and bedtime, which he could do if he could pop home for an hour between meetings, but when it takes half an hour to go back and forth, he can't. So I don't really have options when thinking about where we would live.