For anyone who can appreciate Colorado already, Denver is an ideal home base. You get all the amenities from living in a city with plenty of snow-capped peaks to ski down just up the road. A veritable paradise for those who cherish the outdoors, this stunning city is quite a looker thanks to its surroundings. More than its natural beauty, though, Denver is a place where things happen.
As it continues to grow, Denver attracts all kinds of people ready to delve into the area’s strong economy. Is it the right place for you? Here are a few reasons to move to Denver.
1. The cost of living isn’t all bad
As the area continues to grow and develop, putting it in high demand, the cost of living in Denver has risen. It’s an expensive city by some standards, but you’ll also still find certain things that are more budget-friendly. And, although the overall cost of living is high, both food and utility prices hit below the national average. Not only that, but rent prices are actually decreasing when it comes to an average two-bedroom apartment.
What this means is that, even though you may end up paying a little more in rent than you’re used to, there are ways to cut costs and save money to level out your budget and live comfortably in Denver. A definite reason to move to Denver.
2. Every community has character
Overall, Denver is a young and hip place, and once you drill down to the neighborhood level, you’ll discover a varied group of unique communities. From the landscape to the people, every spot in Denver brings something special to the mix, making it hard to narrow down which neighborhoods are actually the best.
A few neighborhoods to consider are:
- Capitol Hill — this densely-packed community is a favorite for Denver newbies and has an eclectic mix of residents. It’s also cool to live in the center of Colorado’s capital city.
- Sloan Lake — a perfect community for nature lovers, the city’s largest lake makes up a portion of this neighborhood.
- Five Points — a historic neighborhood, that’s also close to the city center. Here you’ll find great breweries and a thriving arts scene. The community also housed the city’s jazz scene for most of the 20th century.
- University — if you want to live close to the University of Denver, here’s where you should go. Whether studying or working nearby, this area is full of shops, restaurants and bars.
There’s also Downtown Denver to consider, which itself is one large community that’s sometimes broken up into smaller sections. You may gravitate toward the Central Business District with its high-rise apartments, or lean into Lower Downtown, affectionally called LoDo, where you’ll find all the business folk after hours out for a good time.
3. The job market is growing
As the city grows, so does the job market in Denver. Opportunities are branching out into new industries, while established companies like Google and HomeAdvisor provide consistent jobs.
Denver is a popular spot for tech startups, wine and craft beer businesses and even the aerospace industry. You can also find a thriving hospitality industry here along with businesses focused on food and agriculture.
The median household income in Denver is $72,661, which is nice to see, given the higher rents and the cost of an annual ski lift pass. Income like this also demonstrates the health of the job market and the potential for job stability.
4. You can ski whenever you want
Calling all ski bums! There’s something special about living in a city where a perfect mountain is less than two hours away. A big reason to move to Denver is that it gives you snow-capped mountains you can see from your apartment window.
Fabulous ski resorts are so close you could hit the slopes every weekend, living out your skier fantasy every Saturday and Sunday.
Some popular, nearby resorts include Echo Mountain Resort, south of Idaho Springs, and the more extreme Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which is perfect for more experienced skiers.
Further out, you’ll find the popular towns/ski resorts of Breckenridge and Vail. Each is less than two hours from Denver.
5. Water sports are popular here, too
Denver may have plenty of mountains to provide hours of outdoor activity, but it’s not your only option. White water rafting is pretty popular throughout the area in the warmer months, and there are some serious rivers to go down.
Fly fishing is also popular throughout Denver and nearby cities. Within the city limits, you have access to the Dream Stream, a stretch of the South Platte River that’s known for epic fishing.
White water rafting locations close to Denver include Clear Creek, Fraser River and Blue River, all less than two hours away.
6. There’s more than the run-of-the-mill museums
For those who want a hefty dose of culture in their home city, Denver does it up a little differently. Yes, you’ll find a fantastic collection of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, and a family-friendly experience waiting at the Denver Nature and Science Museum, but there’s more.
If you want to immerse yourself in modern culture, and have an experience like no other, get tickets for Meow Wolf Denver. Also known as Convergence Station, this art museum is one of three unique experiences you can have in the U.S. The other two Meow Wolf museums, in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, combine with the Denver installation to tell a creative story through art about the merging of our world with another. You can see the museums in order — Santa Fe first, then Las Vegas and Denver — to get a complete story, but the Denver Meow Wolf definitely stands alone.
7. There’s a legendary music venue in your backyard
A geological phenomenon in its own right, Red Rocks Amphitheater is a music venue unlike any other. Set in Red Rocks Park, you’re surrounded by some 738 acres of deer, pines and prairie. The views are spectacular, and the music is even better.
Red Rocks is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. It has played host to thousands of concerts and events in the more than 80 years of its existence. Musical icons like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews Band have performed in this rocky location, and the annual concert lineup each year is worth checking out.
8. Sun even when it snows
What often surprises those new to Denver the most is the weather. It then quickly becomes one of the many reasons to move to Denver. Denver sees over 300 days of sunshine per year, and the city itself gets only 8-15 inches of annual precipitation. Low humidity makes the warm temperatures more bearable, and winters don’t often reach freezing temperatures.
Even when snow does fall, it doesn’t stay on the ground long, thanks to that powerful sun.
9. A night sky you can’t look away from
Nighttime in Denver is a sight to behold. The sky is crystal clear, especially if you drive a little way out of the city, and stargazing is intense. You can see the whole arc of the Milky Way in the right spot, in addition to shooting stars, meteor showers and maybe even a UFO.
Gazing up into the night sky is just one way you can connect with nature here, and it’s pretty amazing.
10. Bike your way around town
Although you’ll want a car to explore the areas around Denver, while you’re in the city, take advantage of the fact that it’s a highly walkable and bike-friendly place. Denver has a walk score of 71 and a bike score of 78.
The downtown area is especially friendly to pedestrians, and the city boasts a wide variety of bike paths. There are also 196 miles of on-street bike lanes.
The most popular bike trails are in Cherry Creek and along the South Platte River. These two bike arteries follow Denver’s major waterways and connect right downtown. You also never have to fight for road space with cars.
Not having to drive everywhere can help you save some money, and keep you in great shape — a win-win.
11. Cannabis isn’t a crime
Cannabis in Colorado is more than just a legal recreational activity. In Denver, it’s also a great business venture. Recreational use became legal in 2012, and since then, green medical crosses light up city streets, pointing you to available dispensaries.
If you’re interested in getting into the marijuana business, watch out for some competition. There are already some 200 dispensaries in Denver. Even if you can’t start from scratch, though, there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved in the industry.
As a consumer, legally, you’re able to have one ounce of marijuana at a time, and kept within a sealed container when in your car.
12. Sports to cater to any fan
Being such a big city, Denver is also home to plenty of professional sports teams. No matter what’s your favorite, you can most likely find a home team to cheer on.
- For football lovers, there’s the Denver Broncos
- Basketball fans have the Denver Nuggets
- The Colorado Rockies play baseball right in Downtown Denver
You can also cheer on three-time Stanley Cup winners, the Colorado Avalanche, the local NHL team.
13. Craft beer is everywhere
Beer is big in Denver and the city has one of the largest craft beer scenes in the country. So, if you like to try a new tap every night, it’s possible. There are some 150 craft breweries within Denver’s city limits, and just about every type of beer has a local brand.
To expose yourself to the local beer scene, though, you can take a beer tour to go to a tasting as you acclimate to living in Denver. Find your favorites and always know where you want to go for a cold one.
14. Food represents
There’s a lot of food synonymous with Denver, and a lot of it plays into the fact that the city is a cultural melting pot when it comes to cuisine. Some local favorites include anything with green chilies, as well as smothered burritos, bison and elk and the Denver omelet. You may be tempted to try Rocky Mountain Oysters, but make sure you know what you’re eating before you dig in (it’s not oysters!)
Overall, the city is full of food from barbecue to Mexican, Asian to seafood and steakhouses to Ethiopian. You can easily satisfy any craving.
15. It’s a beautiful place to live
With the Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, all the positives of living in Denver are even better with the surrounding natural beauty. Among all the reasons to move to Denver, getting to live somewhere that every day shows you the majesty of nature is pretty fantastic.
Living here gives you more than 200 mountain peaks within range without binoculars and more than 100 panoramic miles of natural excellence. Not only can you easily get out in nature when living in Denver, but you’ll find plenty of nature in the background of your everyday errands and daily commute.
Making the Mile High City home
Locals already have a ton of reasons to move to Denver they’re willing to share with outsiders, but what’s going to convince you? Once you know all the insider secrets, and make your own list of positives, will it be the weather, the city, the skiing or something else that drives you to call Denver home? You’ll have a hard time narrowing down your list. This city truly has so much going for it.