7.1 out of 10

Denver

Ranked 10th best city in Colorado
39.70464711161 -104.972486586753
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Safe & Sound
  • Eating Out
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • Childcare
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Apr 29, 2016

"Skiing, Shopping, and Beer"

I have been to Denver the past several winters to go on ski trips to the surrounding resorts. To start with, dont plan a trip during the holidays because you will spend half of it in traffic trying to get to the resorts. I generally like to take a long weekend (not on any holiday) and fly here for 3 days of skiing.

Ive tried quite a few of the ski resorts within 2 hours of Denver and my current favorite is Breckenridge. You have to rent a car to get there, and make sure you get one with all wheel drive or snow tires if the forecast is stormy. I like Breckenridge because the village is very pleasant and the skiing has great expert options. A tip: because lift tickets are so expensive in this part of Colorado, its worth getting a season pass that will allow you to access several mountains (or just your favorite one) if you plan to go more than 4 or 5 days during the season. Tickets at Breckenridge cost $149 at the window, but you can get an early bird season pass with unlimited access to Breckenridge and limited access to a handful of other resorts for $609.

When it comes to Denver itself, I quite enjoy the shopping scene there.

If I have a few hours before or after a flight, I generally head first to Larimer Square. There are quite a few little boutiques here, but my favorites are Blue Ruby and Hailee Grace. Plus, I always make sure to stop by Dog Savvy Boutique to pick up a treat to bring home for my dog.

From Larimer Square if you have more time, you can walk to 16th Street Mall, which really isnt a mall as youd imagine, but an outdoor pedestrian shopping area. There are too many fun stores here to name, but its worth an afternoon of walking and shopping as well, followed by a nice meal.

The other thing worth mentioning is the craft brewing scene in Denver. Since I live in Seattle, I am already spoiled when it comes to craft beers, but Denver has a large variety as well. Every year when I go back it seems like there are 10 new brewpubs popping up. I quite like Ratio Beerworks (which often has live music, and is good for groups). Cerebral Brewing also has excellent beer, though its a bit out of the way. Really, any good restaurant or brewpub in Denver should have a great selection of beers. Thats one thing thats nice about this cityyou dont have to worry about choosing a nice meal and when you go to pair it with a beer, finding that only Bud and Coors are available.

Since Ive only been a regular visitor to Denver and have never lived there, I cant add much more yet. That being said, based on what Ive seen I would definitely consider living here if it was an option.
Pros
  • Great shopping
  • Many ski resorts to choose from
  • Craft beer
  • Close to the mountains
Cons
  • Traffic in and around the city for miles/hours
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Mar 27, 2016

"A city in the great outdoors"

I once read a funny article that described cities as though they were people. Denver was a fit couple dressed head to toe in REI outdoor gear while talking about their latest backpacking trip and drinking a craft beer. Obviously this is a stereotype, but you will see lots of people that fit this description in Denver!

Denver is Colorado’s capitol, largest city, and business center. Because it is one of the biggest cities in this part of the country, there is a lot of commerce and travel that comes through.

Denver has a thriving and growing Hispanic population, with 25% of residents speaking Spanish at home. The city overall is relatively white (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic), though it has slowly been diversifying with time.

THE CITY
People who haven’t been to Denver imagine it being tucked away deep in the mountains. But in reality, it’s next to the Rockies, on the east side of the range, on relatively flat land. But don’t be fooled—that doesn’t mean it’s low elevation. It’s still one mile above sea level.

When people ask you where you live in town, you’ll often simply hear north, south, east, or west. Though of course Denver does have specific neighborhoods like Cheery Creek, Stapleton, and Capitol Hill, each of which has it’s own vibe.

Downtown Denver has changed a lot in the past decade. Parts of it used to be filled with old abandoned buildings and dilapidated streets. The city has really invested in renovating it, and now downtown is quite pleasant, with a decent nightlife and shopping scene. I especially like how they’ve refurbished some of the older buildings with classic architecture.

Traffic is as worse than you'd imagine for a city Denver's size, unfortunately. Even getting to the nearby ski resorts and campgrounds on weekends can be super frustrating in recent years, often taking twice as long as it should.

NEIGHBORS
Nearby Boulder, just northwest of the city, is sometimes considered Denver’s younger, hipper cousin, home to the very large University of Colorado Boulder, which has more than 30,000 students. Comparatively, University of Colorado Denver has 18,000 students. Aurora, just east of Denver, is where the tragic movie theater shooting occurred in 2012, killing 12 and injuring 70.

SKIING & SNOWBOARDING
Unsurprisingly, winter sports is something that Denver, and Colorado overall, is most famous for. There are 21 ski resorts in the state, with quite a few close enough for a day trip from Denver. Being in the Rockies, weather can change quickly, and in the winter it often comes with LOTS of snow.

Echo Mountain is the local Denver mountain, about 30-45 minutes away. Loveland is another locals mountain, about an hour away. The next farthest are Winter Park, Granby Ranch, and Eldora. After these, you’ll probably want to spend the night and make a weekend out of it, because the drive will be pretty long.

Keep in mind that Colorado ski resorts are *very* high elevation. So most people coming from sea level will need time to acclimate. But this also means that you can often ski from October through May! The other thing to keep in mind is that some of the big ones (Vail, Aspen) cater to the wealthy, almost exclusively. Hotels, restaurants, and ski tickets all have a premium here. If you want something more affordable, but still with excellent skiing and nice dry snow, try the smaller ones closer to Denver or head south to southwest Colorado.

OTHER OUTDOOR RECREATION
Being right next to the Rockies, there is so much to do outside. This is definitely one of the main reasons that people move to Denver. Besides your typical city parks, right at the edge of town you have the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, which has some beautiful hiking. Within an hour or two drive you can be in a huge variety of protected land, including Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Pike National forest, Arapaho National Forest, Roosevelt National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, to name a few. The farther out you get, the less and less tourists you’ll see, especially if you stay away from the ones right off I-70.

Overall, Denver is the one of the best places in the country for people who prioritize city life but still value access to the outdoors. But for those who are looking first and foremost for access to nature, there are dozens of better places to live in Colorado where you are closer to less crowded outdoor rec areas.

SUBSTANCES
Denver, and Colorado in general, is known for having a great craft beer scene. There are dozens of brewpubs producing creative and delicious microbrews all over the city. My favorites are Vine Street Pub and Brewery, and the riverside Denver Beer Co (the best porter!).

Colorado, alongside Washington State, is a living social experiment with the recent legalization of mar*juana. Though medical mar*juana had been legal for quite awhile, recreational use was only legalized about 2 or 3 years ago. So far it’s been a tourist draw for Denver, and lots of pot shops have opened up throughout the city. Locals have mixed feelings about it—some love it, others are annoyed with all the shops, and with people getting high and endangering others by driving or skiing.

ECONOMY
There are a few big players in the economy here. Transportation, in particular air travel, is a big one. The Denver airport is extremely busy, being a regional hub, and there is also an Air Force base south of the city. The economy also depends on heavy industry, particularly in oil and minerals. Tourism is of course vital to the economy, and the city is also a minor tech hub for the region—though nothing like San Francisco or Seattle. The biggest employers are the government and the aforementioned University of Colorado

SEASONS
Denver has four very distinct seasons. The most beautiful though, just may be autumn, because of the Aspen trees. Winters are cold and snowy yet sunny, and summers are hot and dry.
Pros
  • Close to the mountains
  • Good sports
Cons
  • Traffic in and around the city for miles/hours
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Denver - A little metropolis with a big heart"

Denver is a city rich in history. This small isolated town began to change in the 1870s when the railroad put a stop here. From the 1870s to the 1880s the population grew with numbers reaching over 106,000. From that boom until today, there have been many things to see and do. The popular LoDo (lower downtown) district is known for lofts, bars & restaurants, nightclubs, museums, shopping, and the Colorado Rockies. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone to do here.

Denver, also known as the Mile Hi City, has one of the healthiest populations in the nation. With the Rocky Mountains just over an hour away there are things to do such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and rock climbing. Within the city there are also numerous things to do. Denver has 850 miles of biking paths, 62 golf courses, and jogging paths in just about every neighborhood.

Denver is a city that takes it professional sports seriously. There's major league hockey, baseball, basketball, football, soccer and two lacrosse teams. Many of these teams play at the Pepsi Center, while the Denver Broncos play at Mile Hi @ Sports Authority Field and the Colorado Rockies in LoDo at Coors Field. Denver fans take their professional sports seriously and you can see the love for these teams throughout the city. From bumper stickers to flags waving, there is no shortage of fans.

The Denver Botanic Gardens have been around since 1951 and were initially built to bring beauty to the city. The gardens encompass over 23 acres and have plants from all around the world, with over 15,000 different kinds. In addition to the gardens there are numerous classes offered here, such as Kundalini Yoga, drawing, painting, cooking, and gardening.

Between LoDo, the Golden Triangle, Berkeley, and Santa Fe neighborhoods there are 60 art galleries, bars, restaurants, and shops. These businesses offer a "First Friday Art Walk" with a shuttle going every 20 minutes, taking you to your next destination.

Since Denver is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains it sits in a bit of a bowl like area. Due to this there can be a lot of smog which is easily visible from further away in the metro area. But when the smog is gone, there are incredible views, especially from the Anschutz balcony located at the Museum of Nature and Science. This museum also houses some incredible exhibits like: Gems & Minerals with beautiful gems found in the area as well as from all over the world, Egyptian mummies and all sorts of artifacts relating to ancient Egypt, Prehistoric Journey with many real dinosaur bones that have been found, many in Colorado, and even wildlife dioramas from all over the world, and a great interactive Space area where anyone can learn and discover in this hands on environment. This is a great museum for young and old alike.

The traffic in Denver is just as bad as any large city, but Denver has the advantage of great public transportation. The RTD buses are frequent and travel throughout the city and outlying areas, while the train in Denver goes back and forth frequently. Denver is also a major stop for the light rail, which is also getting ready to be expanded in the coming years to go from Downtown Denver to Denver International Airport, which is located far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The airport itself is the 11th busiest in the world. It sits on over 54 square miles and although it isn't in the heart of the city it has brought much needed income to the state as a whole. There are over 30,000 people working at DIA in many capacities. Since it is a hub for many airlines, you can usually find cheap flights to just about anywhere in the States.

What started out as a small mining town has grown into a good sized city that offers residents sports, arts & leisure, entertainment, and a beautiful city to call home.
Pros
  • Cheap flights anywhere in the country
  • Close to the mountains
  • Good sports
  • bike paths
  • skate parks
Cons
  • smog
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Denver is a gateway to the mountains not a destination of its own"

Denver is a funny city, I have lived just 25 miles away for almost 20 years and still do not think of it as my city. It is pretty chill there as far as cities go and the parks, skate parks, museums and bike paths are unique. I would say that the most fun I have had in Denver is near Wash Park. However, there is kind of a dull energy about the city especially along Colfax that stretches through the city and also along and around the many interstates. As you go east toward Aurora it gets especially depressing. The actual downtown has some pretty skyscrapers but it does not seem like Colorado nor does it have vibrancy like other big cities like San Francisco (but San Fran is hard to beat). It also doesn't have the unique character of other cities, Denver is kind of a hodge podge land of in between, literally it is a jumping off point past and present to the Rocky Mountain west, an old trading post rather than a destination.

The city is somewhat liberal I guess I'd say, but its hard to say. Beer, especially microbrews are appreciated in Denver, as well as enthusiasm for outdoor sports and skiing. But it is surprising that a lot of people from Denver have never been skiing and don't go into the mountains to camp or hike.

The city and its huge sprawl along the Front Range is notorious for traffic but because it is THE central front range of the state most roads have to go through or around Denver to cross east or west/north or south in Colorado. So Denver has this reputation in most parts of Colorado of being the annoying, stinking city to avoid and get the heck out of ASAP!

My midwestern friends where seriously looking to relocate to the Denver area from Ohio last year but they didn't get the job. They asked me, "Where can I live in Colorado that is affordable, cool and close to DIA for business travel?"

I said, "Louisville"...I also said "not Aurora". Downtown Denver hmmmm I don't think thats what they have in mind for their family either. Golden and Arvada are okay but kind of far from DIA, I guessed. Boulder is best (I am partial) but so expensive and a good drive to DIA. So I recommended Louisville, Lafayette or maybe even some parts of eastern Westminster. Denver...maybe Wash Park?

Okay, Denver is not as bad as I have made it out to be (I am not a city girl), but I admit that almost every time I leave Denver I think to myself that I would never want to live there. So close to paradise but so far away. If you are a city person and want to be close to the slopes and love to get away from the city as much as be in the city then Denver might be good for you.
Pros
  • bike paths
  • skate parks
  • museums
  • Cheap flights anywhere in the country
  • Close to the mountains
  • Good sports
Cons
  • Traffic in and around the city for miles/hours
  • not great dining
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Little Something For Everyone"

Because Denver is located right in the heart of the country, it gets influence from everywhere. That leads to a diverse culture, where everyone can find a scene that suits them. Overall, the city has a laid-back feel, and while some areas have their far share of hustle and bustle, most people prioritize enjoying life—being outside playing in the parks and walking their dogs, and enjoying a vibrant music and nightlife.

The park system in Denver is the most extensive of any big city, with over 400 to choose from. Washington Park is full of volleyball nets on the weekends, and City park is home to the zoo, two museums, and during the summer months, Jazz in the Park every Sunday. There is also the Cherry Creek that runs through the city and has a running/walking/biking path that flanks its banks the whole way. It is a great way to get some exercise and get the feeling nature in the heart of a major metropolitan area.

Cherry Creek Mall is also in Denver, which believe it or not, is the number one attraction drawing tourists to the state, despite all the mountains. Paired with the 16th Street Walking Mall, any kind of shopping can be easily accommodated. For some more eccentric shops, South Broadway offers record stores, vintage clothing, and coffee shops that have a hipster kind of vibe.

Colfax Avenue also runs horizontally through the city, and has lots of things to do. Not too long ago, the street was infamous for drugs and prostitutes, and while remnants of that age can still be found, it has largely been gentrified and is always exciting, if sometimes unpredictable.

Being just 20 minutes from the mountains, Denver is full of active people who like to take advantage of the scenery, and there is often a mass exodus to the ski mountains in the winter. Pretty much anywhere people strike up conversations about their latest mountain pursuits.

Overall, the Mile High City is a solid combination of urban ambition and mellow mountain life. Within it, hundreds of neighborhoods offer even more specific culture to suit anyone’s interest.
Pros
  • Close to the mountains
  • Cheap flights anywhere in the country
  • Good sports
Cons
  • Traffic, I-25 is the worst highway EVER
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
2yrs+

"The Hub of all that is Denver"

The City Park neighborhood in Denver has a lot to offer. It is an urban paradise for singles and twenty-somethings to live the adult-life. It has a little bit of everything, from hip and trendy burrito joints within walking distance, as well as some great dive coffee shops, and some upscale restaurants which sell $100 hamburgers! Be careful traveling in this area after dark alone, however, because it is known to have a high crime and drug deals in the evening.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Cool off in the heat!"

If you are in the Denver area in the summer and need to cool down, try visiting Water World! AThis is one huge water park with many slides, rivers, pools, surfing, tubes and anything else water related you can think of. This place was packed with people of all ages trying to cool down from the summer heat. Looked like fun!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"a big city with small town feel"

As far as big cities go, Denver is on the small side. However, downtown Denver has everything to offer from Posh neighborhoods to good eats, to beautiful parks and breathtaking mountain views. I love Denver because it still has a bit of small town feel to it, while it is booming in industry, arts, and entertainment. And the retail therapy goes without saying. From the 16th street mall to Cherry Creek shopping center, even the most Luxe shoppers can fall in love with all that Denver has to offer.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

Travelling to Denver?

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Best Neighborhoods in Denver

1

Congress Park

4.5/5
"A wonderful neighborhood for anyone"
39.7326613563152 -104.950801965458
2

Belcaro

4.5/5
"A Wealthy Enclave with a Wee Scottish Flavor"
39.7028364256352 -104.948147244417
3

Baker

4.5/5
"Something for Everyone"
39.7173546538861 -104.997883212546
4

City Park

4.5/5
"Green on the North Side, Urban on the South"
39.7429879453544 -104.949871013866
"Washington Park"
39.7011837537093 -104.966433276683
6

Berkeley

4/5
"Northwest Denver is booming!"
39.7751942550733 -105.037923205121
"The best of city living and green spaces"
39.7341331589057 -104.966086837651
"Cheap Urban Fun and Some Great Dining"
39.7451425019262 -104.967615380052
9

Hilltop

4/5
"A Great Place To Call Home!!!!"
39.7195495212407 -104.924020377008
"Park Hill, Diversity,Charm & Character."
39.744770010688 -104.922814062908

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