Relocating to Denver is one of the best decisions you can make. Denver, CO, is the most populous and capital city of the state of Colorado. It is also called the consolidated state because Denver and Bloomberg count as a single state after the Article XX Section 4 of the Colorado State Constitution. The last recorded population of Colorado was around 715,522 in 2020, which was around a 20% increase since the last census back in 2010. This city guide is your one-stop guide for relocating to Denver.
Denver takes pride in being the 19th most populous city in all of the U.S. and the 5th most highly populated state capital. Denver is located just near the South Platte River, right on the edge of the Western Plains. The city is named after James W. Denver who was a government official in the region of Kansas.
The city is surrounded by all kinds of beautiful sceneries, and buildings and is developing quickly, especially as compared to other cities in the world. Denver has everything from natural beauty to urban and a modern lifestyle, making it the ideal place to settle in.
The current Denver city has a hillside on the east, which extends to three more sides after it. One of the most iconic things about Denver itself is the University of Colorado, which stays connected with a wide web of suburban corridors. The majority of the people and ancestries in Denver belong to the Hispanic (Mexican) groups and around one-third of its people belong to the African American ancestries.
We would not be surprised if you are considering shifting to the city because of so much potential. However, it is still important to understand how moving here and setting your life will be. More importantly, how would it feel to live here long-term?
We get that it is difficult to give up your current residence and start a new life in a completely new city. Therefore, we have compiled a comprehensive guide about Denver, CO, so that you can get a clearer idea of how it would feel to live here. Let us start the discussion with some interesting facts about Denver City.
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- Denver has 200 different peaks in the areas surrounding it. The city itself is not in the mountains, but just near them.
- Denver became a temporary capital right after the iconic Gold Rush and in 1881, it became the official state capital.
- Denver is called the mile-high city because it is at an elevation of 1,609 meters, which makes it exactly a mile high from sea level.
- The Colorado State Capitol Building is exactly a mile high from sea level and has a dome covered with Gold Leaf made from 24 karat gold.
- Denver experiences 300 days of sunlight during the year on average.
- Denver owns the official patent for creating the much-loved cheeseburger since 1935.
- Denver won many medals in the 1976 winter Olympics but stands as the first city to turn down hosting the Olympics because of public sentiment and the threat of pollution.
- The Denver Mint produces 40 million coins a day making it the largest mining plant in the city.
- The Denver mint has $100 Billion in the form of solid gold bars.
- The people of Denver support the arts by paying 0.1% sales tax, which goes directly to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
Now that we have talked about some interesting facts, it is time to discuss living here. Although the city has some amazing sights, a rich history, and a busy lifestyle, living here can be quite different compared to what you may be used to. Let us discuss some of the pros and cons of living here in Denver.
- The majority of the population here in Denver are young people, meaning, 70% to 85% of their population is younger than 44, making it an ideal place for young, enthusiastic people, who are looking for growth and new opportunities. Similarly, several businesses in Denver, focus on the young. For instance, you will find several gyms, clubs, and bars in the city.
- If you are someone who loves an active lifestyle, you are going to love Denver, because the majority of the people in the city love physical activities. You will see these people going to the gym, running, and walking in the park.
- Denver is one of the most promising places to begin working as it has a lot of opportunities for (young) people. You can find several new companies in the city, which makes it a highly anticipated place for economic growth and working opportunities. Agriculture, aerospace, and business are just a few sectors that could work perfectly for you.
- The city not only offers beautiful sceneries to its residents but is also an ideal place for sports lovers as Denver hosts different games, including baseball, basketball. Interestingly, it is easier for the players to score better, considering that the balls fly higher thanks to the higher land position of the city.
- The living cost in Denver isn’t low but it isn’t something that should worry you either. While the accommodation, including rents and property costs, increase quite rapidly, the average living cost in Denver remains lower compared to several other cities like New York, LA, etc.
- Living in Denver will suit you if you are adventurous as the city offers several activities and opportunities to its people. You can choose between skiing, fishing, swimming, cycling, and much more if you have a hunger for adventure.
- While the mile-high city seems amazing to dwell in, there are a few drawbacks to it. For instance, the high altitude in the region (we already talked about this above), means that the oxygen levels are significantly lower, which makes it harder for people to breathe and makes the Sunshine a bit brighter. This also means that your skin can become dry faster because of lower oxygen levels.
- The city has a high population growth rate and it comes with a few problems. For instance, people have a harder time getting through the traffic because of high population rates.
- While most of the things in Denver are relatively cheaper, real estate seems to increase rapidly and can be a serious problem if you do not make enough. This goes for people who live on rent as several neighborhoods in the city complain about increasing rent prices.
- Despite having a high population, Denver’s public transport isn’t efficient enough. The train and bus routes aren’t extensive which makes transport in the city difficult and expensive.
Nonetheless, Denver still enjoys its spot as one of the top cities in the U.S., and shifting here could make a huge difference. For now, let us talk about how much living in Denver would cost you.
Denver is a promising place to begin a new life. However, living here means you will need to deal with the various expenses that come with it. We have already mentioned how Denver can cost a lot in terms of certain taxes and accommodations, but let us take a deeper look at it.
Housing is one of the biggest expenses that people have to bear when they move to a new location, and Denver is no different. While the city is a fast-growing tech hub, its accommodation is a serious concern for people right now. Statistics indicate that the rent in Denver grew around 18% citywide in the past five years. Out of this, more than 12.8% occurred during the past year.
The average living cost in Denver is around $1,456 (monthly) which is almost $500 higher than the national average. Similarly, families need to shift to less desirable neighborhoods because they cannot afford the posh lifestyle in most cases.
However, it does not mean that people should not move here. There are solutions to all these problems and you can find the right options at reasonable prices. The best way is to reach out to a real estate professional like Relo.ai, as they have the experience, expertise, and exposure to understand the market and find the right housing opportunities for you.
In addition, they can also give you real estate advice to make it easier for you to get a great home at an affordable price in Denver. All you will need to do is connect with them.
Food and Eatery
Food is relatively cheaper in Denver, and the cost goes down significantly if you consider cooking at home. The MIT living wage claims that the average food costs per year in Denver range around $3,792. This is still lower than most states in the US. Moreover, you can enjoy the fantastic food at Denver by getting a single meal for as low as $16 on average.
Contrary to this, if you are looking for appetizers, alcohol, and better-than-average eateries, then a two-person meal would cost you around $65 to $70. However, the cost may vary according to the place you decide to eat.
Healthcare is a major expense and you should consider it in your cost of living in Denver. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a full-time health expense of a single adult in Denver is around $2200 on average. On the other hand, a family of two adults and a child goes up to $8000 annually. This means, that focusing on your healthcare expenses is a serious concern for you in the city, but it is not something you cannot handle if you manage things carefully.
The Energy Resource Center claims that the average energy cost per household is around $78 per month. It is because Denver has pleasant weather throughout the year, which reduces electricity costs. Other cities in the US on the other hand, pay around $100 on average. However, an average monthly utility bill with unlimited data, internet connection, and other necessities raises around $270.
Every city has its system of public transportation. For example, people in Los Angeles love taking the subway, New Yorkers love the public buses. Denver has its transport system and options that you can use to get around the city. Considering transport is an important aspect because it makes up a large part of your lifestyle and expenses in the city.
We start with the cheapest travel option in public transport, which is the airport rail. A single trip on the airport rail costs merely $9. Travelers can go from the Airport to the Union station anytime during the day without any red lights or bus fusses.
You can find these trains after every 15 minutes between 6 AM to 8 PM spread over a total of 8 stations. All of this makes the airport rail a highly affordable travel option in Denver.
The light rail is another popular travel option across the city but it does not cover an area as large as the airport line. It lets passengers travel around 35 miles over different destinations. You can use this transport to travel to the following locations:
- Pepsi Center
- Denver Union Station
- Sports Authority Field at Mile High
- Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Parks
- Coors Field
The RTD runs more than 128 buses across the city, which you can catch during any time of the day. These buses cover central Denver and Boulder, making them the perfect option for daily travel. You need to pay something between $2.5 and $6.5 for each ride on these buses. We suggest you get a book of 10 tickets for the bus if you are a frequent traveler. This way, you will not have to worry about getting tickets each time.
The cost of the book costs between $25 and $40, depending on your destination. You can also choose between a day’s pass or five-day passes, depending on the travel frequency.
The open-air Platte Valley Trolley is another great transport option if you are looking for sightseeing as the system allows sightseeing during its most popular period. This is usually between May and September. Passengers can see the South Platte River from Confluence Park, i.e. in the North of Speed Boulevard. Similarly, you can view several other sites around the city and witness their beauty. You need to pay $2 for the ticket if you bring a child or $5 for an adult.
Cars are perhaps the best travel option in Denver considering that the roads in the city have structure and tourists won’t have to worry about getting lost. In addition to this, you can find several service garages across the city, which saves you from the fear of your car breaking down. However, parking rates and traffic issues are something that you should consider before you plan your trip.
Like cars, getting a taxi is also a good option, especially if want to visit somewhere quickly. You can holler at a taxi as you reach the sidewalk or book one before you have to go for your convenience. However, do this while keeping in mind that the waiting charges and several other potential costs can add up to your fare costs. The ride starts at a flat rate of $2.50 and taxi drivers charge new passengers $2.25 when they join the ride. You can also go for applications like Lyft or Uber if you want to keep things simple and professional.
Denver is one of the most exciting and beautiful places for people who love walking because the city has eye-catching sites and a healthy atmosphere. People can take a walk out in the open and reach their destination easily.
You will love walking in Denver considering that people here follow a healthy lifestyle and have a friendly attitude. This means you will not feel out of place even if you are new to the city. You can pair your walk with other fitness activities to improve your health.
Biking is another popular travel option for people in Denver, CO. Most people own a mountain bike as it is easier to ride on-road and off-road. You can get a mountain bike for a good price and start riding it wherever you please. You can also find rent cycle stands all around the city if you do not want to buy one for yourself. You can pay the rent and take the bicycle whenever you need it. However, we still suggest you buy your own for long-term use.
Now that you have an idea about relocating to Denver, let us take a look at the weather conditions here. We are going to discuss the weather conditions in the city season-wise, so, let us begin with summer. Keep in mind that the average weather and climate in Denver remain balanced, so you will not have much problem here, in terms of weather adjustment.
The summers are fairly hot in Denver considering they last over 3.2 months on average. You can experience them between June and September with an average temperature reaching as high as 80 F. The hottest part of the year hits during July when the temperatures can reach up to 85 to 89 0F at times. Anyone moving here should mentally prepare for blistering hot weather during the summers. However, Denver’s weather remains cloudy for the rest of the time.
Winters, on the other hand, last between 3.5-4 months from November to March with an average daily temperature dropping to 50 0F. The winter season peaks during December when the temperatures can reach 23 0F at the lowest and do not exceed 46 0F. People living in Denver need to prepare for snow, cold weather, and much more during the winter season.
Denver has one of the longest fall periods in any region around the US. It is because people experience 5 different climatic zones in the area within a 2-hour drive. All one needs to do is pick their elevation and they can experience a significant change in the temperature, weather, and climate. Generally, September to Mid November is the right fall season in Denver.
The spring season lasts 2-3 months on average, and the weather stays cloudy most of the time during this period. However, the clouds experience seasonal changes where the clearer skies last between June and November. Springtime is fairly shorter in Denver as the temperature shifts between cold and hot quite quickly. However, the natural beauty in Denver enhances during the spring season and becomes highly appealing.
The amount of precipitation Denver experiences generally varies from site to site. However, Denver has almost 5.2 months of the wet season. This usually lasts between April and September, with nearly 20% more chance of rain on average. People in Denver experience the most rain during July with over 8 days of rain. The lowest precipitation rate in all this time is around 0.04.
However, it is safe to say that the rainy weather lasts around 9 months in Denver on average, with over 9 days of rain in July. Snow usually occurs between November and February, and the most snow you will see in Denver is in January with 1.2 days of snow on average.
Denver has one of the most populous settings in the country, which is why you will find plenty of employment opportunities here. We already talked about how it is the state capital, which means, there are going to be many economic opportunities in the region. Many experts consider Denver as a key player in the upcoming economic boom. They believe that Denver may emerge as a successful tech hub soon, which sounds very promising.
However, the general mindset of people in the region is towards jobs and employment. You will find a balance between experienced, hardworking, and highly educated individuals as well as dedicated talents that can take your business/company to new heights. People are now investing their skills, experience, and time in various sectors including tech, aerospace, agriculture, and IT.
So, there is little to worry about employment opportunities, especially if you plan to move to Metro Denver soon. The labor force in Denver is fairly high at the moment. In case you are wondering, the labor force is the number of people willing to work in their respective sectors.
Colorado’s current labor force rate is around 68.5%, but the number of employment opportunities looks quite low as people are going through economic crises in most areas. Fortunately, Denver does not have this problem. The business and employment opportunities keep regularly increasing, which seems like a good idea. However, you may need to spend some more time, have a few interviews, and meet people if you are looking for an entry-level job. Nonetheless, several researchers claim that Denver is one of the best places for people looking for employment. The unemployment rate here was as low as 2.9% in 2016. While that number increased because of the pandemic, there is still much potential in the city.
The city also offers an average wage of $47,741 annually, which is the 20th highest of the top 100 cities in the world.
Like other areas, Denver offers a bright future for students as well. Higher education in Denver has a lot of potential, considering that renowned institutes like the University of Colorado are also in Denver. Apart from this, there are several other reasons why Denver is one of the best places for higher education opportunities. For instance, they offer high technical equipment for their students. So, if you want to study tech or engineering, Denver is the place for you to go.
The learning experiences that Denver offers ensure there is a lot to learn in and out of the classroom. In addition, the professional higher education staff in Denver stands as one of the best in the city. All you need to do is ensure that your professor has your back when you enroll in a higher education sector in Denver.
Similarly, a lot of international students head to Denver every year, meaning that you will r get more exposure if you are already a U.S based student. What’s more, you won’t feel out of place, considering you will find several other international students like you. There are over 400+ educational institutions in Colorado that you can choose from.
The best part is that the tuition fee in Denver is also relatively low as compared to the other states in the U.S. Off-campus housing, books, and several other expenses are all covered in this. As we already mentioned, the job market is expanding rapidly, making it promising for students in the future.
Studying isn’t the only thing you will do when you move to Denver, which is why you should learn about some places that you should visit here.
Lower Downtown, also called LoDo, is the first location on our list. It is quite popular, and most new settlers and tourists love starting their tours from Lower Downtown. The architecture in the area makes it special because it is classical and exhibits historical buildings from the Victorian Age. You can also find a well-settled marketplace in this area, which makes it an ideal place to explore the city.
You can witness tons of colors and smells around the city when you walk around in Lower Downtown, Denver, and experience the true essence of Coloradoan life. You can also enhance your experience by visiting the vistas from the ViewHouse or strolling down Larimer Square, which is the oldest block of the city.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Any tour around Denver remains incomplete without a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens, where you can see themed gardens and conservatories. These gardens are full of exotic plants and several other events that people of all ages can enjoy. You can also take an educational trip with your peers through the botanical gardens and learn more about them. Alternatively, you can go and have fun at a concert if you are looking for an adventure-packed night.
Keep in mind that the exhibits here keep changing from time to time, so you can visit them every few months and have a different experience.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is another great option for people looking for adventure. We already talked about how Denver generally has a very adventurous outlook and set up, and Red Rocks are the perfect example. It allows visitors to visit the open-air with almost 2000 m above sea level. You can find everything from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains here, which makes visitors admire nature as it is.
We suggest this to visitors specifically with a historical bent of mind because the area has forests, fossils, and deer all exist here in a single place!
Larimer Square is on our list of must-visit places and it is the most historical block in Denver with lively nightlife, restaurants, amazing food, and much more all packed into one. You can find quality hotels to stay in through the night and enjoy the nightlife. It is full of spots for entertainment, shopping, and cuisines, guaranteeing that each of your days goes amazing.
You can also take a stroll near the refurbished Victorian Age buildings and take a trip down memory lane. You will also see them elegantly covered with fairy lights which contribute to their beauty. You can get everything from a classic U.S breakfast to a king’s meal at night, as Larimer Square offers foods of all kinds.
Denver Museum of Science and Nature
Not all attractions in Denver are about partying and having fun, as people in Denver have different mindsets. If you plan to settle in Denver with your kids, the Denver Museum is just what you need to give your science hunches a unique twist. It is a fun-filled place for activities throughout the day, making it an ideal place to have a picnic with your children and teach them on the way.
The museum offers everything from classic, high-quality exhibits, to IMAX theatres. You can watch IMAX movies on history, and geography and enjoy a high-quality cinematic experience. There is also a lot to learn about space through their magnificent planetarium. What’s more, you can also go for a small, fun, elves searching activity through the museum with your kids.
Colorado State Capitol
The history of Colorado remains incomplete without the iconic Colorado State Capitol. Many people think it is quite familiar to the iconic DC capitol building, making it a must-see attraction in Denver. The building first became a part of the city in the 1890s, while the solid gold dome completed its construction in 1908. The building is not only a sign of excellent architecture but also packs a lot of secrets. For instance, it has its supply of Colorado rose onyx, contributing to the building’s beauty.
Ensure taking a trip to the Capitol and touring through the alluring interiors. You can choose to travel the building alone, but we suggest hiring a guide if you are new. The guide will explain everything more precisely, enhancing your tour experience.
Now that you know what places you need to visit, let us take a look at some of the most amazing activities that visitors in Denver, CO, can do. Let’s begin.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Our list of the top things to do in Denver begins with a tour of the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, as it is one of the most interesting activities to look forward to. The museum is one of the most iconic places to visit and offers long and detailed tours of the museum. Art enthusiasts can visit the museum to see the work of hundreds of artists every few months, as the museum has a lot to offer.
You can find excellent paintings by people like Andy Warhol and even furniture pieces by Frank Lloyd Wright. This museum has had almost every major art form since 1870 and several art fanatics consider the museum a haven for art admirers. You can also find several famous abstract art pieces here, which makes this a must-visit place in Denver Colorado.
We already mentioned how the general public in Denver focuses on their health. It is one of the most popular sites for fitness lovers in City Park. The park spreads over 330 acres of land across the east of Downtown Denver. While this area isn’t as busy as Downtown Denver, it still has loads of visitors throughout the year.
What makes the city part more special is that it is the home to the Denver Zoo, where you can plan a day out with your children, and peers, or just a short trip by yourself. You will also see Spanish-styled pavilions in this region, which connect directly to Denver’s Museum of Art and Science. While you can have fun all day in the park, you can enjoy plenty of other things in this park as well. All you need to do is park your car along with the museum building and you will see an epic sunset right in front of you.
Downtown Brewery Trail Walk
Brewery tours in Downtown Denver or around other regions aren’t something unique but if you like creating your beer, trying out new flavors, and experiencing new things, then the Downtown Brewery Trail Walk is just what you need. It takes pride as the first Brewery in Denver, from where you can take your trip forward. The perfect place to begin is the Jagged Mountain Craft located close to the brewery. This lets you experience an amalgamation of modern and classic life in Denver together. You can finally wrap up your tour with Wood Boss, which is a relatively new corner in Denver that goes all the way to Colorado Kitsch.
Washington Park, commonly called Wash Park is one of the most iconic outdoor spaces that you will find in Denver. It has everything from a well-maintained rose garden, fountains, two lakes, and a gigantic open and grassy area.
Washington Park has something for everyone. You can play a simple game of volleyball, catch or take a walk around the park. You will also find paved paths for pedestrians along with separate lanes for bikers. The Washington Park also has an area for roller bladders and a 2.5-3 mile long gravel path on the park’s exterior. This gravel provides a spacious pathway for runners in the park.
Denver city has an incredible culture to it and is a great way to relocate from your current location. It is a place with rich history, promising people, and several job opportunities for individuals. You will also love the weather here as it remains balanced mostly throughout the year.
The city offers activities, fun, knowledge, and growth options to people of all ages and groups, making it an excellent spot to settle in. However, you may still need to take care of your accommodation needs with a professional real estate firm. Apart from that, we do not think you will have trouble living here in Denver. You will love it! We hope this comprehensive guide helps you before you relocate to Denver, CO.