Those who have visited Denver immediately notice the appeal — the Rocky Mountain range painting a stunning backdrop and the exciting downtown nightlife. Not to mention the hundreds of hiking trails that provide a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. On the off chance that the day isn’t sunny and beautiful, you can always head indoors and check out one of the many museums, libraries, and cultural centers the capital city has to offer.
Whether you’re looking to make a career move or you’re seeking an idyllic place to settle down and spend your retirement years, Denver hosts an impressive range of ways to stay active and enjoy new experiences. The city has been on the uptick in terms of growth over the past decade as more people are drawn to call the city home. With many exciting opportunities to be had, continue reading to see why you should consider packing up and heading to the Mile High City.
Healthy Job Market
Let’s face it, a deciding factor for many when moving to a new city is the job market. The good news is, Denver has a strong economy that shows signs of thriving for years to come. The diversification of the local economy is one of the strongest in the country. The energy sector alone employs around 150,000, ranking it amongst the top locations for oil and gas in the world.
The median household income currently sits at $78,117, which is 9% higher than the national median. The job market within the city flourishes with opportunities in a range of industries, including tech, food and agricultural, aerospace, healthcare, and the burgeoning legal cannabis arena. Companies such as Google, Zoom, and Boeing have headquarters in Denver, which encourages top talent to move to the city. 11 Fortune 500 companies are based out of the Colorado capital.
Though the Centennial State as a whole took a hit during the pandemic, as did the rest of the country, it made a full recovery by recouping jobs and seeing a boom in the construction industry. The Colorado Business Economic Outlook released a forecast of job growth in all industries, with slower recovery in the leisure and hospitality industries.
Bountiful Outdoor Activities
Denver is one of the best cities in the United States for those who love to spend their time outside. Nearby Rocky Mountain National Park is less than a two-hour drive and provides striking views and opportunities to admire wildlife in their natural habitat. If you aren’t already an avid hiker, biker, mountain climber, or skier before moving to Denver, you can count on finding an activity that strikes your interest and promotes an active lifestyle.
Without even leaving the city, you can head over to the Cherry Creek Bike Path, a paved multi-use trail that follows the creek along 40 miles of quaint scenery. If you prefer to spend your time outdoors relaxing as opposed to physically exerting yourself, head over to the Indian Hot Springs and soak in the geothermal caves.
The outdoor culture is booming in Colorado and provides a great way to stay both physically and mentally healthy all year long. There are endless opportunities to pack a lunch and hit the trail to soak up phenomenal views.
Some of the most popular hikes around Denver include:
Trading Post Trail
The Bluffs Loop
Garden of the Gods
Castle Rock Trail
Deer Creek Canyon Loop
Increased Health and Wellness
It should be no surprise that a city that promotes outdoor activities has continually ranked high on the list of healthiest states. As of 2020, Denver was ranked as the seventh healthiest city in the United States. This evaluation took into consideration health care, food, fitness, and access to green space.
Sunlight and physical exercise not only promotes one’s physique but their mental health as well. Research has shown that staying active can promote healthy brain function, improve sleep, and increase one’s overall quality of life. Denver residents have access to farmer’s markets with fresh organic produce and well-maintained parks and urban forests. Denver’s Parks and Recreation deems easy access to green space a fundamental right for residents.
Whether you want to be within walking distance of a local coffee shop or close to work, Denver has a multitude of great neighborhoods to choose from. Young professionals may be interested in areas closer to nightlife, whereas families may want to be positioned in a particular school district or a suburban environment.
Contemporary or modern, trendy or suburban, you’re likely to find something to suit your tastes and fit your budget.
Capitol Hill — Denver’s most populous neighborhood, which also means plenty of restaurants and activities.
Golden Triangle — A creative district with a centralized location to the library, museums, and Civic Center Park.
Downtown “LoDo” — Generally draws a younger crowd; known for its buzzing nightlife.
Five Points — A diverse neighborhood that has many eateries and bars, as well as an annual jazz fest.
Washington Park “Wash Park” — Suburban living in the heart of Denver with lush park and lake views; great for raising a family.
City Park — One of the best areas to live in if you’re a dog owner, due to its proximity to Cheesman Park and City Park.
Berkeley — Well suited for families looking for a quiet, safe residential feel.
The real estate market has shown signs of cooling off and striking a balance between pre-pandemic numbers and the skyrocketing asking prices seen throughout the past couple of years. Those looking to move to the Denver area may find that they can strike a fair deal on their new Colorado home.
Blossoming Arts Culture
The rich culture of Denver is steeped in tradition, history, and also features a modern touch. The downtown area has been livened up with breweries, restaurants, and art galleries following the influx of millennials coming to town. There is plenty of live music to be found at local spots, as well as the longstanding Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Those who enjoy taking in classical art, such as operas and plays, will enjoy the Denver Performing Arts Center. At the Newman Center for Performing Arts, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrating its 75th anniversary by putting on stunning pieces featuring international soloists.
If you prefer to take a more active approach when enjoying art, head on over to the River North Arts District (colloquially known as RiNo) and admire the murals hand-painted on local bars and food markets. Regardless of whether you’re planning to move to Denver or you’re simply visiting, these are some other can’t-miss spots for those interested in catching a show or meandering around a museum for the afternoon.
Denver Art Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Ask any longtime resident of Denver and you’re sure to hear the same, the weather is shockingly good year-round. While the city has boasted of 300 days of sunshine each year, the more accurate figure sits at around 245 days, which is still well above the national average. Even when temps reach record highs in the summer months, the low humidity level keeps the heat bearable. Averaging in the mid-70s during the warmest month, July, Denver has been known to see temps in the 90s every so often.
Though the city sees an average of 57.1 inches of snowfall, storms are generally short-lived and snow melts rapidly once the sun comes out. It’s not unusual for the temperature to rise and fall within a 40-degree range in a single day, so dressing in layers is recommended.
The risk of natural disasters is significantly lowered within the Metro Denver region, due to its distance from the coast and its proximity away from Tornado Alley. The high elevation of the city and the desert-like, arid climate provide wonderful conditions throughout every season.
Winning Sports Teams
Denver doesn’t lack in the professional sports department, boasting all the major sports leagues. There’s something for everybody, whether you want to take in an NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS, or even a professional lacrosse game! Head on over to Ball Arena to cheer on the Avalanche or the Nuggets or spend your afternoon tailgating at Empower Field before catching a Broncos game.
Professional sports leagues bring cities together. When moving to a new city, you can meet a variety of long-time and recent residents by heading to a game and building a community around a common interest. If you don’t want to commit to the expense of season tickets, many bars have watch parties, especially during the playoffs.
Impressive Educational Opportunities
Those looking to start a family in the Denver area will have access to reputable public school districts, allowing their children to thrive and discover their strengths and build a strong foundation for their future aspirations. There are 28 campuses for higher education in and around Denver. Graduates of the University of Denver, the University of Colorado at Denver, Regis University, and nearby Colorado School of Mines go on to lead successful careers in Colorado and beyond.
Colorado boasts the nation’s second most educated workforce, with 47.8% of Metro Denver’s residents being college graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree. This not only creates a sustainable workforce but it attracts educators who want to take part in teaching the next generation. There are helpful resources for those seeking to return to school and those needing financial assistance to complete their degree.
Popular Craft Beer Scene
If you’re a fan of beer, then Denver is arguably one of the best places to be. Dating back to the mid-1800s, Denver has a rich history steeped in the local brewing scene during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. These days, the city hosts an impressive range of taverns, microbreweries, and taprooms to keep beer aficionados happy.
There’s even a Coors Brewery Tour in nearby Golden that provides samples and teaches the intriguing history of the brand that has turned into the largest single-site brewery in the world. Residents also mark their calendars for the annual Great American Beer Festival that’s held at the end of September.
Those wanting to jump into the beer scene in Denver can do so with one (or several!) of the guided tours listed below.
Denver Microbrew Tour
Bike and Brew Tour
Walking Brew Tour
Great Divide Brewing Company Tour
eTuk Craft Brewery Crawl
When making a move to a new place, pet owners want the best for their furry companions. According to surveys done by Rover, Denver is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. In fact, there are more canines than children. Dog owners can enjoy taking their pups on walks along the local hiking trails and around city parks — remember to bring a leash and pack out any garbage!
Many restaurants and breweries have outdoor seating that’s welcoming of both dogs and their owners. The city also has a growing number of dog parks where your pet can run freely and make new friends.
Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbors
Coloradans have a reputation for their welcoming hospitality. Denver tends to attract those who prioritize inclusivity, whether it be race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. These diverse perspectives help to establish an open-minded and comfortable environment for people from all walks of life.
Moving to a new city can be uncertain and stressful. Those looking to take advantage of all that Denver has to offer, whether it be a local brewery tour, a hiking trip, or even a visit to a local museum, are sure to establish new relationships and build community within the city. If you’re ready to start soaking up the sunshine and admiring the Rocky Mountains on your commute, Denver is the place to call home.
Other Considerations to Make Before Moving to Denver
Over 700,000 people call the Denver area home and while the city has endless opportunities to explore nature and meet interesting people, every city has a few cons as well. Those who have never lived at a higher altitude, for example, will find that it takes some getting used to. Luckily, many people are past altitude sickness after a few days.
When searching for a house or a rental within the city limits, buyers need to be prepared to act fast. The market remains competitive and many other people are looking to move to the city for the same reasons that are likely pushing you to consider the move.
Anybody coming from a city with a robust public transportation system, such as New York, San Francisco, Boston, or Washington D.C. should take buying a car into consideration. While Denver has a bus system and a light rail, it can be difficult to get anywhere outside of downtown without personal transport — especially if you plan to take any day trips to hike or ski.