Denver Named No. 1 Best City To Live By U.S. News & World Report

Best Places to Live

What’s it like to live in Denver, CO?

Profile written by local expert: Katie Hearsum

Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days. Over time, its citizens have evolved from gun-slinging gamblers into an easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers who are eager to push the envelope on everything from civil rights to drug laws. Nicknamed the Mile High City for its 5,280-foot elevation (although officially reported as 5,279 feet), Denver’s location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides a gateway to a slew of outdoor pursuits, although it is probably best known for its devout ski and snowboard enthusiasts.

To clarify a common misconception, Denver is not a mountain town. It actually takes at least an hour to drive to the Rockies. But there are some great places for recreating within a 30-minute drive of downtown, such as Red Rocks Park and Cherry Creek State Park.

Some might say that the city is experiencing a gold rush of a different color: green. After Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Denver has seen a surge in cannabis-related commerce, from dispensaries to magazines to high-tech paraphernalia like vaporizers, rolling papers, lotions and storage containers – and the industry is just gaining speed.

Denver, CO Quick Stats

  • Metro Population = 2,651,392

What’s the weather like in Denver, CO?

Although the weather in Denver is generally sunny and dry, it can be subject to quick bursts of rain, snow, hail and lightning thanks to its geographical relation to the foothills of the mountains. The local rule of thumb is that if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes for it to change again. Those unfamiliar with the Mile High City may think that winters are bad, but Denver usually experiences bright blue skies and powdery snow that melts by noon.

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What’s the best way to get around Denver, CO?

Despite being a very eco-friendly community, many people in Denver have cars. The highways are becoming more crowded during rush hour as commuters make their way between downtown Denver and its outlying commercial areas like the Denver Tech Center to the south and Broomfield to the north.

Some Denver neighborhoods are walkable; however, most of the city is too spread out for much more than strolling. Many people prefer to use bikes instead, and there are more than 85 miles of paved trails throughout the city for cyclists. The Denver-based bike sharing company, B-Cycle, provides access to 700 bikes at 87 stations across the city.

The RTD light rail – an above-ground tramway – is another popular mode of transportation, especially for commuters. Continued development of the light rail is expected to provide service to Boulder and the Denver International Airport, the fifth busiest airport in the country. RTD also provides commuter bus service throughout the area, while Amtrak and Greyhound offer ground transportation to nearby cities.

Who Lives in Denver, CO?

Many Denverites are out-of-state transplants. Between 2010 and 2014, the city experienced one of the largest influxes of domestic migrants in the country. Regardless of where they were born, the majority of Denver’s residents are loyal liberals (despite being located in a more conservative state) and have led the city to many progressive milestones, including the legalization of same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana use.

Denver’s population is fairly young, with millennials making up more than 20 percent of the population. The Mile High City is also known as a good city for singles: The male-to-female ratio is about 50/50, and a quarter of the population over the age of 15 has never been married.

Roughly half the Denver population identifies as religious, with the majority of them practicing Catholicism. Other religions represented in the community include other forms of Christianity, Judaism and several Eastern religions.

What is there to do in Denver, CO?

Denver offers more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses and playgrounds. In fact, many of Denver’s most prominent neighborhoods are built around and named after such beloved green spaces like Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park and Sloan’s Lake. The city’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains also creates numerous opportunities for residents to ski and snowboard in the winter.

Denver is also home to a flourishing arts scene, and music is a big part of life here. Numerous famous acts originated here at high altitude, including The Fray and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

There are also nearly 100 breweries in metro Denver, and the sudsy city is host to the annual Great American Beer Festival that showcases more than 3,500 beers from brewers around the country.

Friday, 4 March 2016 12:55 AM


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