Denver Colorado Relocation Guide
Denver is the capital of Colorado and is known as the Mile High City. It sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet, a mile
above sea level. Denver has a population of 705,576 people making it the biggest city in Colorado. However, the
greater Denver Metro area contains almost 3,000,000 people. Living in Denver gives residents access to some of
the most beautiful outdoor nature that the United States has to offer, while still giving them access to a vibrant
and exciting city. There is so much to do in Denver, including restaurant hopping and checking out the wide
variety of delicious foods and cultures that merge together to make Denver what it is today. Living in Denver
gives residents the best of both worlds: unparalleled access to the stunning outdoors and all the amenities and
activities they would want in a fun, young, and vibrant city.
The Denver Zoo is located in City Park, one of Denver, Colorado’s biggest parks. City Park is located in eastern
Denver, fairly close to downtown. The City Park area is surrounded by some of Denver’s most eclectic
neighborhoods. This is an old area of Denver with a lot of historic mansions and old houses to look at while
walking around. Within City Park, is the Denver Zoo! It houses animals from all over the world including
African Lions, penguins, American Flamingos, and Asian Elephants. There is so much to see here, it is a great
activity for the whole family! The zoo is not only a fun experience for kids, but an educational one as well!
Learning about where animals come from is fascinating and important to understanding the world around us.
Like many zoos around the country, the Denver Zoo prioritized conservation. They work with the Association
of Zoos and Aquariums to support animals through voluntary programs like the Species Survival Plan, a
program that facilitates the survival of many species by keeping zoo populations healthy and abundant. Even
though the Zoo is located in City Park, you still need to purchase a ticket to enter the park. Online tickets are
required for all guests. The Zoo is open daily from 10am and closing time varies per day. During the holiday
season the Denver Zoo hosts Zoo Lights, which is a beautiful display of holiday lights decorating the property. It
is a big attraction for Denverites, so if you find yourself in the city around the holidays, it is not to be missed!
The Downtown Denver Aquarium
The Denver Aquarium is impressive, especially for a land-locked state! The Downtown Denver Aquarium boasts
more than a million gallons of underwater exhibits that highlight and educate about fascinating ecosystems
from all around the world. There are over 500 species of animals at the aquarium, an interactive Stingray Reef
touch tank, a lounge, and even a delicious restaurant.
This is a great attraction for families and people of all ages. The aquarium never fails to awe. The species that
live in the tanks are magnificent to look at and pose an excellent opportunity for some further education. For
the young ones, the aquarium is a great place for a birthday party or a school field trip. There is so much to
learn about the animals we are surrounded by, and the professionals at the aquarium are eager to share their
See a Show at Red Rocks
Red Rocks was the world’s most visited music venue last year, and it is conveniently located just about 25
minutes outside of Denver. Whether it is because of the stunning atmosphere, beautiful wild awe, or the great
shows that come to the amphitheater, it is an experience that you do not want to miss. Once spring comes,
Colorado residents flock to red rocks to see some of the coolest music shows you can think of. The world’s top
artists come to play here, and though it is a smaller theater than Denver’s Ball Arena, it holds a huge number of
guests. Going to a show at Red Rocks is a completely different experience than going to another music venue. Sit
along the stone rows of benches and enjoy a beautiful light show surrounding you. The stage at red rocks is built
right into the rocks, so the backdrop for the concert is mother nature herself.
If you are not a concert lover, you should still make a trip to Red Rocks to see what all the hype is about. During
Colorado’s warmer months, visitors can enjoy hiking trails around the amphitheater and enjoy some stunning
trails. If you are an early riser, Red Rocks’ sunrise yoga on the rocks is not something you will want to miss. It is
a unique experience that gives you the best Colorado has to offer: beautiful sunrises surrounded by glorious
nature and other Colorado-loving individuals. It is a really unique experience and is a must-try for so many. If
you are not interested in yoga, Red Rocks is a great place for any self-guided workout. Plenty of people come to
the theater to work out next to nature and test their strength with the impressive number of stairs the
amphitheater is made up of.
Elitch Gardens is a Six Flags amusement park located in the heart of downtown Denver! This amusement and
water park has been a Denver staple for 130 years. Elitch offers visitors rides on thrilling roller coasters and
endless fun in the water park. The thrill is open for those of all ages! It is open from April through October and
on any given season it hosts special shows like Drive-In Movies, a summer concert series and exciting fireworks
extravaganzas! In October the park puts on Fright Fest, an outdoor haunted experience. One of the best parts
about Elitch Gardens is that it is so closely located to downtown Denver. In a lot of other cities you have to drive
an hour or more to get to an outdoor theme park like this!
Visit Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver’s Botanic Gardens is a fun place for people of all ages. It is situated right in between Congress Park and
Cheeseman Park, two of Denver’s biggest outdoor spaces that residents love to enjoy. The Denver Botanic
Gardens worked with the City and County of Denver to create a space that feels somewhat like a utopia. The 24
acres presents a wide range of gardens, collections, and beautiful architecture that is awe-inspiring for guests.
The plants featured at the botanic gardens come from all corners of the world and are cared for by the Botanic
Gardens staff along with man-made ecosystems designed to keep the plants thriving.
The Botanic Gardens offer tours through their different greenhouses and outdoor spaces. There is also a
restaurant situated in the middle of the gardens, which is a great place to relax and get a bite to eat or something
to drink. Admission to the gardens is $15 for adults and there is so much to do. If you feel like going somewhere
beautiful and getting into a really great book, this is the spot for you. Around the holidays the Botanic Gardens
has Blossoms of Light, which is a gorgeous display of holiday lights. This is a great activity for the whole family
or a great idea for a romantic date night.
First Friday Art Walk
On the first friday of every month, the Santa Fe Art District in Denver does an art walk. On this Friday, all the
galleries and museums on Santa Fe open their doors for free, letting Denverites come in and enjoy the beautiful
art that makes this district so unique. Most of the galleries and museums offer free drinks and there are food
trucks everywhere, so it is easy to make a whole night out of it. Shoppers can enjoy the curated thrift stores and
antique stores that populate this area. It is a really fun way to get out and familiar with the Denver art scene.
Rockies games are a favorite in Colorado! Coors Stadium is massive and located right in Denver’s downtown.
The completely outdoor stadium has some sections that are fairly inexpensive, so you and some friends can
head to a game after work without breaking the bank! During the summer months, it is rare not to see a
beautiful sunset as the game gets underway. It is a truly special baseball stadium and so much fun in Denver’s
Visit Rocky Mountain National Park
One of the biggest pulls for many that move to Denver is the access to the mountains. Colorado has some of the
best ski resorts, backcountry, and hiking and biking trails in the country and Denver residents make the most of
that. Though Denver is not itself in the mountains, it is just about an hour drive to some beautiful hikes.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado’s four national parks and the closest to Denver. Rocky
Mountain National Park is made up of 415 square miles encompassing some of the most spectacular mountain
environments you have ever experienced! There are over 300 miles of hiking trails and incredible up close
wildlife viewing. Rocky Mountain National Park consists of meadows, glistening lakes, mountain peaks, and
beautiful wooded areas. Due to COVID, the park has limited how many people can come into the park so to
enter you need to make an entry reservation per car. They do this so the park is not overflowing with people
and visitors can remain safe.
The park is most traditionally visited during Colorado’s warmer months. Visitors can enjoy hiking and camping
in the beautiful environment. The winter months offer a different experience that a lot of people do not explore.
During the winter months, the park is much less crowded and there are different activities to enjoy. Winter
visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and exploring the vast and beautiful snow that covers the
park in the cold months of winter.
Just like access to Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver residents and visitors have spectacular access to the ski
resorts in Colorado, though it requires driving on I-70. The most popular ski resorts such as Vail, Copper
Mountain, Beaver Creek and so many more are all under an hour away. Denver seems a lot emptier in the
winter months because on Saturday and Sunday mornings, people are packed into their cars with their skis and
getting to the mountains as soon as possible to enjoy the great conditions Colorado typically offers!
Bike Trails in Denver
Compared to a lot of cities, Denver is a very bike friendly city. There are bike trails all around the city, making
biking a very common way for Denverites to get from neighborhood to neighborhood. There are bike paths on
the side of most major roads in the city, but there are also bike trails that go along the river and other areas away
from the busy and bustling roads. Denver residents love to be active and this is one of the ways that the city
encourages that lifestyle.
Denver is Colorado’s capital and most populated city. Due to its geographical location, it experiences fairly mild
weather compared to other areas of the Rocky Mountain State. Denver is situated just east of the Front Range of
the Rocky Mountains and right at the western edge of the great plains. The city lies at the junction of the Cherry
Creek and South Platte River, so it has some water access unlike a lot of other areas of the state.
The city sits at 5,280 feet, which is the trait that gave it the nickname of the Mile High City. Due to its high
elevation, Denver experiences a mild, sunny, and dry climate. The city lays atop a fairly flat plain, voiding it of
the sprawling mountains you typically think of when thinking of Colorado. Though the city is not in the
mountains, it is very close, which is a huge appeal to residents and visitors alike.
Denver has a fairly easy transportation system to navigate. The city makes public transportation easy,
inexpensive, and as convenient as possible. You can get around the city by rail or bus, but it is also a great city to
have a car in. The sprawling nature of the state makes it possible for the city to expand outwards, rather than
upwards like more cramped cities on the east.
Getting around by bus is easy; riders can check the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) homepage for
routes, fares, and other necessary information. The RTD buses travel all over the city and make it easy to get
from one area to another.
The light rail is also run by the RTD; its routes are easy to find and navigate even as first time riders. The light
rail trains stop at stations around the city and are divided up into four zones: A, B, C, and Airport. The number
of zones you pass through determines your fare, but the light rail is inexpensive and convenient.
Denver has all of the best amenities you can expect a state capital city to have. The city has an impressive
number of hospitals and urgent care facilities, which is extremely important. You do not want to be too far away
from the doctor for normal check-ins, but you definitely do not want to be far from a hospital if there is some
kind of emergency.
Denver’s neighborhoods boast a wide variety of grocery stores, both locally owned and operated and regional
and national chains. This again is very important for families. You do not want to spend more time than you
have to looking for a grocery store!
Cost of Living
Best Places does an analysis of the cost of living in towns and states across the United States. The way they do
this is by creating an average scale that they can put each place on so it can easily be compared to another. The
standard is set at 100. They make the average cost of living in the United States 100, so if a city or state resides
above this number, it has a higher cost of living than average, and if it is below, it has a lower cost of living than
the national average.
Best Places gives Denver, Colorado the ranking of 128.7, making it significantly more expensive than the United
States’ national average. The overall cost of living in Colorado is 121.1, a bit lower than in Denver. That means
Denver is one of the more expensive areas to live in in the Rocky Mountain State. This makes sense since it is
the capital of the state and the demand for living here has increased a lot in the past few years.
Though it is generally more expensive than other areas of Colorado and the United States on average, there are
aspects that are more affordable than the state and national averages. The health costs in Denver, Colorado rest
at a ranking of 92.5, while Colorado ranks at 95.8, lower than the national average. The average cost of utilities is
also lower in Denver than in the rest of Colorado and in the United States.
Items that are more expensive on average include grocery costs, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous
costs. Though some aspects are more expensive than the state and national averages, there are so many reasons
to live in Denver, and the more affordable items may make it worth it for you!
Average Home Sales
Denver has become a more and more desirable place to live in recent years, which has made the housing market
explode. For some reason, the pandemic made a lot of people want to move to the city, which has helped
increase the average price of homes. Housing in Denver is ranked at 184.3 on Best Places’ analysis, compared to
166.1 in Colorado and 100 in the United States, meaning it is more expensive on average than the state or the
The median home cost in Denver. Colorado is $534,100, significantly higher than Colorado’s average of
$488,600, and the United States’ median of $291,700. The price of homes has increased significantly but many
expect that this is going to continue. This means that if you buy a home now, it should significantly continue to
increase in value, as long as the demand for housing in Denver continues to grow or remains steady.
As the housing market continues to rise, homes will keep gaining value. This makes any purchase into the
Denver housing market a great investment, whether or not you plan to stay there for a long time!
Denver enjoys on average 245 of sunshine a year, meaning its residents enjoy a very sun-filled year! Denver does
have a drier climate than other areas of Colorado, given its geographic situation in the state. The temperatures
usually reach a high of 89 degrees in the summer. July is typically the hottest month. The temperature usually
averages a low of 18 degrees in the winter, typically coldest in January.
The Denver area typically gets an average of 17 inches of rain a year, compared to an average of 60 inches of
snow a year. Winter months bring much more precipitation for the Mile High City than summer months do, but
luckily it never lasts for long. Denver is famous for having a snow storm drop 5 inches one night, and by noon
the next day a 60 degree day will melt it all. In Denver, there are rarely huge snow banks covered in dirty mud.
Denver is made up of many neighborhoods, each with its own unique flare. Whether your idea of a good
shopping day consists of combing through an assortment of local boutiques, a traditional shopping day at a large
mall, or jumping from one thrift shop to another, Denver has all the best options for you!
A great place to start your shopping adventures in Denver is with the famous downtown 16th Street Mall. Denver
has a small downtown compared to other large cities in the United States, and the 16th Street Mall is a staple to
the downtown area. It is an outdoor mall sprawling several blocks of downtown’s 16th Street. There are some big
brand stores like Sephora and Express, as well as several local shops that sell locally made art, or brands that are
specific to the Denver area. This is a great way to spend the day. 16th Street is rich with restaurants, coffee shops,
interesting stores, and street vendors selling delicious food. You will probably even spot some street performers.
While vehicles are not allowed on the 16th St Mall, there are trolleys that run from one end to the other, should
you need a break from walking.
If you want more of a traditional shopping experience in a mall with all the typical big brand stores you may
expect, there are plenty of malls in Denver as well. Park Meadows Retail Resort is the largest enclosed shopping
center in Colorado; it has over 185 popular retailers and restaurants and is designed beautifully as well. The
Cherry Creek Shopping Center is another luxurious mall in Colorado. It is home to designer stores and higher
Cherry Creek is not only home to a deluxe shopping mall, but it also has blocks of stores and delicious
restaurants that make it fun to walk around outside and spend the day shopping. From spring to fall, Cherry
Creek hosts Colorado’s largest farmers’ market. This is a great place to shop for fresh produce and locally made
products from farmers across the state.
Highlands Square is another great neighborhood for shopping in Denver. Located in North West Denver,
Highlands Square gives shoppers a more relaxing experience shopping around. In this Denver area you will find
funky gifts, handmade goods, cool clothing, interesting jewelry and unique decor pieces you will want to get for
your apartment or bedroom. This is a young and bustling neighborhood that is also filled with delicious
restaurants and fun coffee shops.
Denver is a very large and sprawling city, so having a strong public school system is extremely important.
Denver has 450 preschools, 251 elementary schools, 141 middle schools, and 101 high schools. With all of these
schools, there are a lot of options for parents to find schooling for their children. Depending on where a family
lives, there are a strong number of options for schooling.
The Denver public school district is broken up into four districts, North, West, East, and South. These are the
names of the four major high schools in Denver, North, West, East, and South. Admittance depends on where a
family’s home is located.
Denver is also home to several colleges. There is the University of Denver, which is a small private University
located in southern Denver. The University of Colorado, Denver is a CU public school that offers Colorado
residents’ in-state tuition. There are a few more colleges located in Denver, ranging in size, price, and specialty.