12 Most Mile High Reasons to Live in Denver, Colorado
I am a native Texan that has also lived in South Carolina, Washington State and now Colorado for close to 12 years. We loved each of the places we lived, but Denver is our favorite. There are multiple reasons why it is one of the destination areas in the country to live.
Denver is at high altitude, so here are my 12 Most Mile High reasons to live in Denver! And I did not even mention all of the ski resorts and summer excursion possibilities…
1. The views are awesome
Denver seems to be like a lot of growing metropolitan areas that lack the highway infrastructure to support traffic. One consolation is that you can look to the horizon and be dazzled with beautiful mountain views. If you catch the early morning light just right, the mountains glow majestically.
2. The Denver Broncos have a rabid fan base
I grew up in Texas, so I lived and breathed football. I also followed both the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Oilers, and the Denver Broncos were my out-of-state favorite team. Even though I moved to the Carolinas (Carolina Panthers) and Seattle (Seattle Seahawks), I still favored the Cowboys and Broncos.
Having lived in Denver for almost 12 years, the Broncos are definitely my #1 team. And yes, I did live through Tebowmania and that incredible overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers!
3. The Denver Nuggets are playing basketball the right way
If you read my social media/leadership sports blog, then you know I favor good teamwork over teams dominated by a superstar. Carmelo Anthony is a gifted scorer, and he may eventually become a Level 5 leader capable of making his team better. However, he dominated the Nuggets with isolation plays and “sticky hands”. The new Nuggets are league leaders in assists, fast break points and scoring. They do it with a “good defense triggers offense” mentality and the willingness to make the extra pass.
One major sportscaster recently rated the Nuggets #4 for “best team to watch”. I vote they are #1!
Denver Nuggets Kenneth Faried dunk from Rudy Fernandez
4. Colorado Rockies are young and exciting
I’ll admit that baseball is not my favorite sport, but the Colorado Rockies have a young and exciting team that even made it to the World Series in 2007. Toss in a beautiful venue like Coors Field with glorious views of the Rocky Mountains, and a day at the baseball park is a great day to be alive.
5. 16th Street Mall is a great place to pass the time
Denver has a beautiful downtown pedestrian mall called 16th Street Mall. You can find great restaurants, breweries, and urban wineries. You can visit gift shops or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Perhaps you decide to catch a movie or listen to live jazz. And if horse-drawn carriages are not your cup of tea, there is a free shuttle that runs the length of the 16th Street Mall.
6. Larimer Square provides a unique atmosphere for a date
Larimer Square is an area reclaimed from Colorado’s History. Each restaurant and shop presents a unique concept, and the lighting is beautiful. My family and I love restaurants like Bistro Vendome, Ocean Prime, Lime, Tag Raw Bar, Euclid Hall and Ted’s Montana Grill. We went to those first two restaurants on our 21st and 22nd wedding anniversaries, and WOW did they spoil us!
7. Colorado is sunny
Employers and chambers of commerce in Denver like to point out that we get more sunny days than San Diego, California. When you are a guy that loves to play tennis outdoors, and not die of heat exhaustion like what I experienced in Texas, Colorado is the place to be.
8. Yet we still get just enough snow
When you grow up in Texas, you want a snow day if you even see a snowflake! I love snow when it has the decency to look beautiful, and then be clear of the street within 48 hours. Luckily, I get that combination in Denver and I finally understand the joys of having a White Christmas.
I have been introduced to the north-facing houses phenomenon in Denver. Luckily, my house faces east, so the snow quickly melts. If you have a north-facing house, and we get a snow in November, you might see your front yard again in May (since our biggest snows come in the Spring).
9. It is Dallas — with mountains
When we lived in Houston and Dallas, the restaurant scene served a diverse taste. You could find those “favorite hole-in-the-wall haunts” or larger restaurant chains where you knew you would get a consistent restaurant experience. Our restaurant options became much more limited while living in Greenville, SC and Woodinville, WA (these are both beautiful places, by the way).
When we finally moved to Denver, CO in 2000, I explained to my wife it was like “Dallas with mountains”. I am sure both of these cities will take some offense with the comparison; however, I finally lived in a great sports town… with great restaurants… that sprawled for miles. As much as we love restaurants in unique venues like Larimer Square, we sometimes just crave On The Border, PF Changs, or Outback Steakhouse!
10. Colorado has top-shelf universities
I am a proud graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, and I was excited when at least one of our daughters wanted to go to this world class university. We took her on a college campus visit in Austin, and she realized two things: (1) UT-Austin is a huge, overwhelming school, and (2) Texas is HOT! She also visited the University of Colorado in Boulder, and she fell in love with this beautiful campus nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She is far enough away from home to get her parents out of her hair while still having the option of a home-cooked meal within an hour’s drive.
Of course, Colorado also boasts great universities like Colorado State University, University of Denver, Colorado School of Mines and Colorado College.
11. Suburbs support a small-town feel
I grew up in a small Texas town, so I get a wave of wonderful nostalgia when going through small town Main Street areas like Parker and Littleton, CO. We also like driving around on a sunny day and hearing kids playing football, soccer, volleyball and baseball on all of the available sports fields.
12. Culture and weather encourages getting outside and staying active
Forbes Magazine recently rated Denver #6 on the Fittest Cities in the United States. Colorado is considered the fittest state in the United States, and it is the only state that can boast an obesity rate below 20%. With close to 300 days of sun – and plenty of skiing/snowboarding, parks, trails, tennis courts, golf courses and athletic fields — Colorado encourages a healthy and active lifestyle with plenty of inexpensive options.
I encourage you to find time in your travel schedule to visit Denver, CO. And if you already live here, I hope you are grateful like me when waking up to those sunny mornings and majestic mountains each day!
Featured image courtesy of Beverly & Pack via Creative Commons.