Denver, Colorado is known for many things. From the surrounding Rocky Mountains to its high elevations, dubbed “the mile high city”, Denver is a warm and welcoming city rich in amenities, diversity, culture and activities. 

This guide offers a quick glimpse into all the great things about living in Denver. The city is rich with amenities, recreation, entertainment, shopping, dining and culture!

History of Denver, Colorado

Denver is steeped in history dating back to the mid 1800’s when a group of gold prospectors from Kansas Territory came to the area during Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. They set up a camp which eventually would become the city of Denver. 

In 1858, land speculators placed cottonwood logs along the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek in order to stake claim to the area.It was named Denver City after Kansa Territorial Governor, James W. Denver

Originating as a frontier town, the economy was heavily based on servicing local miners. Gambling, saloons, livestock and trading goods was commonplace. 

Denver was officially incorporated in 1861. In 1867 it became the acting territorial capital and then the permanent state capital in 1881. 

Since this time Denver continued to flourish and grow, not without its hardships along the way. Today Denver is a thriving city full of culture and diversity with a booming economy, well rated education and plenty of things to see and do!

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Denver Real Estate Market

Living in Denver Colorado 

Though Denver is a growing city, the area still boasts reasonable real estate prices. When compared to other major cities around the nation, Denver remains extremely affordable. 

Like many cities in the country, the need for housing is growing as the population increases due to a strong economy and many job opportunities. These factors are fueling the demand which in turn is driving prices up.

Denver is a hot real estate market with an annual appreciation of 7% according to This puts Denver in the top 10% for the country. 

Denver’s real estate landscape is as diverse as its population. Everything from loft apartments, condos, townhomes, single family and luxury real estate can be found intermixed throughout the city. 

The average price for a single family home for sale in Denver falls around $560,000, whereas townhomes and condos hoover around $320,000.

Outdoor Activities

Denver, Colorado is an outdoor enthusiasts dream! Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, filled with parks and recreational areas, Denver offers residents and visitors plenty of opportunity to enjoy its stunning natural surroundings. Here are some things to do in the area:

Kayak in Confluence Park - Located in downtown Denver, Confluence Park is an urban park offering a slew of outdoor activities. The eastern end of the South Platte river has been transformed into a kayak run! 

Denver’s Botanical Gardens - Spanning 24 acres, Denver’s Botanical Gardens are located along York street, offering a multitude of gardens and plants. Special events and collections are showcased throughout the year. 

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge - Located approximately 8 miles from downtown Denver, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,988 acre site that is home to more than 330 species. Visitors can sightsee, spot wildlife and learn about the area. 

Events Galore

Denver is an active and engaging city that regularly hosts community events throughout the year. From food festivals to holiday events and everything in between, there is always something happening in and around Denver. 

Civic Center Eats:

Hosted at Civic Park from mid August through Mid October, Civic Center Eats is a Food Truck Festival in the heart of Denver. From ethnic eats to local favorites, residents and visitors are able to enjoy some of the best food Denver has to offer. 

Smash Art Fine Festival:

Hosted at Fillmore Plaza, the gateway to the Cherry Creek North District - the world renowned outdoor art and culture event showcases local artists and talent. Food, music and many activities draw in crowds yearly. 

Mile High Holidays:

Running from mid November to mid January, Mile High Holidays is a city wide event where stores, restaurants and more offer special discounts, events and activities. 

Denver offers so many things to see and do it would be difficult to compile it all in one list. From charity walks to city wide scavenger hunts, farmers markets to art showings, regardless of your interests there will be something going on you’ll want to see! 

A Look at Arts and Culture

Denver has an exciting and dynamic art and culture scene. With the diversity of its population, there are many ethnic events being held through communities within the city. World class museums, unique art districts, theatre and more are offered by numerous clubs and cultural groups. 

Street art festivals are a great way to showcase local and national talent while beautifying the city. Sculptures, statutes, exhibits and paintings decorate the downtown and nearby districts of Denver. Walk through many Denver neighborhoods and you’ll be greeted with amazing graffiti art designed by local artists. 

Art enthusiasts will want to check ou the Art District on Santa Fe, which is the hub of Denver's art scene. 30 participating galleries, studios and restaurants are concentrated in the area and routinely offer exhibits, showcases and on Fridays, an Art Walk. 

Other attractions you won’t want to miss are the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, The Art - a Hotel, Denver’s Performing Arts Complex, home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and The Denver Art Museum. 

Inclusivity for All

Denver is a place that celebrates those of all walks of life and lifestyles. Promoting inclusivity for peoples of all kinds, the city routinely hosts a number of events to celebrate different groups. 

Denver PrideFest is the largest LGBTQ pride celebration in the Rocky Mountain region. Located in the historic Civic Park, PrideFest is a chance to gather and celebrate what pride means to you! There is also a Pride 5k as well as a Pride Parade. Food, drinks, music, art and fun are all featured during this event that strives to connect and build communities and individuals regardless of sexual orientation. 

There are a wide range of cultural groups and communities that call Denver home. Different ethic gatherings such as the nation’s largest Cinco De May Festival celebrating Mexican Culture, Dragon Boat Festival celebrating Asian Culture and March Powwow which is the largest and most diverse Native American celebration. 

Denver is a city that welcomes everyone regardless of race, religion, culture and orientation. Priding themselves as an accepting and inclusive city, Denver promotes community and relationship building at all of their events. 

A Neighborhood for Every Lifestyle

Denver is full of neighborhoods and communities that collectively make up the beautiful city. Regardless of your needs and wants, Denver has a wide range of neighborhoods that cater to many different lifestyles. Hip urban communities to family friendly suburbs, Denver's real estate landscape has something for every buyer in every budget. 

If you are hoping to be in the heart of the excitement, you will want to look at Denver’s urban areas that offer an array of housing options. Lofts, condos and townhomes generally dominate the real estate styles of these communities. Some great urban neighborhoods include LoDo, or Lower Downtown, Capitol Hill, Washington Park and Lincoln Park

These neighborhoods attract singles, working professionals, families and anyone who enjoys being in the mix of a downtown area. Residents enjoy walkability to many city attractions as well as the many events and activities right outside their front doors. 

Those looking for a suburban style neighborhood will have plenty of choices to choose from. Many single family detached homes, or attached townhomes/condos make up the suburban communities in Denver. 

Residents enjoy private yards, quiet streets and mature greenery. Some great suburban neighborhoods to consider include Cherry Creek, Castle Pines Village, Acres Green and Shaw Heights. Still enjoying easy access to the downtown area as well as many parks and recreation areas nearby, suburban neighborhoods appeal to all buyers. 

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Excellent Education 

Schools within Denver are managed and operated by the Denver County School District No. 1, also known simply as Denver Public Schools. The district encompasses 207 schools with a total enrollment of just over 92,000 students. 

There are 92 Elementary Schools, 18 Kindergarten through grade 8 schools, 34 Middle Schools, 44 High Schools and 19 Charter Schools. 

Under the guidance and direction of the Denver Public Schools, the district has the 2nd highest academic growth in the nation. 

Students from around the city attend well rated schools that are run by caring and engaged teachers. The staff promotes a strong sense of community and inclusivity and strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment that fosters growth and a love of learning. 

Denver is also home to 9 colleges and/or university campuses for those who go on to post secondary education. Schools such as University of Colorado Denver, University of Boulder Colorado, Red Rocks Community College and Denver College of Nursing. 

Ample Amenities

Relocating to Denver, Colorado

The city of Denver is full of necessary amenities to ensure everything one would need is found there. Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and specialty shops dot the downtown core as well as many areas throughout the city. 

Those looking for a little retail therapy won’t have to travel far! Malls and plazas are set around the city for convenience. Some of the best locations for stores and services include the 16th Street Mall, Denver Pavilions, Belmar Shopping Center, and Cherry Creek Shopping Mall. 

The Denver Public Library has over 20 branches of the library nestled in communities and neighborhoods throughout the city. Offering all the traditional services of a public library, the branches also offer classes, resources and programs for everyone from 1 to 100. 

There is no shortage of recreation opportunities for residents of Denver. The city is home to 30 recreation centers. Childrens, youth and adult programs are offered out of the centers which also house community rooms, gymnasiums, work out areas and more. There are 14 indoor and 16 outdoor community pools within Denver where people of all ages and ability levels are able to enjoy the aquatic programs. 

Denver is known for the stunning scenery that surrounds the city, however, there are many neighborhood and community parks nestled within its urban areas as well. Dog parks, mountain parks, trail networks and bike paths are easily accessible to Denver residents. One of the most popular urban parks is Washington Park which boasts large amounts of public greenspace, trails, picnic areas, and two lakes. Visitors lounge in the sunlight and warm weather while taking in the beautiful scenery. 

Other popular parks in the city include Confluence Park, City Park, Sloan’s Lake Park and Harvard Gulch Park. These, plus many more, offer multi use sports fields, trails, benches, and tons of children’s play equipment. City Park is home to the Denver Zoo which is a 80 acre zoological garden which was founded in 1896. The zoo is one of Denver's most popular paid attractions and houses species from all over the world. 

Tasty Treats and Delicious Eats

Denver’s dining scene rivals any other large city in the nation. Full of choices and variety, restaurant goers will have ample opportunity to satisfy any craving. Dotted in the downtown core as well as within communities and districts across the city, Denver is home to some of the area's best restaurants and eateries. 

Thanks to its diversity and multiculturalism, Denver’s restaurant scene is an eclectic mix of tastes and flavors! From Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican and classic American, bistros, cafes, diners and restaurants are an opportunity to let your taste buds travel the world. Nightlife venues, pubs, distilleries and craft brewers are speckled throughout the city showcasing some of the best local and international drinks. 

Delicious food and drink aren’t just reserved for traditional restaurants anymore! Denver hosts a number of food and food truck festivals which excite any foodies taste buds. Ribs, Wings, Brews, along with a slew of cultural festivals and events often offer some of the best meals in the city.

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