Welcome to Denver, the Mile High city
Matt Inden/ Weaver Multimedia Group
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Located at 5,280 above sea level, Denver is known as the Mile High City. Offering an enviable quality of life that makes it one of the best places in the United States to live and work – and all you have to do is just step outside. With a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains, the nation’s largest public park system, and more than 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s no surprise that Denver consistently tops the lists of most livable cities.
Recreation and an active lifestyle beckon. Metro Denver’s young, active residents are among the nation’s healthiest. Area residents dabble in everything from skiing to hiking, mountain biking to river rafting. Perhaps that’s why the area is ranked as one of the fittest cities in the country! When they’re not enjoying the region’s great outdoors, citizens take advantage of championship sports teams and cultural attractions, such as events at the Denver Performing Arts Complex— the largest such facility outside of New York City.
An Ideal Climate
The metro Denver area is on the high plains at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Moderate temperatures, low levels of humidity and abundant sunshine offer an ideal climate for year-round activities. In fact, the Denver area has more days of sunshine per year than either San Diego or Miami Beach.
What about the snow? Metro Denver’s climate is best described as “semi-arid,” averaging a little less than 16 inches of precipitation annually. Winter storms here are usually short-lived, and the snow melts rapidly. However, the nearby mountains and ski resorts often get significant annual snowfall, allowing residents to enjoy the best of both worlds—a mild climate for hiking, biking and a variety of outdoor activities, and ideal weather for skiing, snowboarding, and other mountain activities.
Communities for All
Denver is the heart of an energetic metropolitan area that embraces both newcomers and visitors. The metro Denver area consists of seven counties, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson.
This diverse region ranges from a dynamic central business district with a cosmopolitan urban atmosphere to small communities with a distinctly rural flavor and picturesque mountain towns nestled in the foothills of the Rockies. Denver is also home to an active and historic downtown area, with lofts and high-rise housing options, as well as tree-lined neighborhoods with historic roots.
Jefferson County is the area’s second-largest county and includes three cities: Arvada, Lakewood and Westminster that have populations greater than 100,000. In the county’s western section, residents can live in mountain communities, yet still work in a major metro area.
Located just east of Denver, Arapahoe County has experienced major residential growth. The county’s largest city is Aurora with a population of more than 290,000; Cherry Hills Village and Greenwood Village are known as more affluent neighborhoods.
Home to Denver International Airport, Adams County is a mix of established cities, new master-planned communities and rural farmsteads. Most of its cities offer a small-town atmosphere with easy access to businesses and attractions in nearby Denver.
Situated on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder County’s mountain communities, parks and trail systems offer a serene lifestyle and easy access to skiing, hiking, mountain biking and climbing.
Located just south of Denver, Douglas County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, but with large portions of the county designated for agricultural and open-space uses. Most residents commute to Denver or Colorado Springs.
Finally, just north of Denver is Broomfield County – known as a high-tech center and home to several major companies with housing development that continues to grow with the county and its successes.
Denver is a certainly a city of distinctive neighborhoods, yet the cost of living here remains affordable. Living here is easier on your wallet than living in California or many east coast cities, as well as Chicago, Minneapolis, or Portland.
Colorado’s focus on low taxes, coupled with the region’s high household incomes, has kept the region’s cost of living at or near the national average. Denver ranks slightly above the national average for cost of living, but it is also well below many other major cities.
According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, home prices in Denver have fared better than prices in many other metro areas. Metro Denver’s median home price is expected to increase modestly in the next few years.
Many communities, employers and organizations in the area also provide programs for down-payment assistance and other community advocacy programs to help residents purchase affordable homes.
Metro Denver’s mild climate, low humidity, plentiful sunshine and “Mountain West” lifestyle all combine to create an ideal atmosphere for a year-round recreation. In fact, Denver has the largest public parks system of any U.S. city, with 205 parks within the city limits. The city also owns 14,000 acres of mountain parks and 2,500 acres of natural areas, as well as more than 60 miles of bicycle paths. In total, there are nearly 400 parks and pathways located throughout the metro area. There are also 40 state parks and three national parks in metro Denver’s backyard, with prime recreational opportunities for biking, hiking, camping, fishing and skiing.
Located within 100 miles of metro Denver, the Rocky Mountains are home to some 25 world-class ski resorts, offering downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, inner-tubing fun, and mountain climbing. No matter where you look, thousands of acres of open space dot the area, giving citizens a huge outdoor playground to hike, bike, ski, snowshoe and more just steps from their homes.
In the summer months, the resorts are a spectacular background for a variety of music and food festivals, as well as outdoor activities like river rafting and horseback riding. Denver also has an extensive trail system: One of the longest recreational trails in the metro Denver area, the High Line Canal, runs 60 miles and connects Douglas, Arapahoe and Denver counties.
But there are plans for more. One is a $200 million network of trails, greenbelts and open space areas in the cities of Denver, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City and portions of Adams County—called the Northeast Greenway Corridor. The project will preserve farmland, wetlands and open space in growing population areas.
Other plans include creating a continuous trail linking Denver’s Front Range communities with a multi-use trail that runs from New Mexico to Wyoming. The Colorado Front Range Trail will link existing and planned trail systems with new trail corridors to create an extensive pathway system to connect Colorado’s major population centers.
That’s not all; there’s even more to do! With more than 75 public and private golf courses located throughout the region, the Denver area gives seasoned and novice golfers a host of choices. Other recreational activities in the area include hunting, boating, sailing, wind surfing, swimming and fishing in Colorado’s many streams, lakes and reservoirs.