Denver is a dangerous city. I've heard natives of Denver say that Denver is "gentrified pretty much everywhere" but I would actually say the opposite. I live in Downtown Denver and though I am paying mile-high rent and live on 19th St, I often feel like I live in the ghetto--I don't feel safe walking around past 6pm because of the vagrants and derelicts that walk around terrorizing people. This is not an exaggeration. It is seriously chock-full of dangerous derelicts and vagrants who are violent and unstable. I moved here from a Mid-Atlantic Southern city and I feel way less safe here than I did there because no matter where you go, there are really crazy people walking around. For example, do you want to stay in the best hotel in Denver? Sure, stay at the Ritz-Carlton: you've got all you needs taken care of, including drug dealers right across the street at the Greyhound bus station 24/7. It's insane here, honestly. In terms of moving here, I would say don't, unless you've got to for a job or something because I honestly don't see the appeal especially for the smokers now that so many other places have legalized it. In terms of tourism, I'd say stay here for a day or two, see some sights, and then move on. Very importantly, for those who come from safer, more stable places, be aware that this is a dangerous place full of dangerous people especially at night (and night can start early!). If you do plan to walk around at night, for almost all neighborhoods, I would carry a weapon.
Was driving for Rodie. Had 11 hours till pick up time. Was told that we couldn't sleep at 3 walmarts, and 1 TA truckstop. Not a friendly place. The people are rude and pushy. And the homeless are everywhere, even in 15*F weather.
I'm tempted to create a bumper sticker that reads: "Looking for the mountains, head east on I-80". I'm originally from the East coast, then paused in a major mid-west city for years, and wandered, 8 years ago, to Denver. I hated it then, I hate it even more now. Mind you, I love Colorado itself. (And to the guy who thinks there are no single women here, there are plenty, we just find most hardcore mountain men to be self-absorbed and non-committal & and most of the newbs to be super annoying. If you recently moved here, do NOT use the words "epic" or "braaaaah" to explain anything. Period.)Pros: 1. Not living in Denver. The smaller mountain towns are quaint, friendly, and closer to mountain games. Golden use to be an amazing place to call home, but it's now crime ridden, too expensive for terrible dwellings, and overrun with disgruntled folks from the Illinois suburbs (who claim to be from Chicago. You're from Naperville, stop fronting.)2. The town I live in is Colorado Front Range's best kept secret. 4 square miles of bliss, open space, unicorns, quiet, coyotes, and a diverse population. I refuse to tell people where I live.3. Rock climbing for days...because that's how long it takes to wait in line for a route. On the plus side, not many people are crowded around the 11s. On the con side, holy freaking screaming kids and drunk/stoned newbs yapping loudly about their bomber hold and epic send. Shut up!4. The neighborhoods within Denver have personality, but get there quick before the yuppies continue to white wash the character. Uptown use to house my favorite bars and vegetarian cafe, music box tree, and balcony of dolls. The 'hood was littered with artists, philosophers, bikers, and natives. Money has destroyed Uptown. Santa Fe, RINO, South Braodway, Lowry, Sunnyside, LoHi, Tennyson all still offer a unique setting and, if you search a little, great food. Hoppy Leaf, Linger, Root Down, Vine Street Pub, Snooze, the Universal are all fantastic eateries.5. If you know the back roads, the mountains are amazing and not that difficult to get to. There are still plenty of quiet trails to stroll along. Yes, please, "stroll" on up a 14er with one gas station bottle of water and jeans.6. Attitude of all of us who lived here PLM; when rent was affordable, jobs were plentiful, and the mountains weren't covered in Starbucks cups.Cons:1. Enormous rattle snakes that will eat your baby.2. Shark attacks.3. Tailgaters (ie, Broncos fans and people who are so needy they insist on snuggling right on up against your car bumper in traffic).4. Idiots who think the mountains are landfills. LEAVE NO TRACE!5. More and more people who treat Denver like a city. It's an overgrown mountain town. Leave your attitude at the border.6. Weed. It stinks. The money actually has not yet been filtered into the public schools. It has, however, filtered in idiots and laziness. Buy local...from your back alley dealer in your former state. Also, nobody in CO flippin' cares how hiiiiiiiigh you are, bro. Like we say to the screaming kids at the crags, shut up!7. Education is sub-par, traffic is a nightmare, rent is stupid, it's tough to buy a home, people in Denver in general are rude (I noticed this 8 years ago), the art museums are horrific, not much culture (Denver doesn't seem to have its own identity), public transit is trying but still unreliable, and it's rather boring and dangerous in the city.8. Overall, Denver has a funky vibe right now and a lot of us are frustrated that we've lived here for years, paid our taxes, dealt with our cracked windshields, updated our license plate, built trails, smiled, and had steady jobs and now all of that is relaxed comfort is slipping away.I'm moving to Utah, so that's one less human on I-25.
I moved here 20 years ago and Denver has become expensive, low paying jobs and traffic is a nightmare anymore. Since the legislation of pot, crime has increased dramatically, homeless people everywhere and on every corner begging for money, high theft in retail stores, apartments are being built everywhere with rents around $1400 for a one-bedroom apartment and buying a home, forget it. Residential streets are paved with cars and there is no where to park since most homes do not have garages and driving down those streets is nerve racking since some rude motorists take it upon themselves to drive right through without slowing, so you have to stop. Going into the mountains use to be a breeze with little to no traffic. With so many people, it takes hours and traffic is at a standstill most of the day. Everywhere you go now, there are lines such as the grocery stores, retail stores, theaters, bars etc. It has been reported that 4k-5k people a month are moving to Denver and this literally sucks anymore! Way too many people that Denver has become a sprawl and they are overbuilding everywhere. The majority of people moving here are from Ill. CA. TX. and AZ. If you think your moving to a nice small city to get away from the big city your leaving, think again. Your moving to a nightmare! I have been looking for full time work for over 8 years, have a college education, professional background and can only find part time employment. The employment rate of 5.4% is a lie, as they do not take into account the people who have given up looking, or just want to get high, be on unemployment, collect food stamps and get free Medicaid in this state. The Gov. and mayor of Denver are horrible since all you Dems have moved into this state and vote in all Dems who are worthless. People use to be friendly, however with new transplants from everywhere, they bring their bad attitudes with them. You like a lot of illegal Mexicans who can not afford car insurance, Denver is just the place since we are a sanctuary city which allows them to come here and not be deported, be given a free drivers license and allowed to drive without insurance. Met so many people that have been hit by illegals and law enforcement does nothing. Denver and surrounding areas get hit with hail storms on average 5-9 times a year and some are very damaging to autos and homes! Must be global warming or chemtrails being sprayed over our city. Sorry for the negative comments, but I use to love Denver so much, but it has literally become too much to bear!Hope this helps, as one day, this city will come crashing down again like several times before.
Like others have states, unless you are really into mountain sports Denver is boring. The city is very spread out and there is a lot of traffic. The dating scene is horrendous for men and great for women (there are no women in Denver, none). The cost of living has gone up 50% since I moved here, I make six figures but will never be able to afford a home here. There are a ton of transplants in Denver and as a result, there is no culture in the city. Denver has a VERY dry climate, I am constantly drinking water and using moisturizer. The weather isn't that great, it's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. The people are nice, but in a fake. plastic, West Coast kind of way. A lot of the transplants are tech bros that work for startups, tech bros are the most annoying people on earth. There is a homeless person with a sign at every intersection. The 16th street mall has homeless people hitting you up for money every 15 ft. The nightlife is a joke. Many establishments close early and those that stay open later are filled with 22 year old men looking for women. Many of the people that live here are narcissists (just like Southern California).I am desperately looking for an excuse to get out of Denver as I know things are only going to get significantly worse as more people relocate here and the city becomes more expensive and more congested.
If you love heading off to the mountains and doing sporty stuff all weekend long, then you'll love Denver...maybe. Denver is, as someone told me on city-data.com, and I quote, "a beefed up cowtown". Please, do not be swayed by the images of Denver you see and articles you read about the city in travel journals and blogs online that make it out to be something it is not. The truth is, most people are quite happy with the way that Denver has managed to keep that midwestern 'charm', but if you're coming from a big city like NYC, Austin, LA, etc. you will be sorely disappointed if you think Denver has a lot to offer, as a lot of magazines and blogs claim it does, especially for young professionals. This is a slow city that's trapped in its own little world due to its landlocked location. I'll break it down as objectively as possible. Check out each category for specifics.
THE ARTS/NIGHTLIFE/CULTURE/AMENITIES: Denver may be quirky, but it doesn't have a thriving arts and culture scene. Cherry Creek has a few art galleries; there's one art walk every Saturday out of the month, but otherwise, that's it, so if you're an artist looking to get a head start look elsewhere! Downtown has a highly concentrated sector of chain restaurants, bars and boutiques near the University of Colorado Denver campus, but nightlife is poor overall. Neighborhoods surrounding central downtown provide occasional entertainment, but the nightclub scene is stale and 'blah'. Amenities are very spread out. This IS NOT A WALKABLE CITY. Let me repeat: this is not a walkable city. People are friendly here but they do keep to themselves, and they don't have a lot of energy. Drivers are much more laid back than out north and I was rarely tail gated. The city is open minded, which is a good thing depending on how you see it: I saw more than a few billboards advertising gun conventions; pot dispensaries are everywhere, even in suburban areas; and birth control is free, provided by the state government.
APPEARANCE/QUALITY OF AIR/ETC.: The city itself is very modern in many ways. Central downtown, while SMALL, is brand spanking new with big, sparkly buildings. The city is laid out on a grid, so it is very easy to find your way around compared to other cities! Air quality is not the best, and it doesn't help that the mountain climate/altitude levels add to concentrated levels of pollution. The residential areas are maintained just fine. Don't expect a lot of beautiful greenery, other than some of the parks scattered throughout the city, since the mountain climate makes it difficult to maintain green lawns, flowers etc. with no humidity.
REAL ESTATE/COST OF LIVING/JOBS: If you didn't know this already, real estate prices are soaring. It's partially related to the legalization of weed, but has a LOT more to do with the infrastructure of laws and regulations that come with building new properties in the city. So, unless you have a great job secured in Denver before moving, don't get your hopes up of being able to afford a great piece of property in the area. Be prepared to fight hard for an excellent job, since besides pot enthusiasts flocking here, there are also many highly intelligent and qualified professionals racing to Denver. The job market is competitive and fierce, even for lower level jobs. Living downtown is immensely pricey [850+ for a studio apartment that's breaking down] and parking is a nightmare. Expect to tack on an extra 130 bucks a month for that crappy parking spot! Supermarkets are pretty pricey and overly crowded. However, they are well stocked and very clean. I never found the produce to be terrible, but it isn't very fresh.
SAFETY/CRIME/HOMELESSNESS: Colfax ave., the main road that passes through Denver, is notoriously ridden with crime. Taking the bus on Colfax, I encountered more than a few disturbing arguments and physical confrontations between people who were homeless, high or both. The legalization of pot has brought with it a huge increase in homelessness; and the homeless stay homeless, since shelters won't intake anyone who uses dope. A few of my buddies in college were robbed and mugged during my 6 month stay in the city while walking home to their apartments. They lived only about 7 or 8 blocks north of me [in Cap Hill, the 'good' section]. And just a few blocks away from me was Colfax, which is ridden with gang activity. So, 'good' blocks can quickly bleed into 'bad' blocks. Keep your wits about you. It is also legal to carry a small knife in Colorado. You don't know who might be carrying a concealed weapon, so be cautious and avoid unnecessary confrontations. Just keep it in mind - please. It may sound silly or dramatic, but it's important to always think this as a rule of thumb no matter where you go!
TRAFFIC/COMMUTING/WEATHER: You might think it's a good idea to head further outside of Denver and into a suburb and commute daily, but be prepared for horrendous traffic. The light rail is a decent way of getting around, but the bus system is awful. I also learned you have a higher chance of getting more serious hail and weather-related damages to your car the closer you are to the Denver International Airport. That's also something to consider, since Denver has the beauty of no humidity in the summertime but rapidly fluctuating weather.
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER: Also: for any of you considering University of Colorado Denver, please think twice and check out neighboring schools like Metro. I had some bad experiences at the school. Most students did not engage and used their laptops, iPads, etc. to pass class time, especially in gen ed courses, and I was not challenged. The campus lacks a sense of fun and community. Many classrooms are run down and old, which contrasts sharply with some of the newly renovated lecture halls just a few doors down and high tech, upgraded administrative buildings. Also, the student medical office ripped me off about 700 dollars for failing to notify me before seeing the campus nurse three times that my paperwork for their student health insurance was not approved. Evidently, until they received 'the list' of approved students in November, there was no way of knowing, so who knows who else they ripped off with this sneaky little tactic. Overall, it's a mediocre school and you'll get a mediocre education here.
I moved to Denver a year ago and was excited but have been really disappointed and can't wait to move home!
1. The schools are awful! They have very limited transportation for Middle school students and all HS students have to rely on themselves & public transportation. They have a school choice system that leaves you with very little choice. The schools don't have that neighborhood vibe because of this. The schools seem to have lots of violence & drugs as well.
2. For such a large city the amenities feel very limited. Examples- I'm really into nails & hair and there is very few nail and hair salons & they are not up on the latest/ newest trends. The grocery stores are overcrowded limited and there just isn't a lot of them. It's hard to find a gym that is cool (air conditioned) and clean.
3. The food (for cooking) other than the summer farmers market is not good. The produce is not fresh, the meat is not quite right & it is is really hard to find a lot of items!
4. The roads get really bad in the winter and although they keep the highways clear the back/residential roads are death defying. The schools don't cancel/delay & it feels really unsafe!
5. The sides of the roads are covered in trash & not landscaped or nice. They have signs up saying different businesses (often Marijuana businesses) are keeping CO clean but their clearly not.
6. The homeless are everywhere and extremely persistent. You worry about them in the cold but they are truly a nuisance.
7. The traffic makes going anywhere sound like more trouble than it is worth!
8. People are way to granola, hiking, skiing, pot smoking oriented. It just isn't a fun vibe . People are way too hipster/hippie & not down to earth or friendly.
9. Denver somehow lacks a multicultural vibe which is odd when there is lots of people from everywhere here.
10. Ethnic food here is not good go for BBQ or breakfast or don't eat out.
1. Rockies games are fun & the stadium is nice.
2. Colorado Springs is close & very nice (I love the zoo there).
3. Estes Park is worth a look.
4. The summer farmer markets are very good (I go to the one in Stapleton).
5. The Rocky Mountains are pretty.
Overall I would not recommend living in Denver unless you are very young, hipsterish, outdoorsy, own a car that is good in snow, love traffic, & are not picky about nice amenities OR you really love to smoke weed legally. It is not a good place to raise kids especially teens.
General overview: Denver is the largest metro area between Chicago and the West Coast. For being the 21st largest metro area in America it feels slow and small. A lot of that is due to the sprawl. I was expecting someplace that was a little more alive and vibrant. Instead I got a massive suburb.
Because it is a regional hub with a multi-million population it gets attractions and professional sports teams that would not be here if it was in a different region. The problem is that it is really isolated from the rest of civilization. The nearest city with over a million people is nearly 600 miles away (Phoenix).
In terms of major cities in America, Denver is the kiddie pool. It lacks any edge or vibrancy because of the sprawl. If you're from a major metro area and want a slow and extremely laid back and passive place, or you're from the country and want to get your feet wet with a multi-million population area the Denver metro area is the place for you.
Cost of Living: Denver is no longer affordable like it once was. While the Denver metro median household income is 20.1% and the income per capita is 17.8% above the national average, the average house is 63.4% above the national average and the average apartment rent is 78.4% above the national average. Yeah it isn't as much as the West Coast or Northeast, but you don't have the international cosmopolitan cities like these places, the weather of CA, or the range of culture in the northeast.
Employment/Job Market: There is a high quantity of jobs, but the quality is lacking. The jobs that pay a living wage (i.e. keep housing/rent costs at 30% or less of annual salary) are few and far between outside of the STEM industries. The unfortunate thing is that you don't realize this until you move out here because the only thing that is talked about is the quantity of jobs. Good luck paying that $1275 a month apartment (one bedroom) or splitting a $1700 a month rent (two bedroom) with a job that pays upper 20k's-mid 30k's a year...I won't even get started on the housing prices.
Climate: The summers are hot with cool night, the winters are usually mild with cold nights, and autumn and spring are bi-polar. During this time of the year it could be in the 60's or 70's one day and the next day it is in the 20's with a blizzard. Most of the snow comes in late autumn and during the spring. The humidity is usually really low, which is nice. There are not 300 days of sunshine. It is usually sunny, but not that sunny. They boast 60+ degree days in the winter, which are semi-rare, but somehow forget about a snow season that runs from September to May with over five feet per season on average. The good thing is that it melts quickly.
Outdoor Recreation: There is hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the warm months and skiing in the winter. My issue is that there isn't a lot of geographic diversity (pretty much every hike is the same thing) and a lot of the trails lack switchbacks which is insane. The places that are within a reasonable drive of the metro area (90 minutes) are usually so crowded that it defeats the purpose of going into nature. The other thing that bothers me a wee bit is that because of the afternoon storms in the summer you have start really early. Since there aren't a lot of mountaineering opportunities in the Front Range I consider them to be massive, very steep hills.
Public Transportation: It is a joke. This area is so sprawled and built up from pre-existing housing and other buildings that the attempts to build a quality public transportation system are a waste of time and money. You will need a car.
The Personality: They are very Type B as a whole and take it to an extreme. They seem to be too relaxed and extremely passive as a whole. They have a tendency to plod, especially on the road. It feels like a lot of people are just sleepwalking or are stoned. As a Type A person these people drive me crazy, and I'm sure they see me as a jerk (I could use more descriptive words, but I'm not sure about the policies here), which is why I have only made a connection with other Great Lakes and Northeast people. If you are a Type A personality you are going to stick out and become an outcast. This place is too laid back and passive to deal with you.
Conclusion: The whole point of this review was to give people contemplating a move out here a real look at what is going on. There are a lot of things that go unstated, and I don't want people to move out here and end up feeling trapped. The marketing makes this place seem like paradise, and for some it is paradise. The truth is that for me it is far from paradise. If I had the knowledge I have now before I moved out here, I would have never moved out here.
I moved to Denver in 2008 after living in San Francisco, Kailua, Seattle, and Southern Oregon. Overall, Denver is a vibrant city with its residents perpetually on the go. Its diverse economy has provided a buffer during recent economic downturns.
Wash Park, Platt Park and the Highlands are among a handful of walkable neighborhoods with tree lined streets and charming 1920's era brick bungalows. There are plenty of excellent coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. Though not as amazing as San Francisco or New York, there are some very talented and creative chefs here.
Denver hosts many top tier entertainers. The Pepsi Center is elegant, while Red Rocks is downright magical. The Comedy Works has two locations and consistently attracts fantastic comedians.
There is a moderate amount of crime, about what you would expect for a city this size. The legalization of marijuana is not a complete disaster, but it has driven up commercial and residential rents, making it much more expensive for average citizens and small business owners. Rentals increased by nearly 10% in 2014 and are expected to rise another 10% in 2015. That's a tough blow for everyday folks since there isn't rent control here.
The weather is perfect for those who love four seasons and a dry climate. The air quality is low, ranking a D on stateoftheair.org. This is hard for people with respiratory illnesses, especially during the fire season. For those who love snow sports, Denver is near heaven, except for the gridlock on the way to and from the mountains during ski season.
In their cars, Denver drivers are a schizophrenic bunch. Everyone on I-25 seems to be going at different speeds and change lanes as if they are each having a personal emergency. Sometimes they just veer because most are on their cell phones. After living in Hawaii where most drivers were very generous in yielding, Denverites are the exact opposite. If they see you signal to change lanes, they will actually speed up to make sure they get ahead of you. Once out of their cars, they are magically transformed from crazy drivers into perfectly nice people on the go-go-go.
As the population is increasing there can tend to be a lot of traffic congestion. Accidents are not cleared quickly, creating several traffic nightmares each week.
Denver is surrounded by extensive suburban sprawl with cookie cutter McMansions and box stores, particularly in Highlands Ranch. Because of the sprawl, it would be difficult to live here without a car.
Overall it's a happy place and most people are grateful to be here.
Denver is a great city. Not just if you wanna get high, but also if you are looking for a Big City full of culture, music, art, benevolent people, a modern downtown, low crime rates, delicious food, and pretty much anything else good you can think of. Denver is a great place to be anybody, weather your single, a newlywed couple, retiree, or you are a family looking for a new place to live. Colorado has one of the fastest growing economys in the US, and that includes Denver so There's plenty of job opportunities. Real estate is affordable, and Denver is full of history. Plus, just north of Denver lies a mountain paradise.
I hope you are reading this before you have used this company I wasn't so lucky. I had a terrible experience with Glass Doctor of Denver as well. Don't be fooled they will show up to quote you but from then on it's a nightmare.
I had a shower enclosure installed that I was told would take 2 weeks max and they would try to rush it. Six weeks later and being told the glass broke, and only finding that out when I took a day off to wait for them and never showed or called. This went on for 4 weeks with they getting the run around. They finally installed it 6 weeks later at 9:30pm, because I told them I was going to cancel if someone didn't show up.
They could care less I don't know how this company is still in business with that lack of service, communication and skill. I asked for some type of compensation and they told me they would give me $75.00 off . I missed a day of work and a appointment that I had to pay $100.00 for plus all the hassle of dealing with everyone at this company giving me the run around.
Do yourself a favor and never use the Glass Doctor of Denver and please tell your friends the same thing. I hope they realize how social media works and bad press will cost them more than $75.00 in the long run.
Despite what the parking meter may say Denver now charges for metered parking 24hrs a day (excluding Sundays and holidays). This is a recent change to generate more revenue by the City. Beware! I parked at a meter at 9 o'clock and was sure to read the meter rates and hours 8am - 10 pm. paif through 10:10 due to meter increments to get me through 10 pm. I was issued a ticket at 10:20. took a picture of the meter and rates but that didn't help me. We are expected to know changes in laws/regulations if if posted incorrectly by the City. DONT VISIT DENVER YOU WILL BE SORRY!
Also if you are a minority beware the DPD, know to beat minorities on site.
It seems as if Shadow just had a bad living experience in Denver and that paints his/ her entire view of the city in a negative way. That's the only way I can come close to understanding the review. I live in LA, but lived in Denver for many years, and still visit from time to time. Nothing that was said in that review lines up with what's really going on there. I wish people would be honest on the internet. Denver is actually one of the most beautiful and clean cities in the US!! That review is ridiculous. Maybe drugs are involved here. I'm giving Denver four stars, as no place is perfect, but I wouldn't give any city five stars b/c there are positives and negatives no matter where you live/ visit.
Everything you guys are saying about Denver is really false. I've been to Denver countless times and always go to the 16st mall. I got to tell you I have never seen any of that stuff on the ground. There may be a homeless person every now and then but not like you described it. Denver is a beautiful city and I plan to move there with my fiance one day. I'm from San Bernadino and Las Vegas I'm sorry bro denver is really nice compare to these places man. Nothing but mostly up class people are on the 16st mall. So what you talking about? I ain't saying vegas is bad but it is an ugly city. If you don't like Denver than that is ok but trying to make something its not is just plain stupid. No offense dawg.
I want to tell you that Denver, Colorado is a great place to be, a great city to work and live in, but I can't.
The downtown area of Denver, the 16th Street Mall, is disgusting, with streets literally covered with sticky substances, syringes, broken beer bottles, and homeless people every five feet or so. Police step over the bodies and refuse to do anything. The main park of Denver across the street from the Capitol itself, is the most dangerous park in the State of Colorado...and it's nothing but flat land with no trees. It's just that the police refuse to do anything and there are no facilities or shelters for homeless people. Jobs that pay livable wages are very scarce and service industry, so the numbers increase.
The winters are unnecessarily brutal: the City refuses to plow snow or ice covered streets unless the streets happen to be in wealthy neighborhoods in the Denver Tech Center or in the Mayor's neighborhood. People die every year needlessly because of the pitch black streets covered with "black ice" every winter that goes on for almost 8 months out of every year.
There is no public transportation system to speak of. There are buses, but they don't cover most of the outlying areas and only pick people up every hour and stop after certain night hours - so if you have to work late or go out late, you had better check the RTD system because you could be left hanging. The light rail is a joke..with no security or police at all, except the random rent a cop to check tickets. There are no turnstiles as they have in major cities, so most people don't pay for tickets to ride the light rail. The light rail also only covers a quarter of the City, only going downtown, and stopping at certain hours of the night. And if you get on the light rail with a violent addict or drunk, you are on your own, so it helps to carry a weapon of some kind as you will never find a cop on any light rail line or at any station after five.
Downtown housing is astronomical and the area is filthy and disgusting. The Denver Zoo is full of neurotic, sick-looking animals pacing back and forth in muddy encases, with the zombie workers looking worse than the dying animals trapped inside their prison cells.
The only payoff is to go into the mountains during the 2-3 months of warm weather, if you can afford the commute and costs.
I suggest that you do not visit Denver because the city is handing out parking tickets unscrupulously. Last year parking downtown was free after 10pm. It is no longer free after 10pm however the parking meters do not tell you this. The way tickets are being handed out takes all the joy of going downtown and enjoying the sites. I suggest you go to a city that is more tourist friendly and that treats people with more respect. It would be different if the meters were labeled correctly. No one wants to feel like they are a personnel atm for the city.
Denver, Colorado is the best city ever. I have traveled a lot, but this city always gets me back to visit. I have family members who live there and I have been there several times. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado which is south of Denver. There are so many things to do there. I personally love Elitch Gardens the best. It is a 70 acer theme park. The ticket prices include a visit to the water park. I have been going there every year since I was a little girl. They have even moved it a time or two.
Denver is rich in history as well. I love visiting the old churches and cathedrals. There are several old parks as well. Another place I visit is the Denver Zoo. It is huge and well worth the money. Denver has the best concerts in the State of Colorado. There is the Pepsi center, but there are at least six other concert places. Denver hosts all of the greatest stars and plays. Of course there are several museums. The most popular is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Denver never gets old and would take several days to really see everything. Another cool thing about Denver is all of the shopping. They have awesome malls. They even have shuttles because they are huge. It is a day trip if you want to see everything. The only downside to Denver is the traffic as it is a large city.
Denver is also home to the top rated hospitals in the nation. The Children's Hospital located East of Denver is where they send children that are sick from all over the State. They handle the most complicated cases. I personally would recommend this hospital as I have had several people I know that have had their children there. They have the best care. The other top rated hospital is the University Of Colorado Hospital. They have excellent care as well. They handle the most serious cases from all over the State.
After having lived in Denver, Colorado for approximately five years now, I feel at least moderately informed on the city and reasonably-qualified to proffer up some humble opinions on living here.
That being said, here goes:
Denver has some cute little restaurants and a reasonably nice downtown. BUT, the downtown area is literally packed full of wandering homeless zombies, drunks, harassers, and various other assorted creeps lurking around every single street intersection begging for change, food, or "favors." Police are virtually non-existent downtown-except for their parked cars in front of the 16th Street Mall--which is strictly for show since none of the police seem to ever walk an actual beat and you can watch panhandlers and scam artists run their craft directly in front of the police cars as cops are off somewhere else.
The light rail has zero security or police presence and what there is, is strictly random during less busy times. The rest of the time, you are on your own. If a drunken loser wants to sit next to you and throw up while cursing your existence-you have to accept it. I've heard couples trying to procreate while riding the train/light rail, arguing over custody payments, falling over in their seats, throwing up on the seats, passing out, you name it. If you get on the light rail at any time other than to go to work in the morning or to come home from work during rush hour you'd best be ready to knock some heads.
Parking for light rail use at garages is hit or miss. Since there is no security or police presence on light rails, most people don't pay to ride the rails so you get a collection of everyone imaginable.
Light rail stops are typically very dirty and grungy, with stains all over the ground, chunky lumps behind every seat, and men of all shapes and sizes lurking around every corner-usually watching every move you make but trying to play it off at the same time. I would not let a minor take the light rail alone, but that's just me. And I wouldn't let my wife take the light rail at night without carrying a loaded .45, a cattle prod, stun gun, or baton of some sort. But that's just me.
The buses are safer since people have to pay to get on them and there's less room for shenanigans. That being said, bus and light rail transportation coverage is very spotty and irregular; the light rail only covers a quarter of the downtown area if that and stops early on evenings and weekends. So, do not assume you'll be able to take the light rail home on weekends or holidays -or that it will take you where you need to go.
The people are fairly what you'd expect in a small town mentality; there is no affordable culture to speak of, other than eating out. The opera costs a months' rent to attend, there's only one museum and it was apparently constructed by a drunken, bi-polar sufferer with glaucoma.
Politicians are unresponsive and aloof, like everywhere else, and interested in bankers than the people they represent. There are a few country/western bars, but if you don't feel like fighting that particular night, or eating out, there really isn't much else to do.
The Central LIbrary is nice, but again, brimming over with wandering drunks, mumbling homeless people looking for someplace to sleep and zero security presence to help anyone out if need be. To use the mens room, is to wade into puddles of drying excrement.
Visiting Denver is always difficult because the city is so lively. It's a delightful place to visit and would undoubtedly be an even better place to live.
There may always be something new to do in Denver, but there's none of the inherent pressure you feel in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. Denver is laid-back and the community in the neighborhoods exemplifies that, especially around downtown. Denver is also surprisingly (to outsiders) diverse as seen in African-American influenced Five Points, Latino inspired Highlands and quite a bit of Asian culture throughout the city.
The Denver microbrew tour is always a favorite attraction and we like to take any of our visitors there. Over two hours you visit more than 10 breweries to find out about the beer-making process and get to sample some of the beers. For more family-oriented fun, check out the Denver Zoo which features an indoor rainforest. Mount Evans is a must-see and can make a good little driving diversion even for locals.