Welcome to the Denver Metro Area: Your Guide to Living in Colorado’s Capital City Region
If you’re considering moving to the Denver, Colorado metro area, you’ve made a great choice! As a top real estate agent serving Denver, I’m here to give you an in-depth look at everything this vibrant region has to offer.
About the Denver Metro Area
The Denver metro area, also referred to as part of the Front Range, consists of Denver proper and its surrounding suburbs and towns. Some of the most notable include Aurora, Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Westminster, Thornton, Centennial, and Broomfield.
With a population of over 2.8 million people, the Denver metro area offers easy access to amenities while maintaining a friendly, community vibe. It provides an excellent balance of urban conveniences and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Neighborhoods and Suburbs
The first topic of questions many of my clients have when considering moving to Denver is about locations. The Denver metro area contains many distinct neighborhoods and suburbs to call home. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular places to live:
- Downtown Denver – This vibrant urban area is home to sporting venues, museums, restaurants, and more. Residents can walk to amenities and enjoy city living.
- Capitol Hill – Located next to downtown, Capitol Hill offers a hip, artsy vibe with unique boutiques and a thriving LGBTQ+ community.
- Highlands – This trendy neighborhood features boutique shops, coffee houses, and a lively restaurant scene. It’s popular with 20 and 30-somethings.
- Cherry Creek – The Cherry Creek area contains high-end shops, restaurants, and residential communities. The beautiful Cherry Creek Reservoir provides ample recreation.
- Stapleton – A master-planned community north of downtown, Stapleton offers brand new homes, retail centers, and parks. Families love its community feel.
- Aurora – Aurora provides more affordable suburban living with parks, trails, and easy access to Denver’s airport and attractions.
- Lakewood – Located west of Denver, Lakewood is known for its family-friendliness, parks, and recreation centers.
And there are many more excellent neighborhoods and suburbs to choose from!!
One of the best things about living in the Denver metro area is the immense opportunity for outdoor recreation. Some highlights include:
- Rocky Mountain National Park – Located 1.5 hours from Denver, RMNP offers hiking, mountain vistas, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre – See a concert at this iconic venue or hike the park’s endless trails just 15 miles from downtown.
- Cherry Creek State Park – Located near the Cherry Creek neighborhood, this state park has a reservoir, trails, and ample recreation.
- Miles of bike trails – Denver has 85 miles of paved bike trails throughout the metro area and nearby foothills.
- Ski resorts – World-class skiing and snowboarding are just a short drive away at resorts like Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park, and Arapahoe Basin.
With so many options right outside your door, you’ll never run out of beautiful outdoor spaces to explore in the Denver metro!
Denver enjoys all four seasons, with generally mild weather year-round. Here’s a quick look at Denver’s climate:
- Spring (March – May) – Temperatures range from 40-80°F. Spring is sunny but can also be windy. Late spring snow is possible.
- Summer (June – August) – Summer days are hot and sunny, with temperatures from 75-95°F. Afternoon thunderstorms are common. Nights cool off, averaging 50-60°F.
- Fall (September – November) – Fall features crisp air and warm days, with temps ranging from 50-80°F. Trees display vibrant fall colors.
- Winter (December – February) – Winter temps range from 30-45°F during the day and 10-25°F at night. Snow accumulates but melts quickly between snowfalls.
The region enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year! Low humidity also makes temperatures feel comfortable year-round.
Jobs and Economy
The Denver metro area features a robust economy with low unemployment. Some major industries include:
- Technology and telecom
- Financial services
- Aviation and aerospace
Unemployment in the Denver region hovers around 2-3%, much lower than the national average. Job seekers will find ample opportunities in Denver’s diverse economy.
The Denver metro area offers many transportation options:
- Denver International Airport (DIA) is the primary airport serving the region and is located northeast of downtown. It’s the largest airport in the US by land size.
- RTD Light Rail and Buses provide public transportation throughout the metro area, including routes to DIA.
- Interstates 25, 70, 76, 270, 36 serve the Denver region and connect to nearby cities. Traffic can get congested during rush hours.
- Amtrak – Passenger train service is available at Denver’s Union Station.
Denver’s walkable neighborhoods coupled with ample public transit options allow residents to minimize traffic woes. The region’s central location makes travel easy by air, car, or train.
The Denver metro area contains top-ranked public and private schools plus excellent higher education options:
- Denver Public Schools is the largest public school district in Colorado. Highly-ranked schools include East High School and Denver School of the Arts.
- High-performing suburban school districts include Cherry Creek Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Douglas County Schools, and Boulder Valley Schools.
- The metro area has many excellent private and charter school options as well.
- University of Denver (DU) is a prestigious private research university in Denver.
- Other higher education choices include University of Colorado Denver, Colorado School of Mines, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver.
Whether you have young kids, high schoolers, or are looking for higher education, the Denver region offers top-ranked academic options to meet your needs.
Cost of Living
While home prices and rent have increased in Denver recently, the cost of living still remains below the national average. Here’s a comparison of Denver’s cost of living to the US average:
- Housing: +5% higher than average
- Groceries: 2% lower than average
- Utilities: 2% lower than average
- Transportation: 1% lower than average
- Healthcare: 1% lower than average
Key things that make moving to Denver affordable: No state income tax, below-average taxes and healthcare costs, and abundant free activities. Salaries are also competitive, which offsets the higher housing costs.
Denver offers a great quality of life for less than many major US cities. Homebuyers can find affordable options in the surrounding suburbs. Renters will find great walkable neighborhoods in areas such as Capitol Hill, LoDo, and Highlands.
Lifestyle and Culture
Denver residents enjoy an active, outdoor-focused lifestyle with a distinct Rocky Mountain culture:
- Passionate about sports – Broncos football, Nuggets basketball, Avalanche hockey, and Rockies baseball.
- Fitness-minded – biking, hiking, skiing, and summer activities like kayaking and golf.
- Commitment to arts and culture – Theatre, museums, festivals, and music venues. Great restaurant scene focused on seasonal, fresh ingredients.
- Inclusive and welcoming – Open-minded locals who aim to live joyfully. Gay-friendly neighborhoods.
- 420-friendly – Recreational marijuana legal and part of the culture.
- Local craft beer reigns supreme – Denver has been called the “Napa Valley of Beer”
- Distinctly Western – Friendly cowboys meet hip urbanites in a relaxed atmosphere where jeans are always in style.
The activities, values, and lifestyle make Denver a place where newcomers can seamlessly feel at home.
Ready to Move to Denver, Colorado?
As you can see, moving to Denver Colorado offers the total package! A thriving economy, natural beauty, recreational activities, good schools, and a fantastic quality of life. I hope my in-depth guide covered many of the key details you need to know to make an informed decision. However, I’m happy to answer any other questions you have about neighborhoods, real estate, schools, or life in Denver.
Feel free to get in touch to discuss your needs. I can provide personalized recommendations on areas to live and homes that match your wishlist. I’ll make sure your move to Denver is seamless from start to finish!
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