30 Things About Denver

30 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Denver

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I’ve lived in Colorado for the majority of my life. And, I’ve lived in two different cities in the state of Colorado: Boulder and Denver. For this post, I’m going to share 30 things you need to know before moving to Denver. And, some of these things may just surprise you!

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30 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Denver

  • Denver is NOT for Everyone-And, neither is Colorado. I have three friends who hated living here. It just wasn’t a good fit for them and they are moving to states that will make them happier.


  • Grew up around the ocean-Think hard before you move to Colorado. Two of the friends mentioned in the previous point grew up next two water. The dry heat, lack of rain, clouds, and lack of anything connected with water drove them batsh$t crazy.


  • It’s Expensive-I’ve even heard New Yorkers, Californians, and Chicagoans, say this. The difference is that housing expenses are still considered “low” compared to those cities BUT the lifestyle: happy hour, travel, fitness, skiing, mountain weekends, life music, and fun is expensive.


  • The Music Scene-Has gotten so good!! Finally, finally we’re having larger music festivals, and a nice diversity of musicians sharing their music with us.


  • People Love Dogs-Don’t laugh, I’m really not an animal person, but I like puppies. People LOVE dogs here. If you’re not into animals people may look at you side-eyed when you mention you’re not that excited about them. I know from experience. And, people (for the  most part) are pretty good about picking up their dog’s poop.


  • Kombucha is popular here and we have an amazing kombucha tap room in a neighborhood called “LoHi.”


  • African-American Ladies Let’s Talk-If you move here, it’s highly likely that you will spend some time finding a hairstylist. Then, once you find them, you will want to hoard this knowledge like gold. Or, go natural (or do both-usually what happens).


  • Denver is a Foodie City-It has taken my entire adult life for me to say with confidence that Denver has a fantastic food scene. And, I used to live in Paris. I will say that Portland has a slightly stronger food scene, but, I think we’re closing the gap. And, I consider Portland one of the best food cities in the U.S.


  • Mexican Food-If you talk to locals we will express frustration with our Mexican food. We make killer street tacos. BUT, you have to know where to go for great Mexican food. It’s weird that this has happened.


  • We love to party-Now…this is a bit loaded. But, we love any reason to party. We are some partying people. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of a few things we celebrate.
    1. Cinco De Mayo-Let’s cruise up and down Federal Boulevard
    2. Derby Day-Let’s party
    3. Frozen Dead Guy Days-Local party connected to a frozen dead Grandpa in a tuff shed. I kid you not.
    4. The beginning of Ski Season (happens at the ski resorts)
    5. End of Ski Season (happens at the ski resorts) I highly recommend going to the end of season celebrations. It’s a great time.


  • The Theater Scene is LIT! I love going to the theater. We have the second largest theater complex in the United States. Some shows that I’ve seen in Denver include:
    1. Hamilton
    2. Wicked
    3. The Color Purple
    4. The Lion King
    5. Book of Mormon


  • Coffee is a Huge Past-Time-One of my favorite activities to do is explore the city and try out new coffee shops. There are a ridiculous number of great coffee shops elevating the coffee experience in Denver.


  • Phone Service Kind of Sucks Here-it’s a thing.


  • Internet Service Kind of Sucks too-It has gotten better since Centurylink started selling the highspeed broadband. But, it took awhile for that to happen and I have to renegotiate what I’m paying because it was so expensive when it was initially introduced.


  • We Work to Live, We DON’T Live to Work-You will never be shamed for wanting to leave work on Friday at 12:00 pm to go to the mountains. We get it. You worked hard and need some downtime. Or, you’re heading to the Rockies, going for a beer, a walk, or a bike ride. Again, no judgement.


  • Physical Activity is Considered Leisure Time-This is a very real thing. Most people will include an activity such as the ones listed below and then earn their beer, happy hour etc. It’s seriously a “thing.” Your new friends will suggest this and if you’re not into it…it may throw you off a little bit. We also enjoy:
    1. Hiking-for 3-5 hours (doing a nice trail) + nice meal and beer (I actually don’t like beer-but, you get the idea)
    2. Bike riding from Denver to Boulder (on my list) + a leisurely meal
    3. Fitness Classes + a nice meal


  • Buying Local is HUGE-There is a huge focus on buying local goods, services, and products. People are very interested in local products and it’s relatively easy to do because we meet these entrepreneurs around town.


  • Not Everyone Smokes Pot-We’re tolerant, but, please stop assuming that we’re all smoking a bowl. We’re not. In fact, I’m really glad that other states are legalizing cannabis so that people will stop focusing on Colorado’s legal pot.


  • Digital Entrepreneur? We understand what you’re doing and you’re not going to be ridiculed if you mention that you’re a blogger, vlogger, app developer, etc. Most people understand and are comfortable with the idea that people run digital businesses. Because, hey, you can work from wherever. Need a co-working space? Sign up with Deskpass! I love this service and it has allowed me to “date” different co-working spaces before committing to a favorite.


  • Bricks and Mortar Entrepreneur? We love you! Again, Denver is a great city for small business owners. There are a ton of resources, communities, and tools that entrepreneurs can access.


  • We Worship Athleisure-We’re not the most fashionable people. People have gotten better at dressing up for different events and seem to enjoy it. I’ve also begun to see more men wearing suits when I’ve been downtown during the work week (I love this-they look great!) . However, Fridays are always casual.


  •  Grocery Stores and Alcohol-You can’t purchase high alcohol content beer or wine in grocery stores. Don’t be shocked.


  • Sports are Everywhere-Denver is on of a handful of cities with every professional league. We also get a lot of international matches played in town for various sports. This year it’s New Zealand vs. England in an international rugby match held at Mile High Stadium.
    1. Denver Broncos-Football
    2. Denver Nuggets-Basketball
    3. Colorado Avalanche-Hockey
    4. Colorado Rapids-Soccer
    5. And, USA Rugby is headquartered here


  • The Arts Thrive in Denver-You will see a lot of public art, and the citizens voted and passed a tax (again) that helps grow the arts community and accessibility to the arts in Denver and neighboring communities. We have a ridiculous amount of free events, access to museums (on certain days) etc. for free as a result of this commitment to the arts.



  • There is a Homeless Problem-This is an American Problem, but, this list would be incomplete without mentioning this issue.


  • Food Halls are HUGE here-We have 3 opening in 2018. Here is an incomplete list of open food halls.
    1. Avanti Food and Drink
    2. Denver Central Market
    3. The Source
    4. Zeppelin Station
    5. Stanley Marketplace**Technically, this one is in our neighboring city Aurora. Worth going to!


  • Traffic and Drivers Suck Here-The people are so nice until they get behind the wheel. Then, they lose it. I’m convinced that people understand digital workers and telecommuters because the traffic is so crazy.


  • Conservative People Live in Colorado-And, more often than not, they are super nice and super sweet. The Denver Metro area, however, is pretty liberal.


  • Topless Women Happen in the Summer-I’m warning you now. Usually this seems to happen in large groups in Boulder and Denver.


  • People are really nice here-Really.



  1. Christina | From Under a Palm Tree

    I looove this list! I visited Colorado – Boulder specifically – last summer and I can see a lot of these things. I grew in Florida, right on the water, so when we visited the lack of water was my number one disappointment. I can see how living there long term might be an issue for me. But there are so many positives! My dog would love it there lol.

    1. Michelle@SquareState

      I grew up in Boulder and it’s a great town that makes me crazy (time for another post). Long term, the dry would make you crazy. Likewise, I’m unable to live away from the mountains now. They are very tied to how I live and my energy. Yes, your dog would love CO.

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