30 Things About Denver

30 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Denver

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!

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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.


cherry creek mall

SQS015: Cherry Creek Mall Parking Let’s Talk

The Cherry Creek Mall has so far weathered the storm of automation and epic store closures. But, there are some signs that this may not be the case for long. A couple of years ago mall management decided to make us pay for parking.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Cherry Creek Mall

It has been a rocky experience. It’s clear that mall management never expected to have the mall boycotted from long-time shoppers. And the substantial drop in foot traffic that year. Businesses grumbled about the situation and shoppers were left confused by the policy.

In this week’s Square State podcast episode I talk about the situation and share some possible solutions that don’t require mall management to take out paid parking.

Listen to the Show

Show Notes:

  • Show episode release dates


  • The Welcome Mat event
  • Pay for parking


  • Some solutions to this issue

Resources Mentioned

  • Siteground-Have a website or thinking of starting one? Siteground is the website hosting company that I recommend. Get better service and site speed than you would with other companies.


  • Website Help-Need help with your website?  Don’t feel like messing with tech issues? I totally understand! I work with Grayson Bell from iMark Interactive on all of my website issues. Currently I have two websites and he helps me with both.

Attend the “Welcome to Denver” Event

Are you new to Denver? Connect with Michelle and other locals at the “Welcome to Denver Event

  • Mix and Mingle


  • Panel on making business and personal connections in Denver


  • Food and Drink


  • Gift bags!

Sign up today!

sitting on the patio

Denver Life: Sitting on the Patio Getting Some Work Done

It never ceases to amaze me how little people know about Colorado. Many people think that we’re constantly getting snowed in, freezing cold, and dealing with blizzards every other week. Well, for the winter of 2017-2018 that was not the case. And, in general, that’s not the case. The weather is temperate, the skies are almost always blue, and the sun shines…a lot. In fact, it’s so sunny and dry here that a friend of mine who moved here from Alaska is moving to Oregon because she misses cloudiness and rain. I love this weather. More often than not, you will find me sitting on a patio enjoying the beautiful weather and trying to get some work done.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Denver Life

Is best explained by the following adjectives: languid, chill, and a bit spastic. This explains our love of patios. In fact, you will find patios at most restaurants, coffee shops, and any business that can make it happen. For me, Denver patios remind me of when I lived in Paris. But, with bigger dogs.

I  love it when someone randomly asks a question and then we end up in a conversation about who knows what. There is no expectation, or freaking out happening, these are just unexpected moments of human connection that happen almost every time I find myself enjoying a beautiful patio in Denver.


Is one of my favorite coffee shop patios. It’s the sister business of Vert that gets a ton of local love for its incredible food. Both are connected by a lovely little patio. In fact, Overt doesn’t have any indoor space (so, don’t go there thinking you will hangout inside-you won’t be able to). But, that doesn’t detract from Overt’s appeal.

Besides offering great coffee, the service is superb. In a low-key way, and the people who work there are fun to get to know. This small business also has grab and go items that you may find around Denver.

I love this place.

During the weekend it’s a little hectic (especially during the warmer months) but, I try to go during slightly off times.

Listening to the water trickle from the small fountain in the courtyard. Letting the sun hit my face (don’t worry I wear sunblock) and playing with the small white dog that makes an appearance from time to time. The dog belongs to the owner of the building.

From time to time I accidentally become a part of other people’s conversations. It’s a small space and people sometimes talk loudly. And, every time a gorgeous plate of food is brought to someone’s table I add that dish to my list of things that I have to try.

Sitting on the Patio

In Denver, it’s a huge part of how I enjoy my life here. And, it reminds me of when I lived in Paris. When I lived in Paris I would enjoy a beautiful cup of coffee, a delicious pastry or meal, and just enjoyed the day. It’s wonderful to relax and embrace the day.

One of my favorite things to do during the warmer months is to ride my bike to new a new restaurant, coffee shop, or venue, grab a drink, meal (or both) and hangout for awhile in that new space. I’m looking forward to going to Zeppelin Station sometime soon and sampling all of the great food that they have there.

What’s your favorite patio in Denver/Boulder?

Denver Real Estate

SQS Kari Lundberg-Buying a Home in a Hot Market

As we move into Spring, I thought it would be great to speak with my friend (and realtor) Kari Lundberg from Porchlight Real Estate Group. We discussed the ins and outs of purchasing a home in a “hot market.” We walk through what to expect, what to prepare for, and how to go about getting your first (or second) home in Denver.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

  • Kari Lundberg-Colorado native and real estate agent extraordinaire!


  • Accolades that she’s received from her peers (again-she’s awesome)


  • Trends in the Denver Market


  • Kari’s #1 piece of advice


  • Length of time looking for a place


  • I ask about up and coming neighborhoods


  • The specific challenge of dealing with cash buyers


  • We talk about insurance coverage you might need


  • And, finally, we talk about growth in Denver


  • RIZE-begin saving for your next financial goal today When you complete the sign up process you’ll receive an extra $10 towards your saving’s goal! Here’s the sign up  link.


  • Hired-If you’re looking for a job in the tech industry-set up your profile and connect with the local team. Sign up here to begin looking for your Colorado based job today.


  • Ibotta-This Colorado-based savings app is one my go-to ways to save on groceries. It’s free to use and you’ll receive an additional $10 towards your first payout after redeeming your first savings.

Contact Kari

If you’re looking to purchase a home in Denver, or the surrounding suburbs, Kari would be a great partner in that process! Here is the link to her information and happy home hunting.

Want to Start a Blog?

I love blogging! It has been an incredible experience, transformed my life, and connected me with a ton of amazing people. Blogging is a pretty cheap activity and I recommend hosting your blog with Siteground. Many bloggers have begun leaving HostGator and BlueHost and moving to Siteground. Myself included! Read why I’m leaving HostGator and BlueHost (I have 2 blogs one on each hosting platform) and moving to Siteground.  If you’re a new blogger Siteground will cost around $3.95 a month (depending on the size of your audience). They have great customer service and tutorials on how to host your new WordPress blog on Siteground. 

The Colorado Local Tool Kit: What Almost Everyone Has On Their Person

If you’re new to Colorado the first thing you will notice (if you’re here for a week ) is the sunshine. An almost relentlessly gorgeous blue that dares you to question why it’s so grey in your hometown during the winter. Denver is ridiculously sunny throughout the year. And, Denverites have mild freakouts when it’s grey for more than 3 days in a row. It’s a thing.  It’s also a thing that almost every Coloradan carries the Unofficial Colorado Local Tool Kit. Want to know what’s in it? Keep reading!

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Start Saving!

Are you looking to visit or move to Colorado? Check out my new favorite way to save RIZE savings platform. Set your goal and automated savings. And, get closer to visiting one deposit at a time. You can also boost your savings if you would like. Click HERE to begin saving towards your goals.

The Colorado Local Tool Kit

Each place has its own special challenges. Some places rain all the time, other places are just super humid. There are towns that exist under a constant shroud of clouds. Not Colorado. We’ve got our own special issues.


When I was growing up, my mom had to buy a humidifier and placed it my room because it was so freaking dry. In fact, living in Colorado feels like a constant fight to keep your skin, supple, moisturized, and not ashy. Sometimes it’s a losing fight. If you don’t have lotion on you, then you probably have some body butter/balm. Basically, something to keep your skin from feeling like it’s constantly itching.


If your skin feels like it is constantly itching-your lips feel cracked. All. the. time. In fact, one of the most common types of swag to hand out at events (think races) is lip balm. Yep, it’s a thing. If you leave your house without a decent lip balm, you’ll find yourself constantly licking at your lips in a desperate attempt to keep them from looking…dried out and ashy (sense a theme)?


That constant sunshine coupled with living at a higher altitude=the need to always wear sunblock. In fact, I remember public service announcements about sunblock from when I was a kid.  But, in all seriousness, it doesn’t matter where you live-sunblock is probably a great addition to your skin care regiment.

Water Bottle

Ok, it’s clear how dry it is in Colorado. And, we’re also dealing with the higher altitude. For people visiting Colorado (and Denver) from lower altitudes-you need to drink water. There is a reason why people are constantly walking around town with water bottles. It’s freaking dry here-all the time.


One of the best things about Colorado is the constant sunshine. In fact, it’s said that Denver has more sunny days than San Diego and I would agree. It’s very difficult for me to go outside without my sunglasses because the sun is so intense.

Ball Cap or Beanie

Depending on the time of year, you will probably see many people wearing either a knit beanie or a ball cap. It can be windy here I think that’s partly why people wear hats so much.

Oversized Backpack

I often joke that people here always look like they’re about to go deep into the mountains…for a while. In fact, I’m also guilty of carrying a ridiculous amount of stuff with me that often includes:

  • All of the items mentioned above


  • My laptop


  • And, a change of clothes if I’m going to workout

What’s in Your Town’s Local Tool Kit?