Denver is a great place to live for a number of compelling reasons. It is surprisingly cosmopolitan, with nearly three million people living in the greater metro area. But nature is never too far away here in the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. From a thriving club scene to the wonders of fall or winter in the rustic mountains, there are plenty of choices for blowing off some steam and forgetting, if only for a moment, about your studies.
Life in Denver offers choices. Ranked the #3 best place to live in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, Denver offers numerous answers to the question: “What is there to do in Denver?” From world-class shopping, to world-class art, to some of the best sports teams in the country, Denver has it all. The climate is generally sunny and dry, but of course rain squalls and pop-up snowstorms are not uncommon. Despite its famous “mile-high” elevation above sea level, Denver experiences relatively mild winters featuring snow that often melts by midday.
Getting around by car is convenient if you have the luxury of bringing an automobile to town, but many people get around happily on bicycles. There is also an above-ground light railway system. Neighborhoods such as Lower Downtown (affectionately known as “LoDo”), where Denver College of Nursing is located, are quite walkable. You’ll find cafes, restaurants and shopping, all nearby.
The Best Neighborhoods in Denver
With 5,000 acres of parks, trails, playgrounds, and golf courses, Denver is rightly proud of its many parks and trail miles. With such a large, sprawling metro area, there are obviously many different neighborhoods to choose from when it comes to living in Denver. A few of the best Denver neighborhoods include Washington Park, LoDo, Uptown, Highland, and Stapleton. Denver features an impressive skyline, but the area of downtown with all those skyscrapers does not tell the entire story of downtown Denver.
Not surprisingly, Washington Park is named for a 165-acre park offering green space, running trails, lakes , trees, and wildlife. Convenient access to all this urban recreation makes Wash Park especially popular, especially with young families and urban professionals.
LoDo is the older, less vertically challenging part of downtown. It is more intimate, with older brick buildings often converted to trendy boutiques, lofts, or restaurants and pubs. There are some new high-rise condos, to be sure, but like old Paris, LoDo manages to cling to a more intimate, neighborhood feeling by keeping building heights in check.
Uptown is a livable older neighborhood that largely harks back to Denver’s Victorian-era beginnings. Although close to the towering skyscrapers of the nearby high-rise section of downtown, Uptown manages to retain some of the intimate charm of a safe, livable neighborhood. Residents enjoy easy access to nearby City Park, with 330-acres of parkland. The park happens to house both the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, making this massive urban park a must-see destination.
In the past, Highland was among the more affordable neighborhoods, attracting various ethnic groups from around the world. Today this trendy neighborhood is undergoing a certain amount of gentrification. Although it is farther from downtown than some other neighborhoods, it is closer to the beckoning mountains of the Front Range.
Stapleton is more than six miles from downtown, but it is new and bustling. Developed only recently from land recovered through the relocation of the airport, Stapleton is a model of “new urbanism”. It features plenty of parks and public spaces, and makes use of design principles that encourage community cohesion and interaction. Yards are small, however, and retail is sprinkled throughout this “community of tomorrow”.