Denver continues to top the charts of best places to live in the US. As a sunny metro city located in Central Colorado, this booming capital continues to expand with so many wonderful things to do. With an ever-increasing job market and its closeby proximity to the wonderful outdoors, Denver truly has it all.
However, it will take some getting used to. With the amount of snowfall, high altitude, ways of transportation, and ever-changing climate, it’s a different lifestyle – which may not be a bad thing – just different. If you’re thinking of heading over to the Mile High City, there are some tips for moving to Denver that you should take note of.
First, moving to Denver is one of the best decisions you can make. The city has it all, natural beauty, friendly residents, and plenty of economic opportunities. It’s hard to have a bad time in Colorado, but if you want to have the best time possible, making a move to Denver might just be the ticket. See below for a list of tips for moving to Denver.
Give Yourself Time To Adjust
Moving to a new city can be an incredibly exciting experience. If you’ve never been to Denver before you might feel the need to dive right in and do as much as you can as quickly as possible. After all, it is a very active city. This is a natural impulse, but it can lead to some unfortunate consequences. Many of the city’s challenges come from the fact that it is so high in elevation. You can’t fully understand the impact altitude has on the body until you experience it first hand.
As one of our major tips for moving to Denver is, simply, give yourself time to adjust.
If you change elevation quickly without slowing down your level of activity you can get sick. Take things slowly for your first few days in Denver and you’ll have a much easier time adjusting. For altitude acclimation tips, try:
- Dress in layers
- Monitor your alcohol intake
- Eat foods high in potassium
Remember to Wear Your Sunblock
No matter where you live, it’s worth putting sunscreen on before heading out. But in Denver, this habit is even more important. Denver “mile high” altitude means that the sun’s rays actually have a bigger impact on your skin! The more powerful rays mean greater health risks if you don’t put on sunscreen, so remember to take some time to prepare before heading out for fun in the sun. Remember, even in cold winter months, it’s important to continue utilizing sunblock, lip balm, and keep hydrated. If you’re one to hit the slopes, dry weather and cold temperatures can be very damaging to your skin.
Carry A Water Bottle Around
Tips for moving to Denver always include hydration. Staying hydrated is crucial if you plan on living an active life. Denver’s temperatures truly hit a wide range and can cause frequent issues with skincare if you don’t quickly get ahead of the problem. Average temperatures in Denver by season include:
- Winter – 19°F (Low) / 58°F (High)
- Spring – 35°F (Low) / 75°F (High)
- Summer – 58°F (Low) / 92°F (High)
- Fall – 27°F (Low) / 82°F (High)
There’s certainly a drastic change during hot summer months and bitterly cold winter months. Regardless of the weather outside, keep drinking water! Denver’s environment will dry you out quickly if you don’t keep water handy. The dry air, sunny weather, and lofty location mean that your body will need extra water to stay properly hydrated. Carrying a water bottle is helpful when you’re just heading out on the town but if you’re planning on biking or exercising. A water bottle is a constant (and handy) reminder that you must continue to nourish your body, especially with any physical activity.
Explore Different Modes of Transportation
One of the many great tips for moving to Denver includes modes of transportation. While a car can be useful in Denver, but it isn’t strictly necessary depending on the neighborhood you choose to live in. If you want to get around within the city, there are plenty of options for transportation that can help you save money, help the environment, and live a healthier life.
Public transportation is handled by the Regional Transportation District, or RTD. This system is one of the most advanced in the country, operating over a thousand buses that run between ten thousand bus stops in the Denver metropolitan area. The RTD has also set up a program called Next Ride that makes it easier than ever to plan trips by bus and rail. Bikes are also a great way to get around thanks to Denver’s well-developed system of bike paths.
More recently, you can rent bikes (check out Denver B-cycle) and scooters (check out Denver Lime rentals) as a way to get through the more metro, central regions in Denver. As a rent-and-go, it works perfectly for short commuters who live in the area.
No matter where you want to go to Denver there will be more than one way to get there.
Pace Yourself When Drinking
As we mentioned previously, proper hydration is important in Denver. On the same note, Denver is one of the best places for emerging microbreweries, distilleries, dive bars, and wineries. The two don’t always go hand-in-hand, in fact, studies show that drinking can severely dehydrate you. But that’s not all…
These are two facts you’ll learn early on, and there is a natural connection that comes to mind. When you get thirsty, you might want to stop by a brewery and find out why so many Denverites swear by their local beer makers. But be careful, the higher elevation and thinner air mean that alcohol will affect you differently than it might have in the past. The beer might be some of the most delicious on earth, but you need to try and drink less than you would in other cities, especially when you’ve just arrived.
But don’t worry, with time you’ll adjust and come to understand your new level of alcohol tolerance.
Invest in a Snow Shovel
One of the best tips for moving to Denver is getting to know the equipment you’ll need. Denver is a city that has great weather throughout most of the year, but you also need to remember it gets a decent amount of snow. In fact, the city gets around 50 inches of snow a year! This isn’t as bad as it might sound, that snowfall is spread out over half the year. Still, if you’re moving from an area where it hardly ever snows, then you should start preparing before the snow comes falling down.
Invest in a snow shovel, first and foremost. This will help you clear areas like your sidewalk and around your car. You’ll also need a car scraper, especially if you commute on the road. Snow will undoubtedly pile up on vehicles that are exposed to the downpour. If temperatures get cold enough, you’ll also have to have something handy to remove ice from windshields. Other items that are worth making a list for:
- All-weather gear
- Snow boots
- Heavy jackets
- Scarves/Gloves/Winter hats
- Emergency car kit
Get to Know Your New Neighbors
One of the biggest challenges that come with moving to a new city is making friends. You might not know anyone in Denver now, but that doesn’t have to last. Denverites are friendly people, you just need to find a way to start talking to them, and it won’t be long before you have friends. Bars, sporting events, and parks are all great places to meet people. The quickest way to plug yourself in is by getting a dog. Denver is a dog city, and if you’re walking a dog every day you’re sure to make plenty of new friends, human and canine alike.
Denver is quite the hot spot, so with the influx of people comes an influx of cars. As everyone is looking to escape to the mountains over the weekend or simply be outside and active, there is a lot more traffic on the roads. Plan accordingly. Give yourself some extra time to get from point A to point B without getting worked up while on the road.
Heading up Interstate 70 to any of the various ski resorts? Keep in mind that Friday afternoons/evenings, as well as Saturday mornings, are when a lot of other ski enthusiasts are looking to drive up. If you can get “up the hill” before Friday or even late Friday night, you’ll beat the rush hours. Also, if you’re heading back down to Denver on Sunday evening, keep in mind everyone else may be doing the same. It only takes a few times of driving to the resorts to know when the busy I-70 traffic hours are.
The same thing applies to driving anywhere around Denver, for that matter. The light rail and buses (RTD) are constantly improving their routes and reach, but a lot of Denver residents are still commuting to and from work. There are some roads that are busier than others, for example, Colorado Boulevard can get backed up quite quickly. Speer Boulevard, which runs diagonally through town, can also get busy during the commute hours. Plan a route that may keep you off some of the busiest roads, depending on what time you’re planning on driving.
Learn How to Drive in the Snow
Many Denverites will tell you that if you bring a car, it’s worth it to practice driving in snowy conditions before you take the challenge on the main roads. Learning how to drive in the snow might appear easy, but in fact, it’s one of the hardest things that come with living in Denver. As for tips for moving to Denver go, this is probably one of the best tips to take seriously. Driving through snowy or icy conditions is risky for a number of reasons including accidents that are more prevalent due to sliding and black ice.
Slamming on the brakes is a natural instinct when you’re in panic mode, but the more calm and collected you can remain during slip-outs, the safer you’ll be. If your car doesn’t have ABS, it’s best to pump on the brakes instead of slamming on them. If your car does have ABS, your brakes will replicate the same thing as pumping on your brakes – it just does it more efficiently. Pumping anti-lock brakes reduces the effectiveness of your ABS.
Additionally, if your car breaks down in the winter months, it’s important to know what you’ll need in the event of such an emergency. Start your kit as soon as you move to Denver!
Read here for more tips on driving in the snow and what you need to prepare an emergency kit for your home and car.