In 2019, Denver was named the top two best destinations to live in the United States, by US News & World Report. Unsurprisingly, there were a number of factors that helped to determine its rankings among the top best cities in the nation. A few of those reasons included: livability scores, job growth, quality of living, health and fitness, and much more. Still, there’s much about Denver that many outsiders may not know. What is Denver known for? What other factors have made this Mile High City so popular among most Americans migrating to the Centennial state.
Denver is an extremely fun city to live. It has wonderful weather, nice people, successful sports teams, great cultural experiences. It’s also a great place for singles, plus its location boasts beautiful views of the best mountain range in America, the Rockies. Whether you’re a Coloradan native or visiting the Mile High City for the first time, there are basic things you should know about this beautiful metro area.
What is Denver known for exactly? The list, as you might imagine, is fairly extensive, so we’ve kept it to some of the major categories. For a quick rundown, here are some well-known and not-so-well-known facts about Denver, Colorado.
- Its nickname “Mile High City” references its elevation. Denver sits exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
- Denver boasts 300 days of sunshine each year. Even during cold winter months, it’s not uncommon to experience the warm sunshine.
- Denver has the 10th largest downtown area in the nation.
- It is also one of the most walkable cities. Within a mile radius of downtown, you can explore three various universities and colleges. There’s also a professional sports stadium, home to the Denver Broncos, and art & history museums.
- The city has 200 parks and nearly 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby Rocky Mountains.
- Denver has the sixteenth most educated city in America.
- This area is one of the most environmentally and “green-” conscious. It ranks in the top 30 greenest cities in America, according to wallethub.com.
- In Denver’s rarified air, golf balls go about 10% farther than they would at sea level.
- Denver is one of the 12 US cities to have teams from four major sports (baseball, hockey, football, and basketball).
- The Mile High City continues to attract Generation Y and even Gen Next en masse.
Have you ever wondered where the name came from? It was chosen after the governor of the Kansas territory, James Denver. The locals thought he would give them some extra credit for the honor, but it backfired because he was no longer in his position by the time the name actually happened.
Colorado had a big boom because of gold in the mountains, and Denver really found its place as the home of railroad connections around the country. In honor of this history, the capital building did something pretty impressive. The whole dome is coated in 24 karat gold.
The nickname for Denver is the Mile-High City, and there’s a very good reason for that. Parts of the city sit at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. If you want to be sure, head on out to Coors Field where the Rockies play. Most of the seats are the same color, but there’s a row of purple seats to show the exact mile-high mark. Or, just go over to the capital building. The 13th step in front of the building is exactly the elevation – how’s that for some political luck?
A lot of newcomers struggle with the altitude change, but it does have its benefits. Athletes love training here because they’re more efficient at lower elevations, and golfers love to play because the ball flies 10% farther.
Colorado is a place full of fit people, and in May 1970 the International Olympic Committee announced that the capital city would host the 1976 Games. But, the residents did something a little surprising, and they changed their minds about being hosts. The price tag and environmental impact turned off a lot of people, and the city of Innsbruck, Austria ending up hosting the event.
Fortunately, the Olympic situation didn’t scare off other athletes. Denver is one of only 13 cities in the nation to have a professional team in the four major sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey).
Everyone associates Denver with skiing, but the city isn’t in the mountains itself. This surprises some newcomers, but they settle down when they realize that the city has a nice view of 200 mountain peaks. Denver also offers ease of access to some of the most prominent ski resorts in North America including Aspen, Breckenridge, Key Stone, and Vail, to name a few. Denverites are always pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to surf some fresh pow and explore the remote areas of the Rocky Mountain wilderness. The cities proximity to the outdoors makes it an ideal balance for those who enjoy recreational and outdoor activities.
If you like basking in the sun, then you might want to think twice about heading to a tropical island. Denver gets 300 days of sunshine every year, so that means you can catch some rays year-round. And what about constantly having snow in the winter? That’s a myth – it usually melts within hours after the sun comes out again.
You keep hearing how Denver is becoming more popular and growing fast, but do you ever wonder if that’s just locals exaggerating because they miss the good old days? It’s not. During the period between 2010 and 2015, the population of the city increased by 13.8%.
The city has been known for quite a while as having the largest population of Baby Boomers in the country, but the times are changing. The Census Bureau recently said that the population of millennials has grown higher than that of the older generation.
Events, Food, & Drink
Colfax Avenue has quite a reputation, but it also happens to be the longest commercial street in the United States. At a length of 26.5 miles, they’ve even been known to hold marathons on the street. In addition, Denver is highly attractive to youthful generations like millennials, Generation Y, and even Gen Next. And as one of the most educated populace, Denver welcomes a variety of cultures and perspectives. Denver was one of the first to witness the brewery and distillery scene boom. Today, Denver boasts more than 140 breweries and nearly 10 distilleries.
Additionally, the Mile High City has year-round events that highlight music, art, and various holidays. Explore the Art District on Santa Fe. The first Friday of every month allows city-goers to walk through the streets, look through art galleries, and eat amazing food from various food trucks. Last, Denver is an amazing place for great coffee. Be sure to check out our list of amazing coffee shops in the area.
Denver is such an amazing place that tons of people flock to the city every year. Do you want to see some proof of that? How about this: in 2015, Denver International Airport was the sixth busiest airport in the United States.
Speaking of the airport, if you’ve driven in or out of it, you probably noticed the large and terrifying blue horse statue with flaming red eyes. The statue is called Blue Mustang, and it may in fact have a demon inside. Part of the 32-foot-tall statue fell on the creator as he was finishing the piece of the art, and it, unfortunately, killed him. So, yes, you’re wise to be a little bit frightened of it.
Final Thoughts: Denver Living
What is Denver known for? The surest way to find out is to explore one of the most wonderful cities in America first hand. Find a wonderful Denver apartment and discover the truly unique beauty for this growing metro area. Job growth continues to show upward trends and the ongoing lifestyle perks like outdoor recreation, arts and culture, music, breweries, eateries, and more makes this stunning city versatile and fitting for nearly every generation.