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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Denver, CO

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Towering one mile above sea level between the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains, Denver is the capital of Colorado as well as the largest city in the state. It's close proximity to the mountains, Cherry Creek and the South Platte River make it the perfect home for any lover of outdoor activities--fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing and biking are all popular past times among Denver locals.

The laidback mentality of this western city earned it sixth place on Forbes' "America's Most Relaxed Cities" list. Whether you ease your stress with a bike ride through the mountains, a leisurely stroll through the trendy and historic LoDo district or with a hand-crafted beer at one of the city's many brewpubs, Denver offers many ways to relieve your tension.

Denver Climate

The city has a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons. Denver is said to experience 300 days of sunshine a year. Winters are mildly cold, with frequent snow but little accumulation due to the dry climate and plentiful sunshine. Sporadic snowfall will begin as early as October and continue until April.

However, even colder temperatures in the city won't feel as frigid as other places because of the aridity and abundance of sunlight. Summers vary from mild to hot with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and temperatures occasionally reaching 100 degrees.

Denver Neighborhoods

The LoDo district is the city's oldest neighborhood, once a bustling Old West town filled with saloons and brothels. However, by the mid-twentieth century, it had decayed into a ghetto. In the late 80's and early 90's, the district underwent a revitalization, and is now the city's hippest region, with numerous art galleries, shops, bars, clubs, and old, renovated warehouses transformed into trendy lofts. It is home to the well-known Wynkoop Brewing Company, a brewpub started by former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, as well as Coors Field, the home of the baseball team the Colorado Rockies.

Cherry Creek is an affluent neighborhood located near the center of the city and is a combination of tree-lined suburban streets and bustling urban metropolis. If you love to shop, Cherry Creek is home to two of the largest shopping centers in the city. The swanky, enclosed shopping mall Cherry Creek Shopping Center boasts high-fashion stores such as Louis Vuitton, Coach and Tiffany & Co. The 16-block outdoor shopping district Cherry Creek North is a consumer's heaven, comprised of over 320 stores, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, salons and spas. Complete with historic architecture, gated communities of regal Victorian-style homes, and the exclusive Denver Country Club, Cherry Creek is one of the most prestigious--albeit costly--places to live in Denver.

The Highlands is Denver's largest neighborhood, and one of its most culturally-rich. Bungalow-style houses, eccentric boutiques, and restaurants serving sushi, seafood, and authentic Mexican cuisine all give this historically Hispanic neighborhood its charm. Visit the Tennyson Cultural District or the Navajo Street Art District and step into one of many art galleries featuring work from local artists.

Registering Your Car

Upon moving to Colorado permanently, you will have 90 days to register your vehicle. The fee will depend on the weight of your vehicle. You can register your car at any Colorado DMV location, and will need the following documents: title or current out-of-state registration, verifiable identification, proof of Colorado vehicle emissions inspection, and proof of insurance.

To update your license, you will need to present your old license, proof of Colorado residency, and pass a vision test.

Denver Schools

The public school system in the city is operated by Denver Public Schools, educating 84,424 students in 196 facilities. Eight of the district's 37 high schools received gold, silver or bronze medals in U.S. News' "Best High Schools" ranking, including Denver School of the Arts, George Washington High School, and East High School.

There are also several universities in the city, including the private University of Denver, and the public institutions, University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Denver Employment

Denver's location and resources contribute greatly to its booming economy, which ranked third best in the nation. It is the largest city in 500 miles, and is of equal distance from other major cities in the West and Midwest, making it a hub for storage and distribution of goods and services with nearby states.

The city's position at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains also fuels its economy. Many mining and energy companies are based in the city, such as Halliburton, EnCana, Smith International, Anadarko, Noble Energy, Tinto Group and Newmont Mining.

The city is also located in the Mountain Time Zone, making it an attractive center for the telecommunications industry because it facilitates communication with both coasts, as well as South America, Asia and Europe in the same business day. Several telecommunication companies have operations in the city, including Qwest Communications, Dish Network, Starz-Encore, Comcast and DIRECT TV.

The federal government also has a strong presence in the city, with many agencies having offices there.

Denver Moving Resources

There are numerous moving and storage companies located in Denver that are waiting to help you relocate to your new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move, whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages here at Movers.com to get fast quotes for the following services:

Living Costs in the City

If you are looking to move to an exciting city without going broke, Denver may be the place for you to relocate. The cost of living in the city is moderate, and more affordable than many other major cities. Low state taxes in Colorado, reasonable housing and utilities plus a median income well above the national average all make the city a desirable place to live during a time of lackluster economy. The median price of a home in the city is just $236,400, and the average price of rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $945.

Denver Transportation

Public transit in the city is operated by The Regional Transportation District, which controls the transit services for eight of the counties in the Denver, Boulder and Aurora metropolitan areas. The RTD operates both the bus and light rail systems, with 1,000 buses traveling 140 routes and 10,000 bus stops. The five light rail lines cover 35 miles of track and have stops at 36 stations.

The light rail is an easy and convenient way to get to any of the city's major attractions, including the Theatre District, the Pepsi Center, and the Convention Center. One-way fares for the light-rail (or the bus) range from $2.25 to $5.

Culture and Contemporary Life

In addition to being a very active and outdoorsy city, Denver is teeming with history and culture throughout its many neighborhoods. There is something for everyone here--whether your favorite pastimes include shopping, art gazing, hiking, or even drinking.

Denver is often referred to as the "Brewery Capital of the World" because of the extensive amount of breweries in the city, including the Coors Brewery and Anheuser-Busch Brewery, as well as many smaller brewpubs featuring hand-crafted beer. The city even hosts the Denver Beer Fest in October and has numerous brewery tours for those who want to sample a little bit of everything.

For the fine arts lover, the Denver Art Museum is comprised of two awe-inspiring buildings designed by two famous architects, Daniel Libeskind and Gio Ponti. The museum features the world's greatest collection of Native American art, as well as Old West exhibits. There are also an abundance of smaller art galleries to browse through, especially in the Highlands, Cherry Creek and the LoDo district.

Shopping and dining options in the city are expansive and diverse. They include the 16th Street Pedestrian mall, a tree and flower-lined mile-long promenade featuring shops, outdoor cafes, and horse-drawn carriages; Cherry Creek North, an upscale outdoor marketplace featuring 16 blocks of boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and spas; Larimer Square, a block of Victorian architecture with trendy shops, outdoor cafes, a comedy club and some of the city's best eateries; and the LoDo district, a historic and chic neighborhood with revamped warehouses-turned sports bars, clubs, rooftop cafes and microbreweries.

Denver Relocation Tips

  • Acclimate to the altitude. The nearly mile-high elevation of the city can take some adjustment. If you have any health or heart problems, you should take some time before attempting any heavy exercise or strenuous activity.
  • Research the neighborhoods. The city has a diverse assortment of neighborhoods, ranging from reasonable to costly. Your budget will be a major influence on where you choose to live, so conduct thorough research before moving. Some of the more affluent parts of Denver include Cherry Creek and Washington Park. If you are seeking affordability, the LoDo district may be more up your alley.
  • Get fit. The city has been called one of the healthiest in the nation. Use this opportunity to partake in pleasures of the outdoor variety, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting and skiing. Additionally, the city boasts a variety of parks, gyms, and health centers. Now that you are moving to Denver, there is no excuse not to get in shape!

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on February 28, 2013

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