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Living in Denver
A comprehensive guide about living well in Denver
Located between the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains, Denver is a modern and picturesque metropolis that has a rich history. Nicknamed "The Mile High City", due to being exactly one mile above sea level, Denver is well suited to expats because it has an enticing mix of races and cultures.
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Life in Denver
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Denver is a friendly place full of cheer. It also has a thriving business sector that attracts young and ambitious professionals from around the globe.
Culture and Leisure
As a city that was founded on the gold rush of the mid-19th century, Denver’s very existence is based on attracting skilled workers from differing regions and countries. Today, it is home to a wide range of industries and an even wider demographic of inhabitants.
Most Denverites are from European heritage, but the city prides itself on having one of the largest Hispanic or Latino communities in the whole of the United States. It is also home to African American, Asian, Jewish, and Native American neighborhoods.
One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods is Five Points, which has a mix of stately Victorian homes, plush lofts and new developments. It is a historically African American owned area and has often been referred to as the “Harlem of the West” because of a rich jazz history that once attracted the likes of Miles Davies, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. The area was also prominently featured in Jack Kerouac’s classic 1957 novel On the Road, and is home to the Stiles African American Heritage Center and The Black American West Museum.
Expatriates moving to Denver will likely be drawn to Lower Downtown (or “LoDo”, as the locals call it). There they will find an abundance of restaurants and nightclubs as well as more than 20 art galleries. One of the biggest attractions in LoDo is the US Mint at 320 West Colfax Avenue. The Mint produces over 50 million coins each day, all of which have a small “D” stamped into them to show where they came from. Admittance is free but reservations need to be made in advance if you want to visit the mint during your time in Denver.
People who are new to life in Denver usually enjoy a trip to the Colorado State Capitol building as well because its steps rise 5,280 feet above sea level and its rotunda offers unrivaled views over the snowcapped peaks of the Rockies.
If you’re a fan of sports, you’re in for a treat living in Denver as the city has no less than seven professional teams. The largest of these is the NFL outfit, the Denver Broncos, who ply their trade at the 76,000 capacity Sports Authority Field (AKA Mile High Stadium). Other well-known sporting sites include the Colorado Rockies baseball team, the Denver Nuggets basketball team, and the Major League Soccer outfit, the Colorado Rapids.
Denver prides itself as being a “paradise for cyclists” and has over 850 miles of trails as well as a pioneering bike sharing scheme known as B-cycle, which allows residents to hire cycles from over 80 different stations.
Transportation in Denver
As mentioned, Denver is a great city for cyclists, but getting around by bus, car, or taxi is also straight forward. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is the main provider of public transport, with more than 1,000 buses and six light railway services being in operation.
Interstates 25 and 70 both pass through the city, among others, connecting it to New Mexico and Wyoming in the south and north, and Maryland and Utah to the east and west. Denver also has Greyhound buses with routes to Las Vegas, New York, Portland, and various other locations.
Denver International Airport is the main aviation hub in the area and typically the first port of call for expatriates who are planning on living in Denver. It serves more than 50 million passengers each year, making it the fourth busiest in the US and the tenth busiest in the world.
Education in Denver
Education is usually one of the biggest deciding factors for potential expats with kids. Like most cities in the States, Denver has a variety of school types with differing curriculums and performance ratings; these include 73 elementary schools and 14 high schools.
The first higher education institution in the city was the University of Denver, which opened in 1864. This private university now has around 5,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students and its notable alumni include former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Hard Rock Café founder Peter Morton.
Among the other higher education providers in Denver are the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver.
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