Think back to the last time you moved.
Exciting? Absolutely. A refreshing change of scenery? Most definitely. But was it the simple, effortless, walk-in-the-park you deserve? Maybe not. But next time, with this helpful guide, next time it could be.
Here’s the scoop on everything you need to know when moving to Denver, Colorado—plus a few bonus reminders of what you have to look forward to.
#1 Acquaint Yourself With Your New City
When you start looking for furnished apartments in Denver to move to, advice like this from your friends is sure to follow: wear sunscreen, don’t bad-mouth the Broncos, and learn to ski. Your pals aren’t wrong, but they haven’t hit all the necessary talking points, either.
It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into with any relocation—the good, the bad, and the downright awesome. That way, you have time to prepare for a smooth transition.
Somewhat Unpredictable Weather
Denver weather is—in a word—interesting. The weather is definitely considered a common debate when it comes to the pros and cons of living in Denver. You might like it, you might hate it, but you definitely won’t get bored of it. Here’s a general breakdown:
- Long but inconsistent snowy season – The Mile High City might have the most unusual snowfall pattern in the nation. It starts early and ends late with two peak seasons, first in November then again in March or April. It comes in sporadic, highly concentrated storms, but the total amount of snow is surprisingly modest at an average of 57 inches each year.
- Hot sun – The snow often melts as quickly as it comes thanks to Denver’s extra warm sun—or, more accurately, the decreased atmospheric protection because of the city’s elevation. At that height, the sun is hotter and more powerful, so be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen.
- Mild but unpredictable summers – Temperatures hover around the mid-80s from June to August. However, the variation from day to day makes Denver’s high temperatures some of the most unpredictable in the country.
Not everything is a surprise for Denverites, though. They do experience some consistent weather patterns:
- Predictably low precipitation most years, with the mild rainy season occurring in late spring
- Consistent sunshine, nearly 300 days a year
- One of the driest major cities in the U.S., with low humidity year-round
When packing up your belongings and relocating to Denver, remember that layers are key. Snow boots and a coat are essential, as are tank tops, shorts, and hats. But the real trick to surviving any Denver season is to come prepared with a change of clothes.
Adjusting to the Elevation
The symptoms of altitude sickness, if any, will be very mild in Denver. The air is slightly thinner and drier in the Denver area, but most people won’t experience any severe side effects. Still, there are ways to help your body adjust to the transition:
- Stay hydrated by drinking about twice as much water as you would elsewhere.
- Eat high-potassium snacks like bananas, cantaloupe, granola, and potatoes.
- Limit your alcohol consumption, as it can heighten the effects of the altitude (and vice versa).
- When exercising outdoors, start slowly and build intensity gradually to avoid low oxygen levels.
Denver preparation extends beyond packing the right items and being wary of potential dangers. You can also prepare for all of the exciting adventures you’re about to have!
Deciding where to go for your weekend vacations is one of the best parts of moving to a new city. When it comes to the Mile High City, weekend getaways are among the top things to do in Denver, including these two can’t-miss favorites:
- Rocky Mountain National Park – This outdoor oasis is the perfect spot for hiking, backpacking, and mingling with the wildlife. You can spend the day there for $25 per vehicle, or invest in an annual pass for $70—after all, it is right in your backyard.
- Vail – This in-demand ski resort fills up quickly, especially during peak seasons, which include winter and summer. Book your accommodations early to secure a coveted spot, and purchase an Epic Day Pass for priority reservations, access to early season skiing, and reduced prices.
The mountains may be outside of city limits, but they’re bound to become an integral part of your transplant Denverite identity—there’s no use fighting it.
Shopping & Dining
Whether you regard shopping as a luxury pastime or a daily necessity, you’ll need to know the best places to shop:
- 16th Street Mall – Located in downtown Denver, the 16-block pedestrian-friendly promenade is home to tons of brand-name stores with clothes, shoes, home goods, and beyond for every kind of shopper.
- Larimer Square – This plaza is directly adjacent to the 16th Street Mall, but it offers a slightly different experience. The storefronts exhibit trendy boutiques and eclectic retailers rather than traditional luxury brands and chains.
- South Pearl Street – This historic Denver shopping district is a charming alternative to mega malls. Check out the small, local businesses or their regular schedule of special events. On Sundays, it transforms into a bustling farmers’ market with fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts, and local artwork—all from within Colorado state lines.
#2 Choosing A Neighborhood
Now that you have a better idea of the Denver area as a whole, you’re ready to embrace the city’s culture, and the first step is selecting your relocation housing’s neighborhood. While there are certain tried-and-true Denver staples you’ll find just about anywhere, each Denver neighborhood has a slightly different vibe and offers distinct amenities. Your choice will depend on which of these communities best suits your lifestyle:
- Bustling commercial centers – If you want to be in the heart of the city and within walking distance of shops, restaurants, museums, malls, and more, then relocate to the downtown Central Business District or the surrounding areas of Civic Center and North Capitol Hill.
- Quaint vibes with abundant green space – Many Denver neighborhoods strike the perfect balance of a quiet, suburban feel within the larger urban cityscape. If you want proximity to the Denver downtown area’s fun and excitement without living right on top of it, look into Sloan’s Lake or Glendale.
- Hip, young, and trendy – From its abundant number of museums to its lively music venues, Denver has a large arts community rich with culture. If this is what you’re looking for, you’ll feel at home in Capitol Hill, Five Points, or River North Art District, known more commonly as RiNo. These up and coming neighborhoods in Denver are experiencing significant population growth, especially among young professionals.
Denver is “a city of neighborhoods”—each one is as unique and distinct as the last. Whether it be a metro area or the Denver suburbs, there’s some part of Denver that’s right for you. You just have to find it.
Securing a means of transportation is essential, especially in a city like Denver that doesn’t have the most comprehensive public transportation system.
Will you bring your car with you? Buy or lease once you arrive? Or will you rely on alternative ways of traversing the city?
If you plan on driving most places, you should prepare for the Denver traffic, especially during rush hour. It’s no worse than any other major metro area, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore its existence (or the inconvenience it might bring).
The issue stems in part from having snow on the roads. It may not happen all the time, but the snow makes it naturally difficult to navigate the slippery streets in limited visibility.
Prepare yourself for the city’s traffic and potentially dangerous conditions:
- Leave early – Give yourself thirty minutes of additional time to make it to your destination, especially when the weather is bad.
- Avoid busy areas – Plan your route ahead of time to avoid the most congested streets and highways. Substitute the I-25 and I-70 for I-76 or I-270. The E470 is another option if you’re willing to pay the toll to save yourself valuable time.
- Prepare your car for snow – Use snow tires, all-season tires, or snow chains when required for safe travel. Keep an ice scraper packed in the trunk for those frosty winter days.
Most Denverites opt for automotive travel, but it isn’t the only way to get around. The city is highly regarded as a cyclist-friendly metropolis, and cycling is a favorite outdoor activity for many Denver residents.
You can travel around town on the many paved bike paths and wide bike lanes. Bring your bicycle from home, buy one new or used from a local retailer, or participate in Denver’s B-cycle bike-sharing program, with convenient and accessible stations scattered across the city.
#4 Securing An Apartment
The real estate market can be tricky to navigate in an up-and-coming city like Denver, especially if you’re moving from out of state. Our best moving to Denver advice? Take the hassle out of apartment hunting with Landing.
Landing lets you skip the deposits, long-term leases, and exhaustive (or exhausting) apartment search. You can arrive in Denver ready to move into one of the city’s best fully furnished apartments, complete with a 24/7 concierge service and just about everything you need for comfortable living.
Dive Into Denver City Life
It’s time to stop asking, “Should I move to Denver?” and start asking, “How do I move to Denver?” Before you take the plunge, let’s go over your packing list one last time:
- Ski gear
- Snow tires
- Awesome apartment in a great location, courtesy of Landing
With that, it seems like you’re almost ready to transition to Denver life. All that’s left is to put on your head-to-toe Broncos gear, lament the city’s rush hour traffic, and crack open a craft beer at happy hour—then, your transformation to a full-time Denver resident will be complete.
FiveThirtyEight. When April Snow Showers Blanket Spring Flowers. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/when-april-snow-showers-blanket-spring-flowers/
RED. The Truth About Winter in Denver. https://red.msudenver.edu/2018/the-truth-about-winter-in-denver.html
VISIT DENVER. Weather & Climate Info. https://www.denver.org/about-denver/denver-resources/weather/
FiveThirtyEight. Which City Has The Most Unpredictable Weather? https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/which-city-has-the-most-unpredictable-weather/
VISIT DENVER. A City of Neighborhoods. https://www.denver.org/conventions-elevated/bear-facts/neighborhoods/
Walk Score. Minneapolis Tops San Francisco, Portland as Most Bikeable City of 2015. http://blog.walkscore.com/2015/05/minneapolis-tops-san-francisco-portland-as-most-bikeable-city-of-2015/
Denver B-cycle. How to B-cycle. https://www.denverbcycle.com/
VISIT DENVER. High-Altitude Tips. https://www.denver.org/about-denver/denver-resources/high-altitude-tips/