One visit to Denver three years ago was all it took for me to realize I needed to move to Colorado. Colorado is cool, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few reasons why:
#1. The mountains here are famous, and for avid skiers and snowboarders, they are a big draw for transplants and visitors. Not only are the Rockies larger than life and gorgeous to look at whether you’re at a baseball game downtown or at the annual bluegrass festival in Telluride, but they’re also the official state playground for Coloradoans when the first snow falls (which can be at any time, but more on that later). Ski season is just as exciting as summer out here, and come August, I guarantee the most popular (and increasingly contentious) debate you’ll overhear will be: “Are you getting the Epic or Ikon?” Regardless of which ski pass you select, you’re in a prime location to hit some of the top ski resorts in North America.
PRO TIP: Calling all Epic Pass holders! I highly recommend you play hooky for a powder day in Vail’s legendary Back Bowls or trek a little farther up the road for fresh-baked cookies handed out in Beaver Creek Village before or after you hit the slopes.
#2. Colorado is known for its iconic mountains and all the outdoors has to offer, but if you’re a foodie looking to spend time in a city exploring the latest restaurant trends, Denver is the place for you. For a few years now, Denver’s restaurant scene, which includes hot spots like Uncle, Hop Alley or El Five, has been joined by a more casual concept of cuisine that almost feels European: the food halls. Between Denver Milk Market, Union Station, Avanti, The Source, Denver Central Market, Zeppelin Station, and Stanley Marketplace, this trend is rising in popularity and the list continues to grow. No matter what day of the week or time of day, these one-stop-shops are fun, bustling and vibrant spots for locals and visitors to shop, eat, drink and more.
PRO TIP: If you visit Milk Market, go find Run for the Roses, a hidden gem and underground bar with a speakeasy feel and impressive selection of craft cocktails.
#3. Denver is truly the transplant capital. With its central location and influx of new residents, Colorado is a melting pot of personalities and styles. Here, you’ll find a Midwest family feel, outdoorsy opportunities, metropolitan East Coast vibes and a laid-back West Coast culture, all in one place. If you’re not spending time in the mountains, Denver is a unique North American hub for arts, entertainment and culture and there is plenty of fun to be had in the city. Colorado is a place where you can really choose your own adventure.
PRO TIP: If you ever feel a little stir crazy (or need to see a body of water), Denver is in a prime location to launch a weekend getaway, with easy access to both coasts and major cities all over the nation.
#4. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is on every music buff’s bucket list, and for good reason. A visit to Red Rocks isn’t just a concert; it’s an experience. The anticipation for the show builds as you navigate the windy road up to the venue through the beautiful rock formations at sunset. Before you know it, you’re sitting in your seat surrounded by an enclave of rocks, which creates acoustics like you’ve never heard before. The Red Rocks lineup is a coveted calendar of events, with a diverse array of music and entertainment and some shows that sell out almost immediately. No matter how many shows you go to, every time feels like the first.
PRO TIP: Tailgates aren’t just for football games. Red Rocks hosts the same pre-show ritual. Park in the lot, bring out the makeshift charcuterie board and some wine, and pop open the trunk to enjoy the sunset and views before the show.
#5. Lastly, I have to address the weather here. I’ve now surrendered to Colorado’s weather patterns and accepted that I’ll never be able to accurately plan for the swings in temperature or random snow days. But the bright side of Colorado’s unpredictability is that within five minutes or five hours, you can be in a completely different climate. Winter snow days and summer thunderstorms never last too long, and the 300-plus days of sun overshadow the random and sometimes severe weather episodes.
PRO TIP: Chase the clouds in the winter for a powder day on the slopes, set aside time inside on summer afternoons to take cover from torrential thunderstorms, and if you hear someone say, “If it smells like Greeley, it’s gonna snow,” there’s a 50/50 chance this is just a myth.
Colorado is the coolest, and I couldn’t think of a better place to live, work and play than in the Mile-High City.