Denver Welcome Guide

Denver is known for its blue skies, mountain views, and outdoor recreational opportunities. The moderate winters and summers make outdoor recreation a year-round muse. We have all four seasons (sometimes within the same day!) and we typically don't go too long after a winter storm before a sunny day. Denver boasts around 300 days of sunshine a year.

Denver is a mature city - ranked 19th largest by population in the United States, yet is only the 87th most dense city among the largest 331 cities (wiki: 2022). Outside the statistical Denver Metro Area, there are plenty of suburban communities that Coloradoans call home. Denver International Airport is currently the 3rd busiest in the world - and serves as a major hub for United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.

Denver is known for its active and outdoorsy culture, with many residents prioritizing access to green spaces, walkable neighborhoods, and local amenities across its diverse neighborhoods. Some popular downtown districts to explore include LoDo (Lower Downtown), known for its historic architecture and nightlife, RiNo (River North), known for its street art and trendy restaurants and bars, and Five Points, known for its African-American culture and jazz history. Popular city neighborhoods are Wash Park (Washington Park), known for its gorgeous 140-acre park that features gardens, lakes, playgrounds, sports fields, and a popular boathouse; Platte Park featuring South Pearl Street - home to Sushi Den; and Sloan Lake with a well-established food, bar, and coffee shop scene.

The city has a thriving food and drink scene throughout, with many restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines and styles and many craft microbreweries to explore. Additionally, Denver has a vibrant cultural scene, with many festivals, events, and performances happening throughout the year. The city offers a rich arts scene, with a Museum District, a Performing Arts District, and an Arts District that features local galleries.

In addition to a pro sports scene that includes the four major U.S. sports in the NFL, Major League Baseball, NHL, and the NBA, Denver also has a Major League Soccer Team (The Rapids) and an Indoor Lacrosse Team (The Mammoth). The University of Colorado offers a unique college football experience with Ralphie - the live Buffalo Mascot - providing entertainment in the idyllic setting along the Boulder flatirons prior to kick-off of Pac-12 football games. Colorado State and the Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs) also offer Division I college sports entertainment.

Denver traffic is reasonable. While those who have been here for ~10 years or more will remark on how much busier it has gotten - it is still very reasonable compared to the large cities on the West Coast or Northeast. Don't be overwhelmed by how far places might look on a map - you can get to most places in the Denver Metro Area within 30-45 minutes.

Schools in the Denver and surrounding area are largely well-respected within the region. Denver offers traditional neighborhood schools, magnet schools, and charter schools; and the school districts in the region generally offer Open Enrollment (first come, first serve, then lottery, then waitlist). Denver also has private schools options for families looking for that experience. Higher Education within the city and metro area includes the University of Denver, University of Colorado - Denver Campus, Metro State University, and Front Range Community College. The University of Colorado main campus in Boulder and Colorado State University in Fort Collins are both within a manageable drive from the city.

Like any large city, Denver has its different areas that have their own personality and culture. I've pulled together many different resources here to help you explore, gain your bearings, and help you orient yourself to the city. Certainly, nothing can replace the knowledge gained through your own experiences. Frankly, there is so much here it risks being overwhelming. You won't be able to explore it all. Focus on the Neighborhoods, Points of Interest, Restaurants, Bars, Sports, and Culture that most interest you.

I hope you enjoy this welcome guide and find it helpful! If you're ready to go from casual city explorer to serious real estate searcher and you'd like to meet for a coffee or a beer (we have craft beer!) - I would be happy to make your acquaintance, share current dynamics and strategies in our ever-changing local real estate market, and help get you pointed in the right direction for target locations for a rental or a purchase.

Beehive Employees and Potential Employees

I have been fortunate enough to help many connected with Beehive Industries Buy and Sell homes in the Denver Area. And I can help connect you with a realtor in another market that can help make that transition smooth as well. I greatly value my relationship with Beehive, and I give special attention to these clients. 

As a partner to the business - I offer all Beehive Employees a Home Warranty on their purchase in Denver. I want you to be happy here, and a home warranty can protect against some unexpected costs after you’ve just made a big purchase. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with you.

INTERACTIVE MAP

This is a Google map I've built by pulling in information and resources from other sites. It has a lot of information on it, but I can't think of a better way to help orient newcomers to the city and region.

Some tips:

  • This is much easier to use on a computer or tablet with a larger screen. I recommend getting generally oriented on this map before jumping in the car and pulling up the map on a cell phone. Although I know that is how it will be used inevitably (and it was the original intent when building this), I think a little bit of familiarity beforehand will help avoid some frustration.

If on a mobile device:

  • The map works best by staying on this page and working in landscape mode (phone held sideways). The embedded map may prompt you to go fullscreen. My experience is that this brings you into the Google Maps App. There is a legend for this Denver Welcome Guide map, but it is easy to get outside of it, and then you are in a normal Google Maps view without these recommendations.

  • Be careful when you pinch and zoom. Be sure to do it within the map and not on the page outside the map. Use two fingers within the map to zoom in and out on the map. Use a single finger on the map, or anywhere on this page, to scroll up and down on this page.

  • Use the icon in the top left corner to access the menu and display or hide different categories. Some are nice to overlay, others just get to be too much.

  • Bookmark this page and feel free to click on links in the descriptions on the various pins. You will be taken from this site (and it's easy to accidentally leave the guide), but with the bookmark, you can return here to continue to explore online.

Neighborhoods

Denver neighborhoods have developed their own identities over time. Many have a combination name, such as RiNo (River North), LoHi (Lower Highlands), LoDo (Lower Downtown). These districts in the urban city core and the urban neighborhoods just outside the core offer everything from city vibes to 100-year-old neighborhoods with mature trees and their own neighborhood main street. As you go further from the city, the Denver suburban neighborhoods offer larger lots, larger and more recently built homes, and more big box amenities.

I've grouped the neighborhoods on the map by category. I've numbered some of them if they've made 5280.com’s Neighborhood list. Keep in mind that the 5280 list is an opinion list of Denver Districts and Urban Neighborhoods. Certainly, there are great neighborhoods not on that list that were too small or too similar to others to be included, and there are great suburban neighborhoods that also didn't warrant consideration for this "Denver Proper" list.

I've done my best to manually map out many of these neighborhoods. Click on any of the neighborhoods to see a description and link as applicable from 5280, the city of Denver, or another site that I thought did a representative job of describing that part of town. This will continue to be added to, evolve, and improve.

Restaurants, Cocktail Bars/Microbrewery, and Breakfast/Coffee

There is a lot here! Focus on the area where you will be and see if there is anything you want to check out. I pulled this from a list from 5280 and my own list and knowledge. I didn't take the time to comment on each restaurant and some I only know by reputation. Please go to their Google Business Page and read reviews/look at pictures. Have fun exploring!

Points of Interest

These pins are the "Big Values" in the area to help orient you within the city. The Airport, the Performing Arts Center, the Museum, the Rockies Stadium, the Broncos Stadium, etc.

Counties

These county waypoints are pins (not mapped areas). They are intended to give you a general orientation about where the various counties are around Denver.

Denver Area Schools

School Districts

Schools and School Districts are always fodder for opinion - especially as each district has had to endure the challenges of COVID-19 disruptions in recent years. Generally, the public schools across the region are well regarded. Whether you have school-aged kids or are interested because schools do drive property values - schools are important.

Public School Districts that are consistently considered the best in the region are:

Private Schools are an option in Denver as well. The prominent Private Schools in the region are:

  • Regis Jesuit High School
  • Valor Christian High School
  • Colorado Academy
  • Holy Family High School

Schools Map Key:

  • I've added the Top 10 Public School Districts in gray waypoints on the Map so you can see (generally) which part of the city they serve.
  • I've added the Largest 8 Private Schools in red waypoints on the Map. I've also included enrollment numbers and tuition figures as published in the Denver Business Journal. For a full list of Private Schools from DBJ (paywall), please contact me. I'll be happy to provide it to you.
  • I've included the major and prominent colleges and universities as well - in green.

Hiking, Scenic Driving, and Sightseeing

This is just a small smattering available and prominent in the front range. There are opportunities in the city like the Cherry Creek Bike Path and Wash Park. In many suburban neighborhoods, there are trails winding through or near their communities. Coloradoans value the ability to get outside, and many municipalities and neighborhoods have prioritized this as their areas developed.

Public Transportation

The public transportation entity in Denver is RTD. I've always found the light rail and the bus to be great options to get back and forth to the airport or get downtown for a sporting event. They are generally well-run, clean, and safe. All Light Rail Lines go into Union Station in Downtown Denver. From Union Station, there is a rail line to the Airport. I wasn't able to include public transportation on my interactive map at this time.

RTD Light Rail Map

The bus routes go throughout the city and into Boulder and the broader region.

RTD Bus Page

If you are coming to Denver for a few days, have a hotel downtown, and are staying downtown for your activities - you can get away without a car and using the light rail and car share services. If you want to explore the urban and suburban neighborhoods around Denver, you will want the independence and flexibility that comes with having a car.

Denver "Things To Do" Resources

Denver always has something going on. I find these sites do a great job of staying current.

  • Denver.org - provided by the Visit Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • 5280.com - Website for a Local Print and Web Publication

Real Estate

As you've probably identified by now - Denver is a large, varied, and diverse city. The Real Estate follows suit with development from the city core starting as early as the 1880s, continuous building throughout the 1900s as Denver grew, and the suburbs actively and robustly being built for the last 60 years and continuing now. Infill, as well as scrapes and rebuilds, are commonplace which results in any particular neighborhood offering a 1960's home that may or may not be remodeled, next to a scrape and new build that is circa 2019. For every generality, there is an exception. Most residents have grown comfortable with this reality in a vibrant and constantly growing city.

Please use my website to assist in your search. I also have a tool to help out-of-towners calibrate to the city and the various neighborhoods within Denver (below).

If you'd like to use this tool, Please sign up here.

I have a track record of helping clients achieve success in looking for their next home. It starts with a conversation that informs a strong and efficient process that leads to a great fit.

Please don't get too intimidated by the current high-interest rates. I have a proven tactic to help make the monthly payment affordable that not enough buyers know about. If this is a cause for hesitation for you, let's talk. It's a great time to buy while others hesitate.

I love what I do. In addition to a strong process, I bring an analyst's toolset and a negotiation background; and I interact with my clients with a patient and kind approach. I'm here to facilitate and educate on the realities of our local market - and have fun doing it. You'll hear me say - "I control the process and my clients control the decisions." Together we find success at a pace that feels comfortable for my clients. I feel very strongly - it is not about me, it is about my client. Read my reviews for testimony on my client’s satisfaction with my approach and value.

Feel free to peruse my real estate search site here as much as you’d like.

This is the entire active market for Denver - You'll need to set some filters to limit the results to what you want to see.

I selected this technology because I think it provides value to those getting acclimated to the market. It may ask you for a sign-up if you use it heavily. I will simply call to say hi and see if I can help. No pressure.

When you are ready to have a casual conversation or perhaps get serious, we can have that conversation to discuss wants, needs, fits, strategies, and tactics, and - if desired - set up a search for you directly from the MLS to make sure you see properties that are strong fits as soon as they are active on the market. I would be honored to be your Denver and Front Range Real Estate Professional.

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NICK CROTHERS

LEAD AGENT | FA.100078330

Nick came to Real Estate with a background in Corporate Sales (Wholesaling Insurance) and Software Operations, and after investing in multiple properties himself. Nick now focuses on Residential Real Estate in the Colorado Front Range - specifically in the Denver Neighborhoods, Suburbs, and throughout Boulder County. Nick is also happy to chat on Mountain Properties for those looking for a Second Home or a Short Term Rental Investment Property with utility.

Nick was recently honored to be featured in Real Producers Magazine. Click the button below to learn more about his approach, and a little about Nick himself.

My husband and I are so happy and fortunate to have found Nick as our realtor. He is experienced, patient, and knowledgeable, and was amazing throughout the entire transaction from viewing properties to the close of escrow. Nick was always readily available and accommodating whenever we needed to see a property right away or questions we had. We could not have gotten our home in LoDo in this insane competitive market without Nick’s excellent negotiation & people skills. During the contract, he was always one step ahead of the game, kept us informed, literally stayed on top of everything, and went out of his way to make the transaction as smooth as possible as we were stressed about relocating from another state & work travels, etc. Very highly recommend, you will not be disappointed!"

— Elaine N.

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