So you’ve just made the move to the beautiful city that is Denver. There’s a lot of things you need to see and do when you move to the capital of Colorado, and we’re here to break it down for you.
1. Brace yourself for the instability of Colorado weather
Colorado is known for its constant weather fluctuation, so don’t be surprised if you experience all 4 seasons in one day, or have a second winter sprung on you in the middle of spring. It’s totally normal. It’s also a good idea to keep a coat, umbrella, and change of both warmer and cooler clothing somewhere accessible at all times.
2. Get down with your “outdoorsy” self
I get it, you don’t want to get dirty – I’m a city girl myself. But there’s nothing quite like hiking to the top of a mountain and taking in the beauty that is the wonderful state of Colorado. You’ll also have some of the best times of your life sitting around the campfire with your friends and/or family. Trust me, it’s worth a little dirt.
3. Get ready to have your breath taken away every time dawn draws near
I have called Colorado home my entire life and I am still in awe every time the sun sets. People from other states can brag about their own sunsets all they want, but I will take this to my grave. I promise you, there is nothing like ending your day watching the sky turn vibrant shades of red, pink, and purple and seeing the sun set over the mountains.
4. Familiarize yourself with public transportation
If you are headed downtown for work or play, do yourself a favor and skip the traffic. Public transport is your BFF in this city and you have the option of either the bus or the light rail. It’s quick, easy, and (hopefully) no one will bite. You can find fares for both here, and you may even be eligible for discounted fare. Yay, discounts!
5. Invest in a Nalgene, Camelbak or 5-gallon Gatorade jug
The altitude is no joke, especially if you’re from somewhere ridiculously close to sea level. Colorado is also notoriously dry, which may come as a slap in the face to you (and your skin) if you’re from a humid state. Staying hydrated is key in adjusting to the Denver climate. Drink at least twice as much water as you normally would at your home base to ensure you get through your new days as a Coloradan without the bummer side effects of dehydration.
#SpoonTip: Burt’s Bees lip balm and Lubriderm will also come in clutch. You can thank me later.
6. Attend concerts, concerts, and more concerts
I’m ashamed to admit that I am a Colorado-native and have never attended a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater, BUT YOU NEED TO. (It’s on my summer bucket list, don’t worry.) One huge perk about living in Denver is the easy access to concerts. Your favorite band/singer most likely has Denver on their tour schedule, whether it’s at Red Rocks, The Pepsi Center, or any of the other smaller venues in town. You should also keep an eye out for awesome local bands, because they rock too.
7. Bask in the glory of all things Green Chili related
One of the saddest things I’ve realized attending a university in the Midwest is that people are unaware of the magic that is green chili. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to people that a breakfast burrito isn’t really a breakfast burrito without it. Green chili is a crucial staple in Western life. One of the first things you should do when you move to Denver is find your way to Jack and Grill and order yourself a heaping plate of green chili cheese fries. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also order their 7-pound burrito – which is, of course, smothered in green chili.
8. Take advantage of all the fun that Denver has to offer
If you are ever bored while living in Denver, you’re doing something wrong. There are countless things to do and it’s definitely possible to do them on a budget. For the thrill-seekers, there’s Elitch Gardens and Water World for a fun-filled day. For the nature and art lovers, take a day to explore all the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Art Museum and The Aquarium has to offer. For the park-goers, Sloan’s Lake and Wash Park are a great time. Don’t even get me started on the malls. No matter what you enjoy doing, I can guarantee you will find it in Denver.
But don’t drink it if the mountains aren’t blue. It’s a given that you should visit the Coor’s factory, but Colorado in general is also home to plenty of other worthy alcohol. If you’re a beer drinker, you may want to visit Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, home of Dale’s Pale Ale.
Wine drinkers, you’re in luck, too. Only a hop, skip, and a jump away is Palisade, where you can wine tour until you can’t even stand anymore. Seriously. If you happen to head that way in September, you can also attend the annual Colorado Mountain Wine Fest. Can it get any better than that?
10. Root, root, root for the home team
Congratulations, you are moving to the home of the 2016 Superbowl Champions! Now go buy a Broncos jersey. There is nothing worse than someone in Colorado wearing a rival jersey… especially the Raiders, Seahawks, or Patriots. Invest in some gear to avoid the glares. Other Colorado sporting events never disappoint (the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, Rapids, and Outlaws, in case you’re unfamiliar) and you can usually score super cheap tickets online. I recommend making friends with people you know have season tickets or buy tickets often, because if they happen to be unable to use them, it may be your lucky day.
11. Explore the rest of Colorado, because you moved to the best state in the country
Colorado really is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and there is so much adventuring to be done. I could go on all day about all of the wonderful places you should visit. First on the list is my personal favorite, Glenwood Springs: home of the Glenwood Caverns, Adventure Park, Hot Springs, and Hanging Lake. Some other options are hitting the Outlets at Silverthorne, strolling Pearl Street in Boulder, or feeding giraffes and petting wallabies at The Colorado Mountain Zoo. Lastly, of course, you should visit the many ski resorts and take a lesson or two while you’re at it. I couldn’t forget to mention skiing in an article about Colorado, could I?
The most important thing to remember about moving to Denver, or anywhere in Colorado for that matter, is to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you at all times. You made a wise decision in choosing this wonderful state to call home, so keep that in mind on days when it’s snowing in April and when I-70 is closed due to rockslides.
You will encounter some of the friendliest people, go on amazing adventures, and learn to love things you never thought you would during your time in Denver. You may decide to call Colorado home forever, like most Coloradans do, or your time may be limited. Either way, take in the Colorado lovin’ and cherish every moment you spend surrounded by the beauty of this state.