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Rwarky Jan 16th, 2006 06:57 AM

Denver's Geographic features & move from NC to Colorado
I live in the NC's Triad and have been thinking about moving to Metro Denver. What are the geographic features within Denver city limits and suburbs? How are the people, drivers, activities in metro Denver compare to the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point?

sylvia3 Jan 16th, 2006 07:34 AM

Denver is on the Great Plains (so it's pretty flat), with the mountains looming a short drive to the west. The climate is semi-arid, elevation is 1 mile. The temps can be in the 60s in the winter (on Christmas north of Boulder, we hit 70) or you can have cold and snow; however, the sun shines the vast majority of days of the year. The cultural scene (theater, restaurants, etc.) is very lively, lots of parks and recreation, and downtown is very attractive. Drivers? That's subjective every where you go, isn't it? I can't compare to NC pace of life, because I've only vacationed in NC.

Cargillman Jan 17th, 2006 01:25 PM

I posted a similar point on another "Denver relocation" thread that is going right now, but I'll mention it again.

My observation of Denver is that it is high plains, very arid, and very open. If you like open range with mountain views on nice days, you would get that. However, if you like lots of trees, green gardens and grass, and terrain, you wouldn't get that.

One common misperception of Denver, in my opinion, is that people think it is in the mountains. It isn't, and the mountains are a good hour away (foothills might be closer).

TheWeasel Jan 17th, 2006 01:44 PM

I'd suggest at least one visit to Denver, preferably several at different times of the year. And yes, it is pretty dry. On my descent into Denver this past October, the woman next to me was commenting to her friend "Why would anyone want to come here? It's so blah, and dry and everything's brown". (Denver was just a layover for her). I was secretly thinking, yes, stay away and tell all your friends it sucks so those of us that like it don't have to share. I love the mountains and the sunshine, so the brown grass doesn't bother me.

LarryT Jan 17th, 2006 02:05 PM

Get ready for very DRY times. We moved to CO from FL and still find it pretty dry. Use skin lotions and saline solution spray for your nose. You will adapt but may take time. Lots of wind and great access to the Rockies. Winters are not too severe and summers not too hot. Forget humidity!

Rwarky Jan 22nd, 2006 05:40 PM

Is Denver, the city itself, pretty despite its browness? BTW, how far are lakes and rivers from the city? How good is public transportation in the city?

Cargillman Jan 22nd, 2006 05:53 PM

What is pretty about Denver is that you have a backdrop of mountains. From certain parts of town, they can look very impressive.

Denver itself is flat and barron, and I didn't find any particular beauty in the area vs. a city like, say, San Fran, or a New England town. It is nice enough, just not real pretty. The prettiness comes from what is 100 miles to the west.

Denver has a couple resevoirs, but no real lakes or rivers to speak of. Again, the main attraction in Denver is the mountain area to the west, where I'm sure there are plenty of streams if you're willing to drive.

JRP Jan 22nd, 2006 07:04 PM

Having relocated from Cleveland, I can tell you that the beauty of Denver is its abundant sunshine and climate. Relative to what I grew up with, I can't say enough about the priceless value of having sunshine most every day. Sure, it's not very green. But I'm grateful that I don't have to spend every Saturday mowing the lawn. Winters are so very tolerable when you don't see snow for weeks and sometimes months at a time. Humidity? 20 degress here is long sleeve t-shirt weather. 20 degrees out east is nearly unbearable. I enjoy the expanse views and sense of open space. Also, weather watching is a fun distraction when you can see nearly 360 at all times.
After 5 years it's still breathtaking when I turn a corner toward the west and see the beautiful Rockies. They are not an hour away, more like 1/2 hour. The terrain along The Front Range is every bit as hilly as what I knew in Ohio. Downtown Denver is about 5K and my home in a south suburb is about 6.5K. It may appear flat because it's more gradual, rolling and open than the steep grades out east. Especially when viewed in relation to the mountains. I can't say that drivers are any more passive or aggressive than anywhere else. But I don't see "The Bird" nearly as often as I did back home- almost never, in fact. I can say, though, that traffic is becoming more tolerable every day as road expansion eases congestion. Nonetheless, I agree with TheWeasel that the word should be spread that "it sucks" out here so we can enjoy our little secret.

J_Correa Jan 23rd, 2006 07:57 AM

My company has an office in Denver, so I go out there occasionally for a week or two. I like the city of Denver - nice downtown, historic neighborhoods, trees, etc. I am not as fond of the suburbs, but then I never am. There are some nice suburbs to be sure, there just are a lot of them.

As far as climate is concerned, as others have said, it is pretty nice. As long as you have good moisturizer and sunscreen, you will be set. Summer weather is a bit strange though - last June I witnessed an incredible lightning and hail storm. It was amazing.

dwooddon Jan 23rd, 2006 08:35 AM

As J Correa said, Denver does have fairly frequent summertime afternoon thunderstorms, however, they are usually in relatively small geographic areas along the mountains. I lived in both the western suburbs and in the mountains directly west of Denver and saw thunderstorms most days during the summer but was rarely under one.

My personal preference was living in the mountains, however, with the price of fuel as it is now, the daily commute would be an issue. I worked at I-25 and Colorado Boulevard so it was a fair commute from the suburbs (Littleton) and a longer one from the Mountains (Evergreen address but much closer to idaho Springs).

One thing folks haven't mentioned yet is the air quality problems in the winter. It's one of the reasons I preferred living in the mountains. Because of a combination of terrain and temperature inversion, Denver experiences quite a few poor air quality days in the winter.

As others have noted, having over 300 days of sunshine a year is a real plus for the area. Denver also has a full array of the things people value in large cities - dining, culture, shopping, professional sports, etc.

I enjoyed my times there and was sorry when I was transferred away.

Rwarky Feb 6th, 2006 05:41 PM

Thank You everyone for the replies!

Lexma90 Feb 6th, 2006 11:38 PM

To add further about Denver, we moved here after growing up in the midwest and living in big cities in the midwest and east.

I concur re the high plains and the brownness, though after living here for a while, I feel claustrophobic in the midwest with so many trees that I can't see the horizon! In Denver, there are plenty of tree-lined streets in the mature residential areas. South of the city, where I live, is mostly rolling hills, with few trees other than the thousands that have been planted (which means there are many trees, but none of them are big). And it is generally dry, which has good and bad points. Due to the dryness, we have few bugs or mosquitos.

Coming from a state with many lakes, I laugh about the "lakes," which are really reservoirs. I've never been a big water person, so the streams in the mountains do it for me.

Coming from large metropolitan areas, I would say the activities (restaurants, nightlife, cultural stuff) are about average for a smallish city. We miss the variety and depth of ethnic restaurants. I couldn't compare anything to Greensboro, etc., as I've never been there.

A higher percentage of people than most U.S. places are very involved in outdoor activities, understandably enough given the great weather and the great access to the mountains. There are still plenty who aren't, of course.

Driving can be congested, but the drivers are pretty polite (ok, I used to live in Boston, which I regard as some of the world's most aggressive driving).

Gretchen Feb 7th, 2006 03:45 AM

Everyone has pretty well covered it. Our son and his family and our daughter live in Denver so we go pretty often. I really like Denver a lot (I am in charlotte). Denver sits in a bowl in a way and because of it, the air used to be pretty awful, but they have done a very good job of cleaning it up. The downtown neighborhoods are very interesting. The shopping is exceptional. Dining is good. I love that Denver has preserved its Victorian architecture and adapted it to businesses. The 300 days of sunshine are spectacular--that clear blue sky. And you are two hours away from skiing! They are building a very extensive light rail system along I25, and widening I25. The dry air is very real and sunscreen is a daily necessity--our granddaughters have probably never gone out the door without it. Just drink LOTS of water. I consider Denver a "young person's" city. And very active in outdoor "stuff". And this year they have had so much rain that it was quite green this past summer. The snows are beautiful, needless to say, from this Carolinian who longs for just a bit more snow.

msujedi Jun 28th, 2006 10:36 PM

Considering a move with family...wife & two kids 2yrs & 5 yrs.
Are there any suburban areas to avoid?

Gretchen Jun 29th, 2006 04:01 AM

I think you will need to find where your job will be and then decide on your living area and school area. How much do you want to spend on a house?

julie_Colorado Jun 29th, 2006 09:19 AM

We moved from North Carolina (the triangle) to the Denver area (Evergreen). We have never looked back. The weather is spectacular - we have bigger city activities with small town life, the pace is smiliar and the friendliness feels a bit more genuine than the south. If you do this, I hope you are as happy as we are.

msujedi Jun 29th, 2006 08:57 PM

I may have options regarding work location. Housing limit will probably be around $320K, but that's pushing it. Would prefer mid-high 200's. Looking for "planned community"...pool/park for kids...with mountain view. Nearer the mountains is better, but not needed. So, N or S of city is ideal, but I was reading about some redevelopment activity in Commerce City. Any thoughts on cities to the near East of Denver?

amwosu Jun 29th, 2006 09:46 PM

julie_C I love Evergreen! It's where I would live if I were in the Denver area.

I've shopped real estate in a lovely golf course neighborhood in town and loved seeing elk wandering down the street. Not so sure I'd love to see them if I was jogging down that street though!

I also love the lake and seeing people skating on it in the winter.

Gretchen Jun 30th, 2006 03:39 AM

You might look at the Stapleton airport development.

lightfoot Jun 30th, 2006 07:18 AM

Ive lived in the Denver area for 25 years and you all are pretty much right on imo! If you are looking for a planned community/suburb, Denver is the capital of Urban sprawl. I think it is much more apparent because of the flatness and lack of trees in these new communities. You can see rooftops for miles from some of the highways!!!! South of Denver proper is the huge suburban community of Highlands Ranch. Hundreds of neighborhoods in this conglomerate. I live south of Evergreen in Conifer, another growing foothills community. (we now have two grocery stores a Wendy's and a Qdoba!) Gas and commuting are going to be a definite consideration for where to consider living. Taxes are high here also but our roads are some of the nicest in the nation. As others have said, you cant beat the climate and the views!!!!

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