Review of Denver, Colorado

Overpriced and extremely overrated.
Star Rating - 10/10/2022
I've lived in the Denver area for about eight years now. Moved here for college planning to get out as soon as I was done with college, and predictably got stuck here.

It's not a horrible place to live, but you certainly don't get what you pay for. The cost of living is approaching coastal living, but you feel much more like you're living somewhere in the suburbs of the Midwest. If money is no object and you don't mind/like the cold, it's a fine place to live. But if you're in the working class, finances will always be a struggle, you will never be able to get ahead, and you aren't even going to be able to enjoy the quality of life that Denver DOES offer.

The best feature of Denver is the access to the mountains, hands down. The nature that Colorado has to offer is downright incredible, and even from downtown you will be able to get to absolutely stunning vistas in an hour's drive. However, with the busyness of adult life, it's a struggle to ever get out to the mountains very much. My wife and I are young professionals with no kids, and just due to life we maybe get out to the mountains once a month during the warm months, twice if we're lucky. Unless you make getting out to the mountains extremely intentional, you're just not going to go to them very much.

And if you move to Denver for the city itself, you're a fool. You can get the same feel of city for much cheaper somewhere in the Midwest or south, or you can get a much better quality of city for the same price on one of the coasts.

The metro area itself it is extremely bland. Restaurants are fine and getting better, but nothing compared to the quality or diversity you'd find on the coasts. There's not a ton of culture or much of anything going on downtown. I've never met a single person who just goes downtown for the fun of it; they're going to do something specific like a concert or a sports game. The craft beer scene is spectacular in the metro area, which is wonderful. No real downsides to mention there.

The roads are horrid. Potholes are everywhere and will tear up your car. The timing on the traffic signals is awful, and keeps everyone waiting much longer than they should have to, which leads to a culture in which running red lights during the first few seconds of the red is normal. Any amount of any type of precipitation falling from the sky turns the entire area into a complete gridlock. This includes light misting. God help us when it snows any significant amount. And unless you live in the heart of downtown, you WILL need a car. Public transit is a joke and unreliable.

For a place that gets winter weather, I will say that Denver has about the most tolerable weather that you can have that isn't warm year-round. Humidity is low, which makes cold air feel warmer than it is. 50-60 degree sunny days in January are not uncommon. However, neither is several inches of snow in October or May. The constant sun also melts any snowstorm away within a couple days of it happening. Summers can get pretty hot, but again, they are dry, not the stifling humid summers of the South or Midwest. The worst part of summer is when there are wildfires raging in the west, and some years a thick cloud of smoke will settle over the city for weeks. In the time I have lived here, years where this have happened are the exception rather than the rule, but it's downright miserable when it happens.

Overall, it's not downright awful to live here or anything like that. I would rather live here than many other places in the country, especially if you're not figuring in cost of living. It's just that when you're paying this much for cost of living, you should be getting quite a bit more than what you do living in the Denver area.
Beran | Lakewood, CO
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0 Replies

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