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Reviews & Comments

Denver, CO

Overpriced and extremely overrated. - 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.

Denver, CO

Mixed bag to say the least. - 3/12/2017
Can't give much of an accurate rating of Denver proper, but the metro area can be summed up quite nicely: Overpriced for what you get.

There are some nice aspects. The restaurant scene is fairly good in my opinion. Then again, I'm not a food connoisseur. But since Denver is such a melting pot, you can find decent replications of most cuisines around the country. Most chains usually make it here as well.

The amenities expected of a city are all here. You get big-name concerts, a decent art scene, blah blah blah. That said, if you're here for the arts and culture primarily, you'll be disappointed.

The weather is pretty fantastic most of the time. Sunny is the norm, without getting miserably hot or miserably cold for very long at a time. The freak hailstorms are kind of annoying, though. And the snow, though it doesn't come very often, can hit really hard, and then the transplants from the South don't know how to drive, which leads me to the cons...

Whoever designed Denver's road systems wants to watch the world burn. Who decided we needed one main north/south artery for a metro area of 2.8 million?? Predictably, I-25 gets extremely clogged at rush hour, as do most other highways in the metro area. Drivers are not particularly friendly either. They are allergic to letting anyone in their precious lane that belongs solely to them. They also drive really slowly in the fast lane. In short, anything goes when driving in Denver. And it will only get worse as people keep moving here.

Also, I don't know how Denver gets away with promoting itself as America's premiere mountain city. The entire city lies on the Eastern Plains, with a few of the outskirts flirting with the foothills. Sure, you can get to some decent mountain views within half an hour if you live on the western side of the metro, but on a daily basis you only get to look at ugly brown foothills. If you live on the eastern side, you get to see mountains on a daily basis, but then you're 45 minutes to an hour from the foothills even. Then, if you like skiing and live in Denver, have fun battling I-70 into the mountains. You'll be cursing everything while you try to make it up there. Even if you're not into skiing, you're at least two hours from any decent mountains. If you want a city with fantastic mountain views and quick mountain access, Salt Lake is your best bet (though it has problems in other areas).

The Denver metro is spectacularly ugly for most of the year. It is dead, brown, and smoggy. I do have to say that it can be really pretty in the summer when everything is green, but that usually lasts about a month or two and then it goes back to brown. As for downtown, it is dirty, gross, and crime happens way too frequently for me to want to spend much time there. They didn't even design anything to look very pretty. It's big-box skyscrapers.

To cap it all off, living is expensive and the costs are rising. It costs more to get a townhome in many parts of metro Denver than it does to get a nice house in the mountains (though good luck finding any sort of an income out there). Add that to the fact that the city is not all that impressive in many aforementioned areas. The metro area is not unlivable, but to me it is unacceptable to pay so much money for a sub-par living experience.

What really sucks is that Colorado overall is an awesome, beautiful state, but usually a person has to live in this overpriced hellhole to find gainful employment. I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to live here. I would rather move to another state in which I can live in a better area than have to live in Denver in order to stay in Colorado.

Of course, I am not really a city person to begin with, so maybe I'm not the best person to be reviewing a large metro area. The only thing that has kept me sane while I've lived here is the ability to escape into the wilderness. It is extremely depressing to come out of the mountains to see the big, ugly, sprawling mess that is Denver calling out, "Welcome home, back to real life, sucker!" I can't wait to get out of here.

If anyone has read this entire rant, congratulations. I probably wouldn't have read all of this if it was someone else's.

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