Denver, the capitol of Colorado and largest city within a 600 mile radius, is situated on the high plains at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains.
These mountains, towering over 14,000 feet, are the dominant feature of the area and protect the city from severe winter weather. Denver’s climate is semiarid and relatively mild, averaging 300 days of sunshine per year. It has more sunny days than either Miami or San Diego. Although visitors must make some adjustment to the high altitude, they find that the area’s low humidity makes even the highest and lowest temperatures seem less extreme. With such a great climate, any time is the right time to visit Denver. January is the coldest month of the year with an average minimum temperature of 16.1 degrees Fahrenheit. A light dusting of snow, between 1-3 inches, is common throughout the winter but major accumulations of snow, more than 10 inches are rare, usually with several years in between. The month of March typically has the most snowfall averaging 12.5 inches. With all the sunny days, yes, even in the winter, the snow doesn’t usually stick around long. July is the warmest month of the year with an average maximum temperature of 88.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The wettest month of the year is May averaging 2.4 inches over an average of 11 days.
The South Platte River bisects the city, and many creeks, small lakes, and reservoirs grace the metropolitan area. Denver has the largest city park system in the nation with 205 parks in city limits and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains. There is an extensive system of bike trails criss-crossing the city and Denver sponsors a B-Cycle program if you would like to rent a bicycle at one of many convenient locations.
With all the sunny days and mild weather is it any wonder that, according to a federal survey, Denver boasts the thinnest and healthiest residents of any U.S. city.
There are many factors which make Denver such a vibrant and fun city. At the top of my list is how friendly and helpful those Coloradans are, but in addition, the following fun stats are worthy of note.
Denver is 20th in the U.S. in population, but has the 10th largest downtown in terms of office space and retail space. Unlike many Western cities, Denver has a central downtown area. Here, within easy walking distance, are, the city’s convention complex, performing arts complex, and a wide variety of shops, department stores, restaurants, and nightspots. Also within easy walking distance are some of the city’s top attractions including the U.S. Mint, Denver Art Museum and Colorado History Museum. A mile-long pedestrian mall, The 16th Street Mall, cuts through the heart of downtown Denver and if your feet need a break, hop on the “free” mall shuttle.
On the northern edge of downtown, the vibrant LoDo (Lower Downtown) offers one of the nation’s greatest concentrations of Victorian buildings and warehouses, most of which have been renovated into high end residential lofts, restaurants, art galleries, offices and shops.
LoDo is the center of the city’s brew pubs, with six large brew pubs and micro breweries, each brewing six to eight exclusive beers, all within easy walking distance of each other. Denver brews more beer than any other American city and hosts several annual “beer fests”
Downtown Denver is also the home of the University of Colorado Auraria Campus and combined with two other colleges houses over 30,000 students. Denver can also boast about being the nation’s most highly educated city with the highest percentage of high school and college graduates.
Colorado is a great place to live, work & play. Denver citizens contribute more public funding for the arts per capita than any other U.S. city. Denver has the nation’s second largest performing arts center.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex has eight theaters seating over 9,000 people.
Denver has become the largest sports mecca in the west with the addition of three huge stadiums between 1995 and 2001. The first to open was Coors Field (1995), a 50,000-seat stadium in the downtown Denver and home to the Colorado Rockies, Denver’s Major League Baseball team. The second stadium to open was the Pepsi Center (1999), host to the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, NLL Colorado Mammoth. The third to open was Sports Authority Field at Mile High, (2001) (originally INVESCO FIELD), home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and host to many large events. FYI: Every Denver Bronco home game since 1970 has been sold out. Denver loves its sports teams! Dick’s Sporting Goods Field, home of Colorado Rapids (MLS), opened in 2007.
For kids of all ages, the downtown area is home to Six Flags-Elitch Gardens a seasonally open (May-Oct) amusement park offers thrill rides, a water park, restaurants and shops. Close by is the spectacular Ocean Journey a landlocked aquarium exploring the relationship between inland freshwater ecosystems and the ocean. The aquarium exhibits focuses on conservation and features several interactive exhibits and a restaurant.