“WHOA. EPIC. LOVE.” These were my first words when I got to town. I had never been to CO before; moving here in mid-June was my first time ever seeing the state by way of highway 25 driving north through Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak/Garden of the Gods, with epic views of the Rockies, and finally Denver. The reasoning behind why Denver made my list of cities to live in was simple, I heard countless times that it was awesome!
In my first month of living here, I focused most of my time in Denver. I first wanted to get to know the city before I explored more of the state. I had a few thoughts in my mind based on what others had told me, but overall didn’t know what to expect. After roughly a month, these were my thoughts.
Top 5 Observations: What Life Is Like in Denver, Colorado
1. TATTOOS EVERYWHERE
One of my very first impressions was how many tattoos there are here. I am feeling naked in Denver not having any! I’m not even talking about a small one you can only see if you are wearing the right outfit, I’m talking full sleeves / full body coverage. I immediately had to look into this, is it the areas I’ve been hanging out in thus far or is Denver overall pretty tatted up? Well, according to Inked Magazine, it was rated the #5 most tattooed city in the U.S. in 2014. According to this article posted on Confluence-Denver, people who live in mountain towns are more inclined to take needle to skin. Very interesting to see this billion dollar industry pop up at you all around in various shapes, sizes and colors. I enjoy this form of self-expression! All of my close friends each have at least one tattoo and a story to go with it. The stories are my favorite part. I’ve thought a lot about getting one (it would definitely be of an elephant or a map) but never brought myself to do it. At times I feel out of place here with bare skin, would I feel like I “fit in” if I had one? Who knows, but I’m starting to feel oddly unique not having any for now!
2. ACTIVE AAAAND CREATIVE
Yes, the city is active. Everyone you meet here asks: “Do you like to go hiking, biking, camping, etc.?” I imagine it would be hard to make friends here if you are not in the slightest bit outdoorsy. That being said, I have come across some Denver natives that don’t describe themselves as outdoorsy and have never even been to the mountains! I have not come across that in the Denver transplant community, they primarily come here to be one with nature.
I fully expected the active outdoorsy type to live in Colorado, but had no clue the people here would be so artsy and creative. Evident by the loads of traffic midday during the week, many people do not work a typical 9-5 job. There are museums and galleries galore that fill the city and I actually live near the arts district where they host “First Fridays” festivals. Tons of art lovers here, excited to get to know this scene even more.
3. WHERE ARE THE MOUNTAINS?
Ohhhhh they’re over there?! I didn’t realize the mountains would look to be so far from the city. When I first imagined Denver, I pictured downtown with a backdrop of the mountains close behind it, similar to how they paint Salt Lake City. I thought they would be right there! I didn’t know that you could only see them from certain angles and only parts of the city. Interestingly enough, locals will tell you that you always know which way North is because “the mountains are to the West” (of Denver), but I find that ironic because you can’t see them everywhere (so how do you know?). Apparently I’m not the only one that is shocked by this, many newbies visiting Denver have this misperception. Fortunately, the mountains are a short drive away….depending on traffic of course!
One of my expectations coming to Denver was that it would be mostly men, just because that was the word on the street. I’ve heard Denver referred to as “Menver” over and over again, so then why does it feel like it’s not that skewed in gender? Ahhhhh, that’s because it’s a myth. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, for every 100 females, there are 102.1 males. No wonder! Even though that was 5 years ago, it seems like it’s still fairly balanced. Though, they say that more men are out and about in the mountain towns during ski season. Winter is coming….so we shall see if that’s true 🙂
5. THE NAPA VALLEY OF BEER
Apparently this is a nickname for Denver? And wow, they weren’t kidding. I’ve been to not even 1% of the breweries in town and I feel like I’ve been downing beers left and right. There are so many options I felt a bit clueless as to where to start! I went off of local recommendations when I got here and am now working my way down this list but there are even more not mentioned here! I thought I would feel a woozy drinking in high altitude, but I haven’t noticed a difference, yet? I look forward to finding my favorite craft beers and blogging more on this topic. Cheers!
All in all, I am really enjoying my time in Colorado. I find myself wondering why I didn’t move here sooner or ever visit before, especially in summer. I think the state of CO gets more tourists during winter but there is so much to do here year-round ~ I’m overwhelmed by everything! I can’t wait to keep exploring, my bucket list has significantly grown. I plan on living here at least through the end of the calendar year.
Are you new to Denver? What did you notice when you first got to town and did anything shock you? Please share in the comments section!