The most convenient hotel is the Sheraton. It is directly across the street from Denver's 'World Trade Center' and quite nice. Both the office building and the hotel are on the 16th Street Mall - - a glorious, functional place to work.
For many, many years I worked downtown. A decade near 'your' building, and another at the other end of the 16th Street Mail (in 'LODO' - lower downtown). One sunny, summer day while walking to lunch, my business associate looked up the street and said, "This is like working in Disneyland." (in a good way). Downtown Denver is a great place to work.
Two live jazz venues downtown: Jazz at Jax and the historic El Chapultepec near the ball field. Check out TripAdvisor ratings on those places. Classical and opera over at the Performing Arts Center - - all within easy walking distance of the World Trade Center.
Should you go? That's a lot more than travel advice!
Should you live downtown? Personal preference, but it's a terrific area with lots of housing choices. Even immediately outside the central downtown core there is a lot of 'new urbanism' condo and townhome housing. (I prefer the suburbs, but that's just me). Maybe consider an area outside downtown near a light rail or bus park and ride station. The express buses to downtown are very good here (if you don't need a personal car during the work day).
Gluten free? Of course.
Singles for sixties? Look at my Tripadvisor photo. I'm the wrong guy to ask.
Denver is an extremely vibrant, outdoor oriented community that will fit all of your interests. I can't say on cost of living, but I spend a lot of time traveling and have never viewed Denver as expensive for dining, gas, groceries, etc. Where you live is a personal choice but the LoDo area of downtown is extremely vibrant for all demographics. Cherry Creek is also nice or you can opt to be out towards the mountains. Lots of diverse choices.
Hi there, move to Denver you won't regret it! I live in Park Hill an original "neighborhood" Just east of City Park. If you google images of Denver it is the iconic image of the park facing west to downtown. Park Hill is very diverse in all ways. economically, racially, sexual preference, young, old, families, singles, I think we even have a couple of republicans! It is a short easy commute to downtown, we ride our cruiser bikes down all the time. Did just that yesterday. And the RTD bus system makes it easy as well.
If you want to check it out coming from downtown take 17th east past the park once you cross Colorado Blvd you are in Park Hill until you get to Monaco Blvd. I'd go to Monaco then left to 22nd west on 22nd stop in at the shops on Kearney for a coffee at Cake Crumbs or a glass of wine at Neighbors. You will get a nice feel for the area. I think you'd find Park Hill to be a very friendly place to move to. The zip code is 80207 if you look on line, I'd not go with an address higher than 2800.
I personally am not a huge fan of Cherry Creek, super expensive and to me Cherry Creek proper comes off a bit pretentious .
If I were to move it would be to the LoHi area. I really like the feel, the restaurants, lots of people out and about all the time. Close to downtown, walking distance really, but less costly and more of a community feel than LoDo. My .02.
Ironic that I happened to see this post, as I have not previously viewed these discussion boards until today. We moved to Denver from Houston last summer! We absolutely love it here! But we are outdoors people, who felt like fish out of water the 8 years we lived in Houston. We love the change of seasons here... hated the muggy, buggy weather and lack of outdoor lifestyle in Houston.
We live and work downtown, and highly recommend it. Yes, it is a little more pricy than Houston, but surprisingly, not as much of a price jump as we expected. There are a number of great neighborhoods in or near downtown.. We are in our 50's, and would recommend the Riverfront Park area, Highland , City Park, or downtown proper. Many like the Lodo area, and it has great restaurants and pubs, but is a bit young and hipster-ish. Although housing will cost more, you can save in many other ways if you live and work downtown. We can walk, bike or take light rail everywhere, and rarely use our car - total opposite of the car-centric life in Houston.
Being single, or any status, is fine here. People here are generally more welcoming and tolerant of all kinds of lifestyles. The music and cultural scene is lively and vibrant here. You will easily find gluten-free menu items here, much more than Houston.
You should definitely visit here, and get a feel for the downtown neighborhoods before your move, if you can. I would suggest renting for a year first (this is what we are doing), to see how you like it. Bottom line: If you like seasons, friendly, down-to-earth people, the outdoors, dogs, and walkable mixed-use neighborhoods, you would love living in the downtown Denver area. I am not a fan of the suburbs (we spent some soul-less years living in burbs elsewhere), but as an other poster stated, you can live in the Denver burbs and take the light rail into downtown - cheaper, but not as fun.
If you move to the Denver/Boulder area you don't have to worry about indoor or outdoor climbing anymore. As far as I can tell, all they do down there is have Happy Hour get-togethers and talk about climbing.
The best of both worlds in Denver. I'd love to live there. The only way I could buy in Boulder is if I made a ton of $$$ in the city. Isn't it always that way. Good luck in Colorado fella.
I am in the process of moving to the Denver area. I am writing this both to help you out and for me as a summary of methods I have discovered to live financially responsible in Denver and still enjoy it. From my reading/asking around, there are endless things to do in the area that are free or of low cost. I have found the two expenses that really affect the cost of living are housing and transportation.
Housing: You can still find decent housing deals by actively scouring craigslist or touring neighborhoods you would like to live in and searching for for rent/sale signs. Allocate plenty of time for this process as these deals go fast and do not come available every day.
Transportation: The public transportation in the Denver area has gotten way better than it was 5 years ago (so I have heard from locals). If you need to get around, this can be a better option than trying to combat the masses of traffic in the area. If you live somewhere that will require a daily commute, it may be worth trying to add an RTD (bus and lightrail) pass to your contract. This will lower (eliminate?) the cost of traveling to and from work and gives you time to do some daily tasks (email, bills, read paper, read mmm...). If you can't work it into the contract, expect to pay $100-$200/month for open use of all the public transportation in the area. If you do decide to drive somewhere, do so in non-peak times of traffic which includes weekday work commutes, sporting events, and other major events in the area. I have found the roads to be completely open when I drove outside of those peak times.
Frugal Fun: Now that you have access to all of the public transportation, you can travel anywhere you want just by figuring out the correct buses/trains to take. If you want to get to the mountains you can ride the train to Golden and walk/bike to many open space trailheads. There are many breweries in the area (some will offer free tours/beers). The Denver area also has organized events going on all of the time, many of these are free or by donation. Take a look at the Denver events calendar and you will see there is never a shortage of things to do. Finally, go explore, there are so many parks and neighborhoods to explore in this area.
Food: I'l start by stating the obvious, do not make a habit of eating out. It can be hard to do as you adapt to city life as there are so many great options for food and many people have made eating out the norm. If you do want to go out, look for the specials/happy hours. With so many restaurants in the area, there is bound to be a good deal at one of them each day/night.
I hope this general advice is somewhat helpful and I hope you enjoy Denver if you end up there.
Good luck with the job, that's very exciting. First thing to know about Denver is that it is a solid 45 min from the mountains. Unless you work in Golden or Boulder, you generally can live near work or near the mountains but not both. Live near work. Next, Denver has some amazing bike trails and a decent light rail system. Take advantage of both. Living walking distance to a light rail stop let us get rid of a car and saved us tons of time and money on commutes.
As for cheap things to do, go outside. Learn to camp and spend your weekends in the mountains. There are tons of free campsites (freecampsites.net) all over the place. If skiing is your thing, buy an epic pass or a Rocky mountain super pass today for next winter. They are cheap this week but the price goes up quickly.
Also if you're looking for somewhere to rent, I have a 3 bedroom one bath house with solar panels walking distance from a light rail stop that will be available in June/July. ;-)
Hope the interview goes well and you find somewhere awesome to stay, prices seem to have leveled off a bit at least.
My best frugal living tips in Denver are to live below your means, eat at home with friends, Smile, and live close to work. Pretty basic stuff - and is applicable no matter where you land.
What side of town are you looking at? What industry will you DH be working in? Do you want to rent or buy? Home or condo? Knowing this would perhaps give us some ideas of suggestions for where to live, what things are nearby, etc.
My frugal living tips for Denver:
Housing: Live close to work and bike if possible. Weather allows biking on most days throughout the winter. I think the cities on the west side of the metro have the best balance between cost of living and quality of life. Wheatridge, Arvada and Lakewood are best depending on where you work. You can live in a trendy neighborhood like the highlands with lots of restaurants, breweries and coffee shops within walking distance but then you are spending money on restaurant meals, $6 beers and expensive coffee. Better take turns hosting friends. Be wary of newer developments with HOAs or "special metro districts." The latter is used to pass along the costs of infrastructure to the residents as a way around Colorado's TABOR law.
Enjoy the parks: Most of the cities have great park systems which are free to access and prized by the residents.
Neighborhood walks: Most neighborhood have good sidewalks and are enjoyable to walk around.
Cars: Colorado is really hard on vehicles due to hail, intense sunlight, sand and salt and high winds that blast your car. Try to get a place with sheltered parking and drive a car that's a few years old. There's no point in having something nice and nobody cares about nice cars here. It's not uncommon to see cars driving around carrying bikes whose values exceed that of the car they are on. If you feel you need a truck or SUV (you don't) try to bring it with you since these vehicles tend to be overvalued (especially Subaru's and Tacomas). Invest in snow tires if you intend to drive to the mountains. Snow tires > 4wd. Tirerack has a distribution center in Denver so you don't pay for shipping.
Biking: For the most part, cycling infrastructure on the front range is excellent but biking accidents have been on the rise in recent years. Not sure if that's due to more people moving here or what but I know several people who have been hit. Drivers for the most part are very accommodating to cyclists but the accidents usually occur when drivers don't see bikes. Do everything you can to increase your visibility: headlights and tail lights flashing during the day and visible clothing. Assume the driver doesn't see you and act accordingly.
Food: Costco and sprouts are places where we like to shop for high quality produce.
Energy/Utilities: Colorado has great solar potential and PV is a great option for reducing your long term electricity costs. With the exception of a grid use fee, we haven't had a power bill in 6 years! Try to look for a house with good exposure / south facing unobstructed roof for max ROI. Use xeroscaping where possible to lower water usage.
I've been here for about 11 years, after spending a great deal of time on the East Coast.
What I like best about living around Denver is the variations of choice available within a short distance. North, south, east, and west - they all have different recreational activities. And lets not exclude the downtown nightlife.
I think it's hard to make a summarized list, maybe because I've enjoyed it so long and take them for granted. Maybe it's because Denver is diverse, and I am a diverse person. But having been to a lot of places, and I don't want to live anywhere but Denver. This is where I found 'home.' There is a culture here of amazing, inventive, and eager people. And we do it rain, snow, or shine.
About 'safety.' The one thing that irked me upon moving to Denver was the amount of people who said Aurora was ghetto, or 5 points is dangerous. Trust me, neither of them is anywhere even close to a real ghetto. There are a few areas where you need make sure your guard is up, but I wouldn't say you need to avoid these places at all costs. Denver is a pretty safe place to be.
There's more art & culture than you can shake a stick at. When you get tired of being around other people, solitude can be found in 30 minutes in any direction. Functional alcoholism is totally OK and a normal part of life; learn to love high-altitude hangovers. There are these things called 'jackets' that do a great job at keeping you warm, but all your friends will bitch about the cold on Facebook anyway. There is no really unsafe areas in Denver, unless you definition of unsafe is seeing minorities or homeless people in public. There are a shit ton of trains, which is cool 'cause trains are pretty rad. Bike paths all over the place; I can go on a 15 mile run and only have to cross one street. Mexican food takes some getting used to here, since it's different from anywhere else I've ever been.
Which neighborhood are you from in Chicago? Just curious... Depending on what you are used to... Denver may or may not be similar to home. I am from Chicago suburbs and lived in Gold Coast for a brief stint this Spring. Just moved to Denver 3 months ago. I love it. Tried to move out here a couple years ago but couldnt find a good job. Things are really turning around here. People I know are getting jobs left and right. I would say do it! Let me know if you have any questions. I love meeting people from Chicago here and taking about Portillos, pizza, violence... Anything that reminds us of home! ; )