If you’re looking for a place to live that is great for young professionals, don’t count out Denver, CO. Ranked #11 by Niche.com in “Best Cities For Young Professionals in America, Denver offers an urban feel with lots of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and parks. So what’s it like living in Denver?

Its population is just over 705,000 with many families and young professionals. There is about an even split between those who own their homes and those who rent. The median home value is about $390,000 with the median rent at about $1,311.

GenTwenty’s very own Alyssa Towns (Swantkoski) shared with me great insight on what it’s really like to live in Denver.

What’s It Like Living in…Denver, CO?

How long have you been living in Denver?

I’m a born and raised Colorado native. I grew up in the suburbs north of the city and then spent six years living in Colorado Springs while I was in college and beyond. I moved to downtown Denver with my husband in the summer of 2018 and have lived here ever since.

Why is it a good fit for twenty-somethings to live?

Denver is a good fit for twenty-somethings to live because you can do just about everything here in Colorado! Living near or working in the city gives twenty-somethings a smaller city-living experience, but the mountains are just a short drive away if you’re more of a nature lover.

You can do many activities in Colorado, ranging from paddleboarding to hiking, snowboarding, and skiing. Denver gives twenty-somethings a healthy mix of both city and the outdoors, in my opinion.

What is your favorite part of living there?

My favorite part of living in Denver is that I feel like I always have something to do! Whether it’s a night out at a brewery with friends or a short drive to do a day hike in the mountains, the possibilities are endless. I also love living in the heart of downtown and living close so many small, local businesses, which isn’t something you necessarily see a lot of out in the suburbs.

What is one thing that may surprise people about the area?

One thing that may surprise people about Denver is the distance between the city and mountains. I think some folks assume Denver sits right next to or in the mountains, but it’s not as close as some might think. When we say Denver is a short drive to the mountains, you’re looking at hours spent in the car depending on where you’re trying to get to.

Share your favorite spots to visit and restaurants to eat at! 

A few of my favorite spots I recommend to anyone who comes to Denver are:

Places to visit:

  • Denver’s Union Station:  The historic landmark of the city, Denver’s Union Station features an array of restaurants, bars, and shops worth checking out while you’re in town. My favorite place inside Union Station is Pigtrain Coffee.
  • Larimer Square: Larimer Square is another historic block that’s a must-see when you’re in Denver! Filled with independent shops, bars, and restaurants for every mood, be sure to add this one to your list.
  • Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre: Red Rocks Park isn’t located in the heart of Denver, but it’s worth the short drive ten miles west of Denver for a visit. This entertainment venue is certainly like nothing you’ve seen before, trust me on this one. For a spectacular setting, try to stop by during sunrise or sunset.
  • City ParkIf you’re looking for a taste of the outdoors in the city, stop by City Park!

Food & beverage:

  • Whole Sol: I am obsessed (and admittedly, live right next to) Whole Sol in Denver. This adorable blend bar is your go-to for smoothies, smoothie bowls, fresh-pressed juices, and vegan eats.
  • Denver Biscuit CompanyCalling all brunch fanatics! Stop by Denver Biscuit Company. I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Sushi DenThe one thing Colorado doesn’t have is an ocean nearby, but that doesn’t stop the folks at Sushi Den from serving up the best sushi in Denver. This fine restaurant receives fresh fish from the fish market in Japan daily.
  • Avanti Food & BeverageAvanti is a collective eatery with food and drink options for all. One of the best parts about this food hall is the excellent city views. 
  • Williams & Graham: If you’re looking for a fun and sophisticate night out, check out Williams & Graham, a speakeasy craft cocktail bar located behind a bookshelf.

Have anything to add about Denver? Leave it in the comments!