Each year U.S. News & World Report analyzes the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a city has to have great value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.
For the last 6 years Denver has been ranked either #1, 2,
or 3 "best city to live in the U.S." That is a pretty
amazing track record.
Here are the top 10:
Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days. Over time, its residents have evolved from gunslinging gamblers into an easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers. Nicknamed the Mile High City for its 5,280-foot elevation, Denver's location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides a gateway to a slew of outdoor pursuits, although it is probably best known for its devout ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
To clarify a common misconception, Denver is not a mountain town. It actually takes at least an hour to drive to the Rockies. But there are some great places for recreating within a 30-minute drive of downtown, such as Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater and Cherry Creek State Park.
Some might say that Denver is experiencing a gold rush of a different color: green. After Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Denver has seen a surge in cannabis-related commerce, from dispensaries to magazines to high-tech paraphernalia like vaporizers, rolling papers, lotions and storage containers – and the industry is just gaining speed. It is a great city for entrepreneurs of all kinds.
What is there to do in Denver, CO?
Denver offers more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses and playgrounds. In fact, many of Denver's most prominent neighborhoods are built around and named after such beloved green spaces like Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park and Sloan's Lake. The metro area's proximity to the Rocky Mountains also creates numerous opportunities for residents to ski and snowboard in the winter.
Denver is also home to a flourishing arts scene, and music is a big part of life here. Numerous famous acts originated here at high altitude, including The Fray, The Lumineers, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
There are also nearly 100 breweries in metro Denver, and the sudsy area is host to the annual Great American Beer Festival that showcases more than 3,800 beers from 800 breweries around the country.