Living in Colorado

Nicknamed the Mile High City for its 5,280-foot (1.6km) elevation, Denver is located a short drive away from the breathtaking Rocky Mountain Front Range. With over 300 days of sunshine, countless recreational opportunities, a thriving arts and culture scene, and the second-highest percentage of college graduates in the country, it’s no wonder Denver, Colorado has continuously ranked as one of the Best Places to Live according to U.S. News and World Report.

Weather and Climate

Colorado mountains and golden field
Denver is located just east of the Rocky Mountains, where the weather is generally sunny and clear. Gloomy days are a rarity in this city with 8-15 inches (20-38 centimeters) of precipitation and 300 days of sunshine per year. Those unfamiliar with the Mile High City may think that winters are rough, but Denver usually experiences bright-blue skies and snow that melts by noon. Seasonal highs range from 43F (6C) in the cooler months to 89F (32C) during the summer.

Culture and Recreation

Denver's 16th street mall Concert at Red Rocks amphitheater
ARTS: Denver is home to a thriving and compelling arts and culture scene with world-class museums and seven unique art districts. Aficionados know that our city is a best kept secret for film & literature, history & heritage, music, and the performing arts.

RECREATION: The mountainous area of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland, containing 9,600 miles (15,449 kilometers) of fishing streams, 2,850 lakes, and more than 1,000 peaks two miles (3.22 kilometers) high. Clear skies and an abundance of sunshine make outdoor life enjoyable all year round.

SPORTS: Denver boasts eight professional sports teams that thrill crowds year-round. Basketball (Nuggets), baseball (Rockies), football (Broncos), hockey (Avalanche), lacrosse (Mammoth and Outlaws), rugby (Barbarians), soccer (Rapids) - we have it all, with some of the world's best athletes on the rosters. College sports fan? CU Denver and CU Anschutz students are eligible for CU Boulder student season and single game tickets.

FOOD AND DRINK: Denver's reputation for fine dining has risen enormously in recent years, thanks to award-winning chefs, innovative chef-owned eateries, and a focus on locally-sourced cuisine. Denver chefs are regulars on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and such shows as "Top Chef". With six James Beard Award winners, five nominees, and 38 semifinalists, it's no surprise that Denver was Zagat's #3 Hottest Food City of 2016. To top off your gustatory adventure, don't forget about our nationally-recognized beer scene. There's no shortage of happy hour destinations with over 20 distilleries and wineries, and 67 breweries and tap houses - two of which are conveniently located right on our campuses.

Housing and Family Services

Two students talking outside

Whether you want the excitement of living in a growing city, the convenience of living minutes away from your classes, the serenity of Rocky Mountain foothills, or the peacefulness of a sub-urban neighborhood, Denver offers countless amenities and housing options. The Graduate School, in concert with current graduate students, has created a residential information website to help you with your housing needs.

There are many options for childcare in Denver - from private services and nanny-shares to daycares and early learning centers. The Fitzsimons Early Learning Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus serve dependents of students, faculty, and staff.

Learn more about childcare options at CU Anschutz.

Getting Around

Students walking with bicycle Denver International Airport
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides public transportation services to 2.92 million people across six counties. Those looking to breeze through traffic and avoid parking can take advantage of the 58.5 miles (94.15 km) of light rails, 29 miles (46.67km) of commuter rails, or 2,342 miles (3,769 km) of bus routes. The new Colorado A line makes getting to downtown or Denver's International Airport quick and stress-free. Students looking to get around downtown can hop on the free MetroRide or MallRide, which runs continuously between the Union Station and the Civic Center. Traveling between the campuses? Look for the free intercampus shuttle - with complimentary wi-fi! The RTD College Pass is available to all active degree-seeking students and includes rides on all regular fixed routes, including bus (local, express, regional), light rail, Call-n-Ride, and SkyRide.

BICYCLE: In addition to a robust public transportation system, Denver is also very bicycle-friendly with dedicated bike lanes on major roads and bicycle-only commuter trails.

AIR TRAVEL: Denver International Airport is the 18th-busiest airport in the world and the sixth-busiest airport in the United States. With 58.3 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DEN is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. Only 24 miles from downtown Denver, the DIA is easy to get to by train, car, bus, shuttle, or rideshare.

PARKING: CU Denver and CU Anschutz Parking and Transportation Services offer a variety of options for parking and getting around campus, including: Accessible Parking, Parking Garages, Daily Fee Lots, Evening Lots, Metered Parking, Motorcycle Parking, Bicycle Parking and Lockers, and Campus Circulators.
denver to dia skyline outline