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Old 05-30-2010, 09:20 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,770 times
Reputation: 12

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Greetings all,

My girlfriend and I are visiting what could be the state we call home. Yes, more transplants - sorry. Anyways, we are staying a total of 7 days to really soak in Colorado for what it has been said to be. I have been lurking these boards for 2 years now gathering as much information as possible. And trust me, it has been more than I could have ever expect. However, now I am stumped as to what to do now that time has finally arrived to make our initial visit.

See, we wish not to act like tourists, but would rather blend into the everyday living cycles that take place. Sure, we must see some of the attractions the cities have to offer. However, we rather not get tied up with shopping centers, zoo's, museums, etc.

In a nutshell - we are young professionals (25 and 30) looking to live a better quality of life and raise children within a different environment. You may ask where we are coming from - drum roll please - Miami, FL. For the past 10 years I have felt very lost in the place where I was born and raised. This place is not for us. We are both outdoor enthusiasts who really enjoy being next to wildlife and elements the earth offers. I, myself being a mountain bike junkie. We understand there is no large body of water. Great! Wonderful, humans weren't made to swim in it - no need to be in it. Looking at waves of mountains, not to mentioning walking in them is much more satisfying. Yes, we understand it is much drier. Great! Wonderful - again, we are humans and don't have gills to breath the moisture in the air here. One thing we are concerned with is the altitude and the time we have to kinda-sorta get acclimated to. I hope it doesn't interfere, health-wise, with our plans.



What's on the itinerary so far:

Wednesday (Half Day)
Denver - Cherry Creek
Look into researched employers
City activities
Grocery shopping at local Whole Foods

Thursday
Broomfield - Golden - Denver
Red Rock Amphitheater
Town of Golden
Apartment hunting in Broomfield
City activities

Friday
Winterpark
Mountain activities
Crankworks (Mountain bike event)

Saturday
Winterpark - Boulder
Crankworks (Mountain bike event)
Boulder nightlife

Sunday
Boulder
Pearl Street
Hiking

Monday
Estes Park
Whitewater rafting
Mountain activities

Tuesday
Wave goodbye

Additional Itinerary Items (Time Permitting)
Highlands Ranch
Ft. Collins
Colorado Springs



So, after this introduction into who we are, what we plan and where we are going - is there anything, anywhere we must go to attain this cultural side of Colorado that we seek? I feel we have plenty of time to make it count. Just would rather not end up doing something that would not benefit our quest for knowledge.

Every idea you could spare would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and looking forward to becoming neighbors.

Peace!
k/dv
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,319,527 times
Reputation: 6816
You should probably just stay inside Boulder's city limits. That was easy!
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Grand Lake, Colorado
279 posts, read 589,413 times
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You haven't given yourself enough time to do everything you seek. If you like the mountains, are outdoor enthusiasts, bike riding, wildlife, the elements (as you said), you can spend a week just exploring that side of things.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,231,861 times
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This trip you have planned sounds pretty mundane. If it was me I'd be bored after the 2nd or 3rd day. If it was me, I'd spend two whole days exploring Denver/Boulder (the future potential relocation research part) and spend the rest touring the western, central, and southern parts of the state. But I guess you're trying to get a feel for what it would be like to live in the Front Range and the kinds of things you would do on the weekend if you lived here. Not sure what you're expecting to see regarding the "cultural side of Colorado"? Maybe you could expound on that.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,627,558 times
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What kind of place do you want to live in...Downtown? Suburban? Rural? Are you looking to live somewhere where you can walk outside and soak up the natural world (possibly sacrificing a better job or commute time?), or are you looking for a more active, social vibe (not so quiet a lifestyle)? What's your budget? What kind of job are you looking / line of work are you in?

If you're trying to get the vibe of what it would feel like to live here, I think you should go a little easier on the Mountain Biking / Whitewater Rafting (though those sound like great fun) and spend a little more time getting to know the neighborhoods you're looking at. It sounds like you've done quite a bit of research up to now...but we spent three days here and it wasn't nearly enough time to really get the vibe...except to say we knew we liked it. Would have been nice to be able to spend a little more time apartment hunting.

Just my 2 cents, though.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:39 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,062,182 times
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Sounds to me like you are looking for that yuppie lifestyle in Boulder with the whole foods and mountain biking thing.

I think one thing that always needs to be pointed out for those that want that outdoor lifestyle in the mountains just remember all that suburbia on the Front Range is prairie with a view of the mountains in the distance. Not to say in the immediate area around Denver there are not places you can do those activities, but the real action requires a drive up the hill. And seeing how most people work M-F, that means weekends and you end up spending 5-6 hours sitting in traffic over the course of a weekend, if not more. Speaking from experience to do a lot of these "mountain activities", especially from the Denver area, it does take commitment and you wont be shooting up into the hills after work to do all this stuff.

Also don't scoff at the elevation or dry air issue. For a number of years I went between Vail, Colorado(8150ft) and southern Alabama(90ft). Definitely a noticeable change switching from high dry air to sea level muggy air or vice versa. It is a change no question. Some don't end up liking it and although I prefer Colorado a thousand fold over the SE USA, the same way you can get sick of muggy sea level air, you can get tired of thin dry air as well(especially in winter).

Culturally to me, there is no one single Colorado culturally. You have different cultures as I see it:

1. Bog standard Front Range suburbia from Pueblo to Ft. Collins with Denver and Colorado Springs in between. Some suburbs better than others but basically it's just standard American suburban life as most other places with 2.2 kids and a 2 car garage.

2. Pseudo Progressive Boulder with trendy types buying Cheerios for $7.00 a box at Whole Foods, jam bands, dope smoking and all sorts of outside the boundaries stuff going on. Populated by wealthy liberals, poor college students and "Colorado activity dudes/dudettes". Activity dudes or dudettes drive Subaru Outbacks or VW vans covered with bumper stickers of progressive causes, have a piece of sporting equipment lashed somewhere on the vehicle, and they don't believe in hair washing and they wear strange t-shirts with the obligatory sandals.

3. High elevation prairie Colorado. This is the scrub brush and grassland part of the state comprising the eastern side. Inhabited by small towns revolving around the production of agriculture and also a variety of ranches and farms. Quiet towns, quiet people.

4. Ski Town Colorado. Colorado ski towns themselves have their own variety of cultures, but mostly inhabited by second home owners and "locals" existing on near financial oblivion. Many of these towns are trendy with much going on, but you literally pay to live there in a major way. NO free lunch in this world.

5. Mining town Colorado. Towns and cultures that live in the glorious mining past of Colorado from over 100 years ago with fading populations and interest. Some are newer and are filled with people from elsewhere hooking onto whatever mineral is the boom happening thing at the time.

6. The Rockies. The rest of the mountains is sparsely populated with ranches and other hardy souls eking out a living in far away places or minor towns. Winter can be a nine month extravaganza and life can be isolating.

Personally I think you are cramming too much touristy stuff into seven days and really I'd focus on getting a job and letting the job determine where you will live. I don't think your trip will really give you much insight into actually living there. Things like Red Rocks and Whole Foods are pretty useless for what you are trying to do. As you say you want to know about everyday living cycles and doing that doesn't involve goofing around at Winter or Estes Park and shopping in Boulder. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:10 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,770 times
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Thanks for the input thus far.

The mountainous adventure stuff is a given that it will be truly admired. We really do not need to spend more time already allocated. If anything, I would rather keep away from it and focus energies on certain parts of these cities to live and such.

There is actually kinda 3 days allocated for both mountainous and city activities - with the ones we would most likely spend a majority of our time in. Checking the western parts would be great! Travel time not so great.

As for cultural side - I would assume Pearl Street is what may (or may not) define Boulder's vibe/culture. Using that as an example, is there anywhere else within Boulder/Denver that could give a complimenting or opposing perspective to the culture/vibe.

As mentioned and understood, I'd like to make this a not so touristy trip. I'd like to wake up for a morning run, come back to have breakfast, head to the grocery store at night, geez - let me trim your hedges if you need the service - As for living districts in these cities, where do you think we'll fit in if we worked out of Denver?

Again - thanks all!
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:29 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,770 times
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Great additional insights from zen and wan.

Kinda put me in my place - good. I giggled at the $7 cheerios - thank you. I wouldn't say I'm that freakish with the place but I enjoy quality eating within reasonable prices (all be subjective ofcourse).

Here's a vital piece of information I withheld - our move will most likely not happen till next year. Job hunting is kind of irrelevant at this point, but do plan to introduce myself to a few firms I have in mind just to give that initial "hand-shake" and let them know they will be hearing from me with due time.

As for living quarters - subs would be ideal. Living in Miami is like living in 1 big downtown and we are over it. My goal was not to apartment hunt for a specific unit, but more so to create a cheat sheet of "yeah, this would work" communities that we could call home. This in turn would relieve a step when the time comes to move. I rather live where I want and work where ever it may be - within reason of course. Is living in Boulder and commuting to Denver or vice-versa a no-no?

Great replies thus far - thanks...
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:40 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,770 times
Reputation: 12
In addition...

What would be some key living districts to make a drive-by? Currently we are comfortably paying $1500 in Miami. Compared to Miami, I'm sure we could get close to "stealing" prices in certain areas. We wouldn't mind an occasional walk to a restaurant. We may have a desire to engage with nightlife maybe once every three months - maybe not if we are too tired from walking up and down hills with our $8 bottle of water

Thanks again...
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:55 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,062,182 times
Reputation: 7541
Quote:
Originally Posted by k/dv View Post
Great additional insights from zen and wan.

Kinda put me in my place - good. I giggled at the $7 cheerios - thank you. I wouldn't say I'm that freakish with the place but I enjoy quality eating within reasonable prices (all be subjective ofcourse).

Here's a vital piece of information I withheld - our move will most likely not happen till next year. Job hunting is kind of irrelevant at this point, but do plan to introduce myself to a few firms I have in mind just to give that initial "hand-shake" and let them know they will be hearing from me with due time.

As for living quarters - subs would be ideal. Living in Miami is like living in 1 big downtown and we are over it. My goal was not to apartment hunt for a specific unit, but more so to create a cheat sheet of "yeah, this would work" communities that we could call home. This in turn would relieve a step when the time comes to move. I rather live where I want and work where ever it may be - within reason of course. Is living in Boulder and commuting to Denver or vice-versa a no-no?

Great replies thus far - thanks...
Taking Denver for instance, IMHO, there really isn't that much difference between suburbs nor parts of Denver, with the exception you have some rough neighborhoods(which will be noticeable) and some middle class nice neighborhoods and some upscale neighborhoods. All have your bog standard tract development shopping and big box stores, parks, walking paths, restaurants etc. To me personally it's all the same for the most part. I have my favorite parts of town but mostly again, I just don't see the big differences.

Plenty of people commute to Boulder or vice versa, but you may as well live near where you work. The way I would do it myself is get a decent job first, then locate within 20 minutes the places you might live rather than the other way around. As an example, it is pointless in looking at the southern side of Denver suburbia if you get a job in Boulder.
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