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Old 02-28-2011, 09:45 AM
 
55 posts, read 89,295 times
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What four words (or so) would you use to describe each of the different areas/towns around Denver? Suburban, progressive, hip, small-town feel, strong sense of community, etc.

Divide it up however you choose, quadrants, cities...however you wish.

We're making a trip to the Denver soon, but trying to get a vibe for the different areas so we know where to start!
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: The North
5,081 posts, read 9,089,677 times
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Could be here all day doing that. People will even break it down into blocks of neighborhoods. Probably better to ask what types of characteristics you'd like to see in an area and let people post their ideas for that.

Suburban is a pretty common sentiment for any city outside of Denver and even the southern parts of the city of Denver feel suburban. You'll see apartment ads trying to claim areas near light rail stations or even the Bel Mar mall in Lakewood are "downtown" living, but you'll see its pretty comical when you visit. About the only areas you might find unique and interesting in the suburbs are the small "old towns" like Littleton, Arvada and Golden. Otherwise the suburbs will probably remind you of suburbs almost anywhere else. Still the suburbs here don't feel as isolated because there is a good diversity of employment centers so there aren't the typical traffic patterns of the masses heading to a downtown for work. You can get a good meal and head out for an evening in a lot of suburban areas, its just the most diverse options and those options aimed at the youngest crowd are found in central Denver.

Then of course Boulder and to some degree its neighboring cities have a mindset all their own.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,097,906 times
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Avoid Aurora, even the newer parts of Aurora and just stay south as possible, that's all you need to know. Some people will disagree with this. You will have to decide for yourself on that once you get to know the areas better.

Highlands Ranch is good for families and a little busy but you have everything there.

Centennial/Greenwood Village I like the best because I grew up there, has some of the best schools in the area but really old homes and many have not even been updated and overpriced.
you have to be careful because it does include some parts of SE Aurora.

Parker - you can get a bigger home with some land in some areas, you can also feel a little isolated depending on which part you live in.

Elizabeth - if you want horses and land but the roads aren't great in the winter.

Castle Rock and Larkspur ( even though they are a bit apart) is nice because it's like a small town and only 15-20 minute drive to DTC. Lots of 'girl clubs' that go out to shop, lunch, drinks, raise money for charities, golfing, ride horses... just a really fun area. I love it. But then all my family and friends migrated to Castle Rock/Larkspur, so for me it's great!
I think Larkspur is magical! I love that place.

I don't know about the other areas like lakewood, thornton, arvada etc.. except you probably don't want to live there.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,717,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupcake77 View Post
Avoid Aurora, even the newer parts of Aurora and just stay south as possible, that's all you need to know. Some people will disagree with this. You will have to decide for yourself on that once you get to know the areas better.

Highlands Ranch is good for families and a little busy but you have everything there.

Centennial/Greenwood Village I like the best because I grew up there, has some of the best schools in the area but really old homes and many have not even been updated and overpriced.
you have to be careful because it does include some parts of SE Aurora.

Parker - you can get a bigger home with some land in some areas, you can also feel a little isolated depending on which part you live in.

Elizabeth - if you want horses and land but the roads aren't great in the winter.

Castle Rock and Larkspur ( even though they are a bit apart) is nice because it's like a small town and only 15-20 minute drive to DTC. Lots of 'girl clubs' that go out to shop, lunch, drinks, raise money for charities, golfing, ride horses... just a really fun area. I love it. But then all my family and friends migrated to Castle Rock/Larkspur, so for me it's great!
I think Larkspur is magical! I love that place.

I don't know about the other areas like lakewood, thornton, arvada etc.. except you probably don't want to live there.
I'm gonna be the guy that disagrees

Actually, I'm no fan of Aurora, but there's nothing really wrong with from the standpoint of a place to live. Aurora is an older, sprawly city. The other towns mentioned are further outside of Denver with a lot of new growth, but some may suffer some of Aurora's problems someday. The worst part of Aurora is really parts of Colfax and and some areas around I-225. Other than that, it's just a bit bland...anything from low income houses to very expensive housing, varying on location, neighborhood, etc...unevenly distributed. Aurora is big.

Really I'd say most people I know on the west side of town (Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood) live there to be close to the mountains, though you can't see the mountains as well from there because you're so near the foothills. It's fine, and there's some nice things over there...also older cities, but still generally suburban and...IMO bland. Suburbanites will likely disagree. I will say the West side has probably the best access to nature, though, and very good park access.

Not as familiar with the north (Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn), but when I've passed through them I can't find anything interesting about them. I consider the West side of town to be more intriguing than the north. Suburban. Mixed development. Same story.

South side of town (I live on the south end) is OK. Also older. Englewood and Littleton are kind of cool. South Denver is really nothing to write home about, and I'm not personally a fan of all those exurbs like Parker, Castle Rock, etc...I think they are pleasant places, but I'm one of those anti-sprawl types, and I don't think they will continue to be pleasant places in the future if they continue that kind of growth. I'm also no fan of Highlands Ranch which I think may as well be a Del Webb community...standard, cookie cutter and destined to have future infrastructure issues.


Which brings me to Denver proper...that's a whole other thread about neighborhoods and such. Love Denver!
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,097,906 times
Reputation: 1536
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
I'm also no fan of Highlands Ranch which I think may as well be a Del Webb community...standard, cookie cutter and destined to have future infrastructure issues.


!

I agree about Highlands Ranch, but I was trying to be nice.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 03-01-2011 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:34 PM
 
55 posts, read 89,295 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupcake77 View Post
Avoid Aurora, even the newer parts of Aurora and just stay south as possible, that's all you need to know. Some people will disagree with this. You will have to decide for yourself on that once you get to know the areas better.

Highlands Ranch is good for families and a little busy but you have everything there.

Centennial/Greenwood Village I like the best because I grew up there, has some of the best schools in the area but really old homes and many have not even been updated and overpriced.
you have to be careful because it does include some parts of SE Aurora.

Parker - you can get a bigger home with some land in some areas, you can also feel a little isolated depending on which part you live in.

Elizabeth - if you want horses and land but the roads aren't great in the winter.

Castle Rock and Larkspur ( even though they are a bit apart) is nice because it's like a small town and only 15-20 minute drive to DTC. Lots of 'girl clubs' that go out to shop, lunch, drinks, raise money for charities, golfing, ride horses... just a really fun area. I love it. But then all my family and friends migrated to Castle Rock/Larkspur, so for me it's great!
I think Larkspur is magical! I love that place.

I don't know about the other areas like lakewood, thornton, arvada etc.. except you probably don't want to live there.
I'm still learning, but was hoping SE Aurora was okay---I was interested in it b/c of the Cherry Creek School District. More on Aurora please...
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:37 PM
 
55 posts, read 89,295 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
I'm gonna be the guy that disagrees

Actually, I'm no fan of Aurora, but there's nothing really wrong with from the standpoint of a place to live. Aurora is an older, sprawly city. The other towns mentioned are further outside of Denver with a lot of new growth, but some may suffer some of Aurora's problems someday. The worst part of Aurora is really parts of Colfax and and some areas around I-225. Other than that, it's just a bit bland...anything from low income houses to very expensive housing, varying on location, neighborhood, etc...unevenly distributed. Aurora is big.

Really I'd say most people I know on the west side of town (Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood) live there to be close to the mountains, though you can't see the mountains as well from there because you're so near the foothills. It's fine, and there's some nice things over there...also older cities, but still generally suburban and...IMO bland. Suburbanites will likely disagree. I will say the West side has probably the best access to nature, though, and very good park access.

Not as familiar with the north (Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn), but when I've passed through them I can't find anything interesting about them. I consider the West side of town to be more intriguing than the north. Suburban. Mixed development. Same story.

South side of town (I live on the south end) is OK. Also older. Englewood and Littleton are kind of cool. South Denver is really nothing to write home about, and I'm not personally a fan of all those exurbs like Parker, Castle Rock, etc...I think they are pleasant places, but I'm one of those anti-sprawl types, and I don't think they will continue to be pleasant places in the future if they continue that kind of growth. I'm also no fan of Highlands Ranch which I think may as well be a Del Webb community...standard, cookie cutter and destined to have future infrastructure issues.


Which brings me to Denver proper...that's a whole other thread about neighborhoods and such. Love Denver!
So, based on your feedback, if you could move to another area of Denver, where would you go? Louisville?
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: The North
5,081 posts, read 9,089,677 times
Reputation: 4045
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilybelle View Post
I'm still learning, but was hoping SE Aurora was okay---I was interested in it b/c of the Cherry Creek School District. More on Aurora please...
SE Aurora is fine, typical suburban lifestyle at reasonable prices with decent amenities. Commute to DTC or the medical facilities in Aurora isn't bad, tough for most other common work areas. The area kind of blends in with Centennial and Parker, all have a fairly similar feel to them.

Northern parts of Aurora are more diverse and also in places blighted by poverty, but have much better access to Denver's attractions.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,097,906 times
Reputation: 1536
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilybelle View Post
I'm still learning, but was hoping SE Aurora was okay---I was interested in it b/c of the Cherry Creek School District. More on Aurora please...

I won't bother to explain. I'm sure you'll be fine if you move there.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:58 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,542,042 times
Reputation: 6928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupcake77 View Post
...I don't know about the other areas like lakewood, thornton, arvada etc.. except you probably don't want to live there.
I do not why you would say that. Each of the cities have very distinct characteristics.You cannot put Thornton, Lakewood and Arvada in the same category and say they are not good places to live--it shows that you are not very familiar with the area.

Thornton is more of a sprawling suburbs with many housing tracts that have good housing for many. It has many business and employment opportunities in the fast growing Adams County.

Lakewood is a mixed bag of older areas, sprawling suburbs and some unique areas near Belmar and certainly the Union and Alameda area near the Federal Center. It has along with Wheat Ridge and Arvada most of the older natives and long term residents in the area. It has many prime areas to live and will soon have light rail.

Arvada is the oldest of all and was established as a separate agricultural community--that is why is has an unique old town area with many well established safe neighborhoods with a good school system. Arvada, even to this day, does not yet share a common border with Denver; it is close but very near 52nd and Sheridan. Arvada has probably the most small town feel of many suburbs that runs from the older area to newer developments in the west. Arvada is considered one of the most desirous places to live near Denver with still in place farms, ranches and many equestrian facilties; people, in the know, are familiar with the good amenities of West Arvada in the Ralston Valley defined by Ralston Creek. You can easily get the feeling of a Colorado of times past. It has the advantage to be close to Denver, to Boulder and Arvada has an extensive parks, trail system and water resources that goes up west to extensive open space along the Foothills.

You need to get off the highway and look around and see what the whole area has to offer.

Livecontent
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