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Great Neighborhoods: Denver

Photo courtesy of Denver Metro
Chamber of Commerce

In 1859, where Cherry Creek meets the South Platte River, gold flakes were found in the riverbed and thus launched the first boom-and-bust cycle that created Denver.

Denver and surrounding areas make up the nation's 22nd largest metropolitan area. It is also the nation's 25th largest city as well as a county seat, and state capital.

Gold and silver was a magnet for early residents and oil accelerated development in the early 1980s, but it's high-tech that now attracts new companies and residents to the "Mile-High City".

The term is not mythical, the 15th step of the gold-domed, state capitol building and a row of purple seats in the upper deck of Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, are exactly a mile above sea level.

The historic Highline Canal Trail and the Front Range of the majestic Rocky Mountains, 10 miles west and a breathtaking backdrop to the "Queen City of the Plains," as well as the city's many parks are all potent lures.

The youthful, highly-educated population of about 600,000 treasures a casual, outdoor lifestyle. While some conform to the city's Western heritage and wear cowboy boots, urban sophisticates dress hip when patronizing cafes, galleries and martini bars in the revitalized downtown.

World-class skiing, casino gambling in former gold-rush towns and camping and hiking for amateurs and veteran mountaineers alike await in the Rockies.

At the onset of 2006, the median home price was $247,000 for existing single-family homes and $300,000 for newly built models. The average rent for all-sized apartments was hovering around $880.

Some of the neighborhoods offering good value are historic Washington Park; University Park/Observatory Park near University of Denver's stately campus; suburban Highlands Ranch, the nation's largest master-planned community; and Littleton, founded in the late 1800s on a bend in the South Platte River.

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