Welcome to Denver, Colorado!

Known as the “Mile High City”, Denver, Colorado is indeed 5280 feet above sea level and is one of  America’s most beautiful cities! Some of the au pairs are even higher, since they live with families in the nearby foothills, canyons, or mountains. Due to our elevation, our climate is sunny and mild.  We enjoy sunshine about 310 days per year, and when sun is out , we get plenty of radiation heat, even if it is cool. Our snow at the ski areas is known as “champagne powder”, since it is fluffy and dry, not icy. The Denver metropolitan area now includes more than 2 million people. A magnet for people who enjoy nature, sports, and outdoor activities, Denver also enjoys a wealth of major league sports.  There are 650 miles of bike trails throughout the city as well as good public transportation. There are many wonderful restaurants, concerts, theaters (The Denver Center for the Performing Arts), a lively downtown area, and shopping malls scattered throughout the region. Most of au pairs drive cars provided by their host families. They get together to go dancing, skiing, or take a weekend trip to the mountains. Denver is two hours away from Vail, and four hours away from Aspen. In Colorado, most host parents work very long hours, with some travel as part of their jobs. Not all families are able to enjoy a leisurely dinner, with all family members present. The pace of life is fast, with an emphasis on careers, the children’s education and activities and outdoor sports. If you enjoy the seasons of the year, you will love Denver. You will need to bring winter clothes (winter coat, boots…) and summer clothes (shorts, sandals). Since temperature can change rapidly during a single day, most people layer their clothing.

Interesting Facts about Denver:

Denver isn’t just called the Mile High City, it truly is a mile high. The 13th step on the west side of the State Capitol building is 5,280 feet (1,609 m) above sea level.

Denver is one of the few cities in history that was not built on a road, railroad, lake, navigable river or body of water when it was founded. It just happened to be where the first few flakes of gold were found in 1858.

The mountainous area of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland, containing 9,600 miles (15,449 km) of fishing streams, 2,850 lakes, and more than 1,000 peaks two miles (3,218 km) high.

The Pikes Peak Railway, located about an hour and a half south of Denver in Colorado Springs, is the highest cog railway in the world, traveling 8.9 miles from 6,571 feet to the summit at 14,110 feet.

The Colorado Trail is a 500-mile-long hiking trail, stretching from Durango to Denver, and crosses eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, six wilderness areas, and five river systems.

The dome of the State Capitol in Denver is covered with 200 ounces of 24K gold. But the real priceless material is inside the building, where the wainscoting is made of Colorado onyx, a rare stone found near Beulah, Colorado. The entire world’s supply was used in this building and no more has ever been found.

Denver City Parks Department grows 240,000 flowers a year in their own greenhouse and plants them in 506 flowerbeds throughout the city. That’s over seven acres of flowers that, if laid out end to end, would stretch for 56 miles (90 km).

One of the best sports towns in the country, Denver is home to seven professional sports teams, including the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, and Avalanche. Denver is the only city in America to open three new stadiums in 10 years.

The Denver Zoo is the fourth most popular zoo in America (based on those with paid admission fees) and has the 7th most diverse animal collection. The zoo has 3,500 animals, representing more than 685 species, including 157 that are classified as threatened or endangered. It costs $38,000 a day to care for the animals and operate the zoo.

Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the top five botanic gardens in America, with more than 32,000 plants, representing over 2,000 species, including seven that are classified as endangered.

On the northern edge of the city is a section of Denver the locals call “LoDo,” or lower downtown, where refurbished Victorian and turn-of-the-century buildings and warehouses are home to an eclectic array of restaurants, art galleries, offices, and shops.

The Colorado Rockies opened at home on April 9, 1993 in front of 80,277 fans, the most ever to witness an opening game in baseball history. The team went on to break 11 Major League Baseball records, including the most single-season fans, 4,483,350, a figure that still stands today as the most to attend any American sports team’s games in a single season.

Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the United States and hosts an annual marathon.

Colorado weather:

Winters are mild with an average daily high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and days reaching 60 degrees are not uncommon. Snow doesn’t stay on the ground long in Denver so golf courses and outdoor cafes are able to stay open all year.

In summer, Denver enjoys low relative humidity, making for beautiful, sun-filled days and cool, comfortable evenings. The average daily high temperature in August is a mild 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The mild weather is due in part to the city’s altitude: 5,280 feet above sea level, or exactly a mile high.

Read more:  http://www.denver.org

~ Dana Graber

Saturday, 9 November 2013 12:00 AM

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