Photo: Sarahnaut

1. On the same day, you’ve skied, hiked, and swam outdoors.

There’s not too many places in the United States where you can head up to the mountains to ski, hike a mountain trail on your way back home, then take a few laps in an outdoor pool, all in a twelve-hour period. More than a few Denverites can claim that accomplishment, especially in April when all three activities are possible.

2. You know there’s no other concert venue besides Red Rocks.

It started with U2’s seminal concert in 1983. Then other musical acts followed with their concerts from this incredible natural amphitheater. With its dramatic russet sedimentary formations and its panoramic view of the city 15 miles away, Red Rocks is an unforgettable experience. If you go to any other place in the world to see a concert, you know the very best one is waiting for you back at home.

3. You choose craft beers over Coors, anytime, any day.

Coors was once a small brewer that produced such a superior product people made the pilgrimage to Colorado just to get a six-pack. Now that beer gets passed over in favor of one of the twenty-two craft and artisan breweries in and around the metro area. Check out Great Divide or Breckenridge to know how we roll in Denver. Be jealous.

4. No matter the weather or the forecast, you always dress in multiple layers.

Kids raised in Denver learn this lesson early on. A simple t-shirt and pants, no matter how nice the weather currently looks, are often not sufficient. If you’re going to deal with the bone-chill of 22° in the morning and the balmy 60° just a few hours later, you need to be prepared. A fleece vest and a down jacket are staples for anyone from Denver.

5. You never leave the house without sunscreen, lip balm, and a Nalgene bottle.

Our Boy Scout preparedness applies to more than just clothes. Being at a mile high in elevation means we truly are closer to the sun, as well as a little more oxygen-depleted. That can’t stop us, though. We hydrate and protect, and get on our way.

6. Orange and blue runs in your bloodstream.

Yes, Denver has other sports teams — the lowly Rockies, the even lowlier Nuggets, and the somewhere in-between Avalanche. There’s even a professional soccer team, the Rapids, as well as a semi-pro lacrosse team. But no organization captures the hearts and minds of the city’s people like the Broncos, whether they win or lose. Even in the offseason, Broncomania is everywhere. Get used to it.

7. Your neck hairs stand up when someone calls Denver a cow town.

Every January, the National Western Stock Show heralds its arrival with a cattle drive down 17th Street. It’s events like these that strengthen the city’s reputation of being stuck in the old frontier days of ranches and cowhands, even as it’s gone through many other identities through history. But as Denver natives will tell you, there’s a lot more here than one big rodeo.

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