Moving from San Francisco, CA to Denver, CO

View life from a different perspective in your new city 

Leaving San Francisco, CA and relocating to Denver, CO involves more than just trading the bay and coastline for thin air and higher elevation. These two cities are highly rated among the country’s best places to live by U.S. News & World Report (Denver No. 2 behind nearby Boulder, CO and San Francisco No. 10) for a variety of reasons. 

If you’re wondering what to expect living 1,200 miles east in Colorado’s capital city, you’re in the right place! Discover a thriving metropolis with something for everyone and learn about the easiest, most affordable way to move there. 

Going from sea level to a mile high 

One of the most striking differences between San Francisco and Denver is the elevation. While San Francisco sits at sea level, Denver’s altitude is exactly 1 mile higher. Expect to get winded a little easier at first because the air is thinner and drier. Golfers will also notice a bit more carry distance because the ball travels farther. 

Also, the sun packs about 25 percent more punch because you’re closer to it. Staying hydrated and using proper sun protection are important, even in the winter. Learn more about moving to a higher elevation

Spend less in the gateway to the Rockies 

Denver’s growth is driving up housing prices, but it’s still significantly more affordable than San Francisco. According to the personal finance company NerdWallet, Denver’s overall cost of living is 77 percent less than San Francisco’s. The average home in Denver ($500,000) costs less than half of what it runs in San Francisco ($1.2 million) and property taxes are a whopping 75 percent less ($2,195 vs. $8,865) 

If you rent, Denver prices ($1,500) aren’t cheap, but still a major savings over San Francisco ($4,100) 

Moving with your dog? Expect a warm welcome    

It may help to know that, like San Francisco, Denver ranks among the most dog-friendly cities in America, according to a study by SmartAsset. Determining factors in the rankings include the number of dog parks per 100,000 residents, dog-friendly establishments and average annual precipitation days. 

Denver rivals San Francisco for sunshine 

You may be surprised to learn that Denver gets just about as many sunny days per year (245) as San Francisco (259). Denver’s weather can be quirky and unpredictable at times, but If you like seasonal changes, Denver is for you. Enjoy snow? You’ll get about 5 feet of it per year. But you can also expect mild summers with highs ranging in the mid-80s. 

Locals share a passion for being outside 

Concerned about missing all outdoor activities San Francisco offers? Denver’s not lacking in that area. Red Rocks Park (which includes an iconic live entertainment venue) and Cherry Creek State Park are two popular destinations within a 30-min drive of one of the largest downtown areas in the country. 

Within the city, there’s more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses and playgrounds to explore. Skiers and snowboards flock to the Rocky Mountains for winter fun. 

Getting around takes more effort 

Denver is spread out across 155 square miles, making it more than three times the size of San Francisco (47 square miles). Most residents have vehicles and deal with far less traffic congestion as San Franciscans. But it’s also a popular city for cyclists, with a more than 85 miles of paved trails and a bike-sharing company (B-cycle) that offers access to around 700 bicycles at 88 stations across the metro area. 

Denver’s public transit system isn’t as robust as San Francisco’s, but the RTD light rail is popular among commuters and also provides service to Boulder and the Denver International Airport. 

Explore diverse career opportunities 

U.S. News & World Report ranks Denver as the fourth-best U.S. city for business and careers. Denver has a low unemployment rate and its residents earn above the national average. Top industries include biotech, healthcare, finance, telecommunications and hospitality.  

While Denver isn’t Silicon Valley, its strong infrastructure and the presence of an international airport is helping grow the city into a technology hub. 

Save time and money by moving with U-Pack 

Tap into the long-distance moving expertise of U-Pack® for an efficient, stress-free experience. With service centers nationwide, we can transport your belongings to your new home in just 3-5 days. All you have to do load into our equipment, and we’ll take it from there! 

Start planning your move today with a free, no-obligation quote.