When deciding which city to call home, there are several factors to consider – including the cost of living, employment opportunities, restaurants and nightlife, taxes, housing costs, and the availability of cultural activities. However, there is another factor you might not be able to put your finger on so easily: your lifestyle. After exhaustive research, you have narrowed down your options to two cities: Denver, Colorado, and San Francisco, California. Both are unique, vibrant, and eclectic in their own ways. But which city will fit your lifestyle?
Of course, no big move can happen without the assistance of a fantastic long-distance moving company in Denver. The best Denver moving companies will help you plan every aspect of the relocation – including providing you with the ultimate checklist for your new home and tips for moving with pets long distance. While you are searching for long-distance moving companies near you, you will find the name Denver Moving Companies at the top of the list. This is because our amazing staff of highly-trained professionals have helped thousands of satisfied customers plan a stress-free, seamless relocation.
Introduction to San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CO
Founded originally as a Spanish pueblo and mission in the 1500s, the city of San Francisco, California, exploded for the same reason as several other cities popped up in the Western United States during the 19th century: the discovery of gold. On January 24, 1848, gold was first discovered in Sutter’s Fort, and the frenzy of the Gold Rush began. San Francisco’s strategic position in the Bay Area made it the perfect shipping port and the sleepy Pueblo quickly became a central metropolitan area by the start of the 20th century.
The history of San Francisco is marked with several triumphs and tragedies – but none so great as the great fire and earthquake that devastated the city in 1906. Much of San Francisco was destroyed, but thanks to its position by the ocean, which makes it an ideal place for real estate investment, tourism, and even as an important military outpost, the city quickly grew and is one of the most beloved and visited cities in California.
Located east of the beautiful Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, the city of Denver, CO, as it is known today, started for much the same reason as San Francisco, the discovery of gold. Before gold was found in the area in June 1858, this area that is located where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek meet was a well-known area for fur traders. After gold was discovered, the population grew very quickly, and much like San Francisco, Denver was devastated by a fire in 1863 and a massive flood the following year.
The city’s name changed several times, and at one point was called Denver City. The city was finally named “Denver” in the early 20th century. There was significant population growth after World War II, and the Denver Metro area was born and comprises Denver and several smaller suburbs. Today, the Mile High City is known as an eclectic area that is the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
There are several similarities between these fantastic cities, and you would feel privileged to call either one of these areas home. If you already live in Denver and are considering moving to San Francisco, you need the assistance of a skilled and qualified long-distance moving company. The Denver Moving Companies can help you not only unload and load your moving truck but also help you understand the importance of budgeting and saving during a move and the pros and cons of moving long distance during winter.
The Charm of the Beautiful San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area truly has a unique and vibrant history, which is a significant reason why you are considering moving to the area. In particular, San Francisco is known for its beautiful, massive Victorian houses, including a colorful row of houses on Steiner Street affectionately known as the Painted Ladies of San Francisco. Residents love living in the city, and if you decide to move there, you will also quickly discover that San Francisco is a great place to raise a family.
Whether you decide to pack and move to the Bay Area or want to visit “The Paris of the West,” which is one of many nicknames for San Francisco, there are some must-see sights that residents and tourists alike should experience, including:
- Say “Hello” to the sea lions at Pier 39. Although Pier 39 is known for its playful sea lions, there is much more to see. The area is home to several excellent restaurants, family-friendly activities, shopping, and bars.
- Test your driving skills on Lombard Street. Known as the most crooked street in America, Lombard Street stretches from the Embarcadero to the Presidio and features eight treacherous hairpin turns. If you are willing, go ahead and test your driving skills, but make sure your auto insurance is up to date!
- Catch a San Francisco Giants game at Oracle Park. Although Oracle Park is known for being the home of the world-famous San Francisco Giants, the area is a year-round tourist destination. During the off-season, you can catch a rock or classical concert or simply tour the grounds before the Giants play their first game!
From the fantastic nightlife to the beautiful bars, great food, shopping, and endless opportunities for fun, there are several reasons why you should consider setting your sights on San Francisco.
The Vibrancy of Downtown Denver
Denver, and most of Colorado, is known for its breathtaking scenery, outstanding natural beauty, and many outdoor activities. Most people flock to the Mile High City for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and kayaking or nature hikes in the summer. However, if you are visiting Centennial State for its plentiful outdoor opportunities, you are missing out on everything downtown Denver offers. Here are a few of the must-see highlights waiting for you to explore in downtown Denver:
- The Denver Art Museum. Initially founded in 1893 and located in the downtown Denver Civic Center, the Denver Art Museum is the largest museum between the Midwest and the West Coast. The museum houses over 70,000 pieces of unique artwork, including works by Native American, Asian, European, and American artwork – particularly art created before the 20th century. The best part is that admission for children 18 and under is always free!
- Cherry Creek Shopping District. No trip to any major metropolitan area would be complete without shopping! The Cherry Creek district features over 500 different stores, from high-end boutiques and famous luxury chain stores to small, family-owned shops, restaurants, spas, and galleries; there is something for everyone in this pedestrian-friendly shopping center.
- Elitch Waters Theme & Water Park. There are several theme parks throughout the country, but Denver is the only major city with a theme park in the middle of its crowded downtown! The Elitch Theme & Water Park has several rides, attractions, and food stands and is a great place to keep the kids occupied on an otherwise lazy Saturday afternoon.
- Molly Brown Museum. Located at 1340 Pennsylvania Street in Denver, the Molly Brown Museum is the former home of philanthropist, adventurer, and, most famously, an outspoken survivor of the Titanic disaster, the Unsinkable Molly Brown. The museum is open during the summers and allows you to take a step back into the wonder of pre-WWII Colorado.
If you live in Denver, chances are you have enjoyed these and all the other unique sites the city offers. Are you ready to move to San Francisco, Seattle, Memphis, or Minneapolis and want to work with a fantastic long-distance moving company? The full-service movers at Denver Moving Companies can help you plan your entire relocation. They will provide plenty of helpful tips to make your move stress-free, including knowing which items not to pack for your move, and provide you with the ultimate guide to interstate moving!
Comparing Major Cities: San Francisco vs. Denver
Denver residents enjoy a mixture of indoor fun and outdoor activities. However, when you put the two cities – San Francisco and Denver, head-to-head, how does San Francisco compare to the Mile High City? One way to determine a city’s affordability is to understand its different neighborhoods. Finding the right neighborhood isn’t only about your child’s safety; in the case of a major metro area, it is also about being able to afford to buy a home or rent a modest apartment.
Densely Populated Neighborhoods in San Francisco
It’s no secret that living in San Francisco can be very expensive. As a matter of fact, it is the second most expensive city in the country, just behind New York City. As with any other major city, San Francisco has several diverse, densely populated neighborhoods. Some are also very famous! Here are a few of the biggest, most eclectic areas throughout San Francisco:
- The Mission District. If you are young, just out of college, and want to start a career, check out the Mission District. This area of San Francisco is on the rise, and the best way to describe it is “colorful!” Because it is an up-and-coming neighborhood, finding affordable housing is still possible.
- Bernal Heights. Most families who live in an urban area want to find a quiet, safe neighborhood where they feel safe to walk at night. Bernal Heights is relatively affordable and safe and has a lot to offer young families, including farmer’s markets, shopping, and restaurants.
- Inner Sunset. Part of the historic Sunset District, Inner Sunset is a picture-perfect neighborhood with tree-lined streets and beautiful Mediterranean and Victorian-style houses. One of the top-rated primary schools, Jefferson Elementary School, is also found in the community.
If you have young children and safety is a concern, Inner Sunset is also one of the safest neighborhoods throughout San Francisco. Are you convinced moving to The City By the Bay is right for you? Want some insider cross-country moving tips? Contact the team at Denver Moving Companies for plenty of tips and a free estimate!
The Beauty of Colorado: Denver’s Appeal
A majestic destination ideally situated on the banks of the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the country. When it comes to natural beauty, how does Denver compare to San Francisco? When you put the natural charm of San Francisco and Denver head-to-head, Denver can definitely hold its own.
Aren’t convinced, even if you have been calling the Denver area home for years? Here are some of the most beautiful scenes and perfect recreational opportunities in and around Denver:
- Denver Botanic Gardens. Denver is truly a modern city in all respects, but if you want to enjoy natural beauty in the urban jungle, visit the 23-acre Denver Botanic Gardens. Located down the road from the Colorado State Capital, the gardens feature several themes – including a dryland mesa and a Japanese-inspired garden called the Garden of Wind.
- William Fredrick Hayden Park. People love William Fredrick Hayden Park, which is located just outside Denver in Lakewood, CO. The park features several walking, hiking, and biking trails. If you visit the park, watch out for the several species of animals that call the area home, including coyotes, rabbits, mule deer, and hawks.
- Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Want a family-friendly weekend activity where you won’t have to pay a small fortune to enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado? The picturesque Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is found in Commerce City, a few minutes outside Denver. The park is the perfect place to sit back and watch the animals walk by, including massive herds of bison.
Want an oasis inside the city where you can enjoy a quick lunch with friends? Check out Confluence Park, a public park in the heart of downtown Denver!
Public Transportation: A Closer Look
With the rising price of gas and purchasing a new or used vehicle, more people are turning to public transportation. Even if you have a car, you might just be sick of sitting in traffic jams and want a better, cheaper, and faster alternative. If a robust public transportation system is essential to you, it is best to understand the transit system in San Francisco vs. Denver.
San Francisco’s Efficient Public Transportation System
According to a study conducted by the real estate website RedFin, San Francisco has the second-best public transportation system in the country, just behind New York City. This ranking means that for most trips around the city, whether going to work, to school, or a restaurant with friends, you will be able to both easily and conveniently reach your destination. The city offers a wide variety of transit options, including:
- City buses
- Cables cars
- BART or Bay Area Rapid Transit
- Trolleys and streetcars
- Presidio – a free shuttle system
San Francisco is also known for its historic ferries, including the San Francisco Bay Ferries and Golden Gate Ferries. These ferries are the most convenient and beautiful ways to travel up and down the coast. Many people use them to visit several cities near San Francisco, including Oakland and Sausalito.
Denver’s Take on Public Transportation
Commuting time in and around the Denver Metro Area is brutal, and many people live a car-free existence in Denver. This is because the city also has a well-planned transit system. Like San Francisco, if you want to keep transportation costs low, you have many options. U.S. News and World Report actually ranked Denver at the top of their list of cities with the best public transport systems throughout the country.
The reason is that Denver has a well-planned light rail system and inexpensive city buses. The light rail can provide any resident with easy access to almost any site throughout the city. The cost of riding the light rail is far less than purchasing and maintaining a car.
Cost of Living: A Comprehensive Analysis
Denver and San Francisco are both amazing cities with a lot to offer. However, you cannot live in either city if you cannot afford your basic necessities, including groceries, housing, transportation, and utilities. First and foremost, consider the housing costs in Denver compared to San Francisco and if you have the money to purchase a home or rent an apartment in either city.
Housing Costs in San Francisco vs. Denver
The housing market in both cities is very competitive, which would account for the high cost of both purchasing a single-family home and renting an apartment. The median home price in Denver is $563,324. This number is down from previous years, and the average house stays on the market for less than two weeks. The median home price in the United States is $416,100.
The median cost of a home in San Francisco is $1.4 million, which is a lot when compared to both the national average and the median home price in Denver, Colorado. The average rental cost in Denver is $1,967/month. In San Francisco, this number jumps to $3,313. As with any other major city, living in a small town or suburb of the metro area is a great way to save money on your housing costs.
Denver’s Cost of Living vs. National Average
Housing costs are one of the most significant factors considered when calculating a city’s cost of living. The baseline cost of living in the United States is 100. The cost of living in Denver, CO, is 127.8. This number is higher than the rest of the country for several reasons, including housing, grocery, and other miscellaneous costs. The cost of living in San Francisco is 244.0. Of course, the cost of housing has a significant impact on the much higher cost of living compared to Denver and the rest of the country.
Using a Living Calculator to Determine Affordability
Seeing the numbers on paper is one thing. However, how do you determine if your projected salary can cover all your living expenses in a particular city? Finding a cost-of-living calculator online is a great way to determine if you can afford to live in a town, which is always a huge consideration if you are planning an upcoming move. Additionally, you need to determine your moving costs. Did you know it is possible to negotiate with moving companies, which can save you big money on your upcoming moving costs?
Income and Economy
Both San Francisco and Denver have robust economies, thanks partly to the competitive job market and numerous job opportunities. There are several industries in both cities hiring, but you need to do your homework to determine if you can find a job that will cover your expenses in either city.
Average Household Income in San Francisco and Denver
Understanding the average household income of any city is a great way to determine if an average resident’s salary can maintain a particular area’s lifestyle. Of course, the average individual income will vary greatly depending on the industry. In Denver, the average household earns $111,181. In San Francisco, the average household income is $178,742. This is not surprising, given the higher living costs in San Francisco vs. Denver.
Economic Opportunities in Major Cities
Both cities have several economic and job opportunities, as several significant industries are hiring. In Denver and throughout Northern Colorado, several sectors play a critical role in the entire state’s economy, including the aerospace, engineering, energy, financial services, information technology, and bioscience industries. In San Francisco, there are several industries also hiring, such as international business, digital and social marketing, life sciences, software, information technology, and the environmental sector.
Natural Attractions and Scenery
Both Denver and San Francisco are beautiful and have many natural wonders to enjoy. Millions are flocking to Colorado each year, and at Denver Moving Companies, we can make your dream to move to Denver a reality. We can even provide you with 10 tips before moving to Colorado!
The Majestic Rocky Mountains Near Denver
No list of majestic attractions would be complete without mentioning the incomparable Rocky Mountains. Denver is conveniently located just east of the Front Range of the Rockies. The Rocky Mountains are over 3,000 miles long and stretch between British Columbia in the north through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico to the south. There are hundreds of hiking, biking, and ski trails spread across the Rockies, and many of them are right outside of downtown Denver.
Cherry Creek: Denver’s Natural Gem
Many outdoor wonders exist in and around Denver, but Cherry Creek is truly unique. The creek is technically a tributary of the South Platte River. Cherry Creek is also the name of one of the best neighborhoods in Denver, as well. The Cherry Creek neighborhood has several excellent restaurants, parks, and places to explore. The river is also ideal for a lazy weekend afternoon splashing in the water, kayaking, or simply enjoying a picnic on the river bank.
Are you considering moving out of state, or can’t see yourself moving away from the Rockies and want to move to another city in Colorado? Here are a few things to know about out-of-state moves if you want to relocate to San Francisco and Family Matters: Why Independents Movers are the Best and why you should always hire an independent moving company.
Food and Culture
The weather in both Denver and San Francisco is beautiful, and there are plenty of fun outdoor activities in each city to enjoy. But face it, you want to know about the food scene! If you live in either San Francisco or Denver, you can expect to enjoy some of the best dining throughout the entire country.
San Francisco’s Diverse Food Scene
You will feel right at home in San Francisco if you have a diverse palette. The city is known for several different types of amazing and unique cuisines, including:
The city is known for having some of the best restaurants in California. Whether you prefer a fine dining experience or feel more at home at a roadside diner or a food truck, you will never be bored while exploring the food scene in San Francisco.
Denver’s Culinary Delights
In comparison, Denver is known for its downhome foods and iconic dishes. If you are feeling brave, you can dine on Rocky Mountain Oysters! Otherwise, there are several types of food for the less adventurous eater. Bison is a delicacy enjoyed throughout the state, and don’t miss out on a perfectly-grilled bison steak with a side of another food that Denver is known for craft beer ice cream!
Population and Density
The population of San Francisco is roughly 873,900 residents. Denver’s population is around 711,463 people. The population of both cities is on the rise, thanks in part to the natural beauty and booming economies of both areas.
Population Growth in Current City Trends
Between 2010 and 2020, San Francisco’s population grew at a rate of approximately eight percent. Although the population of the city is nearly 900,000 residents, the total population of the San Francisco metro area is 3.328 million. The metro area is comprised of the city itself and nine total counties: including Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Alameda counties. Unsurprisingly, the metro area’s population is also rising and is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years.
The population of the Denver metro area, which includes seven counties around Denver, is 2,931,000 people. This number is also steadily on the rise. The population growth is remarkable, especially considering the population of the Denver metro area was approximately 505,000 several decades ago.
San Francisco: A Densely Populated Urban Hub
Although San Francisco is a “big city,” you can often feel like you are sandwiched between massive buildings and huge Victorian mansions. Conversely, Denver feels more wide open, thanks partly to the city’s larger size. San Francisco is roughly 47.35 square miles compared to Denver, which is 154.7 square miles. When you consider those two numbers and the similar populations, you will quickly discover that living in San Francisco sometimes feels claustrophobic.
Conclusion: Moving from Denver to San Francisco
You’ve considered the pros and cons of each city and are ready to either stay in Denver or start planning a move to San Francisco! If you are moving to California, the first step in the process is researching Denver moving companies. Here are a few simple tips to help you in your search:
- Start searching several months before your intended moving date. Don’t wait until the last minute; start looking for a qualified Denver-area moving company at least three to four months before you move. This will give you ample time to gather moving quotes, determine your needs, and make last-minute changes to your moving timeline.
- Ask friends and family for references. Online reviews are great, but they aren’t always reliable. Instead, look to your friends and family for recommendations – particularly those who have used professional movers in the last few months. If you cannot find a reference this way, check out the Better Business Bureau website. This independent organization provides reviews of several businesses, including Denver-based movers.
- Research each company. Take the time to research each moving company. Check the reviews, compare quotes, and speak to customer service representatives.
- Watch out for common red flags. Most movers are reputable and hard-working. However, unscrupulous people are looking to make a quick buck. Common moving company red flags include movers without a physical address, a company that provides a much lower quote than the rest, or movers who won’t provide proof of certification and insurance.
While searching for a reputable mover online, always work directly with the moving company rather than a broker. Want to understand why? Here is some information about why you should avoid moving brokers.
When you are ready to hire movers, contact the professionals at Denver Moving Companies. Our team of qualified, trained professionals has the skills to handle any move, big or small. We offer comprehensive long-distance and local moving. We are pros at relocating home offices, so if you need help moving your home office long distance, we can assist with that too!
In addition to contacting us for all your moving needs, check out our website for other helpful moving tips, including FAQs by Colorado Springs Residents on Long Distance Moving, ways to handle homesickness after a long-distance move, and some eco-friendly moving tips!