Austin vs. Denver: 10 Reasons To Help You Decide

When I moved away from my college home of Austin, I felt like I had left my heart behind. Not many cities could get me to leave my home state, but Denver was tempting enough to make that move a reality. 

I didn't think I’d ever learn to love another city, but three years in Denver changed my mind. I always said I’d never leave unless it was to move back to Austin. When an opportunity arose to do just that, I packed my bag, not realizing just how much I would miss Denver, which had slowly become a part of my heart too.

Both cities value things that I value - like culture, nature and dogs. And most importantly they share a similar spirit of enjoying the finer things in life without taking themselves too seriously.

In my opinion, you can’t make a bad choice between these two capitol cities, but here are my completely biased opinions about these two lovely places.


The Beer Institute ranks Colorado as the number one state for gross beer production, and the greater Denver area is a huge part of that equation. From industry giants like Coors to craft beer darlings like Odell and New Belgium all within easy reach of the city, Denver is the clear winner in this popular category.


Denver is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, or summer pursuits like river rafting, hiking, biking and fly-fishing, Denver has you covered. The four distinct seasons allow for outdoor activities all year round.


I’ll always cheer first and foremost for the Texas Longhorns, but when it comes to the overall sports experience, Denver has the upper hand with professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer teams. Extra points go to the Colorado Rockies for Coors Field, the ideal downtown location to take in a game and watch a beautiful Colorado sunset.


If you've ever experienced a Texas summer, you’ll understand why pretty much anywhere else is better. I have a higher tolerance for heat than cold, but summers will always be better in Denver. Hot enough to go for a swim, but not quite hot enough to stick your legs to the seat of your car.


From the expansive Denver Art Museum to hidden treasures like the Molly Brown House Museum, Denver has a variety of cultural experiences to fit every preference. Some of my other favorites include the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, which has one of the best touristy gift shops I've ever seen, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.


While neither Denver nor Austin can compare to food meccas like New York, Austin has the advantage when it comes to the culinary scene. Austin is home to many world-renowned chefs who create everything from delicious street food to fancy fine dining experiences. And you can’t overlook the barbecue.


Yes, Tex-Mex gets its own bullet in this list, because it’s that good. You’ll be hard pressed to find any decent Tex-Mex in Denver. Believe me, I tried. I had to subsist on my Texas visits to get my fill of sour cream chicken enchiladas, flautas, queso and the like. I know Coloradans are loyal to topping their Mexican food with green chili (it comes on EVERYTHING), but in my mind, there’s only one kind of chili, and it’s served on hot dogs at football games.


Austin is the Live Music Capitol of the World. A quick walk down any busy street will illustrate this, with live music pouring out of venues all over town. And let’s not forget Austin City Limits. This status also extends to the variety of musicians touring through town. If you want to catch your favorite band, chances are they’re making a stop at one of the many music festivals or famous venues.


Winters in Austin do get chilly, but there’s no need for special equipment like waterproof boots and full-length parkas. Maybe my blood is too thin, but give me an Austin winter any day with a lightweight jacket and scarf.


Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I appreciate it when a gentleman offers me his seat on the bus or holds the door. My southern upbringing had me smiling at strangers on the streets of Denver, only to receive confused stares in return. I love that southern hospitality is still alive and well in Austin.

Are you moving to Austin or Denver soon? (Start planning your adventure with our free moving planning journal!)


Anna is an aspiring novelist living in Austin, Texas. During the day, she works in public relations, and in her free time, she loves visiting as many Austin restaurants as possible with her husband and her dog Lola.


  1. Hi Anna,
    I really enjoyed this post, even though I feel there is so much more to both places, you did an awesome job. I am moving soon and need some help deciding between the two so if you could possibly email me it would be greatly appreciated!

    Shawn (

  2. Hi Anna. This is Denver. Telling Texas, Thanks for preident Trump. Nice job Texas, keep up the good work.
    I can't wait for the next travel ban and constant lying.

    1. The author is talking about Austin which is very different from the rest of Texas!! Im from Denver and this is one negative that I hate about that place is that the people complain about all the other states!!

  3. I miss spelled President on purpose.
    And that was sarcasm.

  4. Misspelled :) I'm sure that was sarcasm too.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. i been livin in both citis and my fav by far is denver, people is so nice here , weather is awesome most of the time, is a small city so you can commute with not problems , many free activiies for free for kids and adults, my husband wanna go back to austin but i m not sure if i want to go back

  7. I feel like Denver may be like Austins older, more matured, sophisticated brother with much more to offer in many regards. What say ye?

  8. All of your reasons were beer and outdoors? Nothing about career growth, housing market, or anything else?

  9. All of your reasons were beer and outdoors? Nothing about career growth, housing market, or anything else?

  10. All of your reasons were beer and outdoors? Nothing about career growth, housing market, or anything else?