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Exploring Centennial CO: Your Ultimate Guide to Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment

February 12, 2024

Centennial CO is more than a dot on the map south of Denver; it’s a thriving city where quality of life is the cornerstone. With a blend of natural beauty, bustling shopping districts, and diverse dining that reflects its vibrant community, Centennial stands as a testament to Colorado’s charm. Whether you’re aiming to relocate, visit, or explore, this guide highlights the city’s finest, preparing you to dive into the Centennial experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Centennial, CO, established in 2001 with its citizens’ desire for economic control and quality of life, became the largest incorporation in U.S. history.
  • The city offers a wealth of recreational activities including over 100 parks and miles of trails, family entertainment venues, and a range of sports and fitness facilities.
  • Centennial boasts a diverse culinary scene, extensive shopping options including indoor and open-air retail spaces, and a community-focused atmosphere with events like the local farmers market.

Discovering Centennial, Colorado

Centennial, established on February 7, 2001, is nestled just south of the Denver Aurora Metropolitan Area in Arapahoe County, Colorado. The city’s journey is a testament to the power of community and vision, as it was the citizens’ desire for economic control and a high quality of life that led to its establishment.

The road to incorporation was triggered by passionate discussions at a local pancake house in 1998, which took place in unincorporated Arapahoe County. This led to the formation of the Arapahoe Citizens for Self-Determination group, which initiated a petition that was overwhelmingly approved by 77% of voters in 2000. This community-driven approach has been a cornerstone of Centennial’s identity, reflected in its transition to a Home Rule Charter in 2008, allowing for autonomous local governance including sales tax collection, with the support of Arapahoe County funded resources.

A Stroll Through History

The name ‘Centennial’ itself holds a historical significance, as it reflects Colorado’s admission to the Union in the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence. The journey to becoming a city was driven by the residents’ desire for self-governance, sparked by Greenwood Village’s history of annexing land, including parts of what is now known as Greenwood Village.

The incorporation of Centennial was not just a local milestone, but a national one too. Finalized on February 7, 2001, Centennial became the largest incorporation in U.S. history. This was a direct response to the ‘Poundstone Amendment’ and annexation attempts by neighboring cities. The overwhelming support for incorporation, with 77% voter approval, showcased the citizens’ strong desire to have a say in the future of their community. The fact that incorporation appealed to such a large majority further emphasizes its significance.

Recreation and Leisure in Centennial

Centennial is not just about history and governance; it’s also a city that knows how to have fun! With a plethora of recreational opportunities, from serene parks to exciting family-friendly venues, Centennial is a city that truly caters to all ages and interests. Discover more on the centennial website.

Parks and Trails

For nature enthusiasts, Centennial offers a variety of peaceful walking trails and well-maintained flower gardens, perfect for those who enjoy serene environments. For those with a passion for biking, trails like the Colorado Centennial Link Trail offer scenic routes for family-friendly rides and outdoor adventures.

Hiking enthusiasts can venture on the Cherry Creek trail and various loops in the open space, providing shaded trails, wildlife sightings, and connections to larger trail systems such as Castlewood Canyon. With over 100 parks, 100 miles of trails, and more than 4,000 acres of open space, residents and visitors can enjoy a diverse range of recreational activities.

Family Fun

For families, Centennial offers a plethora of entertainment venues, from interactive attractions like Monster Mini Golf to youth sports facilities catering to skills development in various sports. Whether your children are sporty, creative, or just love to have fun, there’s something for everyone here, including nearby attractions!

The city also boasts imaginative play centers, where kids can enjoy pretend play with open-ended toys and even host birthday parties or play dates. These family-friendly popular attractions not only provide a fun day out but also contribute to the vibrant, community-centric atmosphere that makes Centennial so special.

Sports and Fitness

For adults, Centennial offers a variety of innovative indoor sports facilities, where activities such as treadmill skiing provide a fusion of fun and fitness. Local gyms cater to various fitness preferences, offering services from circuit training and cycling classes to strength training and virtual fitness sessions.

The city’s fitness facilities are noted for their cleanliness and well-maintained equipment, ensuring a premium workout experience. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just starting your health journey, Centennial provides the resources and support to help you reach your goals.

The Heart of Centennial: Neighborhoods and Living

Centennial extends beyond its recreational offerings, boasting a myriad of diverse neighborhoods that contribute to its high quality of living. As one of the top safest communities in Colorado, Centennial provides a safe and family-oriented environment, making it an attractive place for residents.

Even within the city, there’s a rich variety of living options. Some neighborhoods to consider include:

  • Castlewood and Southglenn: These neighborhoods offer homes with median prices around $575,000 to $576,000, with most residents being homeowners.
  • Foxfield and Walnut Hills: These neighborhoods offer larger lots and preferred school districts.
  • Piney Creek: This neighborhood presents luxury living with expansive views, showcasing the city’s diversity.

Culinary Delights: Where to Eat in Centennial

The culinary scene in Centennial is as diverse and vibrant as its neighborhoods. From intimate cafes to elegant restaurants, the city caters to a wide range of palates. Some of the international culinary offerings in Centennial include:

  • Mediterranean cuisine
  • Asian cuisine
  • Vietnamese cuisine
  • European flavors

When it comes to satisfying your cravings for different types of cuisine, choosing Centennial has you covered, especially during the Co Centennial celebrations.

For coffee lovers and those seeking cozy places to catch up with friends, Centennial hosts a number of cozy cafes like Solid Grounds Coffee House and The French Press, which offer budget-friendly bites in welcoming atmospheres. If you’re interested in casual or fine dining, establishments like Dog Haus, Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar, and LongHorn Steakhouse present American cuisine alongside bars and pubs, with spots like Lucile’s Creole Cafe adding a Cajun & Creole flavor to the mix.

Adding to the city’s culinary delights, Centennial’s food scene offers a variety of options for every taste. Here are some highlights:

  • Centennial’s breweries and distilleries offer local productions with tastings and tours, perfect for craft beverage enthusiasts.
  • The city’s malls have food courts with a variety of options.
  • Surrounding locales have unique eateries that are worth exploring.

With these options, every meal in Centennial can be an exploration of flavors.

Shopping Spree in Centennial

After a delightful dining experience, why not indulge in a bit of retail therapy? In Centennial, shopping is more than a pastime; it’s an experience. Premier indoor shopping mall Park Meadows offers high-end shops alongside mall regulars like Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s. The shopping experience here is enhanced by the mall’s beautifully designed interiors.

For those who prefer the open air, Southglenn offers an exemplary shopping experience that blends a variety of stores within a master-planned community setting. The city’s shopping centers are praised for their tenant mix, beautiful landscapes, and proximity to neighboring stores like Best Buy and Marshall’s.

For a more boutique shopping experience, Centennial has you covered. The city’s unique women’s clothing boutiques offer exclusive and limited inventory, ensuring a unique style for any special event. With competitive pricing and rare brands like Free People and Michael Stars, Centennial’s boutiques stand out.

Navigating Centennial: Transportation and Accessibility

Getting around Centennial is a breeze, especially for cyclists. The Colorado Bicycle and Byways Map, provided by CDOT, serves as a useful resource, aiding with trip planning and navigation across the state.

Business and Economy in Centennial

Centennial’s incorporation involved a commitment to keeping city taxes low at 1%, in contrast to the higher 3.8% sales tax that applied to the unincorporated county. This is a testament to the city’s dedication to creating and enhancing economic opportunities within Centennial, a vision held by the founding citizens, while still relying on the county’s services. To maintain this commitment, it’s essential to be aware of the current sales tax rate.

Celebrating Community: Events and Festivals

Beyond its beautiful landscapes and thriving economy, Centennial is a city that knows how to foster community. The farmers market is a central community event that takes place in Centennial, attracting residents and visitors alike. Hosted at Centennial’s outdoor shopping mall, this cherished event blends retail with local culture.

The Saturday farmers market offers a unique shopping experience with a variety of local goods. More than a market, it’s a testament to the city’s culture, fostering a sense of community and togetherness.


As we conclude our journey, it’s clear that Centennial, Colorado, is more than a city. It’s a community, a hub of recreation and leisure, a culinary delight, and a testament to the power of citizen-led initiatives. From its inception to its current manifestation, this city embodies a spirit of unity, diversity, and quality of life that is truly inspiring.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, a shopaholic, a fitness buff, or someone simply seeking a high quality of life, Centennial has something for you. It’s not just a place to live; it’s a place to belong. So, are you ready to discover Centennial?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Centennial CO a good place to live?

Yes, Centennial CO is a good place to live, with high ratings for economic health, employment opportunities, safety, family-oriented neighborhoods, and excellent public school districts. With its dense suburban feel and various recreational, dining, and shopping options, it offers a high quality of life.

Is Centennial a suburb of Denver?

Yes, Centennial is a suburb of Denver, located in Arapahoe County and offering a dense suburban feel with a variety of amenities. With a population of over 100,000, it is considered one of the best places to live in Colorado.

Is Centennial CO expensive?

Yes, Centennial CO is considered one of the more expensive cities in the US, with a median home price of $630,000 and a cost of living index for housing estimated to be 128.8% of the national average.

Is Centennial a real town in Colorado?

Yes, Centennial is a real town in Colorado, located in Arapahoe County and one of the newest and largest cities in the state, known for its safety and suitability for families and singles alike.

When was Centennial established?

Centennial was established on February 7, 2001, making it just over 20 years old.

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