Centennial is one of the most varied cities in the region around Denver, as well as being one of the newest. The borders of the area that is now known as Centennial are very irregular, and there was a long debate over the incorporation of the city. Centennial is a blend of suburban neighborhoods and semi-rural tranquility, with a thriving local economy and a wealth of amenities.
The city of Centennial was formed in 2001 from a number of unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County, including Southglenn and Castlewood. The decision to incorporate and to name the new city Centennial was made through an election held for the local residents. The city was named after the nickname often used for Colorado, the Centennial State, so-called because it became a member of the union in 1876. At the time of incorporation, the area that became Centennial had a population of over 100,000, making it the largest incorporation in the history of the US.
Many of the homes within the city of Centennial have Littleton, Englewood or Aurora mailing addresses, and some people in the surrounding region still call the neighborhoods by their old names rather than referring to the whole area as Centennial.
The city is split almost straight through the center by Interstate 25. Most of the entertainment and business centers are to the west of this highway, while the area to the east is predominantly residential. The city contains many different residential neighborhoods, each with their own individual characters. The commercial parts of the city offer a huge variety of entertainment and shopping opportunities.
The geography of the area is very interesting, with numerous ravines, gullies and hills. Residents of Centennial can explore the beautiful scenery that surrounds them by following the recreational trails that pass through it. The open spaces around Centennial are home to many interesting native species, including a thriving population of coyotes. There are also a number of parks within the city of Centennial, which provide sports facilities, children's playgrounds and plenty of space in which to relax.
The Centennial community is a vibrant one, with some excellent commercial areas offering places to eat out, be entertained or shop. The area around South University Boulevard is the best place for an evening out, while Santa Fe Drive is an interesting neighborhood for shopping. During the summer, there is a weekly Art walk on Friday evenings that tours some of the local art galleries around Santa Fe Drive.
The city is made up of a number of different neighborhoods, which are administered by their own homeowner's associations. These associations organize a range of social activities and events for their neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods of Centennial are very popular with families. Children living in Centennial may attend school in either the Cherry Creek or the Littleton public schools systems, although there are also some good private schools in the area.
Many people commute from Centennial into the city of Denver, although there are also large numbers of people who work within Centennial itself, particularly in the western part of the city, which is home to many businesses. The city is very popular with young professionals.