Things to do in Denver Denver
The capital and largest city of Colorado, Denver is known as the ‘Mile-High City’ as it is located at the foot of the rearing Rocky Mountains. As such, there is a wealth of wilderness to be explored nearby with picturesque parks and gardens also to be found in town. A lively yet laid back place, Denver lies at the heart of a fast-growing metropolitan area with the city acting as an important economic, political and cultural center for the region.
Meet the city of Denver
This city is made up of many sub-communities including all of Denver’s three parks (Cheesman, Cherokee, and Washington) and downtown. Here, you’ll find the Civic Center District, Larimer Square, and The 16th Street Mall.
For those looking for an urban experience, the Auraria Campus is a great area with more than 30 parks surrounding it. Denver’s Business Denver is full of exciting restaurants and bars to visit including Speer Boulevard, a bar and restaurant strip that runs from Union Station to 16th Street Mall. Here you’ll also find shops, restaurants, and even a cat cafe.
What to see and do in Denver
The majestic Rocky Mountains are easily seen from many vantage points across Denver, including the state capitol building, the state park and the scenic Cherry Creek Reservoir. Denver is also conveniently close to the mountains via a number of thrilling heliports, giving visitors a close up look at nature at its finest.
Denver is home to a wide range of sporting and recreational activities with its diverse population spanning a range of interests. From golf to mountain biking to swimming, Denver has an excellent and extensive range of world-class facilities on offer and is a city that you can easily get to know while feeling completely safe.
Where to eat in Denver
Grab your favourite beer from the local pub, enjoy an old-fashioned burger in a traditional tavern, or sample some high quality seafood in an upmarket seafood restaurant in a restored Victorian mining town for eat. Whatever you fancy, you can find it in Denver. Central Denver Known as the city’s west side, this neighbourhood has a distinct German flavor as it is home to the Old Bavarian Village, the largest and oldest surviving bar in Colorado. Also here you can soak up the vintage ambiance at the Bavarian Inn on Arapahoe Avenue, which includes a restaurant, bar, cafe and hotel. A good place to explore this side of Denver is taking a tour of the Donovan House Museum, home to a collection of extravagant antiques and décor and decorated in Victorian style.
Where to stay in Denver
There are plenty of fantastic hotels to stay in the city to choose from. Make the most of the location by opting for a hotel near the center of town, close to the main attractions of the city. For something a little out of the ordinary, try to get yourself a room at the historic Stanley Hotel, based in the heart of Denver and near the 16th Street Mall and the state capitol. The hotel is set on the site of an old hotel, once frequented by such notables as Horace Greeley and the U.S. government’s gold supply from the Comstock Lode, and has witnessed both the Great Fire of 1889 and a devastating flood in 1928. How to get to Denver Fly to Denver and then take a leisurely drive to Colorado Springs. From the airport, pick up a rental car and begin the drive to Denver.
How to get around in Denver
Denver’s extensive public transport network is well integrated into the city’s internal system. Due to the terrain of the area, Denver’s streets are laid out at a grid pattern. You will be able to choose from over 30 bus and light rail routes which carry out frequent journeys within the city, offering efficient and comfortable transport options all year round.
A car may be required to explore the many parks and gardens within the city, so it is best to rent one if possible. Denver has a central transport hub called the Civic Center, situated at the heart of the city.
It has bus and light rail stations, as well as taxis, rental cars and a wide range of rental services, making it the ideal place to visit for anyone wishing to travel by car.
Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the must see locations for anyone who’s looking for a peaceful, relaxing walk. This gorgeous oasis spans 24 acres and is covered in stunning sights, including numerous sculptures, pools, and different garden types.
For the coolest sculptures, check out the huge, spiky red-and-yellow piece entitled “Colorado” made by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, or the Deborah Butterfield piece depicting a horse stripped bare. For the most fascinating gardens, xeriscaped drought-resistant lands, the Mordecai Children’s Garden, and a Japenese garden are all great options.
And don’t forget the beautiful Monet Pool packed with pretty lilies!
You can also stop by the gift shop for some quaint little trinkets.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mount Evans Scenic Byway, a two-lane road known as the “road into the sky” because of the nearly 9,000 feet of elevation change. At the Mount Evans peak, drivers will be 14,264 feet above sea level.
Along the way, you’ll find a number of lookout points from which you can admire the view of the Rockies.
The Blue Mustang Sculpture
The Blue Mustang Sculpture was created by the widely recognized artist, Luis Jiménez, whose previous works are displayed in numerous museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Standing 32 feet tall and molded from polychromed fiberglass, the mustang is painted a vibrant blue with red, glowing neon eyes. Meant to represent the “wild” spirit of the old American West, Jiménez installed the glowing eyes as homage to the neon workshop he worked in as a youth. These glowing eyes have earned the sculpture the nickname “Blucifer”.
The sculpture was commissioned in 1993, two years prior to the opening of the airport it stands outside of, but delays postponed its completion. Among these delays was the tragic death of the artist in 2006, when a 9,000 pound portion of the “Blue Mustang” sculpture broke loose and severed one of the artist’s arteries. His sons completed the remaining work.
Address: Denver, CO 80249
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Just 15 minutes’ drive to the east of downtown is the wonderful Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Housed in a huge hangar you can find dozens of gleaming aircraft and space vehicles, with other arresting artifacts and exhibitions also on display.
Once an Air Force training base, it was turned into a museum in 1994 to preserve the history of its operations. Besides many military planes, it also has captivating civilian and space crafts to peruse. Plus interesting interactive exhibits about the history of aviation and space exploration.
Colorado State Capitol
Colorado State Capitol is boasting a grand exterior and glittering golden dome, the state’s seat of government can be found at the east end of Civic Center Park.
Inside the cavernous capitol is coated in marble with portraits and stained glass windows lining the halls and chambers. Besides learning about its history in a small but informative museum, visitors can also enjoy fantastic views out over the city and the Rockies from its viewing platform.
Rocky Mountain Hot Air
Rocky Mountain Hot Air is a chance to reach for the skies, and this time, even higher than before. The company specializes in hot air balloon trips for all ages. Every age from 5 and up are welcome and safely looked after.
You will enjoy gliding high above the fields and streams of the area while enjoying a fabulous view of the mountains, ascending about 1,500 – 1,800 ft. so not too intense. After the flight you will receive a cute certificate of ascent, pin, and bottle of champagne upon landing.
Throngs of Denver’s most active denizens flock to Washington Park or “Wash Park,” as it’s called to take advantage of one of the city’s best outdoor spaces. Manicured rose gardens, two lakes, and large, open, grassy areas are go-to spots for a short stroll, paddle boat ride, or volleyball game.
A paved car-free street provides lanes for bikes, strollers, and rollerbladers, while a 2.3-mile gravel path on the park’s exterior is a shady oasis for runners of all skill levels.
The world-class Denver Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals. In spacious enclosures that mimic their natural habitats, you can find everything, from lions and tigers to gorillas and grizzly bears. There are interesting, educational exhibits wherever you look.
Since opening in 1896, the zoo has expanded considerably and now covers a large part of City Park. Wandering around places such as Elephant Passage, Predator Ridge, and Primate Panorama is a treat as you can see the animals up close and personal.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver Museum of Nature & Science is very educational place to visit when in town is the delightful. Located at the eastern end of City Park, it has an array of exhibits and activities to enjoy.
These on the natural history of the state, as well as that of the Earth and universe too.
Perusing its permanent exhibitions is a treat as they look at everything, from the fauna and flora of the Rocky Mountains to dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, and robots. The museum also has a planetarium and IMAX theater, with classes, lectures and workshops held throughout the year.