Denver Skyline Sunrise. Photo courtesy of Visit Denver

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If you’ve never been to Denver, you’re missing something special. The Mile High City (yes, the city’s elevation is about a mile high) is the capital of Colorado and is known for its stunning rocky mountain views, year-round outdoor recreational opportunities, and vibrant culture. 

Planning a last-minute trip to Colorado?

Top Experiences and Tours in Colorado:

Where to stay and transportation in Colorado:

The weather in Denver, Colorado is nice. The town has four beautiful seasons, and you might see snow in the winter, but the sun never stays away long. The city that is famous for being a mile above sea level has almost 300 sunny days a year, so there is plenty of time to play outdoors. 

If you have access to a car, Denver is a car ride away from beautiful outdoor locations and towns such as Breckenridge, Idaho Springs. If you want to venture a bit further, you can visit Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, and Pikes Peak. However, there are definitely still quite a few Denver attractions to keep everyone busy.

Blue Bear Public Art. Photo courtesy of Visit Denver
Blue Bear Public Art. Photo courtesy of Visit Denver

Coloradans rarely brag about the things they own; instead, we like to brag about the outdoor adventures we’ve had – such as where we went kayaking or how many 14’ers (mountains over 14,000 feet) we’ve climbed in the rocky mountains. And if you haven’t noticed already, we love our state flag. We put it on everything.

Denver has a young population of around 730,000 and the vibe here is exciting. It has a population of about 730,000 people and is situated just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a quick 30-minute drive to the mountains and we can be on the ski slopes in about 1.5 hours. 

Denver is home to a thriving cultural scene, with many museums, performing arts centers, and music venues – you’ll see several of our suggestions in our list of Top 10 Things to Do in Denver below.

Best Tips & Tools to Plan Your Trip

Red Rocks Hiking. Photo by Adam Bove courtesy of Visit Denver
Red Rocks Hiking. Photo by Adam Bove courtesy of Visit Denver

THINGS TO DO IN DENVER

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre: Located just outside of Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a natural outdoor concert venue known for its stunning rock formations and acoustics. You can attend a concert or just visit the amphitheater and Red Rocks Park to go hiking and enjoy the views.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Explore Denver Botanic Gardens: The Denver Botanic Gardens is a beautiful oasis in the city, featuring a variety of themed gardens and plant collections. It’s a great place to relax and take in the beauty of nature.

Colorado Capitol building

Take a free guided tour of the Colorado Capitol building. The Colorado State Capitol building is known for its gold leaf dome and beautiful architecture. Walking tours are in high demand so be sure to schedule your tour early if possible.

Cooper Lounge. Photo courtesy of Denver Union Station and Visit Denver
Cooper Lounge. Photo courtesy of Denver Union Station and Visit Denver

Skiing and Snowboarding

Go skiing or snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains: Denver is just a short drive from the Rocky Mountains, which offer some of the best outdoor activities, skiing and snowboarding in the country. There are several resorts within a few hours of the city, so you can easily plan a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science: This museum is a great place to learn about the natural history of Colorado and the world. The museum has a variety of interactive exhibits, as well as a IMAX theater and a planetarium. It’s a great place to spend a full day.

Denver Art Museum

Check out the Denver Art Museum: The Denver Art Museum is home to a large collection of Western American art, as well as a variety of contemporary art and international works. It’s a must-see for art lovers visiting the city. Denver is also home to excellent street art.

Brewery Tours

Take a brewery tour: Denver is home to a thriving craft beer scene, and there are several breweries in the city that offer tours and tastings. It’s a great way to learn about the brewing process and try some of the local brews. Some breweries even offer self-guided brewery tours.

Brewpubs in Denver

Denver is famous for its craft beer. There’s a joke – okay, it’s only my joke, that you can’t throw a rock without hitting a brewpub around here. Seriously, Denver is serious about its beer – and we have some of the best craft brewers in the country (Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Oskar Blues, just to name a few.) Take time to visit a few or even follow our beer trail.

Larimer Square. Photo by Logan Bonjean, Unsplash
Larimer Square. Photo by Logan Bonjean, Unsplash

Larimer Square

Walk around in Larimer Square. Larimer Square is an artistic walkable and vibrant district in downtown Denver. Here, you will find eateries, boutiques, cafes, artsy shops, and beautiful lights at night.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Go hiking or mountain biking in the nearby mountains in the charming small town of Golden. It’s just a 25-minute drive to reach the foothills and the town of Golden. You’ll find many hiking trails and mountain biking just outside the town (some trails even begin in Golden).

Lookout Mountain in Golden is a hiking attraction. You can find trails for all levels of difficulty, so there’s plenty of sightseeing. If you are in Golden during the summer, the town is famous for its summer festival called Buffalo Bill Days.

Union Station in Denver. Photo by JJ Shev, Unsplash
Union Station in Denver. Photo by JJ Shev, Unsplash

Shopping and Dining

Shop and dine in the vibrant neighborhoods: Denver has a number of vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own character and charm. You can find great shopping and dining in areas like LoDo (Lower Downtown), one of our favorites, and RiNo (River North) is the latest popular scene.

The 16th Street Mall is currently under transformation but check back in a year or two and it will be an all-new experience. Cherry Creek offers luxury shopping. City Park and Washington Park offer green spaces. You can even visit the Molly Brown House Museum, a museum in a Victorian house named for the famous woman who survived the sinking of the Titanic.

Catch a Sports Game

Bonus Tip: Catch a Broncos football game at Empower Field at Mile High.

Downtown Denver is easy to walk around, and you can take public transportation to get to many places. Others are a short car or Uber ride away. 

Dining in Denver

Denver has a thriving dining and nightlife scene, with a wide range of restaurants and cuisines to choose from. The city is known for its farm-to-table movement, with many local restaurants sourcing their ingredients from nearby farms and producers. 

In addition to traditional American fare, you can find a wide range of international cuisines represented in Denver, including Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Italian, and more. 

Some popular dining neighborhoods in Denver include LoDo (Lower Downtown), RiNo (River North), and South Broadway.

Whether you want to explore the outdoors of the Colorado Rockies, learn about culture and history, or just relax and enjoy the city, you’ll find plenty to do in this vibrant and exciting destination.

Want to know more? Head to VisitDenver.com

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