Denver, Colorado, is a vibrant, active city at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains. With 300 annual days of sunshine, the Mile High City is a great year-round destination that combines its rich Western heritage and passion for the outdoors with urban excitement. The city’s walkable downtown features chef-owned restaurants, brewpubs, professional sports, shopping, family attractions, arts and culture. And the locals you’ll meet have a laid-back, positive attitude and an open, welcoming spirit. Denver is the premier gateway to the best of the Rocky Mountain West’s national parks including Mesa Verde, one of four national parks in Colorado, as well as Yellowstone in Wyoming and the Canyonlands in Utah.
Denver’s lively, walkable downtown is filled with outdoor cafés, brewpubs, wine bars, shops, sports stadiums, theaters and museums, all centered around the 16th Street Mall’s two-kilometer-long pedestrian promenade. If you prefer not to walk, hop aboard the free, alternative-energy shuttle, which stops at every corner along the mall. Or, try Denver B-cycle, the city’s bike-sharing program. Watch Colorado Rockies baseball at Coors Field in historic LoDo (Lower Downtown); shop or dine in Larimer Square, where the red-brick Victorian buildings will take you back in time; see masterpieces of the Wild West at the Denver Art Museum; or sample handcrafted ale at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. And don’t miss shopping at historic Rockmount Ranch Wear, where the snap-button cowboy shirt was invented.
Denver offers attractions for all ages: the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, with its dinosaur exhibits, Space Odyssey, digital planetarium and IMAX theater; the Denver Performing Arts Complex, home to 10 venues offering theater, opera, symphony, ballet and Broadway touring shows; History Colorado Center, telling the stories of the past through people and places; Denver Botanic Gardens, a lush oasis in the middle of the city; the Denver Art Museum, with its acclaimed American Indian and Western art collections; and the Clyfford Still Museum, showcasing the work of this American abstract expressionist.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ADVENTURES
The Rocky Mountains are Denver’s backyard playground, offering outdoor adventures, spectacular beauty and Old West history just a short drive from Denver. The Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a local favorite for hiking amid the giant boulders, but Red Rocks is even more loved for its unforgettable concerts under the stars. Nearby Golden is home to the famous Coors Brewery, where visitors get tours and free samples. Rocky Mountain National Park, just 114 kilometers from Denver, features amazing wildlife, hiking trails and spectacular vistas. Mount Evans Scenic Byway (96 kilometers from Denver) is the highest paved road in North America, winding its way to a 4,346-meter summit. And, come winter, Denver is the gateway to the world’s best skiing and snow sports.
ACCESSIBLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Located 547 kilometers from the geographic center of the Continental U.S., Denver is served by the fifth-busiest airport in the nation (13th in the world), with more than 1,600 daily flights and nonstop service to 180 destinations worldwide.
Denver, Colorado Highlights
Don't leave without tasting...
More beer is brewed in Denver than in any other American city. Head to the Wynkoop Brewing Company in lower downtown and order Patty’s Chili Beer. Need proof that Denver is a beer city? Former Denver Mayor (now Colorado Governor) John Hickenlooper founded the Wynkoop.
You might be surprised by...
The iconic Blue Bear at the Colorado Convention Center is one of Denver’s beloved pieces of public art. Created by local artist Lawrence Argent, he’s a 40-foot tall blue bear that peers into the Convention Center lobby. Denver’s Public Art Program was established in 1998 as an executive order under Mayor Federico Pena, directing that one per cent of any capital improvement project over $1 million (£640,000) be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. Over the past 18 years, Denver has installed more than 150 works of art under this programme.
Top photo opportunities
- Stand exactly one-mile high on the Colorado State Capitol Building steps in Downtown Denver. Not only will you be able to say you truly visited the Mile High City, the view is gorgeous as well; it’s against state law to block the view of the mountains from the Capitol Building
- From the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in City Park, you’ll be treated to unbeatable views of Denver’s skyline, framed by the spectacular Rocky Mountain Front Range.
Want to stay up late?
In the South of Colfax Nightlife District, you’ll pay one admission price for several hot nightclub venues, each with more than enough drinks, dancing and DJs, all within walking distance of each other. Want to relax in style in between clubs? Try the Cruise Room, one of Denver’s coolest cocktail lounges, in the historic Oxford Hotel. For a little old-fashioned entertainment, hit Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, located in the 16th Street Mall in the basement of the landmark Daniels and Fisher (D&F) Tower. Lannie's features big bands, sultry singers, comedy and all kinds of after-hours fun.
Your child will always remember...
At the Denver Zoo, you can go underwater with polar bears and eyeball-to-eyeball with a gorilla, as well as visit the plains of Africa with a pride of lions and a rainforest teeming with crocodiles and Gila monsters. And the Toyota Elephant Passage is a new 10-acre home for the zoo’s elephants and rhinos.
If you want to fit in...
Explore the city on a B-cycle! Denver B-cycle is the first large-scale bike-sharing programme in the U.S. More than 500 shiny red bikes are available at 50-plus stations around town. Swipe a credit card for an $8 (£5) daily pass and hop on board. All rides under 30 minutes are free; rides lasting under one hour are just one dollar (64 pence). Denver has 850 miles of paved, off-street bike trails. Pick up a bike at one station and drop it off at another. Note: Denver B-cycles are available from March to November.
The Art District on Santa Fe has the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, featuring more than 40 galleries, shops and restaurants. On the first Friday of every month, galleries attract lively crowds when they open their doors to the public for the First Friday Art Walk.
More than 500 department stores, boutiques, galleries, spas and unique shops grace the Cherry Creek Shopping District—the largest concentration of stores between St. Louis and San Francisco. Cherry Creek Shopping Center is an ultra upmarket mall with Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Tiffany’s, while across 1st Ave., Cherry Creek North offers tree-lined streets with cafes, spas and galleries.
History happened here
- Around every corner, you’ll find some remnant of the pioneer era. View Colorado’s glorious landscapes in a three-storey multimedia presentation at the History Colorado Center, and traverse an 80-foot map of the state using a ‘time machine’
- For decades, Hollywood westerns depicted a Wild West that was populated almost entirely by white people; the Black American West Museum puts this myth to rest. The astounding, 26,000-square-foot American Museum of Western Art features masterpieces from the Anschutz Collection, including frontier-inspired works by Frederic Remington, George Catlin and Charles Marion Russell
- Surrounded by towering Western peaks, the Colorado Railroad Museum combines a spectacular location with more than 100 narrow and standard gauge locomotives, cabooses and cars.
One awe-inspiring building
Thanks to its bold, jagged angles and metallic exterior, the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, has become an art world icon. Libeskind’s design was inspired by the nearby Rocky Mountains and is clad in titanium and glass—during daylight hours, the building positively shimmers.
Featured Video Journals
Trip Ideas Near Denver, Colorado
Official Denver, Colorado Travel Site
Official Denver Travel Site