Destinations: Colorado Tours & Activities

Unique Things to Do in Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado is a spirited city at the heart of America, fringed by the Rocky Mountains and packed filled with distinctive experiences to be had. Here is just a small number of the most effective of them.

Dawn over Denver (Photograph: Robert Kash by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Gold. That was the original raison d’etre of the “Mile High City”. The city was based by prospectors through the great gold rush and has thrived in numerous guises ever since. In recent times, Denver has experienced a modern rush, with a marked surge in inhabitants (a roughly 20% improve) during the last decade, thereby boosting the town’s actual property prices and cultural choices.

With each history and regional importance on its aspect, Denver has a great number of time-honoured institutions across the realms of culture, sport and the humanities. Outdoors the town, the looming mountains to the west serve as a reminder that there are plenty of nature-based activities on supply as properly. We’ve compiled a mixture of 20 unique actions and points of interest, each new and previous, to hold you busy on your visit to Denver, Colorado.

Head to the place the buffalo roam

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, to be actual. As soon as serving as farmland to the early settlers, this big tract of land to the town’s northeast (15,000 acres), has been conserved for wildlife. Prior to receiving that standing in 1980, it had been utilized by Shell and the US Military for the manufacturing of chemical compounds, making it fairly the rewilding success story. The mixture of prairie, woodland and wetland is residence to American buffalo, coyotes and mule deer, among different wildlife. You may also get fortunate and spot another North American natural icon, and USA’s national hen: the bald eagle.

6550 Gateway Rd.

Buffalo at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (Photograph: Mark Byzewski by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Be a part of locals on the Washington Park Loop

Another smart way to get closer to nature in Denver is in Washington Park. The locals call it “Wash Park,” and it’s one among Denver’s most beloved green areas. A haven for runners, roller-bladers, University of Denver students and mothers with strollers, you’ll discover a number of the city’s greatest people-watching here. Through the summer time, you possibly can be a part of in on volleyball video games and amble via the gardens. When it snows, you’ll be able to still get an excellent workout by breaking out the cross nation skis or snowshoes.

Washington Park in the course of the golden hour (Photograph: Sergio Vassio Images by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

E-book a tour of the town with an area information

Among the best methods to get to know a metropolis higher, notably when you have got solely just arrived, is to take a tour. These guided by locals are a good way to achieve native information and insight whereas experiencing a singular aspect to the town. Of the various options obtainable there are city highlights walking tours, customised choices to tailor the sightseeing to your pursuits and, more lately, even a slew of cannabis strolling tours that remember the town’s road artwork and its legalised smoking status. For a comprehensive record of tours with local guides obtainable, head on over to Getyourguide here.

Catch a reside gig at Pink Rocks Amphitheatre

No trip to Denver is full without visiting Pink Rocks Amphitheatre. Should you can, catch a live performance right here; a schedule of visiting acts is out there online. Purple Rocks is the only recognized naturally-occurring, acoustically good amphitheatre in the world. If stay music isn’t your thing, other events like Movie on the Rocks and Yoga on the Rocks are equally fun. On Tuesday nights, a cult basic film is offered, and you may convey your personal meals and unopened drinks (including wine!). You can too hike miles of trails surrounding the venue for spectacular views of Denver in the space. For those who simply want to go to, but not attend an event, this half-day tour consists of Purple Rocks Amphitheatre in its itinerary.

18300 W Alameda Pkwy.

Pink Rocks Amphitheatre (Photograph: Kathy Stocker by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Drink great craft beer at Denver Beer Co.

Colorado has turn out to be extensively recognized for its craft beer scene in current years (the state has properly over 200 microbreweries), and there’s a locally-owned pub serving house-made suds on practically every road in the town. Denver Beer Firm are right at the forefront of the movement; they’re environmentally acutely aware, canine friendly, and their beer choice modifications to match the time of yr. While there are perennial brews which are all the time obtainable, like Unimaginable Pedal IPA, you by no means know what small batch brew gems will stream from the faucets during your journey. It’s just a case of going to considered one of their three places (at the time of writing), and finding out for your self.

Taproom: 1695 Platte St.

Canworks: 4455 Jason St.

Arvada: 5768 Previous Wadsworth Blvd.

Denver Beer Company’s outside area (Photograph: Courtesy of Denver Beer Co.)

Take a day trip into the Rocky Mountains

They’re proper there, looming tall over the town with snow-capped peaks for a lot of the yr. In winter the slopes are accessible by way of a network of ski runs, and roads run via mountain passes and all the best way up to the highest of lofty peaks like Mount Evans, which reaches 14,130 ft (4307 metres).  For the more lively, there are plenty of climbing trails to the tops of other peaks in the world as nicely. A great way to explore the Rockies is by way of a guided tour, reminiscent of this day-tour from Denver to discover the Rocky Mountains National Park. The tour takes in a few of the greatest sights in the world and runs from mid-Spring to mid-Fall, with plenty of time allowed for exploration on foot.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Photograph: Aryeh Alex by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.zero)

Store the newest types at Denver Pavilions open-air mall

The long-lasting entry to Denver Pavilions is a gateway to entertainment and nice buying. The open-air leisure hub along 16th St. Mall makes good use of Denver’s regular sunny days throughout the year and is a must-visit for anyone new to the Mile High Metropolis. It options outlets, eating places, outside pianos, road performers and a free trolley that runs from one finish of 16th St. to the other. One of many standout outlets is Hat Assortment, where you’ll discover the whole lot from dapper fedoras to baseball caps. See out the day with some entertainment at iconic establishments like Arduous Rock Cafe, Coyote Ugly and Fortunate Strike Bowling.

500 16th St. Mall

Entrance to Denver Pavilions (Photograph: Matt Boulton by way of Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.zero)

Search thrills at Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens is likely one of the Mile High Metropolis’s favourite summer time hangouts. Set at the edge of decrease downtown, you possibly can see the whole metropolis from atop the 10-story Tornado II or the 200-foot-tall Tower of Doom. The park is closed through the winter months, but in the summer time, the park’s “Dive-In Movie” nights are successful with youngsters and adults alike. There are additionally live shows, video games, a Ferris wheel, abdomen churners, upside-down rides, twists, turns, and of course, loads of guilty-pleasure truthful food.

2000 Elitch Cir.

See abstract masterpieces at Clyfford Nonetheless Museum

Clyfford Nonetheless laid the groundwork for the Abstract Impressionist movement, made well-known by artists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. In 2013, Denver turned house to a permanent collection of his large-scale works. The sheer measurement of the pieces on display is impressive, as is the thought that went into the museum’s design. Works are arranged in chronological order of Nonetheless’s career, and perforated concrete ceilings routinely regulate to let in the right quantity of light. Right here, it’s all about quality, not amount, and the exhibitions are rotated often to maintain things recent.

1250 Bannock St.

Outdoors the Clyfford Still Museum (Photograph: Daniel X. O’Neil by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.zero)

Dine out at a former mortuary

Linger, certainly one of Denver’s hottest restaurants, is situated in a former mortuary. Head for the rooftop Lite-Brite bar,  the place you’ll be able to take in a spectacular view of downtown Denver. To maximise your tasting expertise, visit throughout completely happy hour (4–6:30pm) where, for simply 5 bucks each, you possibly can sample a wide variety of “global street food” plates like sesame barbecue tacos, lemongrass pork potstickers and Wagyu sliders. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Devils on Horseback: Medjool dates wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and stuff with herbed goat cheese. The cocktails (also $5 throughout joyful hour) are perfection;  assume ginger collins, grapefruit daiquiris and five-spice old style.

2030 W 30th Ave.

linger

Linger is situated in a former mortuary (Photograph: robertgeffert2 by way of Flickr)

Eat at Chipotle’s unique restaurant

Steve Ells began his burrito empire shortly after finishing culinary faculty in 1993 to fund his unique dream, a high-quality eating restaurant. But his burritos have been so well-liked that he shortly expanded to serve the lengthy strains of hungry locals who couldn’t get enough of his high-quality, but reasonably priced, recent fare. You’ll be able to still eat in the original location near the College of Denver campus at the moment. It’s situated amongst a number of locally-owned meals and occasional spots on East Evans Avenue. When you’re a Chipotle fan, you’ll love seeing where it all started.

1644 E Evans Ave.

View majestic gardens with crops sourced from the world over

The gifted group at Denver Botanic Gardens nurtures loads of species which might be native to Colorado, but in addition consists of gardens impressed by Japan, China and the Tropics, with crops and flowers sourced from these regions as properly. Choose from two places: York Road (downtown), which includes a lush water garden that cascades by means of the property; and Chatfield (on the south aspect of city), with its lovely year-round, indoor butterfly garden as well as a lavender backyard, which smells divine.

1007 York St.

8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd.

Denver Botanci Gardens at nightfall (Photograph: Brad Friedman by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.zero)

Cruise along Colfax

Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous road in America (Playboy also referred to as it the wickedest). It’s part of the unique Highway 40, which was the first coast-to-coast highway in america. Highlights embrace Greek City – the only official cultural city in Denver – and a plethora of previous motels and companies with vintage neon indicators. You’ll also discover loads of road artwork and colourful graffiti along the route. Don’t be stunned in the event you see some questionable activity in some spots, it’s just part of the, er, allure!

Drink an ice cold Coors proper from the source

It will not be craft beer, the brand new kid on the block, however it definitely has endurance, and no trip to Denver can be full without touring the long-lasting MillerCoors manufacturing unit just west of city in Golden. This is the world’s largest single-site brewery, and it is large certainly. After a 30-minute self-paced tour that provides a glimpse into the vast processes of malting, brewing and packaging, you’ll be able to pattern the products in the “fresh room”, which features ice benches and free samples of the beer in a refrigerated room. Excursions are free.

13th St. & Ford St., Golden

Brewhouse kettles at the MillerCoors Brewery (Photograph: GPA Photograph Archive by way of Flickr / CCO 1.0)

Eat with the fishes

At Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, you possibly can have lunch or dinner beside an unlimited 150,000-gallon tank full of sharks and colourful reef fish. Although the restaurant is owned by Landry’s, it’s surprisingly good for a chain-owned establishment. In case you’re visiting over a holiday interval, then they provide enjoyable events like Breakfast with Santa and the Easter Bunny, and a Thanksgiving buffet. On common days, time your go to to see the mermaid exhibits at midday and 6pm. (Bonus tip: in case you’re scuba licensed, it’s also possible to swim with sharks on the Downtown Aquarium).

700 Water St.

Watch cattle overtake the streets of Downtown

Annually the Nationwide Western Inventory Present kicks off with a cattle drive by means of downtown Denver. It’s a surreal experience you gained’t want to miss. The Inventory Present is a time-honored Denver tradition and it has been occurring yearly since 1906. It additionally consists of an Evening of Dancing Horses, i.e. dressage, skilled bull driving, and Mexican and African-American rodeos. A true style of the American West.

stockshow

Cowboys take over the streets through the annual National Western Stock Present (Photograph: Brad McGinley by way of Flickr)

Have afternoon tea on the Brown Palace Lodge

Everybody, from The Beatles to American Presidents and Titanic survivor Molly Brown, has stayed in this luxurious downtown lodge, rumoured to have secret underground tunnels that led to a brothel for its well-known visitors back in the day. Don’t miss their impeccable tea service; it’s famous for a purpose. Chow down on tea pastries, scones and finger sandwiches in the impeccably-decorated lobby while being serenaded by a harpist or pianist. The Devonshire cream is the actual deal, and is shipped in from England. Think of it as the US’s model of tea at the Ritz.

321 seventh St.

Take your self out to a ball recreation

If there’s one factor most Denverites love more than anything, it’s sports activities. Catch a Broncos (football), Rapids (soccer), Nuggets (basketball), Mammoth (lacrosse), Rockies (baseball) or Avalanche (hockey) recreation when you’re in town. Seats could be had in the “rockpile” at Coors Subject for just some bucks. It’s a unbelievable stadium with common MLB games showcasing  high-quality baseball in the town. Sports junkies may also take a look at the Colorado Sports Corridor of Fame and the National Ballpark Museum.

Coors Area: 2001 Blake St.

The long-lasting Coors Area (Photograph: Max and Dee Bernt by way of Flickr / CC BY 2.zero)

Union Station

Union Station is Denver’s principal transport hub. You’ll be able to catch buses, Amtrak, the 16th Road Mall Journey, mild rail and the free downtown Circulator here. The beautifully-renovated practice station, which was constructed in 1894, is crammed with eclectic outlets, bars and farm-to-table eating places. Plus, the A-line from Denver International Airport to Union Station is a journey game-changer. Opened in 2016, the light rail line connects these two landmarks in underneath 40 minutes. Acquired some down time? Sit back in the beautiful lobby, escape your smartphone and use the free wifi when you take a look at the scene.

1701 Wynkoop St.

unionstation

Union Station practice station boasts fashionable restaurants, a modern lodge and a bookstore (Photograph: Curtis Cronn by way of Flickr)

Sip fruity reds and crisp whites at an urban vineyard

Whenever you assume wineries, you may assume rolling vineyards in Tuscany or the south of France. Denver’s The Infinite Monkey Theorem, nevertheless, prides itself on “back alley winemaking at its finest”. Sip wines produced from Colorado grapes – in hiker-friendly cans, in fact – at their tasting room in fashionable River North, which has a decidedly industrial feel. For a extra traditional tasting expertise, take a look at Balistreri Vineyards’ six-course barrel tasting dinners, which happen in the vintner’s cellar.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem: 3200 Larimer St.

Balistreri Vineyards: 1946 E 66th Ave.

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