So, you’ve finally clued in to the delights of the Mile High City, or maybe you’ve just heard tell of their savory and sensuous delights from a friend. Either way, you’re considering a trip to Denver, the Queen City of the West. And good for you! Few cities in the nation have the same mix of vibrant history, cutting edge culture, mouthwatering treats and active sports scene. While lots of cities claim to have something for the whole family, Denver really does have something to offer everyone, no matter how particular their tastes might be. Don’t believe us? Let us prove it to you.
1. The 16th Street Mall
So while you’re in the city, you’re going to need to do the tourist thing, at least for an afternoon, right? You’ll want to hit a bar or two, grab something with “Denver” emblazoned on the front and maybe do a little shopping. Denver’s 16th Street Mall can accommodate it all. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the mile-long stretch of shops and eateries is a tree-lined oasis located in the heart of the city.
2. Mile High Stadium, et al.
Your town may have a football team, but Denver is the only place in the world that has the Broncos. If you find yourself in town in the fall or winter, you won’t want to miss the boys in orange putting a beat down whoever happens to be visiting that week. Not a football fan? Denver is also home to a pro baseball team (the Rockies), an NBA franchise (the Nuggets), and an NHL heavyweight (the Avalanche). Heck, we even have one of the best soccer teams in the MLS (the Rapids). What can we say, Denver knows sports.
3. Legal Weed!
Don’t act so alarmed, you know you’re curious. One of Denver’s most controversial bits of legislation is also one of it’s biggest draws. And why not? It’s perfectly safe (if you take it slow on the edibles) and it’s totally legal. The city has tons of other stuff to keep you occupied, but if you’re feeling adventurous and you want to kill some time giggling and eating gummy bears, you might consider stopping by one of the city’s many, many, many dispensaries.
4. The Denver Zoo
Denver’s Zoo is the perfect place to take your kids, or your date for that matter. The facilities are constantly being renovated, so you can always expect a few new surprise. Even better, most of the animals’ enclosures are wide open, so there’s nothing between you and the wildlife but a large moat. Want to feed some giraffes? You can do that. Maybe best of all, the zoo’s layout is a brisk but gentle loop through beautifully cultivated land.
5. The Irish Rover on a Friday Night
When the sun goes down and the kids go to bed, it’s time for some adult’s only fun, and Denver can more than meet your needs. While there’s tons of bars in the city, we’d have to recommend traveling to the Irish Rover, an authentic Irish pub in the middle of Denver’s South Broadway bar scene. From the second floor open air patio, you can gaze down on one of the city’s most bustling bar districts late into the night.
6. The Skiing
If you’re in Denver between December and March, you owe it to yourself to get in some skiing. You don’t even need to drive all the way to Aspen to get in some world class slopes. A-Basin, Loveland, and Winter Park are just three of the myriad resorts that are a hop, skip and a jump from the city.
7. All That Nature
If you’ve come to Denver in search of escape, you’ll want to head out of the city. If you’re here in the summer months, get ready for some of the best camping and most breathtaking scenery in the entire world. Until you’ve walked through the pine forests, or seen the bison, deer or rams in the wild, or visited a hanging mountain lake, you haven’t seen anything.
8. The Art Museums
Not a big outdoors or sports person? No problem! Denver has enough art and history museums to keep you occupied for weeks on end. From the Denver Art Museum to the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Museum of Nature and Science, there is a bit of education to pique the interest of any knowledge seeker.
9. The Culture
Okay, so you don’t like camping or skiing or sports or stuffy old museums (geez, you’re hard to please, huh?). Still not a problem, because Denver is home to a burgeoning music and theater scene that’s giving the coasts a run for their money. If you’re in the mood for some cutting edge music, you need to check out the acts rolling through the Ogden Theater or the Bluebird. Dying to see the latest in Broadway fare? The Denver Performing Arts Center hosts some of the most popular and renowned performers and plays you can see today.
10. Red Rocks
It’s the best concert venue in the world. Period. If you’re any kind of fan of live performance, and you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the sun set against some of the most stunning geological formations in creation while one of your favorite artists plays their heart out, then you’re cheating yourself. It’s that simple.