The spectacular Rocky Mountains seem to touch the sky in Denver, the "Mile High City." Situated exactly one mile above sea level, Denver provides hotel guests with a distinctive mix of Old West charm, contemporary attractions and an endless variety of outdoor activities. Larimer Square features circa-1858 buildings housing stylish shops and restaurants, while the Denver Mountain Parks let urban residents escape to the foothills of the Rockies in no time flat. Even concerts in Denver are held in a spectacular natural setting, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Reasons to Visit Denver
The Best of the West: Soak up the frontier vibe with a walking tour past the pioneer-era buildings on Larimer Square, located in the heart of downtown Denver. Also located downtown, the American Museum of Western Art preserves the history of pioneers, Native Americans, miners, buffalo hunters and cowboys in works dating from the 1800s to the present. That history comes alive in the History Colorado Center, home to an interactive map powered by a steampunk time machine.
Enjoy a Concert With Your Eyes: Denver's premier outdoor concert venue, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, has near-perfect acoustics courtesy of its majestic red sandstone walls. The surrounding park hosts regular yoga and fitness challenges, with two trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders.
Urban Adventure in Denver's Parks: Downtown dwellers don’t have to travel far to get their fill of the great outdoors. The Cherry Creek walking and biking trail runs for 24.6 miles from Confluence Park. You can also rent a kayak in the park and paddle against man-made rapids. Washington Park is a 155-acre oasis, complete with a duo of lakes and impressive flower gardens perfect for midday strolls.
High-Altitude Sports: World-class athletes train in the mountains to build strength and endurance, so it’s no surprise that Denver’s sports teams are among the best. The Colorado Rockies baseball team plays downtown at Coors Field (snag a seat along the left field line to look out at the mountains during lulls in the game). For football, head to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where the Denver Broncos dominate the game. Stadium tours allow visitors to walk onto the field and take a peek inside the locker rooms.
Quench Your Thirst: Colorado has the most craft breweries per capita in the country and downtown is filled with tasting choices. Denver hotel guests should try Wynkoop Brewing Company in LoDo, or Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall. If beer's not your beverage, sip and swirl during a tasting at Denver's Balistreri Vineyards.
Things to do in Denver with Kids
There are plenty of opportunities for active kids to get out and play in Denver. Thrill seekers of all ages can brave roller coasters and water slides at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park. The Downtown Aquarium gives visitors the opportunity to hop into the tanks and swim with the fish, while the Denver Zoo is home to lions, tigers, and elephants. The buffalo really do roam at Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve, and little explorers can touch bones and walk alongside footprints at Dinosaur Ridge.
Day Trippin': Drive to the Sky
The Mount Evans scenic byway is called the "road into the sky." Starting 60 miles west of Denver at an elevation of 8,700 feet, the road climbs to the mountain’s summit at 14,240 feet. Take the drive slowly to appreciate the views and watch for wildlife, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep.
When to Visit Denver
Denver has four distinct seasons, but with 300 days of sunshine per year, every season is a good time for a stay in a Denver Country Inns & Suites hotel. In July, the average high temperature is 88°F, while December's average high is 43°F. Snowy winters draw visitors to Denver for nearby skiing; Winter Park Ski Resort is a popular ski season destination just 90 minutes from downtown.
Denver Travel Tip
Denver’s altitude can add to travel stress. Be sure to drink enough water and protect yourself from the sun. You may have less tolerance for activity here, so no matter how much the mountains and water call to you, be aware of your limits so you can enjoy each day of your trip.