Destinations

Best Issues to Do in Denver

Denver isn’t brief on methods to entertain, indulge and intrigue you, from cultural treasures at the stellar Denver Art Museum to a wealth of alternatives underneath the almost-always sunny or star-filled Colorado skies, together with Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, arguably probably the most acoustically excellent pure amphitheaters on the planet. You can stroll, cycle or kayak in LoDo, and connect with miles of trails from the easy-access Cherry Creek Trail, which connects downtown with the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Elitch Gardens is a city-center combo theme park and water park that has been entertaining Coloradans for generations, as has the Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens. Adults can expertise a few hours of  immersive engagement and studying on a street-art stroll in Denver’s RiNo district with Denver Graffiti Tour, together with a cease for an grownup beverage as an choice. If the time period “learning” sounds boring and pedantic, you are not listening to us: Everything on this record–and we imply all the things–is cool, enjoyable and interest-piquing. We’ve culled our 10 Best record from the most effective of the most effective, so exit and uncover what makes Denver so scorching… and so cool.  

With rides named Mind Eraser, Tower of Doom and Brain Drain, it is clear that Elitch Gardens is a thrill-seeker’s paradise and, not stunning, a perennial teen favourite. But there’s a little bit one thing for everybody at this park that first opened in 1890. Twister II, the favored 10-story wood coaster, completely evokes the park’s old-school/new-thrill vibe. A portion of the grounds are dedicated to a summer time water park with a couple of dozen sights together with high-speed slides and drops, rivers and wave swimming pools. Onsite parking is expensive; think about visiting through RTD bus or Light Rail, which cease simply exterior the park. There’s loads of meals obtainable however not a lot for these with dietary restrictions or a need to eat healthfully. The surrounding space, although, has numerous choices. The park has had pop-up vacation occasions prior to now so examine the web site come winter for particular openings.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Multiple generations of Denver households have grown up going to Elitch Gardens; whereas it is historic, it is also properly as much as immediately’s adrenaline-rush requirements.

Christine’s professional tip: Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent. The park will shut down if there’s an opportunity of lightning, so examine the climate or go mornings or evenings when storms are much less seemingly. Height necessities are enforced on rides, so examine necessities on the park’s web site.

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Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo’s conservation initiatives right here and within the wild are spectacular. “We value all animals, big and small, from all over the world. We envision a world where all people appreciate, respect and conserve animals and their habitats globally.” Supporting the zoo helps fund that imaginative and prescient and mission, and you are able to do it whereas having fun with a day with buddies, household and an assortment of cool creatures. In addition to strolling previous bears, birds, huge cats, hyenas, monkeys and extra, you may stand up shut with zoo residents through behind-the-scenes excursions and experiences (further payment). Depending on the day or season, there are up-close experiences with rhinos, sloths, giraffes, reptiles, lamas, parrots, birds of prey and others, for ages six and up. All ages can be a part of interactive actions (further payment) at Stingray Cove and Lorikeet Adventure, and there is a practice and carousel to journey in addition to a 4-D theater.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: It’s been a part of Denver since 1896, when a black bear was donated to the town. Today, its conservation efforts defend creatures nice and small.

Christine’s professional tip: During the vacations, the zoo’s Zoo Lights extravaganza is one in every of Denver’s most beloved traditions of the season, a must-see expertise for all ages

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Denver Graffiti Tour

Denver has embraced its vibrant road artwork scene lately, even commissioning road artists to color on metropolis partitions and buildings. While yow will discover examples of this city artwork type in lots of components of the town, RiNo, as befitting its art-centric roots, is on the coronary heart of it. Denver Graffiti Tour began with one tour in RiNo however now additionally affords a second tour with a halfway cease at an area bar. You can discover a lot of the road artwork by yourself, however the magnificence and energy of taking the Denver Graffiti Tour is how a lot you will study concerning the artists, historical past, backstory of a few of the works and artists and the completely different kinds of road artwork. You’ll go away with a brand new appreciation for these proficient creators who make Denver extra colourful and visually fascinating. Tours are weekends solely.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Denver Graffiti Tour affords in-depth information of road artwork and artists. You’ll by no means have a look at road artwork the identical manner once more.

Christine’s professional tip: Extend your your exploration of the town after your 1.5 to 2-hour stroll. RiNo and LoDO have eating places, breweries and occasional spots galore.

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Confluence Kayak & Ski

Photo courtesy of Confluence Kayaks

Confluence Kayaks is Denver’s Paddling headquarters. Founded in 1995 on the banks of the South Platte River in downtown Denver, that is the most effective supply for paddling classes, leases and gear. Local paddlers have made this the go to buy kayak and stand-up paddle gear. The firm additionally rents bikes, tubes and inflatable kayaks in addition to electrical skateboards. The half-day inflatable kayak tour is the right introduction to river kayaking. Inflatable kayaks are steady and straightforward to make use of for novices and can help you expertise the fun of maneuvering your personal boat by means of class II and III whitewater. Join a small group of fellow adventurers on an thrilling tour of the city S. Platte River and get a style of paddlesports within the Mile High City. All gear is supplied and no expertise is critical.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Kayaking and different paddlesports are extraordinarily widespread with locals, and Confluence Kayak & Ski is the go-to for specialists and novices alike.

Christine’s professional tip: Check out an inflatable kayak tour for an journey you will not discover in most cities.

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Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum is very regarded for its assortment of Indigenous artwork of North America, which incorporates over 16,000 items from greater than 100 tribes. The unique seven-story up to date constructing, designed by Gio Ponti, reopened in 2021 with expanded galleries and new areas for interactive and inventive actions, to not point out the addition of shade to gallery partitions. The reimagined constructing showcases spectacular shows of historical American and Latin American artwork and textiles, a captivating Asian assortment, images, textile and trend artwork, and an assortment of American and European items. The Architecture and Design galleries are additionally notable, as is the Western American Art assortment. In 2006, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, a wondrous titanium-clad construction designed by Daniel Libeskind, opened its doorways throughout thirteenth Street from the unique constructing. Libeskind’s deeply angled edifice dramatically redefined the Denver skyline in addition to the way in which that artwork could be exhibited.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: DAM holds its personal towards any museum within the nation, and is an architectural marvel.

Christine’s professional tip: Although the museum’s great backpack program is quickly suspended, there are nonetheless partaking household and kids’s actions, together with challenges households can do on their very own. One enjoyable choice: Create a photograph that makes somebody look as giant because the humongous Scottish Angus Cow & Calf sculpture behind the Hamilton Building.

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Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens contains two services. The principal gardens are on York Street, 24 acres on the east facet of Denver’s Cheesman Park, simply 10 minutes from downtown. Chatfield Farms is south of the town in Littleton. The York Street services showcases a number of sorts of gardens together with Gardens of the West, Internationally Inspired Gardens (Japan, South Africa and the tropics provide a few of the inspiration), Ornamental Gardens, Shady Gardens and Water Gardens. Mordecai Children’s Garden is a spot for households with younger youngsters to find out about vegetation and nature by means of hands-on experiences and play. Also interactive is the Science Pyramid. A wide range of excursions can be found on the Gardens, and the summer time live performance sequence and seasonal plant gross sales are Denver traditions. In summer time, the Botanic Gardens additionally affords guided wildflower hikes on a reasonably troublesome path on Mount Goliath, a mountain peak part of Mount Evans.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Denver Botanic Gardens affords magnificence and serenity in an city metropolis but in addition music, schooling and the beloved vacation extravaganza, Blossoms of Light.

Christine’s professional tip: Free days are scheduled all year long, because of funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. Check the Botanic Gardens web site to seek out which days are free.

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Cherry Creek Trail

Denver has miles of trails for biking, strolling and working. One of probably the most outstanding within the metropolis correct is Cherry Creek Trail, which winds by means of the center of the town and on to areas south. The majority of the 40-mile path is paved, with a couple of gravel stretches. It begins downtown at Confluence Park, the place Cherry Creek meets the South Platte River and the place gold was found in 1858, resulting in the founding of Denver. This can be the place the Cherry Creek and South Platte River trails meet, giving cyclers and pedestrians entry to 75-plus miles of path. Through downtown, the path runs beneath Speer Blvd., alongside Cherry Creek because it makes its technique to the Cherry Creek neighborhood notable for wonderful buying and eating places. There are different fascinating websites, too, as you head all the way in which to Cherry Creek State Park and Franktown, the place the practice ends.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Cherry Creek Trail is a superb place to walk or run between LoDo and Cherry Creek, nevertheless it additionally connects to many different trails.

Christine’s professional tip: Pay consideration to designations at entry ramps. Through a lot of downtown, the path on one facet of the creek is for pedestrians, whereas the opposite facet is for these on wheels, resembling bikes and scooters.

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Art District on Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Art District on Santa Fe

More than 70 institutions populate this very walkable space simply south of downtown Denver. While the First Friday Art Walk is a big draw for guests and locals, the district’s galleries, eating places and retail outlets are open all week. The biggest focus of retailers, galleries and eating places is in an eight-block space between 4th and twelfth alongside Santa Fe Drive. In addition to buying, numerous lessons are supplied, area is out there for personal occasions and there are two theaters and a museum, too. All of the galleries and outlets within the Art District are independently owned and roughly 90 % of the art work and merchandise is made in Colorado. My recommendation is to hitch the First Friday Artwork for a wonderful overview of what is within the district. Then return (many times) to seek out that particular art work that belongs in your house.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Art District on Santa Fe First Friday Artwalk provides guests an opportunity to discover a Denver neighborhood they may not in any other case go to.

Christine’s professional tip: Taking the First Friday Artwork is an effective way to get some steps in and see a neighborhood in Denver that is away from downtown and contains not simply galleries but in addition widespread eating places and meals vehicles.

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Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Photo courtesy of 5/09 from the web site: http://www.redrocksonline.com/pages/media/media_pics.html

It’s known as probably the most acoustically excellent pure amphitheater on the planet. It’s not simply the distinctive acoustics and music performed right here that make Red Rocks so particular, nonetheless. Dinosaurs as soon as roamed this geologically compelling panorama; did they hear each other’s rumbling grunts from the distant backside of the amphitheater? We’ll by no means know. But we all know that sitting among the many towering sandstone formations because the music rises towards the backdrop of an excellent sundown or billions of stars, Denver’s lights twinkling beneath, is an expertise discovered nowhere else. If you have not skilled Red Rocks, you have not skilled the most effective of Denver. Red Rocks can be a 738-acre park with mountain climbing trails, a customer middle, buying and selling submit, and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Locals work out on the amphitheater steps and Yoga on the Rocks is a perennial favourite, as are summer time motion pictures and the uplifting annual non-denominational Easter dawn service.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: It is Denver’s one-of-a-kind star attraction and probably the most memorable days or evenings you will ever spend.

Christine’s professional tip: Arrive early for live shows; there’s only one street in. Expect to stroll a methods to your seats. Comfortable sneakers are a should, as are water (the park sits 6,400 ft above sea degree) and layers of garments for altering climate. You can herald meals however learn the park’s record of permitted and prohibited objects first.

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Denver Parks & Recreation

Denver’s huge park system contains dozens of metropolis parks in addition to 14,000 acres of parks and conservation areas within the mountains. Park actions embody biking, strolling, skating, swimming, tennis, pickleball and basketball, amongst others, and a few 30 rec facilities present in depth indoor and out of doors programming for kids, adults and seniors. Five lakes permit hand-launched boating, together with Smith Lake in Washington Park and Ferril Lake in City Park. Want to study or see one thing new? Sign up for Tai Chi, croquet, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking or kayaking. There are birding, geology and nature walks, and bison hikes present views of the town’s photogenic bison herds. Denver rec facilities additionally supply adaptive recreation for these with disabilities. There’s no price to reap the benefits of park trails, walkways and different services, nevertheless it’s value becoming a member of the very fairly priced rec facilities for his or her in depth packages for all ages and talents.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Denver’s in depth park system affords all the things from gardens and nice locations to stroll to quite a lot of sports activities and even difficult hikes,

Christine’s professional tip: Most rec middle membership prices have a really low monthly cost, permitting entry to lots of of packages, actions and lessons.

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