Denver Destination Guide
They don't call Denver the "Mile High City" for nothing, but this cosmopolitan metropolis has much more to offer than just its elevation a mile above sea level. Lying immediately east of the spectacular Rocky Mountains, Denver boasts a breathtaking combination of big city sophistication and down-home country style, making the most of its scenic location between mountains and plains.
It's not just the altitude that will take your breath away in Denver. A thriving city of more than 600,000 inhabitants, this capital of Colorado boasts a dizzying array of activities and adventures. From the Colorado State Capitol to Coors Field, microbreweries and museums, outdoor pursuits and winter sports; you don't need to venture far to find something that matches your holiday needs.
Conveniently located between America's glittering West Coast and the myriad metropolises back east, Denver is both a gateway city and the perfect place to kick back and stay awhile. Whatever you're looking for in a holiday to the United States, chances are you'll find it in Denver.
Indulge your artistic side at...
- The Denver Art Museum
- Robischon Gallery
- The Clyfford Still Museum
Denver's attractive city centre is anchored by its pedestrianised 16th Street Mall, which boasts not only some of the city's finest bars and restaurants, but also plenty of big-name shopping outlets. It's also a hub for street performances, making it the urban heart of this pulsating city.
Public art plays a major role in the Denver cityscape; a point amply demonstrated by the 12-metre-tall blue-coloured bear which peers quizzically into the glass facade of the Colorado Convention Center! The Denver Botanic Gardens also host regular art installations and special events – not to mention some of Denver's most visually arresting gardens.
Forget hitting the suburbs to experience all that Denver has to offer – most of the main attractions are located conveniently close to the city centre. From the Downtown Aquarium to the Elitch Gardens amusement park – to say nothing of three major sports stadia located close by – there's fun for the whole family on offer in the heart of this cosmopolitan city.
Get to know the locals at...
- the Wynkoop Brewing Company
- Coors Field, home of baseball's Colorado Rockies
- the eternally popular Denver Zoo
Food travel has arrived in the United States in a big way and fortunately for the foodies, Denver was an early adopter. The city is home to some of the finest restaurants and freshest ideas this side of the Rockies, ranging from 'brewpub' comfort food all the way to fusion-inspired fine dining.
Microbreweries are a regular sight in Denver, with several dotted conveniently around the city centre. Local favourites include the Breckenbridge Brewery Ballpark Pub – right next to Coors Field – the decidedly chic Denver Beer Co. and the eternally popular Wynkoop Brewery. There are even several wine bars, guaranteeing plenty of choice for visitors eager to indulge in a tipple.
Downtown is home to many of the city's most renowned restaurants, with Larimer Square a focal point for fine dining. The Lower Downtown area is liberally sprinkled with bars and breweries, while mobile food trucks routinely ply the inner-city neighbourhoods.
Don't forget to check out...
- Euclid Hall, for casual dining
- speakeasy cocktails at Green Russell
- the Food Trucks in Civic Center Park
Where to Stay
Although there's plenty of things to do in Denver once the sun goes down, you'll never be short of a place to rest your head once it's time to call it a night. Accommodation in Denver ranges from comfortable hostels to high-end luxury, with hotels like The Curtis on 14th Street located conveniently close to Downtown amenities. For a taste of old-world luxury, head to The Brown Palace Hotel – one of the first atrium-style hotels ever built – and a great place to enjoy afternoon tea.
Even if you're not keen on staying in the heart of the city, there are plenty of accommodation options on the outskirts of town. Aptly-named gold rush town Golden is a popular haunt some 19 kilometres east of Denver, while to the west the city of Aurora makes up a sizeable part of the Denver Metropolitan Area.
Lay your head to rest in...
- the historic Oxford Hotel
- Courtyard in Downtown Denver
- rhe luxurious Patterson Inn
While it may not boast the glitz and glamour of Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive, Denver nevertheless holds its own when it comes to shopping. Larimer Square boasts all the boutiques one might expect of a chic inner-city district, while the 16th Street Mall is home not only to countless cafes and restaurants, but also the Denver Pavilions – a multi-level retail hub in the heart of the city.
For a fully immersive shopping experience, head straight to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center on the southeastern fringe edge of the city. An expansive 16-block mall home to 160 brand-name stores, Cherry Creek even offers visitors a dedicated Passport To Shopping – offering exclusive discounts in many of the centre's major outlets.
Shop up a storm at...
- Cherry Creek's department stores
- the 'I Heart Denver' retail project
- historic Highlands Square
Denver like a Local
If there's one thing Denver does better than most, it's sport. Where else can you watch a game in America's traditional 'big four' leagues in the downtown heart of the city? Coors Field, Sports Authority Field at Mile High and the Pepsi Center are all located within a stone's throw of Downtown Denver, playing host to the city's baseball, American football and basketball and ice hockey teams respectively.
If you're eager to experience something slightly more exotic, the city's resident Major League Soccer team, the Colorado Rapids, play in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, while the Cherry Hills Country Club regularly hosts top-class golf – including the 2014 BMW Championship on the US PGA Tour.
Set your own exercise routine and...
- take a jog along Cherry Creek
- hire a Denver B-Cycle
- hike the Rocky Mountain foothills