Nestled in the heart of Colorado, Denver is an incredibly popular destination. That’s partly due to the 300 days of glorious sunshine, but the mountain views are absolutely breathtaking as well. Built at the base of the spectacular Rocky Mountains, Denver sits exactly one mile higher than sea level. And no matter the season, there’s plenty of urban and natural sights to explore. Denver is truly a stunning and underappreciated city, and with it’s easy to navigate layout, it should definitely be on your bucket list. Regardless of your vacation goals, there’s an incredible variety of fun things to do in Denver. Take a look at this list and get inspired for a visit to this unique city.
The Museum Of Contemporary Art
Culture vultures have plenty of choice when it comes to art galleries and museums in Denver, but your first stop should be the MoCA. It might be smaller than some of the alternative options, but it really packs a punch and is always changing up its exhibitions. There are some controversial exhibitions on show, so if you’re looking for something a little risque that will spark off some dynamic conversations, then head to MoCA. Once you’re worn out from walking, you can visit the rooftop bar to relax and reflect on all of the wonderful contemporary art on show.
Roxborough State Park
If you want to head out into the wilds, then the State Park should be high on your itinerary. There are plenty of hiking opportunities in Denver, but this is one of the most spectacular. It’s not very far from central Denver, and just a 40-minute drive will get you right into the wilderness. With 4000 acres to explore, the biological and geological diversity of Roxborough State Park is remarkable. You will find red rock formations and forests that are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna – including mule deer, foxes, and more wildflowers than you’ve ever seen in your life. You can even pick your hiking trail by difficulty, so whether you’re an experienced nature lover or someone who needs regular breaks, you should have no trouble finding a trail that’s right for you. You certainly won’t regret the walk when you finally witness the splendor of the stunning views.
Of course, no trip to Denver is going to be complete without a look at the Rocky Mountains. There are many ways that you can explore this stunning landscape, but you can’t go wrong with the five-hour loop that starts with a trek from I-70 and covers all of those Colorado essentials. You’ll have to pay ($20) to finish off in the Rocky Mountain National Park, but those high altitude views make it more than worth it. If you plan on spending a few days exploring around Rockies, then don’t forget to check out Boulder and Fort Collins. The Rockies are a national treasure, and if you visit Denver without at least a few hours here, then you’re missing out.
The best restaurants in Denver will all have their own recipes and variations, but you simply must treat yourself to some green chile. Everyone has their own preferences, but as the most popular dish in Denver, you can be sure that everyone wants theirs to be the best. There is a huge variety of green chile dishes to try, and pretty much every bar and restaurant that you head into will have their own variation. For the best choices, you should definitely try the offerings at both Sam’s No. 3 and El Taco de Mexico in North County. Not only are these two of the best restaurants in Denver, but their green chile choices are also absolutely unbeatable.
16th Street Mall
If you want to get some shopping in, then you absolutely must go to the mall on 16th Street. Often compared to LA’s Rodeo Drive, the 16th Street Mall is a mile long shopping-addicts dream, and we doubt you’ll run out of run out of restaurants, entertainment venues, and unique shops to peruse. This is definitely the place to go if you’re after souvenirs. And now with proactive policing, nighttime shopping here has become a fun and safe activity for the family to enjoy – so you don’t have to let the lack of daylight stop you from spending money! Even if your bank balance has taken a bit of a pounding, there are some great spots here for some simple people watching.
Denver really does have something for everyone. Whether you’re after a bustling metropolis or a sedate stroll through some of the best landscapes in America, you’re not going to run out of stuff to do in Denver. We definitely recommend moving this destination closer to the top of your bucket list.