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Denver Travel Guide

  • Photo: Bridget Calip / Shutterstock

Plan Your Denver Vacation

You can tell from its skyline alone that Denver is a major metropolis, with a Major League Baseball stadium at one end of downtown and the State Capitol building at the other. But look to the west to see where Denver distinguishes itself in the majestic Rocky Mountains, snow-peaked and breathtakingly huge, looming in the distance. This combination of urban sprawl and proximity to nature is what

gives the city character and sets it apart as a destination.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, when the city mushroomed on a huge surge of oil and energy revenues, Denver worked on the transition from Old West "cow town" to a comfortable, modern place to live. The city demolished its large downtown Skid Row area, paving the way for developments such as the Tabor Center and the Auraria multicollege campus. In the early 1990s mayors Federico Peña and Wellington Webb championed a massive new airport to replace the rickety Stapleton. Then the city lured major-league baseball, in the form of the purple-and-black Colorado Rockies, and built Coors Field in the heart of downtown. Around the stadium, planners developed LoDo, a business-and-shopping area including hip nightclubs, Larimer Square boutiques, and bike and walking paths.

Since the mid-1990s Denver has caught the attention of several major national corporations looking to move their operations to a thriving city that enjoys a relatively stable economy and a healthy business climate. And win or lose, the sports teams continue to imbue the city with a sense of pride.

Many Denverites are unabashed nature lovers who can also enjoy the outdoors within the city limits by walking along the park-lined river paths downtown. (Perhaps as a result of their active lifestyle, Denverites are among the "thinnest" city residents in the United States, and the city is named annually as one of the healthiest in the nation.) For Denverites, preserving the environment and the city's rich mining and ranching heritage are of equally vital importance to the quality of life.

LoDo, a business-and-shopping area, buzzes with jazz clubs, restaurants, and art galleries housed in carefully restored century-old buildings. The culturally diverse populace avidly supports the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Museo de las Americas, and the new History Colorado Center (formerly the Colorado History Museum). The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the nation's second-largest theatrical venue, bested in capacity only by New York's Lincoln Center. An excellent public transportation system, including a popular, growing light-rail system and 850 miles of bike paths, makes getting around easy.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Denver Art Museum Visitors are treated to Asian, pre-Columbian, and Spanish Colonial works along with a world-famous collection of Native American pieces.
  2. Denver Botanic Gardens Creatively arranged displays of more than 15,000 plant species from around the world draw garden enthusiasts year-round.
  3. Larimer Square Specialty stores, superior people-watching, and some of the city's top restaurants and nightlife bring tourists and locals alike to the city's oldest area.
  4. LoDo Lower downtown's appeal lies in its proximity to Coors Field and the convenient and free 16th Street Mall shuttle. Shops and galleries are busy during the day, and it's also a hot spot at night.
  5. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre Even if you aren't attending a concert, the awe-inspiring red rocks of this formation-turned-venue are worth a look, and there are hiking trails nearby.

When To Go

When to Go

Denver defies easy weather predictions. Although its blizzards are infamous, snowstorms are often followed by beautiful spring weather just...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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