When you first think of US cities that you might want to visit, places like Los Angeles, Orlando, and New York might jump at you first, but few would blink at the notion of skipping over a city like Denver. Yet, to many people in the US, Denver is one of the most popular cities to visit for a variety of reasons. Here, we’re going to take a look at what keeps people from the States visiting the Mile-High City, and why you should consider it, too.
A visit to the Red Rocks is a must-do
One of the big selling points of Denver is its elevation and the fact that it’s pretty close to some impressive mountainous geology. You’ve got the Rockies constantly on your skyline and, much closer than that, you have the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. This naturally breath-taking structure of sandstone has become not just a top destination, but a fantastic place to catch a concert thanks to the natural acoustics of the area. Musical events are very common here, indeed, or you can enjoy exploring the Red Rocks Trail by foot, bike, horse, or a dozen other ways.
Hang out at Larimer Square
If you want to get an idea of the flavour and spirit of the city, then there are few places you can feel it with such life than at Larimer Square. This square is effectively the point where the rest of Denver spawned out from, being the site of the original pioneer camp where the first would-be Denverites struck gold that led to the rush that created the town. As such, aside from being a great place to dine or go out for the night, it’s also where you’re going to find some of the best tours about historical life in the town, so it’s definitely worth sticking around for that, at the very least.
Denver is the big American football city
The sport itself might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it can be exhilarating to see the kind of passion that Americans have for their football. What’s more, if you are an NFL fan, after all, then visiting Sports Authority Field at Mile High can offer you an inspiring view of the stadium of one of the most beloved teams of all time. The Denver Broncos are one of the most widely known teams in the whole country and you’re not going to find supporters like the local football fans in many countries in the US. Even if you can’t catch a game yourself, you can visit the area surrounding the stadium as well as local football museums to really feel how it has firmly planted itself in the city’s culture.
Hit the slopes
As mentioned, as high up as Denver is, you’re never too far away from some fun at altitude. Aside from the Red Rocks national park, the area is home to a host of fantastic ski resorts. As such, there are few better ways to enjoy a break in Denver than getting accommodation just outside the city where you can rent some equipment, throttle down a snowy mountainside, then rest up in a comfy lodge. There are great ski resorts nice and close to the city, as well, so making the trip into the city from places like Winter Park which are less than two hour’s drive away from the city itself. Just a little further out you can get even more dramatic heights.
Check out the street art
Though they may have been a point of contention for many local Denverites in the past, the city has largely accepted the street artists as part of its identity and, as a result, you will nowadays see a more colourful and expressive set of murals and wall art pieces than the city has ever had in its city. Recent reports suggest over a hundred street art pieces went up in just one summer. If you want to know where to see some of the best street art, then you’ll be able to glance it merely taking a walk throughout the city, but there are specific areas like the River North Art District that are particularly welcoming of well-known and novice artists alike who want to get their creativity on some walls there.
Enjoy a stroll in the botanic gardens
The roar of the stadium, the thrill of skiing down slopes, the beat of urban art. It might feel like Denver is a pretty raucous city, so it can be nice to know that it does have a bit of zen at its heart. If you’re looking for a place to chill out, then there are going to be no better spots for you to hit up than the Denver Botanic Gardens. Here, you will find a wide variety of gardens, including drought-resistant patches to traditional Japanese gardens all within 24 acres of gorgeous greenery. There are also some lovely sculptures nearby that are great for taking photos to remember the trip.
Give your trip a sweet ending
If you’re travelling with the kids or you just happen to be a big kid with a big sweet tooth of your own, then you should take a trip to Hammond’s Candy Factory. Aside from being one of the world’s biggest producers of candy, they have run a range of factory tours showing the old fashioned way of making candy canes, ribbon candy, and much more. Aside from offering some incredibly sweet souvenirs along the way, it can be a genuinely fascinating education into how candy is made and the chemical reactions that go into the process. Add a little Willy Wonky to your trip of the city.
Denver might not be the first US city to jump onto your bucket list, but it’s a surprisingly robust city rich in history, culture, and plenty of nearby natural beauty to dive into, as well. Is it time you make your way to the Mile-High City?