10+ things you MUST do while visiting Denver
With the popularity of Twitter these days, we're quite often asked by our event guests, in Tweet form of course, what they should do while in Denver. With the help of VISIT DENVER and the people who love the Mile High City, you have a short (kinda) yet very passionate list of not 10, but 11 things to do while in Denver.
Here’s your very own guide to a little fun in our over 300 days of sun in Denver:
1. Topping in at number one on our list is visiting the Colorado State Capitol Building. Not only does it offer historical essence and beautiful scenery, but you can also stand at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. The Mile High City’s 13th step at The Capitol on the west side of the building marks the spot!
2. Next stop… Denver’s beautiful nature & scenery! Outdoorsy? You’ve found your haven! Rent a bike & take your own tour around the city on 2 wheels! Take your time & leisurely ride or pedal fast & race your way along the Cherry Creek Trail. This is a tour of the city you can do at your own pace. You can explore the outdoors in so many ways with over 300 days of sunshine; you won’t have an excuse to say no! Venture through Denver’s nature on your bike, maybe park your bike to stop & raft down a river, or pause to enjoy a drink outside on a patio, all while enjoying the Rocky Mountain views and spectacular city skyline. Don’t forget to drink more water than you think you need, it’s very dry here and at a higher altitude your body needs it!
Photo Credit: VISIT DENVER
3. Up for a historic piece of Denver? Check out Denver’s newly restored & redeveloped Union Station! Originally built in 1881, Union Station is expanding to offer multiple sources of transportation, dining, shopping & entertainment & is expected to reopen July 26th, 2014. With transportation being the main focus, there will be access to; the free 16th Street Mall Shuttle, RTD’s Front Range bus route, RTD lightrail stop Union Station, the free downtown Denver circulator, the FasTracks light rail line & Amtrak train. The new & improved station will feature shops & restaurants including; Acme Burger & Brat Corporation, Bloom, The Cooper Lounge, Fresh Exchange, The Kitchen Next Door Community Pub, Mercantile, Milkbox Ice Creamery, Pigtrain Coffee Co., Snooze, Stoic & Genuine, Tattered Cover Book Store & Terminal Bar. Looking for a place to stay? This new transportation & entertainment hub is all created around The Crawford Hotel. This new hotel will open its 112-rooms July 12, 2014.
Photo Credit: RTD
4. Enjoy a drink? Well, you're in the right place. Colorado or Denver more specifically, is known as the brewing capitol of the West. Denver offers well over 100 craft breweries within the State. A stunning 56 new permitted breweries were added just last year in Colorado, making our total number 217 at the end of 2013. This makes Colorado the number one state in the nation in terms of craft breweries per capita, number one in the nation in beer volume, number two in absolute number of craft breweries by state, and number two in the nation in sheer craft beer volume. Denver was recognized as one of America’s top beer cities in USE Today, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, & CNN. Denver is home to the largest brewing site in the world, Coors Brewery. In 1988, The Wynkoop Brewing Company was identified as the first brewpub to open for business in Colorado. Started by Colorado Govenor, John Hickenlooper, the Wynkoop introduced Coloradoans to the idea of fresh beer and fresh food produced and served at the same site, while also helped in restoration & renewal of historic downtown Denver. So check out some of our local breweries, you have plenty of choices to choose from! Not a beer drinker? You can also check out Colorado’s distilleries & wineries. Denver produces more than 40 single distilleries in Colorado that produces various different liquors. Cheers!
Photo Credit: VISIT DENVER
5. Jumping in at number 6 on our countdown, Washington Park! Explore & experience Washington Park, Denver locals’ favorite! The 165-acre park is a beautiful place for a walk, bike ride or to catch Denver's famous sunsets. This is also a family friendly suggestion; it’s a great place for the kiddos!
Sunset over the lake at Washington Park Credits: Rich Grant
7. Cheering on at number 7 on our count down, sporting events in the Mile High City! Sports Fan? You’ve come to the right place! Denver is home to 7 pro sports teams. You can come at essentially any time of year and expect to be able to see one of our teams playing. Sports teams including NFL’S Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, & NHL’s Colorado Avalanche are must-sees for sports fans. Not only are the sports great to watch but the venues are spectacular as well. Watch QB Peyton Manning take you on an offensive journey through Sports Authority Field at Mile High with picturesque views of the city, or enjoy a Coors beer at downtown’s very own Coors Field when you stop by a Colorado Rockies game or even see both The Colorado Avalanche & Denver Nuggets in the same epic Pepsi Center venue. No matter the sport, you’ll find something to love with such a wide variety of choices!
Fans enjoying a Rockies game Credits: Rich Grant
Number 7 on the countdown offers a little something for everyone. Delve into Denver’s mile-long, 16th Street Mall. The mall includes; 42 outdoor cafes to fully enjoy our 300 days of sunshine, 12 movie theatres in The Denver Pavilions area, & mounds of shopping opportunities. The mile-long sidewalk and bus lanes were designed by architect I.M. Pei, with red, gray & white granite in a repeating pattern so when looked at the straight strip from above the pathway simulates the skin of a Diamondback rattlesnake. The free mall shuttle stops at every corner for easy transportation. Stick around for the night life of 16th Street and take horse-drawn carriage rides or experience pedi-cabs to escort you along the mall while the gleaming lights & over 200 trees make an atmosphere that is unforgettable.
Autumn colors on the 16th Street Mall Credits: VISIT DENVER
8. One of Denver’s most talked about areas in the city is LoDo located near Coors Field. Though nightlife is prime in this area, it’s not something you just pass by without noticing during the day. LoDo includes 28-square-blocks of restored Victorian buildings that have been renovated to create the perfect nightlife scenery. Restaurants, sports bars, brewpubs, live music venues, not to mention Coors Field, LoDo is full of food, baseball, events & funs things to do at all times.
Photo Credit: VISIT DENVER
9. Calling all history buffs! Although Denver has grown culturally along with the rest of the West, Denver strives to preserve its Old West legacy. You can explore the urbanized city and still find the history mixed within and around throughout the city. Here’s a few of the top Old West Attractions near Denver; History Colorado Center, American Museum of Western Art-The Anschutz Collection, Buffalo Bill Grave & Museum, Black American West Museum, Four Mile Historic Park, Rockmount Ranch Wear, Civic Center Park, Western American Art Collection at The Denver Art Museum & many more.
10. Well, we saved the oldest for second to last, but also the most contemporary & trend worthy. Denver’s oldest block, Larimer Square (between 14th & 15th Street) includes shops & boutiques with the latest fashions from around the world. The short stretch of road before the corner has breathtaking mountainous views to take in while still enjoying the city lifestyle. There are also various restaurants & nightclubs that line this area for nightlife entertainment.
Daytime at Larimer Square Credits: Stevie Crecelius
11. Last but not least and growling in at the number 11 spot on our countdown is the infamous Blue Bear statue peeking into the Colorado Convention Center. Artist Lawence Argent named the friendly piece, “I See What You Mean.” Combining Argent’s passion for regional western art with a non-resident’s perspective of curiosity has not only become one of the iconic symbols of the Colorado Convention Center, but also an iconic symbol of the city itself. So stop by & say hi to Blue Bear & take a selfie for social media using #CCCBlueBear
#CCCBlueBear in #Denver with @DenverPublicArt @CCCBlueBear
Photo: 321 Media Productions via "Why Choose Denver? Let Us Show You"
This is just a small mention on ALL there is to do in Denver. For more on things to do in Denver, visit https://www.denver.org.
Facts and information: VISIT DENVER
Photo Credits: VISIT DENVER, Stevie Crecelius, Rich Grant, 321 Media Productions, and RTD.
Guest Blogger: Cailtlin Clark