If you’ve been thinking about exploring the rocky mountains, there has never been a better time. In addition to football and beer, Denver also has wealth of historical attractions, educational opportunities, and other things to do. Experience the best Denver has to offer with this Denver travel guide.
- Experience the great outdoors
With more than 300 sunny days per year and a variety of choice ski destinations, Denver truly does offer the best of both worlds. During the summer, warm weather adventurers can raft down the Colorado River, mountain bike along Buffalo Creek, or rock climb in Cherry Creek State Park. In the winter months, outdoors enthusiasts can ski or snowboard at Cherry Creek State Park, Echo Mountain, Eldora, or Winter Park. Just beware of altitude sickness. Rapid changes in elevation can result in headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Try to acclimate for at least 48 hours before doing any strenuous exercise.
- Eat your fill in LoDo
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why a culinary scene starts to explode, but it’s safe to say that it’s happening in Denver. The Lower Downtown area (also known as LoDo) is just one area experiencing a surge of new restaurants and watering holes. Visit Larimer Square for establishments like chef Jennifer Jasinski’s Rioja and chef Troy Guard’s TAG. Union Station, a common stop on the way to Colorado’s ski slopes, also houses a few unique dining experiences. Stop by Mercantile Dining & Provisions for grilled swordfish or Acme Delicatessen for smoked egg salad. ChoLon, another neighborhood favorite, features a variety of dishes inspired by asian cuisine. Try the pork belly rillettes or the grilled octopus.
- Peruse the Denver Art Museum
With more than 700,000 pieces of art, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in the entire country. This massive educational facility houses 10 permanent collections in two different buildings. The original museum opened in 1971 in what is now known as the North Building. Designed by prominent Italian architect, Gio Ponti, the building’s exterior features more than a million reflective tiles that reflect the sunlight and complement the castle-like architecture. The second building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, features angular walls that are meant to evoke the Rocky Mountains. Once inside, visitors can experience everything from European and American paintings to collections of photography and textiles. Other exhibits include Asian, American Indian, Pre-Columbian, and Spanish Colonial artwork.
- Visit the Molly Brown House
Denver was founded in 1858 and contains more than a hundred years of historical attractions. One of the most popular landmarks is the Molly Brown House Museum. This preserved Victorian house was built in 1880 and used to be the home of Titanic survivor, Molly Brown. While her life had nothing to do with the plot of the hit movie, she was a prominent activist and philanthropist. In 1972, her home was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Today, history buffs can learn about the unsinkable Molly Brown’s life and about Victorian Colorado. Some other popular museums in the Denver area include the Nature and Science Museum and the US Mint.
- Explore the Children’s Museum of Denver
If you’re visiting Denver as a family, consider paying a visit to the Children’s Museum of Denver. This educational institution is aimed at children between the ages of one and eight years old, but there are plenty of things for adults to do too. The museum first opened in a converted school bus in 1973, but it’s since experienced two relocations and a whole host of upgrades. The most recent expansion took place in 2015 and cost more than 16 million dollars. The result? A 9-acre campus with double the exhibit space and a variety of new exhibits, including Altitude, the Art Studio, Energy, and Joy Park. Sometimes you can even find a discount on tickets.
- Shop ‘til you drop in Larimer Square
Remember Larimer Square? Located in LoDo, this popular dining district is also home to a variety of unique shops and independent retailers, including Cry Baby Ranch, Scarpaletto, and Blush. Shoppers can find handcrafted shoes and boots, home decor, local artwork, and handmade jewelry. Throughout the year, Larimer also hosts a variety of themed festivals. Visit in June to experience the Denver Chalk Art Festival. Stop by in July for the Peach Sidewalk Sale, an outdoor shop-and-stroll that celebrates the Colorado Peach Harvest. Last, but not least, the Yuletide Window Walk is held in December during the height of holiday shopping. In 2015, Larimer Square celebrated 50 years of preservation.
By Jayson Goetz.
Jayson Goetz is a writer from Phoenix, Arizona that is passionate about traveling on a budget. Being a broke writer, Jayson soon learned that if he wants to travel he needs to find the best deals. He loves sharing his experiences and tips in hopes of helping people travel the world.