Today we are featuring Denver Mile High City, the city exactly one mile above sea level. Yet, when you arrive, Denver will not appear to you as a mountain location, despite the 1650 meters: you will rather have the impression of being in the classic modern and breezy American city, with its evocative collection of skyscrapers in the Downtown area and the splendid skyline. from the Rockies and of the whole Front Range in the background.
Denver is the capital of Colorado and is traditionally tied to history and the myth of the far west, having been founded in 1858 around the tracks of a railway: however, it retains, alas, little or nothing of that atmosphere. The fact remains that, being the starting point for many wonderful excursions to discover Colorado, Denver it is the perfect place to become familiar with the cold climate of the mountain regions, spending a few hours discovering what there is to see in and around the city.
So let's go and find out what to see in Denver: the center has to offer some excellent museums, splendid parks and other places of sporting interest, while in the immediate surroundings of the city there are already the first natural wonders to visit.
- Map Denver and environs
- What to see in Denver? Attractions in the city
- Larimer Square
- 16th Street Mall
- Denver Attractions: Two Bizarre Examples
- Union Station
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver's parks: what to see?
- Denver Stadiums: Sports Tour!
- Denver: what to see outside the city? Possible excursions
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
- Lariat Loop and Buffalo Bill Tomb
- Genesee Park
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway
- Rocky Mountains National Park
- Where to sleep in Denver?
- Denver airport: information on how to get around
- Climate Denver
Map Denver and environs
What to see in Denver? Attractions in the city
Much of the attractions most interesting is gathered in the neighborhood of Mud, (Lower Downtown), around two key areas: 16 th Street Mall e Larimer Square, places also immortalized on the pages of On the Road by Jack Kerouac. What to do in Denver, perhaps following in the footsteps of the writer?
This area is ideal for one evening walk at aperitif time. The artists of the Beat Generation, and not only them, loved spending their time in this lively and elegant corner of the city, passing from one brewerie to another: Denver is in fact famous for the production of beer, so much so that it deserves the nickname of "Napa Valley of beer"(Not to be missed, if you are in the area in early September, the Great American Beer Festival). Restaurants, shops and refined boutiques follow one another in series along the sidewalks of this beautiful street, which lights up in a truly suggestive way at night.
16th Street Mall
If you want to relax a little, you can reach the adjacent pedestrian street called 16th Street Mall, the commercial equivalent of Larimer Square. It is a tree-lined avenue about 2 km long, full of shops, stalls and places to eat: you can walk it or by shuttle, but the concept is precisely that of shopping and relaxation.
But there is not only this: walking aimlessly in this area, you can get in touch with the free and irreverent spirit of the city, having fun discovering all the art installations hidden in this area: if you get away with the piano, you can cheer the Denver population strumming one of the colorful pianos scattered along the way.
Denver Attractions: Two Bizarre Examples
- I See What You Mean: if you leave the pedestrian area of 16th Street Mall for a moment and head towards the ultra-modern Colorado Convention Center, along 14th Street, you will see a huge blue bear peeking inside the building. The installation, ironically titled I See What You Mean, is the work of Lawrence Argent. For a visionary like me, this installation, placed in such an urban, rational and sparkling context, has a surreal charm that is one of a kind.
- Dancers: always adjacent to the Colorado Convention Center, but on the side of Champa Street, there is another “alienating” installation: it is “Dancers”, two gigantic ethereal figures immortalized in a dance step. You will find the installation in the park in front of the DCPA (Denver Performing Arts Complex).
This is not "just" a station: walking through the streets of LoDo you will be struck by how Union Station it has been redeveloped, indeed… transformed into a très chic hotel and shopping center. The attention to furnishings and the style of setting up the rooms suggests a classy venue rather than a train station.
Denver Art Museum
Denver's vocation for contemporary art is fully realized in Denver Art Museum (100 W, 14th Ave), which houses a remarkable collection of works and installations by recognized contemporary authors. However, what makes this museum known is the section - decidedly less futuristic but quite interesting - dedicated to natives of America and the Far West, where you will also find paintings and works on the life and events of the old and distant American West. The wing dedicated to contemporary art - named after Frederic C. Hamilton - is spectacular even from the outside: its abstract shape will immediately catch your attention.
Behind the contemporary wing of the Denver Art Museum is another bizarre open-air art installation: Cow Town, two fat cattle grazing (so to speak) in the midst of the hypermodern buildings of the Denver urban landscape.
Denver's parks: what to see?
There are many green spaces in Denver, but one of the most pleasant destinations is the Cheesman Park, suitable for long relaxing walks. If you have some time to spend in this city park, you should definitely visit Denver Botanic Garden, a colorful hymn to the fantasy of nature, effectively structured, with paths and areas classified by type of plants and climatic zone.
Il City Park, just north of Cheesman, is the largest in Denver and it is pleasant to get lost in its flower-filled lanes, up to Ferril Lake or the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which, in the section dedicated to the prehistoric era, houses some impressive dinosaur fossils. From the museum terrace you can see one of the best Denver skyline.
Denver Stadiums: Sports Tour!
Denver's sporting tradition is known throughout America, and local teams excel in many disciplines. If you want to experience a game of baseball of the Colorado Rockies, you will have to reach the Coors Field (2001 Blake St, pictured), while Denver Broncos football games are held at the prestigious Invesco Field at Mile High (1805 S Bryant St), where the football championship also takes place: the Colorado Rapids is a team that stands out, but we know that with the ball at their feet the Americans have little to say ...
Finally, we point out the grandiose Pepsi Center (1000 Chopper Circle), where the Denver Nugget, team of the top American basketball league, play.
Denver: what to see outside the city? Possible excursions
As we said, Denver looks like ideal stop to discover the natural beauty of Colorado. But not only from Colorado! Have you read the travelogue from Denver to Yellowstone, published on the website by Irene? Yes, because those who want to visit the Yellowstone park in Wyoming, to get as close as possible usually choose the Denver airport, choosing to make a nice itinerary on the road. In the travelogue you will find some examples of what you can see starting from Denver. An example? The Garden of the Gods of Colorado Springs, a small natural park characterized by the presence of strange rock shapes of red sandstone: in just over an hour's drive from Denver you will reach it. Here are other possible excursions:
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Despite being outside of downtown Denver, this gorgeous anfiteatro it is one of the symbols of the city and it is absolutely worth reaching it before leaving the city. We talked about it more extensively in this article: Red Rocks Park Amphitheater.
Lariat Loop and Buffalo Bill Tomb
Just outside of Denver is the town of Golden. From here starts the Lariat Loop National Scenic Byway, a beautiful panoramic road in the mountains, which leads to many places of interest, including the Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum. For those wishing to learn more about Buffalo Bill's history and visit his tomb…!
Book a tour to visit both
Just move a few miles east of Denver and you will find beautiful mountain parks, which are just a taste of the sensational 14ers, the peaks that exceed 4200 meters in Colorado. One of these is Genesee Park: a beautiful scenic road allows us to climb Genesee Mountain.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Speaking of scenic road, la Mount Evans Scenic Byway it is absolutely worthy of a quote. Sure, the Mount evans it is farther from Denver (about 1.40 hours by road), but the panoramic road that leads to the top of the mountain overcomes many other byways in the area for charm, offering beautiful 360 ° panoramas.
Rocky Mountains National Park
There are the Rocky Mountains, which geographically designate a very vast and articulated mountain range that goes from New Mexico to Canada ... and then there is the Rocky Mountains National Park, which makes history in itself. It can be reached with a trip northwest of Denver in less than two hours: there are many trails and things to see in this park, but an unmissable activity is the drive of the splendid Trail Ridge Road, with views that can remind (and in some cases, anticipate) the Grand Teton.
Tour organizzato da Denver al Rocky Mountains National Park
Where to sleep in Denver?
Both upscale hotels and classic chain motels are available in all districts of the city, but it is worth looking for some good accommodation in Mud, to enjoy Denver's vibrant nightlife. A good alternative can be Cherry creek, a quiet residential neighborhood not far from Downtown.
All available accommodation in LoDo
All accommodations available in Cherry Creek
Denver airport: information on how to get around
Il Denver International Airport it is the largest in all of the United States, and is located approx 40 minutes by car from the center. In this huge airport (which is under the eye of many conspiracy theorists for certain alleged mysterious elements) the major car rental agencies are available, but it is not advisable to take the car to move to Denver: If your accommodation is central, finding a parking space in Denver can be difficult. Since, as you will have understood, the city turns well on foot and by public transport, it would be better to postpone the collection of the car until you leave the city. If, on the other hand, you land in Denver and leave immediately for the on-the road, rent a car right away at the airport!
If you are not planning to hire a car at the airport, you can take advantage of bus the Regional Transit District (RTD), the Airporter and the Denver Airport Shuttle; otherwise, more comfortable and personalized services are available, such as car and private or shared shuttle. Either way you will be dropped off from the airport to your Denver hotel.
Information on private transfers
Finally, two tips on the climate: Denver has very cold winters, with frequent snowfalls, but this does not mean that there are no beautiful sunny days with mild temperatures. The beauty is that the summer sees a climate suitable for visiting the city, with high temperatures, but very low humidity rates. The temperature range is considerable: summer nights require the classic blanket.