Denver, Colorado — The Mile High City — is where urban sophistication meets outdoor adventure. Denver is an outdoor city known for its world-class cultural attractions, thriving craft breweries, chef-driven dining, and red-hot music scene, all within easy reach of the Rocky Mountains.
Situated in the South Platte River Valley, this modern city draws openness from the Great Plains to the east and features spectacular Rocky Mountain views to the west. Residents of this mile-high landscape (Denver is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level, or one mile high; 1.6 km for our metric friends) are noted for their sunny dispositions and can-do attitudes.
Getting to Denver is easy, thanks to the efficient Denver International Airport (DEN), one of the largest connecting airports in the world. From there, it’s a short, effortless trip on the airport train to Denver Union Station in the heart of downtown. Arriving at Union Station, visitors are greeted with an opulent and fully restored 1914 Beaux-Arts train station, home to swanky bars, restaurants, shops, and a boutique hotel. From Union Station, access downtown on foot, by bike, or on the free 16th Street Mall shuttle.
Walk to your heart’s content around Lower Downtown (LoDo) or utilize the city’s many public transportation routes by either bus or light rail. Explore numerous nearby cultural attractions like the Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, and the History Colorado Center. With more than 12,000 hotel rooms in the downtown area, and nearly 51,000 metro-wide, there’s plenty to choose from at all price points.
Denver is also a hub for chef-owned restaurants and was featured in Season 15 of Bravo’s hit TV show “Top Chef.” Stroll among the Victorian buildings and boutique shops of Larimer Square and take your pick of culinary talent, then indulge yourself with the many offerings from locally sourced products. Denver is at the forefront of the food hall revolution, including Avanti F&B, where seven rotating casual dining concepts share space with two craft bars and a patio with spectacular views of downtown; The Source, an artisan market housed in a former ironworks foundry; Zeppelin Station, with street food vendors, designer goods and apparel, and two cocktail bars; Denver Milk Market, featuring 16 culinary concepts run by acclaimed chef Frank Bonanno; and Denver Central Market, where visitors will find nearly a dozen providers serving everything from wood-fired pizza and charcuterie to fresh-baked bread and gourmet chocolates.
If you really want to explore Denver, delve into its diverse neighborhoods. The River North Art District (RiNo) is “where art is made,” riding a wave of urban revival with art galleries, craft breweries, restaurants, and eye-popping street art on nearly every corner. Cherry Creek, just five minutes from downtown, is Denver’s premier shopping neighborhood with everything from independently owned boutiques on 16 charming blocks in Cherry Creek North to popular upscale brands in Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the nearby Denver Botanic Gardens. Close to downtown is the trendy Highlands neighborhood with Victorian-era homes, hip restaurants, lush gardens, art galleries and a famous ice cream shop in a giant milk can, Little Man Ice Cream. The Art District in Santa Fe is a haven for art lovers with more than 30 art galleries and colorful murals, highlighting the neighborhood’s Hispanic roots. Uptown has a long stretch of cafés, bistros, and pubs with outdoor patios near the city’s largest greenspace, City Park, which also houses the Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. And in Five Points, the music of jazz legends transcends local clubs. Now it’s a fusion of old and new with coffeehouses, breweries, museums, and beloved barbecue institutions.
Denver is also known for something other than its high altitude: beer. With more than 100 breweries and tap rooms in the metro area, there is an endless variety of pale ales, one-off firkins, and daring ingredients, created by a community of passionate artisans crafting some of the most adventurous beers in the country. The Denver Beer Trail, a collection of nearly 50 of Denver’s top breweries, brewpubs, and tap rooms, can be your guide to this hoppy heaven.
Denver’s music scene has produced big rock bands like the Fray, OneRepublic, and the Lumineers. On any given night, you’ll find talented artists playing a vast array of genres in clubs throughout the metro area. And at the top of every music lover’s bucket list is Red Rocks Amphitheatre, named the top-grossing, most-attended concert venue in the world in 2021 by Billboard Magazine. Just 15 miles from downtown, see gorgeous sandstone monoliths that buttress the iconic stage and go for a hike on the trails in the surrounding park. While you’re at it, take a moment to enjoy sweeping views of the Denver skyline.
Home to the three-time Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos and the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, Denver is as sports-crazy as you think. Three downtown stadiums for football (Broncos), baseball (Colorado Rockies), basketball (Denver Nuggets), and hockey (Colorado Avalanche) means you can catch a game and then head out on the town with ease.
With the stunning Rocky Mountains just a short drive away, Denver is a year-round paradise for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Travel + Leisure called The Mile High City their “Favorite U.S. City for a Ski Trip” and Conde Nast Traveler included it in their “Top Summer Destinations” roundup. Enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park, skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, rock climbing, and more during the day, then head back to the city for world-class dining, museums, performing arts, shopping, and more.
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