The Mile High City !
The perfect blend of outdoor adventure and urban sophistication. That’s the duality locals love about the Mile High City. With snowcapped peaks providing a spectacular backdrop, Denver is as refined as it is laid-back. It’s a place where aerospace engineers rub elbows with rock climbers at local brewpubs, at art festivals, or while strolling their favorite pedestrian mall. And with 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with Denver the first time they visit.
When you're out and about in the city, be sure to stop in at one of the city's conveniently located Vistor Information centers especially set up to help you make the most of your stay in Denver.
From the stately Victorian mansions of Five Points, rich in African-American culture, to the hip restaurants and nightclubs of historic LoDo, to the quaint, tree-lined streets of Old South Gaylord and old Southe Pearl, Denver’s laid-back attitude is exemplified in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The 210-foot high French Gothic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception towers above turn-of-the-century mansions in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, while the adjacent Colfax Avenue has some of the best music venues in the city.
Three diverse commercial districts make Highlands Denver’s largest neighborhood, and this community with its distinct Hispanic heritage has been featured in Travel + Leisure Magazine as well as National Geographic Traveler. Just south of downtown is The Art District on Santa Fe, showcasing the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, and the nearby Antique Row is a popular haunt on South Broadway. There is a wealth of Asian culture and food throughout the city.
Denver’s premier shopping and dining neighborhood is Cherry Creek North, with 320 independently owned shops, galleries, boutiques, and spas. The spectacular new wing of the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library are just two of the many architectural marvels located in an area of the city known as the Golden Triangle Museum District. A vibrant mix of urban culture, Capitol Hill and Congress Park's historic mansions share space with newer condos and apartments, resulting in an eclectic young community.
Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, the Children’s Museum, and Downtown Aquarium highlight the Riverfront, a neighborhood bordering the South Platte River. In recent years, Lodo has been reborn as one of the city's liveliest areas, with shopping, nightlife and dining options galore. Larimer Square is Denver's trendiest block, with upscale shops and boutiques. Uptown is packed with hip stores and dramatic views of downtown and the mountains.
A short drive northwest from Denver is the quaint town of Golden, home of Buffalo Bill’s grave, while a quick trip to the southeast lands visitors in Historic Downtown Littleton, featuring a charming “Main Street” America, lined with turn-of-the-century buildings that now house some of the metro area’s most unique, independently owned businesses. Visitors will also be charmed by Olde Town Arvada.
Denver’s newest neighborhood, Stapleton, offers a diverse mix of dining and retail. In all, Denver’s neighborhoods boast a diverse collection of local eateries, sidewalk cafes, art galleries, wine bars, neighborhood pubs, and independent shops, adding flavor and charm to the Mile High City.
What to Do In Denver.
When you wake up in Denver, adventure awaits. If you’re looking for a chic and sophisticated jaunt, visit any of the hundreds of museums and galleries that make Denver the Arts Capital of the West. Or indulge your inner shopper or foodie, then spend a blissful afternoon at a spa. Bike paths throughout the city are a great way to explore major attractions, or escape for a day-trip into the majestic Rockies.
Shopping In Denver. The Mile High City isn't all outdoor adventure and art museums. Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods offer an array of retail excursions making Denver the shopping capital of the Rocky Mountain West. From tree-lined streets filled with independent boutiques to convenient malls and outlet centers, from designer duds to sporting goods, Denver is ready to cater to your shopping wishes
An Outdoor Adventure & Pro Sports Paradise. Denver has the nation's largest city park system and 850 miles of urban trails, perfect for exploring on two feet or two wheels. There are dude ranches and fly-fishing for outdoor enthusiasts and whitewater kayaking or rafting to whet the appetites of adventure seekers. Take in the sights from above on a balloon or helicopter tour, or on the ground with horseback riding or an off-road adventure. And you can be in the Rocky Mountains in 20 minutes, where hiking, snowboarding and more await – sometimes all in the same day. The Mile High City is also home to no less than eight pro sports teams. Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby – Denver's got it all.
Mile High Attractions. From museums built just for kids to nightclubs built just for adults, Denver has no shortage of things to do. Set your sights on local wildlife at the zoo or aquarium, throw caution to the wind at the only downtown amusement park in the country, or spend an afternoon at a Front Range winery or brewery. Denver’s attractions are sure to fill you with a wide range of sights, sounds and experiences you can take back home with you.
Arts & Culture. Denver has always been a town that embraces diverse cultural experiences and creative endeavors; after all, the city had an opera before it had a school. Today, you can experience Denver’s thriving art scene at local galleries, dozens of public museums and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which includes ten venues for Broadway theatre, opera, ballet and the symphony. Discover the creative vitality that makes Denver a great place to live and to visit.
Denver Dining & Nightlife. When the sun comes up over the eastern plains, Denver comes to life with breakfast bistros, power lunch cafes, trendy diners and fusion eateries waiting to satisfy your hunger. After the sun goes down, the city continues to shine with a collection of restaurants that are garnering national recognition. And for those late night cravings, the nightlife in Denver has that certain vibe. Energetic. Lively. Welcoming. From upscale wine and martini bars, to hot salsa clubs, to neighborhood bars and rooftop patios, you instantly feel you belong as you mix.
The Mile High Cuisine Scene. Great steak houses have always been easy to find in Denver but in recent years, as more and more innovative, young chefs are establishing their own eateries in the Mile High City, the local offerings rival those of any culinary mecca. Whether you crave Asian Fusion, Modern Mexican or Mediterranean, a casual bite or an evening of fine dining, more than 300 restaurants offer something for every palate.
Denver Nightlife. You might be interested to know Denver brews more beer than any place in the country, and there’s a pint with your name on it waiting at a local brewpub. If you’re seeking something more refined, a posh, swanky martini or wine bar may be more your style. Denver is also a music city, with hundreds of live venues offering eclectic choices every night of the week, from soulful jazz to hip hop dance clubs. Anyway you look at it, your nights in Denver are never dull.
Mile High Transportation. Whether on foot, by car or by light rail, Denver is an easy city to get around. Downtown is very pedestrian friendly, but you can also hop on the free shuttle that runs along the 16th Street Mall. The Light Rail connects downtown to the suburbs; buses and taxis offer convenient transport. Denver’s grid-like design makes most routes easy to navigate by car using a map, and numerous options are available for disabled travelers.
Denver International Airport is a major airline hub, the fourth busiest airport in the United States. Since the airport opened in 1995, it has consistently won readers’ choice awards from publications like Business Traveler Magazine. The airport offers free wi-fi access in public areas and a diverse array of dining and shopping choices.
Located northeast of downtown Denver, a cab or shuttle ride puts you in the heart of the city in about 25 minutes. The city’s public transport system, Regional Transportation District (RTD), also operates five bus routes under the frequent airport express bus service called skyRide.
Mild and Mile High. The biggest surprise for visitors to Denver is the climate. The arid conditions bring only 8 to 15 inches of annual precipitation and locals wake up to more than 300 days of sunshine a year. That’s more annual hours of sun than Miami and San Diego.
Winters are mild with an average daily high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and days reaching 60 degrees are not uncommon. Snow doesn’t stay on the ground long in Denver so golf courses and outdoor cafes are able to stay open all year.
In summer, Denver enjoys low relative humidity, making for beautiful, sun-filled days and cool, comfortable evenings. The average daily high temperature in August is a mild 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The mild weather is due in part to the city's altitude: 5,280 feet above sea leve, or exactly a mile high. There are a few ways to make your visit more comfortable at this altitude.
Since its Wild West beginnings, Denver has attracted all kinds of people. The rich ethnic history and diverse cultural heritage of the city are celebrated with a number of events throughout the year, from the nations largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the spring to the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Festival in the fall. Summer brings the National Gay Rodeo Finals and Pridefest a celebration of community and culture. The historically rich African-American Five Points neighborhood is home to the Black American West Museum, while the Museo de Las Americas hosts some of the world’s top contemporary artists from Latin America. A trip to the Mile High City will find no shortage of year-round cultural activity.
Gay & Lesbian. Sure, “Brokeback Mountain” made a neighboring state famous, but the laid-back, welcoming nature of the locals and a vibrant nightlife makes Denver the true gay and lesbian center of the West, with many hotels and restaurants catering to GLBT visitors. For shopping and nightlife, check out the Capitol Hill neighborhood. You may also want to plan your trip during the nation’s largest Pridefest.
Multicultural. With a population that is 40% Hispanic and 10% African American, Denver is a dynamic city of diverse cultures, rewarding those who visit with a montage of sights, sounds, smells, and flavors. A number of museums and cultural facilities, including the Stiles African American Heritage Center, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, and the Museo de Las Americas, showcase the arts and history of various peoples and traditions as surrounding neighborhoods fill the city with authentic restaurants and an array of cultural celebrations. Denver is also home to a sizable Asian American community.
Accessibility Services. From wheelchair-friendly trails and accommodations, to transportation services for the physically impaired, Denver is a city that can be enjoyed by all. Use this link for a comprehensive list of services available to visitors with special needs.
Where To Stay.
Where you stay in Denver depends on why you’re going and what you plan on doing. Whether you’re going to Denver for a business trip, a romantic weekend getaway or a family vacation, Denver has a multitude of options to enhance your experience. You’ll find everything from luxury hotels with all the amenities to cozy, romantic Bed & Breakfast hideaways in the heart of downtown.
Purely Colorado can provide you with all your accommodation requirements, please be sure to visit the hotels section of our site where you can search for availability at hotels in Denver and across Colorado.