Denver, the capital city of Colorado, is located in the northern half of the state right along the front range of the Rocky Mountains. It only takes a few hours to get to the Wyoming border to the north. You can get up to the world-famous ski resorts in just a couple of hours, too.
Denver is an artsy and eclectic city with a diverse population. The climate is dynamic yet fairly mild most of the time. While Colorado is known for its mountains and outdoor activities, its capital has plenty to keep visitors busy, as well. Let’s look at what the mile-high city of Denver has to offer.
Things to know about Denver
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to vacation with friends, or you want somewhere to visit with your family, Denver has something for you.
Denver has a population of just under 725,000. Its history dates back to the Old West period and the Gold Rush.
Though the mountains get plenty of snow, Denver experiences an average of about 300 days of sunshine each year.
A day out in Denver could consist of visiting museums, going to a professional sports game for one of the many teams calling Denver home, taking a ghost tour, drinking beer at any of the numerous microbreweries serving craft beer, and more.
You can go to the zoo, visit a park, experience the Botanical Gardens, see a show, shop, eat, dance, or catch a concert at Fiddler’s Green or Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Denver has a light rail train service and a bus service, which make it easy to get around town. You can also catch an Uber, catch a Lyft, or rent one of the scooters that are found around town.
The city isn’t so large that you can’t walk around much of it, but you’d want wheels to get from one side to the other.
Best Places to visit in Denver
Denver has something for everyone. There are a few different areas you may want to check out. Keep reading to find out where to hang out in Denver.
The LoDo area is full of unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs. Larimer Square is located in this area. It’s a nice block of Denver to walk through. At night it’s lit up with string lights and bustling with locals and visitors alike.
Union Station makes it easy to get to. You can catch a Colorado Rockies Major League baseball game, go to Elitch Gardens amusement park, hit up the Denver Aquarium, or just walk around and see the sights.
A visit to Capitol Hill will leave you feeling stately. There are old Victorian-style mansions lining the streets in this neighborhood. You’ll find large old trees and a Bohemian atmosphere steeped with culture yet still earthy.
At the heart of this neighborhood is the Colorado State Capitol building. It has a dome lined with gold that’s highly recognizable and eye-catching. There are off-beat shops and cafes in this area that cater to a hipster and punk crowd.
The famed Molly Brown House Museum is located in this neighborhood. It’s believed by some to be haunted but stands as a historical piece of Denver that’s certainly worth a visit.
This is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Denver. It’s been the home of the city’s jazz scene for decades. There is a jazz festival held in the neighborhood every year as an ode to the area’s heritage.
The area is lively and hip. New life is being breathed into the Five Points neighborhood but with care to keep its history alive. There is a lot of construction and restoration going on in the area.
Butting up to Capitol Hill is the Uptown area. It’s sometimes referred to as North Capitol Hill. You’ll find plenty of trendy shops, restaurants, and bars in the neighborhood. The Fillmore Auditorium is located between Uptown and Capitol Hill. This is also where the famed Brown Palace Hotel and Spa is located.
Sloan’s Lake is right at the edge of Denver. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s the largest lake in Denver.
You’ll find a few places to eat or grab a drink in the area. However, this is more of a place to rest, get in a good bike ride, walk your dog, or have a picnic. If you want to do something else after your peaceful time in Sloan’s Lake, you can head for Highland Square nearby.
Family activities in Denver
Families will find many things to do in Denver. The Denver Zoo is located in the City Park neighborhood of the city. It covers 80 acres and dates back to 1896. You and your children can enjoy walking through areas themed by the continents of the world.
The zoo is beautifully landscaped and decorated with different lights and fixtures at holiday times. It’s open all year long and is an oasis in the city for people of all ages.
Next door to the zoo is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. With plenty to see and lots of learning, this is a must-see attraction for families. It consists of several permanent exhibits, along with temporary exhibits that change periodically, a children’s Discovery Zone, and even a planetarium.
Other places to visit with children include the Children’s Museum, the Butterfly Pavilion, Elitch Gardens, Washington Park, Dave and Buster’s, and more.
Final Thoughts about Denver
Denver is worth a visit, should you get the chance to go. It has many hotels to stay at, including value-priced all the way up to elite luxury. There’s plenty to do and a lot you can walk to. The vibe is lively and energetic with a flair toward trendy and hip.
You can get to much of what the rest of the state has to offer with ease from Denver, as well. Trek up to the mountain ski resorts, head out to the Easter Plains, or visit any of the other Front Range cities within just hours of the capital city.