Denver City Guide
The Midwestern city of Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley, on the western edge of the high plains just east of the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is often referred to as the Mile-High City because it’s official elevation is exactly one mile (1.6km) above sea level.
Denver was founded as a gold mining camp in 1859 and as town at the center of the Old West. It was filled with all the elements of that era, cowboys and rodeos, gamblers, saloons, gunslingers and more. However over the last century, Denver has shed this rough and tumble image, and is a world class modern city equipped with many museums, cultural and historic attractions and a modern international airport, which connects it to the rest of the world.
Denver’s population consists of active nature lovers who like to take advantage of the city’s unique topography and climate, which encourages the pursuit of various recreational sports like skiing, hiking, mountain biking and fishing. It’s right to say that vacations to Denver are cut out for adventure sports enthusiasts.
Where to stay in Denver
Denver is home to many fabulous luxury hotels, spa hotels and charming boutique hotels though the city is also equipped with budget accommodation and discount hotels.
Most visitors to the Mile High city like to stay within the neighborhood of downtown Denver, an area which contains the recently revived and rejuvenated community of lower downtown, popularly referred to as ‘LoDo’. Most Denver hotels are concentrated with this neighborhood especially most of the luxury hotels in Denver.
Other popular accommodation locations for visitors to Denver include the neighborhoods of Cherry Creek, which runs along Cherry Creek and is a premier shopping, entertainment and dining district of Denver and the verdant neighborhood of Stapleton, which also has many reasonably priced hotels.
The favored accommodation list, further included the Capitol Hill area, which is home to Denver’s hipster population and the Denver Tech Center and the Denver International Airport area; both of which are both popular with business travelers who head to Denver for work.
Places to see in Denver
The Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of Denver's newest attractions, which opened its doors to the public in October 2007. It is located in downtown Denver on the corner of 15th and Delgany, two blocks from Union Station and is accessible by the various modes of public Transportation. Apart from its often changing expositions, which feature many international artists, it also offers informative and educational guided tours for groups of 10 or more which are conducted by a docent or a curator and are quite affordable. This is the place for the art aficionados on vacations to Denver.
Colorado History Museum
The Colorado History Museum catalogues the colorful Wild West history of Denver. It offers an insight into the lives of Denver’s earliest inhabitants and its pioneer families through a collection that is made up of historic photographs, artifacts, and newspaper clippings. Besides its permanent collection, the museum also hosts special exhibits throughout the year and is equipped with an excellent bookstore and gift shop.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art museum contains one of the largest collections of Native American art in the country. This museum, which is part of the Civic Center Cultural Complex in Downtown Denver, is housed in a huge seven storey building. Besides its extensive collection of Native American Art, the Denver Art Museum or DAM as it is popularly called, also hosts collections that feature native art from other regions of the world like Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. This is another place for art enthusiasts on Denver vacations.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science caters to both children and adults as it offers a huge selection of interactive exhibits housed throughout the museum including its most popular areas like the Space Odyssey and the Prehistoric Journey Section. The museum also hosts an IMAX theater and many food outlets along with a gift shop.
National Western Stock Show
A major attraction in the mile high city of Denver is the National Western Stock Show, which is held at the National Western Complex located in downtown Denver in January every year. The show is over a hundred years old and attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year. The National Western Stock Show started out in 1906 as a cattle trading show but has grown to encompass a whole host of events like the PRO Rodeo, the super dogs show, the Mexican Rodeo, the dancing horses show etc. All these shows have a distinct Wild West theme and provide hours of entertainment for all the family. If the wild-west has always fascinated you then you should plan a trip to Denver during the National Western Stock Show which is held in January, over a period of two weeks each year.
Best time to visit Denver
Denver’s climate can best be described as semi-arid with dry, cold winters and warm summers. The best time to plan vacations to Denver is in early fall, unless you plan to go skiing in the nearby Rocky Mountains.
In that case you would want to visit Denver during the winters when the city is known to receive as much as 60 inches of snowfall or ‘fresh powder’. Denver’s weather is, however, very unpredictable and the city is known to receive heavy unseasonal snowstorms that can bring the city to a standstill.
Getting around in Denver
Once you get to Denver, its efficient public transport makes traveling much easier. To get to the city, you can try air flights or cars. While cars may be a time consuming method, the best way to save time is air flights. With Fare Buzz and its huge inventory of cheap air flights, you can find the best and cheapest air tickets and save money as well.
Denver is equipped with a good public transport system consisting mainly of buses and a light rail network that operates throughout the metropolitan area and links it with the outlying suburbs. From June to September a hop-on, hop-off trolley operates within the city center, which links the city’s main tourist attractions. Denver is also well equipped with taxis, which can be hailed from the city’s taxi ranks or booked on the phone.
However, if you need to rent a car in Denver, we can be of assistance for our portfolio of travel deals also includes affordable car rentals in various cities around the globe. So, when you are making your hotel booking for Denver, do make it a point to ask about car rentals in Denver.
Where to shop in Denver
Denver’s inhabitants have a reputation of being ‘outdoorsy’ but the pursuit of outdoor sports doesn’t stop them from shopping up a storm. As a result the mile-high city is chock-a-block with varied shopping locales that cater to all tastes and budgets. The Cherry Creek North neighborhood in Denver is the city’s main shopping and dining neighborhood. Located here are more than 320 stand-alone boutiques, stores and galleries along with cafes and restaurants that are set amongst tree-lined streets and gardens. A prominent attraction of the neighborhood is the giant Cherry Creek Shopping Center, which offers outposts of more than 160 upscale brands like BCBGMAXAZRIA, Cole Haan, Everything but Water, Louis Vuitton amongst others.
Yet another prominent shopping locale in Denver is the 16th Street Mall, a city-center, tree-lined pedestrianized mall designed by the renowned architectural firm I.M. Pei and associates. This open-air mall is bordered by historic buildings that host offices, al-fresco cafes and many retail stores. Located here is the Denver Pavilions mall and entertainment complex that offers more than forty stores along with restaurants and entertainment venues. Other heavily-trafficked Denver malls include the Flatiron Crossing mall which is located halfway between the cities of Denver and Boulder and offers more than 200 stores, shops and restaurants, and the Colorado Mills mall, an immensely popular locale for discount shopping which hosts outlet stores of major brands like banana republic, Brooks Brothers and Guess.
Where to eat in Denver
Denver hosts an extremely vibrant dining scene. Additionally, the city brews more beer than any other US city. The residents of Denver are passionate about the foods and beverages that are available in their city and the city’s various establishments offer free food tours of their facilities for visitors. Popular food and drink tours in Denver include tours like Hammond’s candy factory tour, the Celestial Seasonings tea factory tour and the Great Divide Brewery Tour. So if you have a passion for food and drink, a food tour during your Denver vacation is definitely recommended.
As for dining spots, Denver’s restaurants is home to some excellent restaurants many of which are headed by owner-chefs who make use of the city’s bounty of fresh produce, artisan cheeses and free-range meats to craft innovative eats. Highly-ranked and popular eateries in Denver include joints like Rioja (Mediterranean fare), Osteria Marco (Italian cuisine), Restaurant Kevin Taylor, Vesta Dipping Grill (both American restaurants), Z Cuisine (French fare), Mizuna (New American eats), Jack-n-Gill (Mexican cuisine) and New Saigon (Vietnamese fare).
Nightlife in Denver
Denver has a glamorous nightlife scene that features stylish lounges and hip and happening nightspots largely located within its Larimer Square and LoDo and South Colfax Nightclub districts. The list of the most ‘happening’ spots in Denver changes frequently though it currently includes haunts like Corridor 44, the Cruise Room and the Peaks Lounge (all sleek cocktail lounges) and thumping dance clubs like Suite Two Hundred, the Church, Vinyl and the Funky Buddha Lounge.