Did you know? Denver typically has 300 days of sunshine annually! Visit the Denver Destination Guide for more ideas and detailed information.
Must See Denver Attractions:
|16th Street Mall – Pedestrian Mall||Lined with 200 trees and 50,000 flowers this festive, mile-long pedestrian promenade has 28 outdoor cafes and offers Denver’s best people-watching. IM Pei designed the gray and pink granite pathway to resemble the pattern of a diamondback rattlesnake. Hop on the FREE 16th Street MallRide bus – they’re free and stop on every corner. After dark, horse-drawn carriages clatter up and down the Mall. Follow this link to a map of the area: http://www.rtd-denver.com/images/FreeMallRideMap.jpg|
|Platte Valley Trolley||The trolley line originates in Confluence Park, the historic location where the city of Denver was founded, at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek River. The trolley is located at approximately 1400 Platte Street, Denver, behind REI’s flagship store. Visitors can reach the trolley from Platte Street or from 15th Street in downtown Denver. The trolley operates on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May through October. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children and may be purchased from the trolley motorman at any of the trolley’s stops (REI/Confluence Park, Downtown Aquarium, or Children’s Museum of Denver and the Sports Authority Field at Mile High-Home of the Broncos). See Denver from an open-air “Breezer”!|
|Colorado State Capitol|
Stand exactly 5,280 feet above sea level (one mile high) on the west steps then climb to the rotunda for a panoramic view of snowcapped peaks. It’s against state law to block the view of the 200 named mountains visible from the dome. Unfortunately the dome is currently undergoing major restoration and is not open for touring until an expected end of summer, 2014. The capitol building remains open for tours on weekdays.
Historical tours begin on the first floor and consist of early Colorado history, Capitol construction, several stained glass windows, Women's Gold Tapestry, Presidential portraits, and a stop outside the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Public historical tours are offered hourly 10am to 3pm Monday through Friday.
Mr. Brown's Attic is an exhibit area located between the third floor and the dome. It is devoted to Colorado's early history, capitol construction, legislative process and a children's interactive space. A closed-captioned video tour (near third floor elevators) is available for visitors who are unable or do not wish to make the climb.
Beginning in December 2011 the dome will be closed due to the dome renovation project. Mr. Brown’s attic, the capitol museum, will remain open during the dome renovation.
|Denver Art Museum||There are two buildings – one a fortress-like structure from Italian architect Gio Ponti, the other, a structure that resembles a titanium crystal with peaks and shards. Inside find the world’s greatest collection of Native American art including works from European masters, Old West classics and phenomenal traveling exhibits.|
|US Mint||Show me the Money!! The Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little “D” for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change. Reservations recommended.|
|The Blue Bear at the Colorado Convention Center has become a Mile High icon. The 40-foot high bear injects a welcome sense of fun and playfulness. Don’t miss this photo op!|
|Larimer Square||This trendy block of Victorian buildings is home to chic shopping, dance clubs, a comedy club, outdoor cafes and a dozen of Denver’s best restaurants. For 40 years in downtown Denver, it’s hip to be at the “Square.”|
|Confluence Park||Denver was founded here as a gold mining camp in 1858. Today, the river park is the heart of Denver’s 850-mile bike trail network, and is surrounded by attractions. Gear up for the mountains at the REI Flagship Store; ride the Platte River Trolley to the Downtown Aquarium to see stingrays and sharks; or visit the Children’s Museum of Denver with dozens of interactive “playscapes” for younger kids. Eat and drink in the nearby neighborhoods of Riverfront, LoHi and Highlands, or scream your head off on the Mind Eraser at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park – Denver’s downtown theme park.|
|Coors Field||Visit the beautiful Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies in action. The Rockies have a long home stand including games July 3-6 versus the Dodgers, and July 7-9 when they take on the Padres. For more information and ticket availability visit the Colorado Rockies' website. Sunday, July 6 offers additional game-day promotions including "The Skipper" Bobblehead Gnome Day, Military Appreciation Day, Bike to the Game, and Green Packs. Ticket prices range from $28 to $72 each. Visit their website to check it out!|
|City Park Area|
|Denver Museum of Nature & Science||The fourth largest museum in the US is a maze filled with treasures of the earth – dinosaurs, dioramas, space exhibits, science experiments, a digital planetarium, IMAX theatre and touring shows.|
|Denver Zoo||Lions and tigers and bears – and so much more, on lovely grounds make this the fourth most popular zoo in America. Go underwater with polar bears at Northern Shores, or eyeball-to-eyeball with a gorilla in Primate Panorama. Predator Ridge recreates the plains of Africa with a pride of lions, while the Tropical Discovery rainforest teems with crocodiles and gila monsters. The zoo’s biggest new addition is Toyota Elephant Passage, a phenomenal 10-acre home for the Zoo’s elephants, gibbons, rhinos and more – all in the heart of an Asian village.|
The Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel is #26 on the map below – see how convenient it is to Downtown Denver Attractions! (click on map to see larger version of map)
Don’t miss these beautiful sites – just a short drive into the Rocky Mountains:
|Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Visitors Center||Carved from towering red rock monuments, this 9,000-seat arena is one of the world’s most renowned concert venues and has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen. Listening to a concert here is on the “bucket list” of every true music fan. When there’s no concert, the Visitor Center has a museum and Performers’ Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.|
|Coors Brewery Tour||“Taste the Rockies!” The world’s largest brewing site still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Free, self-guided tours show every step in the brewing process, and end with free samples for those over 21.|
|Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave||Welcome to the Wild West! Buffalo Bill Cody’s exciting story as Pony Express rider, army scout, buffalo hunter and showman comes to life at this fun museum, high atop Lookout Mountain. Enjoy views of the snowcapped Rockies in one direction, the Great Plains in the other. For those with strong nerves, drive to the museum on the hairpin Lariat Loop Drive – then continue to I-70, exit 250, to see a live herd of buffalo.|
|Georgetown||Nestled in a steep mountain valley, the “Silver Queen” is one of Colorado’s most elegant mining towns with 200 Victorian buildings. Ride the Goergetown Loop Railroad over a 100-foot high trestle to neighboring Silver Plume, tour historic homes and shop on the quant Main Street that has been used in films featuring Clint Eastwood and John Denver. Located 42 miles west of Denver on I-70.|
|Echo Lake and Mount Evans||The highest paved road in North America climbs 9,000 feet from Denver, passing through five life zones en route to the 14,264-foot high summit. This is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet and above), and one of only two in the nation that you can drive up. Stop at Echo Lake along the way for hiking trails, fishing, picnic tables and an unusual eight-sided log cabin restaurant. At timberline, the Denver Botanic Gardens maintains a trail that winds through wildflowers.|
|Central City & Black Hawk||These two old gold mining towns (once known as the “Richest Square Mile on Earth”) have come alive with casino gambling. Two dozen casinos rock 24-7 with 10,000 slot machines, poker, black jack, roulette and craps. The surrounding hills are covered with abandoned gold mines, Victorian buildings and Old West history. Located 34 miles west of Denver.|
Colorado hosts a multitude of festivals, concerts, attractions and a buzzing nightlife. Check out Denver 365 for their July, 2014 offerings: http://www.denver.org/events and watch for our Convention updates as concert dates are announced.
If You Have a Full Day:
|Rocky Mountain National Park||Colorado’s No. 1 attraction is 71 miles from Denver and offers an unforgettable trip into the heart of the Rocky Mountains. More than 350 miles of trails meander to valleys of wildflowers, thundering waterfalls, high alpine lakes and craggy, snowcapped peaks. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in the world crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level with panoramic views in all directions. See elk, moose, and big horn sheep while hawks and eagles circle overhead. At the entrance to the park, the historic village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining. Remember the “The Shining”? Wish you could forget it? See the historic landmark The Stanley Hotel and learn about its fascinating haunted history.|
|Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs||Pikes Peak Country is located 60 miles south of Denver and features more than 40 attractions centered around 14,000-foot high Pikes Peak and the city of Colorado Springs. Things to see include the Air Force Academy, of three United States military colleges, http://www.usafa.edu/superintendent/pa/visitor-center.cfm; the famous Broadmoor Resort with its lake and three golf courses; the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame with its exhibits on this exciting professional sport; and Garden of the Gods which has gigantic 500-foot high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak. Other exciting area attractions include Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Cave of the Winds, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Historic Cripple Creek gold camp, Seven Falls, Echo Canyon River Expeditions, and Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.|
|Mount Evans and Echo Lake||Mount Evans has the highest paved auto road in North America snaking its way through five life zones to the 14,260-foot summit. This is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet and above), and one of only two in the nation that you can drive up. The Road ($10 for a three-day pass) is open only from the Friday before Memorial Day through the first Monday in October, and frequently has snow on it, even in August. The view from the top takes in the entire Front Range. The summit is 60 miles from downtown Denver. Stop at Echo Lake along the way for hiking trails, fishing, picnic tables and an unusual eight-sided log cabin restaurant. At timberline, be sure to stop at M. Walter Pesman Trail (maintained by Denver Botanic Gardens) for a wildflower hike; you won’t see anything like the rare flowers and 1,500-year-old bristlecone pine trees anywhere else in the world. The trail winds through subalpine and alpine areas where wildflowers and animals of the fragile tundra live. Volunteer guides from Denver Botanic Gardens give interpreted hikes that follow the trail throughout the summer.|
|Ski Resorts Near Denver|
Not just for winter! Summer activities include trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Greens for golfing. Rivers for rafting and fishing. And plenty of outdoor seating for concerts and events under the stars.
|White Water Rafting in Colorado – An Adventure of a Lifetime||We can’t recommend a specific tour company, but there are many that offer guided tours for an exciting adventure you won’t ever forget! All levels can be accommodated – from beginner to extreme for the adrenaline junkies. Half and full-day trips are available on the Arkansas, Colorado and Eagle Rivers as well as Clear Creek – just to name a few. Explore your options – the CO River Outfitters is a good resource to help you plan your rafting trip with descriptions of how rivers are rated, safety on the river, and tips to help you plan: http://www.croa.org/site/plan-your-adventure The Denver Convention & Visitor’s Bureau has a list of rafting tour company members at http://www.denver.org/default.aspx?tpurl=&spurl=search&k=rafting|