A bustling city scene surrounded by a nature paradise is every traveler’s dream. Denver fits the bill as a destination that has both!

Serving as the capital of the state, Denver, Colorado, caters to all types of travelers with a perfect combination of the great outdoors and big city life. Stunning nature scenery is met with a thriving dining and shopping scene.

By chance, the 13th step on the west side of the Colorado State Capitol Building rests precisely 5,280 feet above sea level -- one mile high. This lofty elevation not only gives the city its charming nickname, but it means the air is drier and thinner… and golf balls are able to go further.

Curious about everything else Denver has to offer? Keep reading for the ins and outs of this high country city!

The Great Outdoors

Outdoor lovers flock to Denver and surrounding areas for some of nature’s finest views and outdoor activities. White water rafting, hiking, camping, swimming, and horseback riding are among the impressive portfolio of activities that the area offers. Adventure awaits at every turn!

Denver is home to an extensive Mountain Parks system. The toughest part will be deciding which of the 22 parks to visit! Summit Lake Park, Lookout Mountain Park, and Echo Lake Park are among the most popular. 

In addition, Rocky Mountain National Park is just a short drive away and provides 355 miles of hiking trails to explore. Better yet, wander the park on horseback! Camp under the stars or take a dip in a glassy lake surrounded by wondrous mountain landscapes. Scenic drives wind through the park for those who prefer to stay safely in the car. 

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Located even closer, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a geological marvel. The amphitheater is naturally made of towering sandstone monoliths and hosts many headliner concerts. Admission to the park is free! However, you’ll need to snag tickets if you plan to catch a concert.

photo credit: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre via Facebook

City Life

If you’re more of a cityslicker, Denver is a destination for you, too! Explore the flourishing concrete jungle in lieu of surrounding nature landscapes if you prefer to stick to the sidewalks rather than the forest trails.

Eight art districts throughout the city mean Denver is rich with culture. Art critics and admirers alike will enjoy strolling through the galleries and studios. The Art District on Santa Fe consists of 30 galleries, studios, and restaurants.

Additionally, the Golden Triangle Creative District houses over 16 museums and galleries. Perhaps the most notable museum in this district is the Denver Art Museum. Whether your style is traditional or modern, there is beautiful art for you to peruse in Denver! 

Equally as impressive as Denver’s art scene is Denver’s live music scene. Move to the beat as you make your way through the city. Be sure to hit up the Roxy on Broadway, Nocturne, and Dazzle Denver!

If you’re bringing the kiddos (or are a kid at heart looking for an exciting way to fill the daytime hours), pay a visit to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park! Boasting a theme park and water park in one location, this attraction is the only one of its kind in Colorado. Twist and turn on heart-racing rides -- some through air and others through water!

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If you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop while in Denver, Larimer Square is lined with chic Victorian buildings brimming with luxurious products from all over. Lined with string lights, this lively setting is the perfect place to window shop or spend some dough on a few of your favorite finds!

History buffs flock to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Molly Brown House Museum. Additionally, the Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens are two top attractions if you’re looking to immerse yourself in flora and fauna.

Another great attraction for the littles is SeaQuest Littleton. Exhibits showcasing beloved creatures from land and sea contain over 1,200 residents! Interactive experiences add to the fun. Feed a sloth, pet a turtle, and even snorkel with sharks! 

close up of two women holding out shopping bags at Larimer Square in Denver, Colorado, USA

photo credit: Larimer Square via Facebook


Finally, dining in Denver is an experience best savored slowly. Sample the tantalizing flavors that characterize Colorado! For example, Colorado is known for its lamb. The state is the 4th largest lamb producer in the United States, so lamb dishes are bound to be ultra-fresh! 

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If you’re looking for something a little less extravagant, Colorado-style pizza provides a hefty serving of ooey-gooey cheese. Often known as “mountain pie” due to the enormous amount of ingredients piled on, this style’s trademark is crust sweetened with honey. Save the crust until the end for a tasty dessert!

group of friends sitting on chairs with grey cushions having food and drinks on rooftop with view of nearby buildings during daytime at 54Thirty in Denver, Colorado, USA

photo credit: 54thirty via Facebook

For the morning hours, Denver omelets are your go-to. Of course, the entree includes plenty of fluffy eggs. Add diced ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, cheese, and green chili for Denver’s signature flair!

Craving a sweet treat? Opt for classic Palisade peaches. Palisade is a town in Colorado known for the juicy fruit. Hot days and cold nights comprise the area’s climate and create the perfect environment for growing peaches!

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