What set's the Mile High City apart from the rest
Many view Denver as the Wild West, a rough and tumble town nestled in the Rocky Mountains—but this capital city of Colorado is much, much more than just a cow town, it is one of the best cities in the entire United States. While Colorado may not have the culture of Broadway or the beaches of Southern California, it is one of the most beautiful, walkable, and active cities in the world. It has more public parks than any major metro area except Minneapolis and has wonderful weather the entire year. Denver has seven major professional sports teams, and with the neighboring Rocky Mountains, it has one of the most active lifestyles of any major metropolitan area.
Yes, my friends, Denver is much more than a cow town. Denver, quite simply, is the best place on Earth. So whether you would like to plan a Colorado vacation or would actually like to move to the Mile High City, here are a few of the many reasons why Denver is truly a world-class town.
Culture and Museums in Denver
Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA)
The Denver Center features all of the best shows from Broadway and holds many other fantastic in-house productions throughout the year. The newest venue at the DCPA, the Elle Caulkins Opera House, is a world-class facility.
The Denver Art Museum
With a dizzying recent addition designed by Daniel Liebeskind and an original building designed by famed architect Gio Ponti, the Denver Art Museum has rocketed itself to the forefront of art museums in the United States. Its collections are not nearly as vast as that of the Met or the Art Institute, but the museum is engaging and certainly a must see.
Opened in late 2011, the understated Clyfford Still musuem is home to almost the entire collection of Still’s artwork. Few museums have any of Still’s famous abstract expressionist art, but this museum is home to over 2,400 of this painter’s works.
Museum of Nature and Science
With over half a million square feet of space, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a must-see attraction for “kids” of all ages. Travel through time in the Prehistoric Journey dinosaur exhibit and test your body’s physical limits in Expedition Health, this museum should not be missed.
The Denver Zoo
Nestled next to the Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo has over 80 acres of space housing everything from lemurs to poison dart frogs. The Denver Zoo was the first zoo in the country to house their animals in lifelike cages as opposed to metal bars. This concept has been expanded on with some of the zoo’s more recent exhibits such as Primate Panorama and Predator Ridge.
Denver Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens is a public gardens located south of the downtown area. Recently revamped with new facilities, these gardens are host to some of the best flora and fauna in the western United States.
Other Notable Museums in Denver
History Colorado Center, Vance Kirkland Museum, the Molly Brown House, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
Located next to the Pepsi Center in Downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens is one of the few amusement parks in the country located in an urban core. Elitches has many great roller coasters and an entire water park to boot, making it a great attraction for thrill seekers and families alike.
Although not technically in Denver, Water World is a world class water park second in size to only Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin. Over 67 acres in size and with 44 attractions, Water World is a great place to cool off in the summer.
Lakeside Amusement Park
Just outside of Denver, Lakeside is one of the oldest amusement parks in the US. Located fittingly next to a lake, Lakeside has one of the best historic roller coasters in the country.
Throughout the year, Denver is home to some well-traveled and exciting events. With everything from the People’s Fair to Taste of Colorado and from Ski Jump competitions to Formula One racing, these Denver attractions will give you the best of what Colorado has to offer. If you’re in the area around Christmas time, be sure to check out the City and County Building for one of the best Christmas displays in the county.
Simply, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver is the best place to a concert in the world. Situated neatly between standstone rocks, this natural amphitheater is one of the most stunning venues in the entire world. Red Rocks has hosted live album recordings by everyone from U2 to Dave Matthews. During the summer, be sure to catch a show, or stop at “Film on the Rocks” for a late night movie.
Denver is home to professional teams in every major (and minor) sport imaginable. This town bleeds blue and orange of the Denver Broncos and also has the Colorado Rockies (baseball), the Denver Nuggets (basketball), and the Colorado Avalanche (hockey). Denver is also the home of two professional lacrosse teams—the Colorado Mammoth (indoor lacrosse) and the Denver Outlaws (outdoor)—and is home to the Colorado Rapids (soccer).
Each of these teams plays in some of the best venues in their respective leagues. Mile High Stadium, Coors Field, and the Pepsi Center are all fantastic locations to see sporting events.
Outdoor Activities near Denver
When it comes to outdoor activities, there is just no metro area with anything close to what Denver has to offer. With Colorado’s mountains a short 30-minute drive away, skiing, hiking, and camping are just a few short moments away from this metro area. If you’d like, you can drive to the top of Mount Evans after about an hour and a half in the car. Mount Evans sits above 14,000 feet above sea level along with 54 other mountains in this state. Colorado's National Parks are also great places to spend a day or an entire vacation.
If skiing and snowboarding is your thing, you might want to head out to Aspen and rub elbows with the stars or maybe you should make your way down to Wolf Creek pass to get away from the crowd. Historic hot springs dot the mountains in Glenwood and Pagosa Springs. If you would like, take a trip to a dude ranch, or go fly-fishing on the Blue River. Whether you would like to escape from your daily grind, or just want to get some exercise, the opportunities are endless for you in the mountains of Colorado.