The Best of Denver’s Urban Exploration

This entryway to the Western United States offers a wealth of opportunities for thrills and spills.

Denver is home to some of the best ethnic and Western-style restaurants in the country, as well as wineries and breweries that draw influence from the region as well as other parts of the world. Shoppers and sports fans alike will have a plethora of options to choose from, as well as music and art enthusiasts who may visit all of Denver’s venues and museums. Discover the city in a whole new way with these ten suggestions.

Explore the City Center on Foot

Instead of driving, take advantage of downtown Denver’s many public transportation options and the many nearby sites to explore on foot. Denver Union Station, a century-old landmark filled with local stores, restaurants, and pubs, is easily accessible by train from Denver International Airport (DEN). In addition to Rockmount Ranch Wear, which sells western wear, the 16th Street Mall also has a free shuttle service called MallRide that will transport you to the Denver Pavilions, which has a movie theater and eateries.

Throughout town, you can drink and savor your way through the city

Patio dining at top-notch restaurants in the city center and neighboring neighborhoods is a cinch in Denver, thanks to the city’s unusually high number of sunny days (300 out of 365). Rioja, a James Beard Award-winning Mediterranean restaurant in Larimer Square, is just one of many restaurants providing outdoor dining in the area. Among Avanti F&B’s seven various restaurant concepts are two bars, a rooftop with city views, and a dining room that shares a shared space with the shipping containers.

Listening to Music in Spectacular Places

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is one of the most prominent concert venues in the world. The Beatles and U2 have performed in front of awe-inspiring sunsets and old rocks here. Additionally, the park has hiking trails that may be accessed during daylight hours about a half-hour southwest of downtown. In addition to being a bar, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox is also a live music venue that serves up a wide variety of American cuisine. Fans are still wowed by the historic Bluebird Theater’s superb sightlines and great performances.

Become a Local in an Eclectic Area

A city’s many flavors and hues are a result of its diverse range of neighborhoods. You can find great food and drink in the River North Art District (RiNo), as well as street art, breweries, and fashionable restaurants, all within walking distance of your hotel. Linger, a former morgue, serves up cosmopolitan small plates and a rooftop lounge in the Highlands, a neighborhood full of Victorian-era homes, parks, independent businesses, and food with a view.

Take a Cue from Artwork

Without the city’s vibrant arts community, you won’t be able to accurately portray Denver. Old West and American Indian artifacts abound in Denver Art Museum, one of the region’s most important cultural institutions. Fine and decorative art are displayed together in the same halls at the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, which houses three collections: international, regional, and works by Denver icon Vance Kirkland. The History Colorado Center uses artistic interactive exhibits to tell the state’s history.

Take a sip of craft beer and Booze

The Denver Beer Trail, which connects the city’s more than 150 craft brewers, is a dream come true for beer connoisseurs. The Ratio Beerworks patio is dog-friendly, and the Denver Beer Co. started out as a homebrew operation in a garage. You can sample a variety of microbrews while playing yard games with your canine companions. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey offers guided tours and tastings.

Affiliation with the Media

Plan your trip to coincide with one of the city’s many sporting events, or visit one of the city’s many cutting-edge venues while you’re there. Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball, Denver Broncos of the NFL, NBA’s Nuggets of the NHL, and Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer are just a few of Denver’s most well-known sports franchises. Denver Outlaws, Colorado Mammoth, and Colorado Raptors of Major League Rugby all have exciting new teams to watch, so don’t forget to check them out as well.

Shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As a result of the abundance of national chain businesses, as well as smaller, independently owned establishments, Denver is a sought-after shopping destination. In total, Cherry Creek Shopping Center has more than 160 merchants including national chains, regionally-only establishments, and a wide range of niche shops. Downtown Denver’s Cherry Creek North is a more walkable, indoor-outdoor neighborhood with a variety of shops and restaurants. Denver Premium Outlets is the city’s best outlet shopping destination, located just 20 minutes from the city’s downtown area.

Get in touch with the natural world in the midst of the city.

You don’t have to leave the city limits to reconnect with nature in Denver. More than 4,000 animals live in the Denver Zoo, including tigers, sea lions, and other big cats. The 50-acre Denver Botanic Gardens, complete with an interactive Science Pyramid, can be found in the Cheesman Park area. Learn about the wonders of nature at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which features displays on black holes and dinosaurs as well as an IMAX cinema.

To the Rocky Mountains for a single day

Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park is a must for anybody visiting Denver. To the northwest of the city, a 90-minute trip will take you to a whole different world where you can go mountaineering and camping in the woods surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains and an enormous variety of species. During your trip to this national treasure, keep an eye out for elk, black bears, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain lions, and coyotes.

Finding Your Way

Denver International Airport (DEN) serves as the city’s primary entry point, and tourists can take the Denver Airport Rail to Denver Union Station, the city’s main transportation hub.

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