The gateway to thrilling Rocky Mountain adventures, Denver has successfully balanced becoming one of America’s most progressive cities with remaining loyal to its roots. While many people use Denver as their entry point to famed resort towns such as Breckenridge, Aspen, and Vail, folks who decide to stay within the city limits will have no shortage of activities to choose from.
The 16th Street mall, which is lined with 200 trees and 50,000 flowers, is a mile-long promenade that runs through downtown Denver. It is home to 28 outdoor cafes that sit in the shadows of sparkling glass-walled skyscrapers and numerous fountains. Along this route are plazas that are home to special events and daily street entertainers who perform to the backdrop of horse-drawn carriages.
For those looking to escape the streets and enjoy the serenity of a museum, there are plenty to choose from—though not every museum is exactly serene. The Colorado Railroad Museum features more than 100 locomotives, cabooses, and railcars. Complete with model railroads, this museum also offers rides on a vintage steam locomotive. Visitors may also wish to tour the U.S. Mint, which can produce up to 50 million coins per day. There’s even a guided tour that shows the entire process of turning a blank metal slug into U.S. currency.
If you are seeking to let loose, look no further than the Lodo Historical District. Denver’s “happening” district is filled with turn-of-the-century warehouses that are now home to 90 brewpubs, sports bars, restaurants, and rooftop cafes. While the short drive to the famous ski resorts may be your reason for passing through Denver, spending some time in the city before or after hitting the slopes could provide the perfect accompaniment to your Western Mountain vacation.
Photo courtesy of Visit Denver
Denver International Airport
8500 Peña Boulevard
Denver, CO 80249