Colorado, United States
Outside is the best place to be in this panoramic mountain town, whether that's watching the Broncos at Mile High stadium, hiking Denver City Park, or wandering the Golden Triangle arts district—though you might be tempted indoors by award-winning Lodo microbreweries, Cherry Street gastropubs, 16th Street Mall shopping, or the landmark independent Tattered Cover bookstore.
Getting Around Denver
The best way to get around Denver is using public transit. Regional Transportation District-Denver offers bus service from Denver International Airport. Fares range from $9-$13 depending on boarding and destination locations. Hours of operation are 3:30 a.m.-midnight. RTD Light Rail offers 5 lines of service with 35 stations. Fares range from $2.25-$5 depending on distance. Hours of operation 3 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Friday; 4 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. Some lines operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The MallRide offers free transportation downtown between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. on Sunday. There is an extensive bus system available which generally operates from 4 a.m. until 1 a.m. Public bike sharing is available through Denver B-Cycle (, $8 per 24 hour pass; $20 per 7 day pass. The first 30 minutes are free.
Nearby Airports
  • Denver International Airport-DEN
Airport Taxis
  • $55.15 Flat rate to downtown Denver
Things to Do and See in Denver
Jefferson ParkAurariaGolden TriangleCentral Business DistrictCherry CreekCapitol HillHighlandLodoCity Park
Cozying up to downtown, this northwest neighborhood is growing so quickly that it has caused a confusion of contradicting borders on "official" maps. Despite some downtrodden areas on the opposite side of I-25, the crescent-shaped stretch on the downtown side along the Platte River is a definite hotspot. Families will enjoy Water Street attractions, including the Children's Museum and the Denver Aquarium. Outdoorsy Coloradans converge here on Denver's REI flagship store for adventure travel supplies. Summer days call for gondola rides in Confluence Park with Venice on the Platte or Segway tours of downtown.
This neighborhood west of downtown is for students, families, and sports fans. The northern section features the amusement park at Elitch Gardens, which also has great views of the city. Sports fans can take in a Broncos game at Mile High's Sports Authority Field, or a Denver Nuggets basketball game or Colorado Avalanche game at the Pepsi Center, where large music concerts are also held. The neighborhood's southern section is taken up by the three-college Auraria Campus, which might not interest non-student travelers.
This small area south and west of downtown holds an outsized portion of Denver's arts and culture. Denver's large Art Museum is a notable landmark, with uniquely angled architecture. Half of Civic Center Park lies within this neighborhood, including a column-lined park space with good views of the Capitol Building. The main courthouse building has a not-to-miss light display during the holidays. This neighborhood is also home to Denver's U.S. Mint, one of only four coinage production facilities in the nation. Tours are free, but reservations are required and no handbags are allowed. There are a few hidden gems for diners here too. Just west of the Art Museum, Pints Pub has good pub grub, home-brewed ale, and an enormous collection of single malt scotches hanging in spouted bottles over the bar.
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The heart of this downtown district is the 16th Street mall, with free MallRide shuttle covering 1.25 miles of shopping, dining and entertainment seven days a week. Denver's famous Brown Palace hotel has hosted U.S. presidents and other dignitaries, and still serves formal afternoon tea in the lobby. Head to the Paramount Café for elk burgers and people-watching with the local crowd on the patio. Located on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency, Peaks Lounge serves fancy cocktails to toast sunsets behind the Rocky Mountains as the downtown lights come on.
Denver's laid-back answer to Rodeo Drive, Cherry Creek is an upscale area for living, shopping, and dining in its own business district apart from downtown. To the north are gastropubs, tapas bars, and other adventurous restaurants backed by entrepreneurs like Denver Broncos star turned restauranteur John Elway. Cherry Creek is also known for spas, especially Vitahl for medical spa treatments, and Antoine du Chez for cosmetic treatments. The Cherry Creek mall in the southern part of the neighborhood offers a mix of midrange and high-priced shopping. For a more casual vibe, join the local crowd at Cherry Cricket, a vintage burger joint with one of the oldest bars in town.
Denver's Uptown neighborhood is a good place to escape downtown traffic while still remaining adjacent to the city center. Stretching east from downtown and north of Capitol Hill, the Uptown district contains Denver's Restaurant Row. Lining 17th Avenue is a collection of eateries and bars that range from tiny local hangouts to upscale dining. The Avenue Grill is a casual spot, and Strings offers upscale New American fare and hearty brunches. The Thin Man is a tiny bar that's become a firm local favorite for house-made infused vodkas and inspired bar fare. The historic Fillmore Auditorium and Ogden theaters on Colfax are wonderful small concert venues to discover up-and-coming bands.
Voted in some publications as one of the best neighborhoods in the United States, the Highland neighborhood has undergone tremendous changes in the past decade. Although full of charming Victorian homes, it was long avoided by many locals as a down-and-out spot, but is now a shining example of successful gentrification. From its roots as a settlement, to its later incarnation as a Hispanic enclave, the Highlands and its adjoining West and Lower Highlands neighborhoods have held recent sway as one of the trendiest spots. It is a friendly and engaging spot for artists and foodies. The 44th and Tennyson district holds an entertaining First Friday event each month, with all galleries thrown open to visitors. This is also a foodie mecca, where hot new chefs have opened several local restaurants.
Once a nearly abandoned area on the wrong side of the tracks from downtown, Lower Downtown is now a hub of the most appealing destinations in the city. Coors Field is the landmark stadium where the Colorado Rockies play, and adjacent Blake Street is packed with busy sports bars and restaurants. Colorado is the nation's largest beer-producing state, and locals recommend microbrews and tours at Great Divide, pool and ale at Wynkoop, and barbecue and award-winning Oscar Blues beer at Breckenridge Brewery. LoDo also contains the historic Oxford Hotel and upscale shopping and dining around Larimer Square.
Only 10 minutes east of downtown by car, Denver's City Park has been Denver's largest green space for over a century. Spend the day here at the Denver Zoo and nearby Museum of Nature and Science, IMAX theater, and planetarium. Ferrill Lake's path and pavilion are ideal for a run and a rest. On summer evenings, free jazz concerts are held in the pavilion. Two blocks to the west is a good spot for dining at the restaurants of Greek Town on Colfax, and finding vacation reading at the homey Tattered Cover bookstore. Head to City Park benches west of the museum to watch the sun set behind Denver's downtown skyline, against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
Our friends at pick the city's best restaurants each quarter, and we trust their opinion. See full list »
Chef Jennifer Jasinski has transformed Larimer Square with her restaurants, and it all started with Rioja. This Mediterranean gem is a Denver staple, and Jasinski is constantly keeping her menu fresh.
Ace, a monster ping pong hall and Asian eatery from restaurateur Josh Wolkon, is one of the hottest restaurants to bounce onto the Denver dining scene. Everything from the sprawling outdoor patio to the unique Asian-inspired kitchen and bar program makes Ace the place to be scene.
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
For anyone who appreciates an impressive beer list and fun food, this is the place. Chef Jorel Pierce elevates bar food to new and exciting levels. The music here is always great and Euclid is open late. What's not to love?
Founded by John Elway, a Denver Bronco's legend, Elway's doesn't disappoint. Ok, yea, it's a steakhouse, but it's the crema of steakhouses. With a locations in Cherry Creek, downtown at the Ritz-Carlton, and in Vail, Elway's is a Colorado staple.