Where is Denver?
Denver is the capital city of the state of Colorado and is located in the north-central area of the state. Colorado is a Western state bordered by Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah.
The city of Denver is east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and is located along the South Platte River. It is most known for its elevation and the nickname of Mile High City because it lies 5,280 feet (or one mile) above sea level.
How to get to Denver?
Most visitors to Denver will arrive by plane, flying into the Denver International Airport (DEN). The airport is conveniently located 23 miles from the city center which can be accessed by bus or rail. Transport to and from the airport is from Denver’s Union Station which can be reached in 30-40 minutes.
Because Denver is somewhat isolated, it is rare that anyone will drive from neighboring states into the city. However, should they choose to do so, Denver sits at the crossroads between I-70 which runs East to West and I-25 which goes North to South.
Other close airports include the Colorado Springs Airport (82 miles) and Cheyenne Regional Airport in Wyoming (103 miles). There are several local airports in Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder but these are not used by commercial airlines.
When is the best time to visit Denver?
The ideal time for a trip to Denver is from April to October. The busiest times for tourists are June through August during warmer weather. Many people come to Denver to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, which doesn’t see summer temperatures at higher altitudes until July.
Due to the altitude, the weather in Denver is quite pleasant. It is also dry, so there’s no humidity to contend with, but temperatures in the summer can be quite hot. The proximity to the sun also means the sun may feel warmer than it does closer to sea level.
Denver also boasts 300 days of sunshine a year and winters are quite mild, so there’s no bad time for a visit. Late November to March is the best time for those who want to ski or engage in other winter recreation.
What to do in Denver?
Denver is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise due to its proximity to the mountains. It is popular for activities like hiking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, rafting, cycling, and fishing. Many tourists are attracted to the outdoors and natural beauty of the mountain ranges nearby.
The city is also home to seven professional sports teams, including basketball, football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, rugby, and hockey. There are three major stadiums located downtown as well as a pedestrian mall, and numerous parks, making the city very walkable.
Outside of sports and outdoor activities, Denver is popular for food and drinks. During the fall, there are many culinary festivals and local restaurants pride themselves on their use of fresh, local ingredients. Countless craft breweries call the Denver area home, and there are also several distilleries and wineries to be enjoyed too.
Is Denver family-friendly?
Denver has plenty to offer families, and a visit to the city will be packed with excitement and adventure. It’s easy to spend a few days outdoors exploring the hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the area or exploring local parks.
There are several lakes located in the city center, which are perfect for picnics, boating, and swimming. City Park is an extensive green area with playgrounds, lakes, tennis courts, and concerts during the summer.
Kids can enjoy over 3,000 animals at the Denver Zoo, including elephants and lions. Those who want even more wild animals can visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, about 40 miles outside the city, to view many big cats, bears, mountain lions, and more from the safety of a raised catwalk. The Downtown Aquarium has opportunities to feed stingrays and see a mermaid show or even spend the night amidst the fish.
Other ways to get close to nature include the Butterfly Pavilion which is 15 minutes from downtown and Dinosaur Ridge, an outdoor museum where you can see dinosaur footprints which have been preserved.
Many museums can be enjoyed by families, including the Children’s Museum, Denver Firefighters Museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum, and Morrison Natural History Museum.
In the summer, visit Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park with over 50 rides and a 10-acre area with swimming, slides, and a lazy river. Denver also boasts one of the best water parks in the U.S. with Water World, America’s largest water park with a water coaster and many other rides.
What are the best events for kids in Denver?
With so many events going on all year long, it’ll be hard to choose which ones to attend. Denver has events just for kids and many other festivals and annual events which they can enjoy along with their parents.
Denver FamilyFest is a major family festival with entertainment, vendors, and prizes that kids attend free when adults purchase a ticket. There are also several animal sanctuaries and petting zoos where kids can meet animals up close and personal.
The Colorado Symphony also performs movies at the symphony and often features movies like Harry Potter, which make a great event for kids. The Denver Skatepark is free and open daily while you can also take a tour of Hammond’s Candies or the U.S. Mint to see how money is made.