Set amidst a stunning background of snowcapped Rocky peaks, the "Mile High City" is frequently associated with mountainous splendor. But there are also "miles" of attractions (pardon the pun). Once known as more of a stopover for outdoorsy vacationers en route to the next ski slope and fishing hole, this city is now known for its blend of urban chic and natural isolation. Visitors can sample diverse urban enclaves, from the Golden neighborhood's cowboy ... continue»
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The best time to visit Denver is May through August, when the weather is sunny and mild. Summers generally bring warm weather with temperatures averaging in the mid to upper 80s and sometimes surpassing 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter months usher in cold temperatures as low as the teens and as high as 50 degrees. Spring and fall offer milder weather, with high temperatures averaging in the 60s and 70s.Best Times to Visit Denver»
Although the city itself is often overshadowed by the natural glamour of the Rocky Mountains, Denver has plenty to offer when it comes to attractions. Most visitors will generally stay near the heart of the city. The central neighborhoods are easily walkable, but if you find yourself growing tired, Denver boasts a convenient, easy-to-use public transportation system.
Located in the heart of the city, Downtown Denver is home to a hodge-podge of government buildings, big businesses, entertainment venues, and sports arenas. Experts say that the Downtown area is the best place to begin a tour of the Mile High City. The Denver Art Museum, the Denver Pavilions shopping center and the Denver Performing Arts Complex are all within walking distance of one another. If you're traveling with children, the Downtown area offers several family-friendly attractions, including the Downtown Aquarium and the Elitch Gardens Theme Park.
Historic Lower Downtown -- known to residents as LoDo -- sits just north of Downtown near Commons Park. Formerly the city's red light district, LoDo now offers a wide array of boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs. For a night out on the town, experts recommend heading to Larimer Square at the southern end of the district, which features numerous eateries and dance clubs. LoDo is also the site of Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies baseball team.
Capitol Hill & Uptown
Capitol Hill is located just southeast of LoDo and is home to the Colorado State Capitol building, the Molly Brown House Museum, the Fillmore Auditorium and several lodging options. Although this neighborhood is mainly residential, there is also a vigorous bar and restaurant scene. In northern Capitol Hill sits the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, a Romanesque-style church that is flanked by Restaurant Row, home to some of the city's finest restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
If you're planning on visiting the Capitol Hill region, travel writers suggest taking a stroll into Uptown, Denver's oldest residential neighborhood, which boasts trendy boutiques, bed and breakfasts and upscale dining options. Uptown can be found just a few blocks north of the Colorado State Capitol.
East of Capitol Hill is City Park, an expansive park featuring several ponds, plenty of walking and biking trails and a few of the city's major attractions, such as the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
The Five Points neighborhood occupies the streets just east of LoDo. At the beginning of the 20th century, Five Points was populated by the city's African American community. Much of that culture still survives today among the numerous blues and jazz clubs found in the area. This neighborhood hosts the lively Juneteenth festival each summer, which celebrates the day that slavery ended in Texas.
Congress Park & Cheesman Park
Just south of City Park is Congress Park. Denver's Greek Town -- a six-block area occupied by Mediterranean restaurants and bars -- can be found here. Just a few blocks west of Congress Park is Cheesman Park, home to the majority of Denver's gay community. Along the eastern border of the park is the Denver Botanic Gardens, which experts say provide some of the best views of the Rocky Mountains.
Cherry Creek -- located south of Congress Park-- is known for being one of the more stylish of Denver's neighborhoods. This district is home to numerous upscale boutiques, art galleries, fine restaurants and trendy bars, as well as the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, an open-air mall. Experts also recommend this neighborhood to travelers who enjoy walking or biking. The Cherry Creek Bike Path starts behind the mall and continues north towards Downtown.
Washington Park & University Park
Washington Park is a popular neighborhood for those who enjoy spending time outside. Sitting southwest of Cherry Creek, The green space in this neighborhood is often occupied by people playing soccer or volleyball. The streets surrounding the park are mainly residential, but they are also home to some favorite local dining spots. Travel writers refer to University Park as Washington Park's wild southern neighbor. Home to the University of Denver, this area boasts a wide array of affordable dining and lively nightlife hotspots.
Although it is located on the western edge of the city, Golden is in no way a suburb. This neighborhood is home to the Coors Brewery, which was constructed in 1873 and is now one of the largest breweries in the world. Golden holds fast to its Wild West heritage, with several of its attractions, such as the Buffalo Bill Museum catering to history buffs. Experts say that this area is also a great spot to enjoy views of the Rockies the way the pioneers did: on horseback. Golden boasts some of the best riding trails in the country, including those at Apex Park and White Ranch Park.
True to its name, the Mile High City sits 5,282 feet above sea level, and visitors should take precautions against altitude sickness, the symptoms of which include headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities for a day or so upon arrival. You also shouldn't underestimate the sun; even during the winter, the city's thin atmosphere makes it easier to get sunburn, so be sure to apply sunscreen regularly.
If you're planning to drink alcohol, keep in mind that the higher altitude may have an effect on your level of intoxication. Those who aren't used to the higher elevation may find that they cannot drink as much as normal. Make sure to drink water throughout the night. If you're not within walking distance of your hotel, take a taxi or use public transportation at the end of the night.
Winter travelers may encounter "black ice," which occurs when water on the road freezes and becomes invisible after sundown. Take extra precaution to avoid an accident when driving after dark.
The best way to get around Denver is to walk or use public transportation, known as RTD. A majority of the sites are clustered together in central downtown. RTD also helps you avoid parking and car rental costs, plus you'll also get a better feel for the historic neighborhoods. From the airport, you can take a hotel shuttle or the skyRide bus into the downtown area, where most of the hotels are located. It's about a 30 minute trip.Getting Around Denver»