Fun Things to Do in Denver, Colorado
Majestic Downtown Denver
Denver was a pleasant surprise
After a visit to Denver, CO, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the "rocky mountain high" state is a pretty cool place to visit. With its rugged western style origins, it's come a long way, a pretty far cry from a cow town. A sophisticated place to visit, I'll back. In fact next time I will take more than a week to really relax and soak up both the natural beauty and cultural vibe.
When to Visit?
Denver's climate is pretty dry. Days can be warm and sunny and nights the temperatures will dip to staggering lows with cool or freezing breezes from the mountains. Summers are pretty hot, with an early fall settling in with snowfalls expected by late September to mid-October. November to February are pretty icy, and March can be spring snows with sunny skiing. Then the wildflowers start sprouting. Each of the four seasons are pretty dramatic - golden autumns, icy winters, intense springs and dry heat summers - so plan accordingly.
Be sure to bring a moisture cream for your skin and gloves, as well as a hat, layered clothing and eye protection for glare. Boots and snowshoes in the winter months and a fur collar are recommended.
Safety on the Road
A Relaxing Bike Ride Along the Creek
The Cherry Creek Bike Trail looked too charming to pass up. An easy, flat ride alongside the riverbed, a rented bike for the afternoon is all you need, except maybe some head gear. Lots of families on the trail. With a nice, flat terrain, conversations are possible along the ride. An effortless two hours later, and I swear, my belt seemed a little bit looser than before.
The Denver Art Museum is "OK"
Not being a huge fan of museums, I nevertheless made an effort to see the Denver Art Museum. It has a Western flair to it, with native American art and perspectives. There are many new exhibits traveling from city to city, and Denver is on the circuit. We discovered some very interesting native Colombian art pieces. It doesn't rate as high as some other famous, more well established east coast or west coast museums (like MOMA) but it does have a special ambiance.
Free days to the museum are held in the first week of the new month, in most cases; however that does not cover the entrance fee for special exhibitions.
Highest Paved Road in the USA
Highlights of the 2012 Season
Denver Center for the Performing Arts features:
- Dixie's Tupperware Party
- I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
- The Book of Mormon
The Center is a Cultural Gem
Day Trip to Mount Evans
Following the locals' advice, I drove up to Mt. Evans,which is considered the #1 attraction in Denver, Colorado. Its 14,000 high perennial snow capped peaks give astonishing views resembling that from an airplane.
Alternatively, the Mount Evans Scenic Byway will give you a glimpse of the natural beauty of the area. Don't be surprised to see a little wildlife along your drive. Historically the highest paved road in America, it's an experience to be so high up in the sky. A satisfying day trip, we navigated the scenic drive, ideal for photographers and adventurous mountain bikers. A five star attraction, fill up your gas tank and go. It's a “must see“ in Denver and by all means, bring your camera.
Country Gardens and a little Show Biz
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
We decided to do something indoors for a change. After calling to ask for ticket info, the staff informed us of the best route to take to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. We were pleasantly surprised to find an ultra-modern, user friendly and highly professional cultural Mecca. The staff was unbelievably helpful! They kept the lines moving quickly during intermission so the show could resume immediately afterwards. We were impressed! Admission wasn't overpriced and parking was only $10.
Denver Botanical Gardens
The next day, we headed over to the Denver Botanical Gardens, a lovely still brush and pond oasis containing unusual plants and creatively displayed informative exhibits. Afternoons are made to relax and stroll in an attractive and peaceful environment. Admission to the Gardens is only $12.50 for adults with discounted admission for children, seniors and the military. The Gardens offer free days, nearly once a month except during December (when it's too cold) and May, June, and September, when it's the most highly visited. Recommended in April, when the flowers are in bloom.
A beautiful garden....
Vance Kirkland's House
Art Deco lovers -
If you get fidgety in large museums, you will find that the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art is just your speed, like it was mine. For me – about 2-1/2 hours is my maximal attention span. This small collection focuses on pottery, glass, Pointillism and Art Deco creations. Named after Vance Kirkland, gentle music adds to the experience. A five star attraction, in my humble opinion.
Open from 11 am – 5 pm, consider a yummy brunch at Jelly Cafe, go into the museum itself, then catch the informative 1 pm tour.
The Brown Palace
Facts about Coors Stadium
- One of the newest stadiums built ONLY for baseball in 1962
- It offers a great ambiance
- Home of the local Denver bla blas
- A great view from every angle
- An experience for young and old!
Fun with Dick and Jane
The misses was in line for a little "girl style" pampering. We visited Denver's famed Brown Palace. An impressive fin de sic mansion of a hotel, it has a famed massage and facial spa using natural artesian spring well water for deep, refreshing tub baths.
Following that, we splurged on the Royal Treatment, with massage, pore cleansing skin treatment, followed by a visit to the salon for hair and nail care (manicures). Although private couple tubs are available, we went our own separate ways to the male and female facilities, so the finishing look could be a big surprise, so to speak! It was a pleasant one, I must admit.
Ey Batter - Ey, Batter....
And now for some action! We bought some box seats at the Coors Stadium for a live baseball game. Built in 1962, it has an old fashioned feel to it with an entrance resembling Batman's Gothic city. Devoted solely to baseball, it has great atmosphere, something that can't be described. With excellent views from every angle, and I felt good sitting there – half expecting to catch the next fly ball. Highly recommended for an afternoon to remember with great Midwestern style munchies. There was a pretty classy crowd in those bleachers and box seats.