Tourist Activities in Denver

The Colorado capital has a lot to offer in terms of things to do. On most days, the city is sunny, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of weather. There are many outdoor tourist activities in Denver you can engage in, such as hiking, trailing, fishing, etc. You could also try indoor activities such as visiting the United States Mint or enjoying arts at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Many of the things to do are just within the city, but some will require you to take transportation to get to them. Regardless of your interests and the type of fun that tickles your heart, you will always find something to do in Denver. The city will keep you entertained. Some of the top activities in the Colorado capital include:

Visit Larimer Square

Larimer Square is a beautiful and iconic gathering place and one of the must-visit places while you are in Denver. Here, you will find some of the best restaurants in Denver and nightlife venues that you will not find anywhere else in the city. The Larimer Square is easily accessible either during the day or night. You can visit at any time as long as you ensure to adhere to the hours of operation. Most of the buildings at the square have been around for more than 200 years, and they represent the original Colorado culture. You can enjoy fantastic dining experiences at Russel’s Smokehouse and drink iconic wine at Cru Wine and Food Bar. Aside from the fantastic dinners and nightlife, you will also find fantastic places to shop and improve your wardrobe. Here, you can find plenty of things, including jewelry, home décor, and clothes to wear.

Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

You cannot visit Denver and fail to visit one of the parks, especially the Rocky Mountain National Park. The park sits on a 265,807-acre land, making it of the biggest parks in the state. The park is only 90 minutes from the city, and it was designated as a national park over a hundred years ago. Every year millions of tourists visit the park, and they always go home with great things to say about it. Driving on Trail Ridge Road provides a beautiful view, and most people visiting the mountain park use the road. Apart from the beautiful views, you will also enjoy seeing wild animals such as mules and chipmunks. While there, you could try to get to Longs Peak, which sits at 14,259 feet high.

Visit Mount Evans Byway

If you get excited by beautiful views, you will enjoy a drive to Mount Evans. The Byway is around 60 miles from Denver, and it is one of the highest paved roads in the world. Its highest point reaches 14,130 feet. The climate here is very calming, and while you are on your way, you will come across fantastic lookout points that give you a fantastic view of the Rockies and beautiful skies. For the best results, we recommend taking a guided tour, and you can concentrate on enjoying the beautiful views.

Visit Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is not too far from the State Capital Building. Getting there is relatively easy, and you will, without a doubt, enjoy your visit there, especially if you love art. The museum is iconic, and there are thousands of pieces inside it. The museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, but if you visit on Tuesdays, the museum is open till 9 pm. It is closed during typical holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving Day. Tickets to the museum are very cheap, and there is a program that allows admission of kids below 18 years into the museum without having to pay anything. There are also a few free days, so if you are lucky enough, you could get into the museum without paying anything.

Visit Colorado State Capitol Building

History is a massive part of us, and if you love history, you will enjoy a visit to the Colorado State Capital Building. It will take you around 30 minutes to get to the building if you are around Union Station. They offer free tours inside the building as long as you get there on time and during a weekday. You will learn more about the history of the State Capital building and Denver in general from the free tours. Ideally, try to arrive earlier than the stipulated time for the tour to ensure you get the free tour. Generally, the tour is scheduled from 10 am to 11 am every day of the week, and they are limited to the first twenty people. Therefore, the earlier you arrive, the better.

Visit Denver Botanic Gardens

If you are looking for a picturesque destination, the Denver Botanic Gardens will be the perfect destination. The garden provides a peaceful environment, and it is one of the most beautiful areas in Denver. The garden sits on 23 acres of land, and there are 50 different gardens in the area. The gardens range from gardens with Japanese flowers to South African flowers. What’s more, you could take guided tours to enhance your experience even more. While you are there, enjoy music in the gardens where traditional concerts are held. You can spend up to 2.5 hours. It usually takes around one hour and 30 minutes to walk through the gardens, so you can use the extra hour admiring the beauty and taking pictures.

Visit Denver Zoo

Denver zoo is one of those areas that you should not fail to visit when you visit Denver. The zoo is home to over 3000 different animals, and it is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Denver Zoo is one of the top attraction sites in the city, and at least two million people visit the zoo annually. One area you should never miss while you are there is the Predator Ridge, a five-acre African Savanna that is full of African lions, hyenas, and wild dogs. Be sure to visit the Primate Panorama too, and enjoy viewing monkeys swinging from the tree branches and even get to feed them if they are in the mood for some food.

Visit Children’s Museum of Denver

If you are visiting Denver with your children, the Children’s Museum of Denver is a must-visit. Just because the museum has the name children, it does not mean that it is strictly for children, though. In fact, you can learn a lot there, even as an adult. You will learn about the Centennial State and the universe in general. In the museum, you will see dinosaur bones that are millions of years old, as well as bones of Egyptian mummies that are thousands of years old. Overall, you and your family will learn a lot about animals, health sciences, and zoology. Getting into the museum is quite cheap given that the admission fee is only $15 and seniors pay only $13.

Popular Mountain Parks

Denver is home to over 200 historic popular mountain parks, and most of them are connected with paved roads. It is also home to some of the best mountain parks in the world. While all the mountain parks are great, here are the most popular ones:

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

The Red Rock Park & Amphitheatre is one of the most natural amphitheaters in the world. The arena can take up to 9,000 seated audiences, and it is carved out of a 300-foot sandstone, creating a unique, beautiful, and scenic concert venue. Many great artists have performed at the amphitheater, and the Beatles were the first rock band to ever perform here, performing in 1964. Since then, other great artists have performed on the stage, including U2 and Mumford and Sons. Entering the park is free unless it is scheduled for a performance.

Genesee Park

Genesee Park is the oldest mountain park in Denver. It sits on 2413 acres of land, making it the largest mountain park in the city. The park provides picturesque views, including snow-capped peaks, and you can also enjoy viewing buffalo herds on the highway sides.

Echo Lake Mountain Park

Echo Lake Mountain Park sits on 616 acres of land, and it has a natural lake surrounded by a beautiful forest, giving the park such an exquisite view. The park is full of beautiful plants, including subalpine plants such as western moonwort and Mingan’s moonwort. It was designed for individuals planning to spend nights there since there are beautiful sleeping rooms, fireplaces, and dining rooms. There are gift shops where you can get your loved ones gifts and restaurants where you can get excellent food. What’s more, you could try fishing in the lake and enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Evans from the shores. The east end of the lake has important wildlife habitats, so be sure to stay on the trails near there.

Summit Lake Park

After enjoying yourself at the Echo Lake Park, drive up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway and get yourself to Summit Lake Park. Summit Lake is very accessible, and it is one area you can be sure to see Rocky Mountain goats. From the altitude where the park is, you can expect to enjoy views of snow and ice at any time of the year. What’s more, the park is one of the few mountain parks in Denver you can access with your car. While you are there, make sure to enjoy some hiking in one of the hiking trails in the park.

Corwin Mountain Park

Corwin Park is one of those parks that provide some of the unique plants you can find in Denver. It sits on a 298-acre land, and it has been around for over a hundred years. Corwin Park has beautiful trees and is a perfect picnic spot for lovers. There are three parking areas around the park, so you have nothing to worry about if you come in your car. The Panorama Point Trail is a perfect trail for anyone looking to stroll as it is specifically designed for hikers. Bikes and cars are not allowed on it. If you better hike with a mountain bike, then you might want to consider using the Bear Creek Trail.

History of Denver Mountain Parks from the 1920s

Denver, Colorado, is one of the hippest destinations in the United States. There is a lot you can ,do in Denver, but in most cases, when people hear about the city, what comes to mind is the Rocky Mountains. There are at least 200 peaks in the 140 miles of mountains, and they are all accessible with ease. What’s more, the city itself is often dry, enjoying around 300 days of sunshine in the 365 days in a year. Denver is considered one of the most walkable cities in the country, and there is a lot more than the city offers. However, our main focus today is the mountain parks. We will discuss everything you need to know about Denver Mountain Parks, including the history of these parks, the popular hiking trails at the mountain parks, the top tourist activities tourists can enjoy in Denver, the most popular mountain parks in Denver, horse racing in Denver, and nature and ecology of Denver parks.

History of Denver Mountain Parks from the 1920s

Currently, there are 46 public parks in the Denver Mountain Park system. However, these parks just didn’t come to be; they were established over a century ago purposely to draw the attention of tourists and locals who enjoy the essence of the Rocky Mountains. The parks remain a major tourist attraction in Denver till today. In the 1900s, the major tourist attraction in Colorado was Colorado Springs.

Promoters from Denver watched tourists pass through Denver on their way to Colorado Springs, located around 96 kilometers south of Denver. For that reason, the promoters came together and started having discussions on how to best improve the scenic resources of Denver. It took a while before these talks gained ground, but by the 1910s, the talks had gained momentum, and plans began being implemented. In 1910, the mayor of Denver, Robert W. Speer, supported and campaigned for City Beautiful improvements in his city, and he mostly favored the mountains. However, he was not ready to use the city funds on mountains so far from the boundaries of his city; that’s where John Brisben Walker came in. The magazine publisher and local entrepreneur started a campaign to persuade the city to do something about the mountains to make them more attractive for the visitors.

Walker was already a well-known promoter of Colorado’s scenic beauty, and at the time, Walker was developing a beautiful attraction in Morrison, focusing on the Red Rocks Park. Still, in 1910, Walker developed a plan and posted it in the Denver Post. The plan recommended a 41,000-acre municipal park built behind the Red Rocks and then linked to the city with grand boulevards. He claimed that the mountain parks would give Denver a magnificent system of parks that could not be found anywhere else. He believed that the mountain parks would help improve local businesses as the Colorado tourist trade was growing exceptionally, and having the parks could attract more tourists to Denver, and it would be a perfect outdoor recreation for locals as well.

It did not take long before the Real Estate Exchange of Denver, Motor Club, and Chamber of Commerce accepted Walker’s idea. The project was then taken over by Kingsley A. Pence and Warwick M. Downing, who created an action plan to be presented to Denver’s voters. The funds to build roads and facilities were to be raised from a mill levy. The plan was presented to the public in 1912, and the majority of the public supported the plan, so the development began.