Denver

The perfect blend of outdoor adventure and urban sophistication. That’s the duality locals love about the Mile High City. With snowcapped peaks providing a spectacular backdrop, Denver is as refined as it is laid-back. It’s a place where aerospace engineers rub elbows with rock climbers at local brewpubs, at art festivals, or while strolling their favorite pedestrian mall. And with 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with Denver the first time they visit.

Denver‘s Neighborhoods. From the stately Victorian mansions of Five Points, rich in African-American culture, to the hip restaurants and nightclubs of historic LoDo, to the quaint, tree-lined streets of Old South Gaylord and Old South Pearl, Denver’s laid-back attitude is exemplified in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The 210-foot high French Gothic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception towers above turn-of-the-century mansions in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, while the adjacent Colfax Avenue has some of the best music venues in the city.  The Newest Tattered Cover bookstore opened on Colfax Avenue last year, adding another chapter to one of the best bookstores in the country.  Morning shoppers take a break at one of the 50 eateries in the Cherry Creek North Business District.

Three diverse commercial districts make Highlands Denver’s largest neighborhood, and this community with its distinct Hispanic heritage has been featured in Travel + Leisure Magazine as well as National Geographic Traveler. Just south of downtown is The Art District on Santa Fe, showcasing the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, and the nearby Antique Row is a popular haunt on South Broadway. There is a wealth of Asian culture and food throughout the city.

Denver’s premier shopping and dining neighborhood is Cherry Creek North, with 320 independently owned shops, galleries, boutiques, and spas. The spectacular new wing of the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library are just two of the many architectural marvels located in an area of the city known as the Golden Triangle Museum District. A vibrant mix of urban culture, Capitol Hill and Congress Park’s historic mansions share space with newer condos and apartments, resulting in an eclectic young community.

Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, the Children’s Museum, and Downtown Aquarium highlight the Riverfront, a neighborhood bordering the South Platte River. In recent years, LoDo has been reborn as one of the city’s liveliest areas, with shopping, nightlife and dining options galore. Larimer Square is Denver’s trendiest block, with upscale shops and boutiques. Uptown is packed with hip stores and dramatic views of downtown and the mountains. Just north of Downtown, you’ll find the River North Art District (RiNo), with a host of art galleries, cafes and creative types.

A short drive northwest from Denver is the quaint town of Golden, home of Buffalo Bill’s grave, while a quick trip to the southeast lands visitors in Historic Downtown Littleton, featuring a charming “Main Street” America, lined with turn-of-the-century buildings that now house some of the metro area’s most unique, independently owned businesses. Visitors will also be charmed by Olde Town Arvada.

Denver’s newest neighborhood, Stapleton, offers a diverse mix of dining and retail. In all, Denver’s neighborhoods boast a diverse collection of local eateries, sidewalk cafes, art galleries, wine bars, neighborhood pubs, and independent shops, adding flavor and charm to the Mile High City. Don’t miss Belmar, Lakewood’s exciting new downtown, a vibrant entertainment, shopping and dining district.

Diverse Denver. Since its Wild West beginnings, Denver has attracted all kinds of people. The rich ethnic history and diverse cultural heritage of the city are celebrated with a number of events throughout the year, from the nation’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the spring to the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Festival in the fall. Summer brings the National Gay Rodeo Finals and PrideFest a celebration of community and culture. The historically rich African-American Five Points neighborhood is home to the Black American West Museum, while the Museo de Las Americas hosts some of the world’s top contemporary artists from Latin America. A trip to the Mile High City will find no shortage of year-round cultural activity.

GLBT

Sure, “Brokeback Mountain” made a neighboring state famous, but the laid-back, welcoming nature of the locals and a vibrant nightlife makes Denver the true gay and lesbian center of the West, with many hotels and restaurants catering to GLBT visitors. For shopping and nightlife, check out the Capitol Hill neighborhood. You may also want to plan your trip during the nation’s largest PrideFest or the National Gay Rodeo Finals.

Multicultural

With a population that is 40% Hispanic and 10% African American, Denver is a dynamic city of diverse cultures, rewarding those who visit with a montage of sights, sounds, smells, and flavors. Check out an in-depth look at Hispanic Denver. A number of museums and cultural facilities, including the Stiles African American Heritage Center, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, and the Museo de Las Américas, showcase the arts and history of various peoples and traditions as surrounding neighborhoods fill the city with authentic restaurants and an array of cultural celebrations. Denver is also home to a sizable Asian American community.

Accessibility Services

From wheelchair-friendly trails and accommodations, to transportation services for the physically impaired, Denver is a city that can be enjoyed by all. Use this link for a comprehensive list of services available to visitors with special needs

Mild and Mile High. The biggest surprise for visitors to Denver is the climate. The arid conditions bring only 8 to 15 inches of annual precipitation and locals wake up to more than 300 days of sunshine a year. That’s more annual hours of sun than Miami and San Diego.

How’s the weather? Thanks to Denver’s 300 days of blue skies and sunshine each year, the forecast is almost always a good one.

Winters are mild with an average daily high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and days reaching 60 degrees are not uncommon. Snow doesn’t stay on the ground long in Denver so golf courses and outdoor cafes are able to stay open all year.

In summer, Denver enjoys low relative humidity, making for beautiful, sun-filled days and cool, comfortable evenings. The average daily high temperature in August is a mild 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The mild weather is due in part to the city’s altitude: 5,280 feet above sea leve, or exactly a mile high. There are a few ways to make your visit more comfortable at this altitude.

What To Do

Denver Day Trips. Of all the great things Denver has to offer, the greatest may be its ability to serve as a base camp for incredible one-day excursions. Denver offers quick, easy access to the state’s biggest attraction, the Rocky Mountains, where a wealth of national and state parks, national forests and scenic areas fill your senses. Gold rush mountain towns and ski resorts are great places to spend a day shopping, exploring and taking in the amazing scenery. From Denver, your next great adventure is just around the bend or right over the next ridge. And remember, when you’re out in the city, stop in at one of the city’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for more day trip tips. For more great trip ideas, check out Denver itineraries.

Central City and Black Hawk

Once called the “Richest Square Mile on Earth”, Central City and Black Hawk are two historic old mining towns from the 1870’s that have come alive. Located 34 miles (55km) west of Denver, the two towns offer more than 30 casinos with over 10,000 slot machines, blackjack tables and poker games. And as of July 2, 2009, the stakes in Black Hawk are being raised – betting limits are now $100, craps and roulette tables have been added and casinos will be open around the clock. In other words, a fun mountain town just got a lot more fun. The two cities are also known for having some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the West. Other attractions include the Teller House Hotel where President Grant once stayed and the Central City Opera House, which still features an outstanding summer season of opera. There are mine tours, mining museums and several places offering instruction in the fine art of gold panning in streams where a half billion dollars of the coveted, shiny metal was found.

Georgetown

Located just 42 miles (68 km) west of Denver, Georgetown is a delightful Victorian village set in a spectacular mountain valley with 200 restored buildings from the 1870’s. The main street has shops and restaurants and many of the old homes have been turned into antique stores. The Georgetown Loop Railroad operates in the summer months with narrow gauge steam locomotives curling down a mountain ledge, at one point crossing over a 90-foot (27 m) high trestle.

Mount Evans

Mount Evans has the highest paved auto road in North America snaking its way to the 14,260-foot (4,346 m) summit. The road ($10 for a three-day pass) is open only from the Friday before Memorial Day through the first Monday in October, and frequently has snow on it, even in August. (The road closes at Summit Lake after Labor Day, preventing you from reaching the top). The view from the top takes in the entire Front Range. The summit is 60 miles (97 km) from downtown Denver. On your way up the mountain, be sure to stop at M. Walter Pesman Trail (maintained by Denver Botanic Gardens) for a wildflower hike; you won’t see anything like the rare flowers and 1,500-year-old bristlecone pine trees anywhere else in the world. The trail winds through subalpine and alpine areas where wildflowers and animals of the fragile tundra live. Volunteer guides from Denver Botanic Gardens give interpreted hikes that follow the trail throughout the summer (call 720-865-3539 for information).

Pikes Peak Country

Pikes Peak Country is located 60 miles (97 km) south of Denver and features more than 40 attractions centered around 14,000-foot (4,267 m) high Pikes Peak. Things to see include the Air Force Academy, one of three United States military colleges; the famous Broadmoor Resort with its lake and three golf courses; the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame with its exhibits on this exciting professional sport; and Garden of the Gods which has gigantic 500-foot (152 m) high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Located 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park features 400 square miles (1,036 sq km) of scenic beauty, including Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level. The park has two information centers, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, wildlife and horseback riding. Estes Park is a resort town on the edge of the park with restaurants and shops.

An Outdoor Adventure & Pro Sports Paradise. Denver has the nation’s largest city park system and 850 miles of urban trails, perfect for exploring on two feet or two wheels. There are dude ranches and fly-fishing for outdoor enthusiasts and whitewater kayaking or rafting to whet the appetites of adventure seekers. Take in the sights from above on a balloon or helicopter tour, or on the ground with horseback riding or an off-road adventure. And you can be in the Rocky Mountains in 20 minutes, where hiking, snowboarding and more await – sometimes all in the same day. The Mile High City is also home to no less than eight pro sports teams. Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby – Denver’s got it all. Remember, when you’re out in the city, stop in at one of the city’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for info on outdoor recreation, sports and everything else you need to know about Denver.

Denver Attractions. From museums built just for kids to nightclubs built just for adults, Denver has no shortage of things to do. Set your sights on local wildlife at the zoo or aquarium, throw caution to the wind at the only downtown amusement park in the country, or spend an afternoon at a Front Range winery or brewery. Denver’s attractions are sure to fill you with a wide range of sights, sounds and experiences you can take back home with you. And remember, when you’re out in the city, stop in at one of the city’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for brochures, coupons and attractions info.

Arts & Culture. Denver has always been a town that embraces diverse cultural experiences and creative endeavors; after all, the city had an opera before it had a school. Today, you can experience Denver’s thriving art scene at local galleries, dozens of public museums and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which includes ten venues for Broadway theatre, opera, ballet and the symphony. Discover the creative vitality that makes Denver a great place to live and to visit. And remember, when you’re out in the city, stop in at one of the city’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for all the arts & culture info you need.

Denver Dining & Nightlife. When the sun comes up over the eastern plains, Denver comes to life with breakfast bistros, power lunch cafes, trendy diners and fusion eateries waiting to satisfy your hunger. After the sun goes down, the city continues to shine with a collection of restaurants that are garnering national recognition. And for those late night cravings, the nightlife in Denver has that certain vibe. Energetic. Lively. Welcoming. From upscale wine and martini bars, to hot salsa clubs, to neighborhood bars and rooftop patios, you instantly feel you belong as you mix. And remember, when you’re out in the city, stop in at one of the city’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for dining & nightlife guidance.

Mile High Transportation. Whether on foot, by car or by light rail, Denver is an easy city to get around. Downtown is very pedestrian friendly, but you can also hop on the free shuttle that runs along the 16th Street Mall. The Light Rail connects downtown to the suburbs; buses and taxis offer convenient transport. Denver’s grid-like design makes most routes easy to navigate by car using a map, and numerous options are available for disabled travelers. The city is accessible via a number of highways, including E-470, a toll highway that runs along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area. A portion of Interstate 25 (I-25) is reserved for high occupancy vehicles and EXpressToll customers.  Five rental car companies have created a system that allows non-stop tolling, therefore these customers can travel on the roads as if they are an EXpressToll customer. And remember, when you’re out in the city, you can always stop in at one of Denver’s conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for guidance.

Events

See Website http://www.denver.org/events to see upcoming events in the Denver area.

(Content taken from www.Denver.org)

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