Why Go To Denver
Many travelers see Denver as a jumping-off point for a Rocky Mountain getaway, using the Colorado capital for its airport and nothing else. But those folks are missing out: The Mile High City offers a mix of urban excitement and natural surroundings that other American cities can only dream of. We're not saying you should pass on the opportunity to hike the Rockies' trails or ski their slopes – just that you shouldn't do so without making reservations at some of Denver's eclectic eateries, exploring its museums or sampling a few of its famous brews. Working some of these more metropolitan enticements into your vacation will allow you to experience the Denver that locals know and love.
Denverites are much more laid-back than residents of other major American cities, promoting an active, outdoorsy culture that thrives on good food and craft beer. Take a cue from the city's residents and spend your days in the Mile High City getting to know its hiking paths, shopping streets and brewery trails. In addition to loving nature, Denver's population also exhibits a passion for art, culture and cuisine. If Mother Nature isn't your companion of choice, spend your time wandering around the Denver Art Museum or Larimer Square before grabbing a basket of Rocky Mountain oysters along the Capitol Hill district's Restaurant Row. And if you happen to have kids in tow, you'll find plenty of ways to keep them entertained here, from a world-class zoo to the fascinating branch of the U.S. Mint.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
Denver is ranked as:
#2 in Best Places to Visit in Colorado
#3 in Best Places to Visit in April
#19 in Best Cheap Family Vacations
Best Things To Do In Denver
Denver makes a great starting place for travelers venturing into the Rockies; those looking for a mountain experience can spend a day driving along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. But be sure to devote some time to all that the Mile High City has to offer: Denver is home to numerous museums, galleries and restaurants. Sports fans are drawn to the lights of Coors Field and Broncos Stadium at Mile High, while families can spend hours exploring the Denver Museum of Nature & Science or the Denver Zoo. For a taste of old-time Denver, spend some time in Larimer Square – also a good place to sample some of the city's cuisine and, of course, beer.
Denver Travel Tips
When you are a mile high - You might experience symptoms such as a headache, nausea and difficulty sleeping when you first arrive. Although the chance of getting altitude sickness is low (only 8 to 10 percent of visitors experience altitude sickness in Denver), take it easy on your first day and save a jaunt to the mountain till the end of your trip.
When you are lost, look to the Rockies - The mountains sit to the west of the city and can work like a compass to help you reorient yourself.
When you see smoke - Colorado has legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. You are allowed to smoke pot on private property as long as you are 21, but don't try to bring it home if you live outside the state.
Rent skis here - If you do plan on tackling the Rocky Mountain slopes, you'll find better deals on ski rentals in central Denver than you will at the resorts.