Things to do in Denver range from catching a rodeo to riding fun rides at an urban amusement park, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There is no shortage of ways to stay busy in Colorado's thriving capital, and when you consider the nearby cities and the nearby Rockies, it becomes apparent that repeat visits might be necessary to fully enjoy everything Denver has to offer. There are lots of free things to do in Denver, so it isn't hard to stay on top of your travel budget while in town, and while the city's luxury hotels are attractive for a number of reasons, discount lodging is available in good supply.
Shopping is easily one of the top things to do in Denver, and there are a few main spots where shopping enthusiasts can get their fill. These hot spots include the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, Larimer Square, and the mall in Cherry Creek. The trendy Lodo District with all its shops is close to Larimer Square and the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, so it's easy to shop until you drop between these destinations. Whatever you want to buy, you can probably find it in the Denver area, and trips to the mountains offer more enticing shopping opportunities worth considering.
Denver boasts hundreds of restaurants, and as is true of the city's shopping opportunities, the dining options extend out into the surrounding region. In town, the top shopping spots are also top dining destinations, with Lodo being one of the best places to look for restaurants. Innovative chefs abound in Colorado, and there is no shortage of them in Denver. Some of the most talented culinary creators head the hotel restaurants, the best of which are found at the luxury hotels.
Travelers who are looking for fun things to do in Denver can always look to add skiing to the list of possibilities. There are many world-class ski resorts that are within easy reach of Denver, such as Winter Park, and it is possible to enjoy a day on the slopes and be back in town by the early evening. Winter is the peak skiing season, but many of the area ski resorts stay open well into the spring, Arapahoe Basin being one of the last ones to close on average. Spring skiing can be just as wonderful as winter skiing, and snowboarders are welcome on most slopes.
While skiing tops the list of fun things to do in Denver during the winter, hiking is arguably the most rewarding summer activity. Denver is found at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, and since the Rockies rise up swiftly due west of town, the hiking options are about as good as it gets. Near town, state parks such as Cherry Creek State Park and Bear Creek Lake State Park offer excellent trails, while those who want to enjoy some highlands hiking can take on the mountain parks, such as Rocky Mountain National Park.
Many of the top things to do in Denver involve spending time outdoors, and fishing is one of them. The regional state parks boast lakes and streams that are ideal for fishing, and there are plenty of tantalizing mountain streams that are just a short drive away. Fly fishing in the mountains is especially popular in the warmer months, and on the Front Range, ice fishing is possible when the lakes freeze. Fishing guides are available in Denver, and they can help anglers maximize their time on a visit to the city regardless of the season.
There are a bunch of excellent golf courses in the Denver area, with the city's collection of municipal courses being ideal for those who are interested in low rates and staying close to town. The more impressive courses can be found outside of town, with the course at the Inverness Hotel & Conference Center as one of the best. Nearby Golden also has a course that golfing enthusiasts won't want to miss, and the bulk of the ski resorts become world-class golfing destinations once the snow melts.
When looking for free things to do in Denver, the city is home to a number of terrific museums that offer free days. During the warmer months, for example, the Denver Botanic Gardens doesn't charge admission on Tuesdays. In addition to the Botanic Gardens, museum buffs who are visiting Denver can also consider dropping by the Denver Art Museum, the Children's Museum, and the Colorado History Museum, among others.
Colorado Capitol Building
A living museum of sorts, this beautiful building is a Denver landmark, and it has been ever since it was built back in 1886. In 1908, the decision was made to cover the Capitol Building's dome with gold leaf, and visitors can learn about other interesting facts by taking a tour. The Capitol Building tours are free, so that's one more thing that you can add to your list of free things to do in Denver.
One of the most popular things to do in Denver is take a tour, as there are options to satisfy all tastes and preferences. In addition to enjoying a tour of the Capitol Building and the city's museums, it is also possible to take a walking tour in Larimer Square, book a bus tour that includes mountain stops, or tour a local brewery. These are just some of the options, and for hiking enthusiasts, a guided trek on the Colorado Trail is bound to prove unforgettable.
Enjoying a special event or an annual festival is worth considering when looking for fun things to do in Denver. This cultural capital offers a full events calendar, with the Cinco de Mayo parade, the seasonal Zoo Lights Festival, and the Taste of Colorado figuring among the most renowned celebrations. Professional sports events add to the possibilities, and visitors are encouraged to weigh all of the options when planning a trip.