- Written by 50plus LIFE 50plus LIFE
Denver is an outdoor city filled with urban adventures. The Mile-High City is known for its cultural attractions, thriving craft breweries, and famous music scene, all within easy reach of the Rocky Mountains.
Situated in the South Platte River Valley, this modern city draws openness from the Great Plains to the east and embraces the spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains to the west.
Residents of this mile-high landscape are noted for their sunny dispositions—to match the area’s 300 days of sunshine—and can-do attitudes. It’s very much a “maker culture,” where anything is possible.
Easy Access & Walkability
From Denver International Airport, it’s a short glide on the airport train to the heart of downtown.
But it’s also a trip back in time when visitors arrive at Denver Union Station, an opulent and fully restored 1914 Beaux-Arts train station, home to swanky bars, restaurants, and a hotel.v
Explore numerous cultural attractions throughout walkable downtown on your own two feet or rent a bicycle from Denver B-cycle.
Delve into Denver’s diverse neighborhoods. Street art depicts urban stories all over town, bursting with color on alleyways, garage doors, and storefronts.
Uptown has a long stretch of cafés, bistros, and pubs with outdoor patios near the city’s largest greenspace, City Park.
The Art District on Santa Fe comprises more than 60 art galleries and colorful murals, highlighting the neighborhood’s Hispanic roots.
The Highlands neighborhood has distinctive Victorian-era homes and buildings; lush gardens and parks; hip, independently owned shops; art galleries; and restaurants.
The River North Art District (RiNo) is “where art is made,” riding a wave of industrial revival with art galleries, brewpubs, and restaurants.
Renowned Arts & Culture
The Denver Art Museum in the Golden Triangle neighborhood is the largest art museum between Kansas City and the West Coast. DAM is filled with more than 55,000 works from around the world.
Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum opened in November 2011. Still was a leading figure in the development of abstract expressionism. The museum houses nearly 2,400 of Still’s paintings, drawings, and prints.
And in Lower Downtown (LoDo), the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver houses a constantly refreshed set of exhibits.
Beer, Wine, and Spirits
Denver is known for something other than its altitude: beer. With more than 200 craft beers brewed in Denver daily, let the Denver Beer Trail be your guide into a world of pale ales, one-off firkins, and daring ingredients.
Tivoli is Colorado’s oldest, most historic brewery. It originally opened in 1859 and supplied beer to the gold rush pioneers.
Wynkoop Brewing, meanwhile, is a Denver institution, known for innovative brewers who will put just about anything in their beer.
Wine aficionados should check out Balistreri Vineyards, a family-owned winery dedicated to completely natural wines, or Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery that’s doing the unthinkable: canning its wines!
Colorado is also home to more than 16 distilleries making whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, and vodka.
Denver is a hub for chef-owned restaurants, such as those among the Victorian buildings and boutique shops of Larimer Square, downtown at the 16th Street Mall, or in the Cherry Creek neighborhood.
Denver has been getting a lot of attention for its latest innovation: gourmet food markets. In the RiNo neighborhood, housed in a 14,000-square-foot 1920s-era building, Denver Central Market includes a bodega selling milk, eggs, butter, yogurt, and bulk coffee; a meat and cheese shop; a bakery; a full-service fish market; a butcher; and a chocolate shop.
With Denver’s year-round sunny skies, it’s hard to stay indoors. City Park is a great place to take a walk and also features one of the most popular zoos in the nation.
The Denver Zoo has about 4,000 animals, representing more than 750 species. The zoo’s new Amur tiger habitat, The Edge, allows the felines to roam on catwalks and bridges spanning just over visitors’ heads. The Toyota Elephant Passage will gives an up-close experience with massive Asian elephants.
Adjacent to the zoo is the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Denver Botanic Gardens, meanwhile, is a 24-acre oasis in the city.
For the history buff, Denver has plenty of fascinating museums and landmarks.
The History Colorado Center features interactive exhibits and programs telling the stories of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
The late Jack A. Weil invented the first cowboy shirt with snaps and helped popularize Western wear as legitimate American fashion. Weil’s grandson, Steve Weil, continues the tradition today, in a store situated in the heart of downtown.
Located in a 1930s-era former Air Force hangar, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is home to more than three dozen historic airplanes and space vehicles.
The Forney Museum of Transportation’s more than 500 exhibits include “Big Boy,” the world’s largest steam locomotive, and aviator Amelia Earhart’s Gold Bug Kissel.
The Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave in nearby Golden features exhibits on Buffalo Bill’s life, Wild West shows, American Indian artifacts, and Western art and firearms.
Famous Music Scene
On any given night, you’ll find artists playing an array of genres in clubs throughout the metro area. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, hosts of legendary musicians like the Beatles (1964) and U2 (1983), presents a summer concert series from May through October with the best artists in jazz, rock, pop, bluegrass, and more.
Just 15 miles from town, see sandstone monoliths that buttress the stage and go for an easy hike on the trails in the surrounding park—taking a moment to enjoy sweeping views of the Denver skyline.
Go to www.visitdenver.com to learn more about Denver and plan your trip.