Denver City Guide: travel guide to Denver, Colorado
This beautiful city, the culture capital of Colorado is perfect for a long weekend
The mile-high city of Denver of Dynasty fame (remember those padded shoulders) is not just for those heading off to Vail or Aspen ski resorts. This former cow town is a beautiful city in its own right with a wonderful mix of architecture, an abundance of green areas with a stunning backdrop of the Rockies.
Getting there: We flew to Denver from the UK. The only airline that flies direct from the UK to Denver is British Airways. Flight time is around 9 hours. For flights to Denver from other airports, see the widget at the bottom of the article.
Where to stay: For a funky retro-styled boutique hotel that thinks its a stand-up comedian stay at Curtis Hotel. You are welcomed with warm chocolate chip cookies and the lift sings out differing songs on arrival depending on the theme of your floor – could be movie, music or tv. It is ideally located in Downtown Denver within walking distance of the Art Museum and you get great views over the Rockies.
If the Curtis sounds a little juvenile go for the far more elegant JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek located opposite the Cherry Creek shopping mall (see more info on the mall below, under Retail Therapy). Valet parking, large marble reception, spacious well decorated rooms with marble bathrooms all set a truly sophisticated scene.
For more choice, search more Denver hotels.
Get cultured: The Denver Art Museum is a sensational building with an equally sensational collection of American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art. There's a funky Andy Warhol contribution called The American Indian.
Another cultural giant is the Kirkland museum. It has three distinct strands, Colorado Art, Decorative Art and a Vance Kirkland retrospective.
Be sure to also pop into the colourfully packaged Mizel Museum too. It depicts the historical journey of Jews throughout the millenia and is a great introduction for kids and those who wish to know more.
Must see landmark: Capital Building has a sparkling domed roof encrusted with 303 ounces of 24-carat gold. If you stand on its 3rd step you will be exactly 1 mile high.
Retail Therapy: Cherry Creek shopping centre is vast and has everything from Saks, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Banana Republic. Also head out to Downtown Denver to 16th Street open air mall where a free shuttle service is on hand.
To get the most from your shopping experience choose the Denver Cherry Creek Shopping Package and have the time of your life. This include a valuable Passport to Shopping booklet entitling you to great discounts in more than 70 stores in the Center. You will also get a marvelous Macy's 11% Savings Card, valid for multiple-use on a wide range of merchandise in the world-famous store.
Jog with the locals: Sunday mornings, Denver awakens early to jog around any one of their 200 local parks. But the largest and most beautiful is Washington Park. Join them either on your bike, skateboard or in a pair of trainers. This 63-hectare park has two sensational formal gardens one of which is a replica of George Washington's garden at Mount Vernon. There's also two lakes (where you can fish if you so happen to don a rod), bowling greens, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds and even an indoor pool.
Must chill out: The appealing Larimar Square, a historic block in Downtown Denver, is hemmed with plenty of independent shops and an eclectic mix of chef-owned restaurants and nightlife options from comedy to beer haunts and wine bars.
Drink at the Mayor's place: Probably the most famous drinking hole is Wynkoop. This jovial brew pub was founded by the mayor, John Hickenlooper, who sold out when he became Colorado State Governor. It sprawls over two floors with bars on both floors. On the upper floor are 22 billiard tables (that spawned many a champion) and two shuffle boards. There is a menu of comfort food and if you order the humous plate, they suggest you twin it with their light Rail Ale 4.5% ABV.
Forty minutes away is the lovely, Bohemian town of Boulder where hippies would hang out in the late 1960's. Saunter through Pearl Street Mall and then have tea at the ornately decorated Duchanbe Tea House – a gift from its sister city Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan in 1987. It is located by a brook, as is the Tajik way.
Be sure to also fit in the Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre. All the good and the great have sung here surrounded by huge red rocks surrounded by supremely beautiful greenery and mountains. Even if there is no show, there is a museum with a film to watch and when the sun is ready to set take a seat and watch the light show as the sun descends behind the rocks.
Get a round of golf: Tee off or simply take tea at the 18-hole Arrowhead Golf Club in nearby Roxborough, where the foothill views are breathtaking and where you may counter a deer or even a bear. The course is surrounded by extreme elevations and thousands of ancient red sandstone rocks. Be warned though, the course is not for beginners. Hole number 2 is uphill par 5 and the shot onto the green is blind. At number 13 you tee off from an elevated T box which drops down to a much lower green. And getting around is slow simply because players can't help but take in the views and take pictures. The cost, $100 may sound a lot but includes the green fee, cart fee, practice balls, meals, snacks and non alcoholic drinks.
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