1. This isn’t a mountain town.
Yes, The Mile High City is a gateway to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and there are incredible views of snow-capped peaks from all corners of the city. But it’s a misconception to think of Denver as a “mountain town.” Rather, the nearby Rockies are simply a stunning backdrop for urban adventure and cultural exploration. While the vast scale of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains are humbling even to a city the size of Denver, we still have all the excitement of a major metropolis.
2. It’s both immense and intimate.
Despite being a major American city, Denver feels more like a friendly, small town. Getting around is easy — the downtown is super walkable and linked to Denver International Airport by a
3. The sky is actually bluer here…
It’s not just your imagination. The combination of high altitude, relatively little water vapor in the air, and ample sunshine makes for incredibly blue skies over Denver.
4. …which makes it a sweet spot for enjoying the sun.
Even when it’s cold and snowy in the mountains, the sun is usually shining over Denver. Chilling on a sun-drenched patio after an action-packed day is practically an official pastime here. Many bars and restaurants — like the awesome
5. The city might not exist if not for whiskey.
Denver City was founded in 1858 on land that had already been claimed by the St. Charles Town company. Proponents of Denver City persuaded a St. Charles Town representative to relinquish the title to the land by giving him a barrel of whiskey (and possibly threatening to hang him, but we think the whiskey was probably the real deciding factor). Today, the craft cocktail and mixology scene in Denver is booming, but you’d be hard pressed to trade even the tastiest cocktail for title to the city.
6. John Elway walks on water.
Now-retired Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is pretty well liked around town. But it’s another Super Bowl champion quarterback, John Elway, who’s considered by many to be the greatest hero in Colorado sports history — he led the Broncos to their first ever Super Bowl win back in 1998 and again in 1999! Elway still works for the Broncos, and is credited by many for building the most recent championship team.
Did I write something earlier about water vapor being the reason the sky is blue over Denver? My personal theory is the sky is actually so blue because blue is John Elway’s favorite color. He’s worshipped in this city — we’ll do anything for him.
7. The art scene is incredible…
Denver is a Western city, but that doesn’t mean it’s all cowboys and no culture. The
For modern art, head to the
8. …and some of the best art is out on the streets.
Denver’s home to one of the most impressive collections of public art you’ll find anywhere. There are more than 300 installations ranging from subtle stone sculptures in public parks to the beloved
9. You can kayak downtown…
Cherry Creek flows into the South Platte River at Confluence Park, a hot spot for urban kayaking where engineered chutes funnel a steady flow of Class II whitewater through the park. Rent kayaks or inner-tubes at
10. …and you’ll probably hit your personal best golf drive here.
Golf balls fly more easily in the thin Colorado air than they do at sea level, so expect to channel your inner Lexi Thompson or Bubba Watson and drive the ball about 20 yards farther than normal.
11. A ticket for a Major League Baseball game can cost less than a beer.
Can you imagine walking into Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium for $4? No — because that’s ridiculous. But that’s about how much it can cost to take in a
The rooftop tickets start at $14; experience the two-story Rooftop deck — full of indoor bars, drink stands, and views of the game (and you get a $6 concession credit with the ticket).
12. You can hike in the footsteps of a stegosaurus.
13. The food scene is thriving.
14. The Denver Flea is a festival of awesomeness.
This is a city of makers, and four times a year hundreds of trendsetting craftspeople and artisans set up shop at the
Rolling Stone says Red Rocks is the best outdoor venue in America.
A Red Rocks concert is pretty much a transcendent experience that might just ruin indoor concerts for you for the rest of your life.
16. You’ll almost certainly visit more than once.
After you visit Denver for the first time, be prepared to return. This is the most centrally located city in the country, and Denver International Airport is one of the 19 busiest airports in the world, with 20 airlines providing nonstop service to over 170 destinations worldwide. No wonder many travelers hit Denver not once, not twice, but dozens of times.