On October 18Michelle Doucette answered the question:Despite its urban façade, Denver is a mountain town at heart — and a four-season one at that.
Summer days are perfect for exploring the city’s biking trails and green spaces; two fresh-air favorites are the sprawling City Park (visit the Denver Zoo here) and Washington Park (take a cue from the locals and call it Wash Park). And on summer nights, there’s no better seat in town than a spot in the Coors Field grandstand. Watching the Colorado Rockies play before a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains is one of the great MLB ballpark experiences.
In any season, the South Platte River is another pleasant place to explore the outdoors within city limits. Follow its trails to Confluence Park and watch kayakers in action before ducking into the riverside REI flagship store to pick up some gear of your own.
Be sure to take that gear with you as you venture just outside the city to experience the great outdoors at Denver’s doorstep — and don’t be surprised if you pass a bighorn sheep or an elk on your way. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, less than 30 minutes from downtown, is without a doubt one of the country’s best places to see a concert. The views of the Denver skyline from your seat will be stunning, and a hike on the trails surrounding the venue will reward you with even more impressive vistas.
Finally, no winter or spring trip to the Mile High City would be complete without a (very likely sunny) ski day. Winter Park Resort is just over an hour away and the legendary slopes of Breckenridge and Vail are just beyond that.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Today, every sport is represented in this lively mountain city within gleaming facilities�but it wasn’t always that way. A building boom in the 1990s resulted in a new airport; a downtown baseball park surrounded by a lively nightlife district dubbed LoDo (lower downtown); new football, basketball and hockey stadiums; and a redeveloped river valley just west of downtown with an aquarium, an amusement park and a shopping district. The Nuggets, Denver’s professional basketball team, play ball at the Pepsi Center, which is also home to the two-time Stanley Cap champions the Avalanche, Colorado’s professional hockey team. Coors Field is the official ballpark of the Rockies, Colorado’s pro baseball team, and Invesco Field is home to the Broncos, Denver’s professional football team. Last but not least is Colorado’s professional soccer team, the Rapids, who play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Located in downtown Denver in what was once the Denver National Bank, The Broker is a fun place to dine on a great steak. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a huge bank vault, which is now the dining room; and private parties can take over one of the old boardrooms. Go down some stairs and through what seems like it might have been a secret passageway, and you find yourself in the restaurant’s massive wine cellar, which has a dining table that can seat up to 20 (or just two, if you’re feeling romantic). The steakhouse features dishes like roasted prime rib with creamed horseradish and steak Diane with a Courvoisier cream sauce. But one of the highlights precedes the main course: a complimentary bowl of chilled shrimp.
Because it wouldn’t be a Colorado vacation without a hearty steak dinner — and Denver wouldn’t be Denver without Bronco Hall-of-Famer John Elway — add Elway’s to your must-do list. This steakhouse is a touchdown all around, featuring smart décor and a floor-to-ceiling wine wall holding thousands of bottles. The lamb fondue appetizer, Elway’s salmon and the bone-in rib-eye are sure bets. We recommend the Bison burger or sliced prime rib sandwich.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:The Jet Hotel puts a fun and modern spin on traditional in-room amenities. Rooms come with French presses for your morning caffeine fix, insulated pitchers to tote around ice and a CD alarm clock with a library of discs.
Then there’s the Oxford Hotel. It’s one of Denver’s oldest hotels, but it provides some of the most modern conveniences. Rooms have free WiFi, Bose stereo systems and plasma TVs. Plus, a bath butler will draw you an aromatic bath whenever you request it.
Lastly, families will find the amenities at Loews Denver Hotel to be a godsend. Parents won’t have to lug around baby equipment, since the hotel provides tubs, bottle warmers and outlet plugs, and older kids will stay busy with kits that include games.
On November 11, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Denver is a growing city with 2.5 million people in the metropolitan area, and with the Great Plains sweeping away to the east, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains immediately to the west, and a dry, mild climate (where you’ll find 300 days of sunshine), it’s easy to see why so many people have flocked here. To enjoy the magnificent scenery for yourself, check out these top spots in Denver:
1. Denver Botanic Gardens. Entering these gardens is like stepping into a tropical paradise. Roam the 23 acres with more than 15,000 types of plants. Stop by the new 50,000-square-foot Greenhouse Complex, which houses a two-story pavilion filled with waterfalls and orchids, and the Orangery, which shelters citrus trees in the style of fashionable 17th-century European homes.
2. The Denver Zoo. The beautiful 80-acre grounds here host nearly 4,000 animals. Visit the unusual monkeys and apes in the Primate Panorama, and then the polar bears and sea lions in the arctic Northern Shores.
3. Hyland Hills Water World. This is one of the largest water parks in the country — adults can cool off in the football-field-sized wave pool and fly down one of the 12 thrill-seeking rides. Then bring the kids to Wally World, a miniature water park specifically for the short set.
On November 11, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Running through the center of Denver’s downtown shopping district, 16th Street Mall is a tree-lined pedestrian promenade of red and gray granite. Outdoor cafés, shops, restaurants, hotels, fountains and plazas line its mile-long walk, and European-built shuttle buses offer transportation from either end of the promenade. Along the mall, you’ll find Larimer Square. This restoration of the first street in Denver includes a collection of shops, galleries, nightclubs and restaurants set among Victorian courtyards, gaslights, arcades and buildings. Get a full tour by taking a carriage ride around the square.
If you’re looking for vintage items, you’ll find more than 400 shops along a 14-block stretch of South Broadway that sell everything from books and music to vintage Western wear and museum-quality furniture on Antique Row. Take the light rail to Broadway and Interstate 25 (I-25) to begin your tour. Most dealers are between the 400 and 2000 blocks of South Broadway and the 25 and 27 blocks of East Dakota Avenue.
Arvada Center for Arts & Humanities hosts concerts, plays, classes, demonstrations, art galleries and a banquet hall. The amphitheater seats 1,200 (June to early September). There’s also a historical museum with an old cabin and pioneer artifacts. Downtown Aquarium-Denver is another cultural gem. This world-class 106,500-square-foot aquarium brings visitors face-to-face with more than 300 species of fish, birds, mammals and invertebrates from around the world. Be sure to check out the pool stocked with stingrays.
A ride on the Ski Train from downtown Denver to Winter Mountain Ski Resort in Winter Park has been a favorite day trip for skiers, hikers, bikers and family vacationers in Denver since 1940. Operating on weekends year-round, the 14-car train takes you on a spectacular 60-mile wilderness ride through the Rockies and across the Continental Divide, climbing 4,000 feet and passing through 28 tunnels before dropping you off at the front entrance of the beautiful Winter Park Resort. Tickets are for round-trip, same-day rides only, and reservations are highly recommended.