Known colloquially as the ‘Mile High City’ because of high elevation, Denver is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. As the state capital of the state of Colorado, the city has long been an important location for industry and was in fact founded as a hub for operations for the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in 1861.
Today, Denver serves as an important gateway to activities in the Rocky Mountains. As a result of the high number of young people that pass through, the city has developed one of the hippest arts and culture scenes anywhere in the United States. But Denver is so much more than what many people who have never visited might think. There is so much to see and do that you can easily spend a week wandering around captivated by sites of historical importance that pepper the city.
- Visit the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
If you are into air travel and interested in seeing some incredible aircrafts, why not take a trip down to this fascinating museum. There is fun for the whole family as you take a look around the exhibits in the 150,000-square foot former aircraft hangar. You will find over 50 air crafts and space vehicles, including oddities such as an RF-84K Thunderflash Parasite, a B-18A Bolo, and an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars! The knowledgeable museum staff will even let you try out many of the instruments and apparatus inside the crafts.
- Learn to Climb at Denver Climbing Company
Rock climbing has become synonymous with the Colorado way of life in the last few decades, and it is often said that you are not really from Denver unless you know how to scale a wall in a harness.
If you want to learn to climb like a Coloradan, the best place to do so is at the Denver Climbing Company. The company has an outdoor climbing academy when you can go to learn the basics or to perfect your existing skills.
- Check Out Denver Botanic Gardens
No matter when you visit the city, a visit to Denver Botanic Gardens will delight lovers of nature with its enormous array of plants from around the world. Its tropical biosphere creates an environment and climate that set the scene for a gorgeous Japanese flower garden replete with ponds and lilies. A great place to come for a picnic with the family even in the depths of winter!
- Catch a Ball Game at Coors Field
If you are partial to a game of baseball, you will certainly enjoy a trip to Coors Field to catch a game. The home of Denver’s baseball franchise, the Colorado Rockies, the field hosts one of the largest attendances in the league. If you manage to get a seat between the first-base and right-field areas, you will be treated to a marvellous view of the snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks not far away in the distance.
- Take a Stroll in Larimer Square
Larimer Square is perhaps Denver’s most historic block. Dating back to the founding of the city in the nineteenth century, the square has been the hub of activity in Denver for many years. Today, it plays host to a wonderful mix of lively bars, independent boutique shops, first-rate restaurants and much more. If you are at a loss of what to do in the evening, this is the place to head to catch live music and experience the heart and soul of the city.
- Colorado State Capitol
If you are passing through on your way to the Rockies, you should make an effort to stop off at one of Denver’s most important landmarks, the Colorado State Capitol building. Constructed in the 1890s, the structure is remarkable for its gold dome which was built to commemorate the gold rush that brought so much of the city’s wealth.
With so much to see and do in Denver, you would be crazy for not making an effort to plan a trip soon. If you are planning to visit the fabulous city of Denver from Europe, however, be aware that you will need to apply for the ESTA visa waiver scheme if you want to enter the country without any issues (this excellent ESTA visa guide will help you navigate the process if you have any doubts).
Note: If you are a US citizen who is looking a bit further afield that Denver, why not visit the French Alps. The scenery is much the same as the Rockies, but with the added bonus of experiencing the famous French culture and cuisine. When you are planning your France trip, make sure that you apply for the ETIAS visa exemption that comes into place in January 2021. You will not be allowed through immigration at the airport without applying before your travel!