Whether you’re in Denver on vacation or just looking for something fun to do this weekend, the Mile High City will never leave you bored. Here are a few of our favorite things to do either in Denver city limits or within an hour of driving. Enjoy!
Want to get outside without leaving the city? Denver Zoo covers 80 acres of space with more than 600 different species of animals. It’s pretty obvious why more than 1.5 million people visit annually. Photo Credit: denverzoo.
When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to leave the workout schedule at home…unless you have it built into your itinerary, that is. Head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a workout you’ll never forget. This iconic stadium attracts yoga enthusiasts and runners on sunny days, as well as people that just want to see this one-of-a-kind view. Photo Credit: daveynin.
Looking for a thrill during your trip to Denver? Check out Elitch Gardens amusement park. It’s right downtown near the Broncos stadium. Covering 28 acres with 37 rides, including 5 roller coasters, there’s plenty to do here. Photo Credit: @hutsch.photography (Instagram).
Covering 330 acres in east-central Denver, City Park is one of the coolest urban parks in the country. Not only is City Park home to Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, there are also two lakes here and planned events like a free summer concert series.
While every Colorado hike is unique, some are more unique than others. One hike near Denver that’s truly one-of-a-kind is the hike to the ruins of Falcon Castle near Morrison, Colorado. Make sure you bring you camera along. Photo Credit: @coyle_sean.
Located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, just outside of Denver, Cherry Creek State Park is a great place to go if you want to see a natural prairie environment. While there aren’t mountains here, there’s plenty to do thanks to a reservoir within the park that’s open to powerboats, sailboats, and paddle-craft. This state park is also home to 35 miles of multi-use trails to explore. Photo Credit: Spokenhope
Located between Denver and Colorado Springs, it’s easy to spend a day in Castle Rock. Not only does the area have plenty of hiking in nearby foothills, there’s also an outlet mall with tons of discount clothing, electronics, and more.
Want to see some lions, tigers, and bears roaming across the Colorado plains? At the Wild Animal Sanctuary you can. Located roughly 45 minutes from downtown Denver, this attraction shows you various big game species in wide open spaces. Expect to see the animals much more active than you might in a zoo. Why are the visitors confined to a raised walkway? It’s actually less intrusive to the animals as most large predators don’t naturally consider things above them as a threat. Photo Credit: @kristyn_wuj (Instagram).
Another great place to spend the day in Denver without leaving the city is the Denver Aquarium. While looking at all of the different fish here is a great experience, we encourage you to get more up close and personal with the aquatic life by trying the shark diving if you like to scuba. In this photo, you’ll see OutThere Colorado’s Content Marketing Manager, Sophie, prepping for her dive during our visit. Photo Credit: Katie Rae Spell.
If you really want an unforgettable experience, try your hand at paragliding. With plenty of launch areas located within driving distance from Denver and several companies that will take you into the air tandem, this is one experience that will cause some serious FOMO amongst your friends on social media.
Home to the Flatirons, the University of Colorado, and previously ranked “America’s Foodiest Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, Boulder is the perfect place to spend a day away from Denver during your trip to the Mile High City. Much closer to the mountains than Denver is, an active lifestyle and a trendy atmosphere go hand-in-hand here. Just don’t forget to swing the pedestrian-only Pearl Street while you’re there.
Established in 1977 near Brighton, Colorado, Barr Lake State Park is less than an hour from Denver. One unique aspect about this place is the number of birds it attracts. More than 350 different species of birds have been spotted here. Photo Credit: bgburke91.
If you’re wanting to camp while you’ve in Denver, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a great place to do it. With over 100 campsites and more than 100 picnic sites, this state park is fun for anyone that loves spending time without a roof over their head. If you plan on camping, make sure you lock up food. Animals like moose, black bears, mountain lions, and mule deer are frequently seen in the area. Photo Credit: Brian Dearth.
This day trip will take you to an entirely different, but nearby, Colorado city – Colorado Springs. Home to the US Olympics Training Center, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak, a 14,115-foot mountain, this trip is definitely worth the hour drive from Denver. Photo Credit: @cre8productions (Instagram).