Denver -- the Mile High City, the Gateway to the Rockies. This bustling metropolis is full of residents and vacationers from all over the world. Plenty of sunshine, diverse neighborhoods, and a thriving cultural scene make Denver a popular destination. Whether you're the outdoorsy sort, looking for city life before venturing into the Rockies, or you're the ultimate cosmopolitan, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Denver. Shop, eat or take in a concert or a game from top-tier professional sports teams in this engaging city.
Marvel at the production of billions of coins for American spenders at the Denver Mint. Tour the facility -- tickets are free -- and watch the precious raw metals be pressed, die-cut, and stamped. This particular mint manufactures coin dies, stores silver bullion, and mints coins both commemorative and for general circulation.
Red Rocks is a geographically formed, outdoor, open-air amphitheater -- the only one of its kind in the world. This stunning site is a favorite venue of many musicians of all genres, but it's not just a thrilling place for a show. The park itself encompasses over 700 acres, with native deer, dinosaur fossils, scraggly pine trees, and breathtaking rock vistas. There are a variety of recreation options besides concerts, including guided tours of the park, independent hiking, and biking along mountain trails, shopping, and delicious dining locales.
The famous architect I.M. Pei designed this sprawling outdoor promenade. Shuttles, dubbed "mall rides," are available to take you from place to place, or you can stroll along, grabbing a bite in one of the 42 cafes or taking in a movie in one of 12 theaters. Pedicabs transport you after dark, and with dozens of unique shops and restaurants, there's enough local flavor to really give you a sense of the Denver vibe.
Union Station does double duty as a busy transit center for Denver's public transportation department and a hopping nightlife, shopping, and dining destination. The Amtrak station and bus depot are located in Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver. Tours, sponsored by the Carlisle Hotel, culminate in a visit to the Track Bar for a complimentary cocktail. Comfortable couches and chairs scattered throughout have given Union Station the nickname "Denver's Living Room."
Travel over 9000 feet up along the highest paved road in North America: the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. As you wind along the twists and turns of this mountainous road, you'll see breathtaking views, native wildlife, and even snowcaps. Follow the "road into the sky," taking time to admire the Rockies. The trip culminates around Echo Lake State Park, which is worth the trip in itself.
Established in 1873, Coors Brewery has long been crafting beer that is as "Cold as the Rockies" in the small Denver suburb of Golden. Tours are surprisingly kid-friendly, with complimentary soft drinks, while grown-ups can sample some of the delicious Coors brews. The crisp mountain waters of the Rockies create the beers, giving Coors its unique taste. The 30-minute tour is free and includes plenty of interesting facts about Coors' ingredients, brewing, and hops selection.
Those familiar with the Titanic story know about "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" -- the larger than life heroine of the sinking ship. Her eccentric Victorian home offers a captivating and intriguing insight not only to turn-of-the-century society but also the woman herself. Knowledgeable tour guides recount Molly's Titanic voyage, of course. But they also tell about her groundbreaking work to improve standards in Colorado's mining industry and her involvement in the women's suffrage movement.
Native Denverites consider Washington Park on par with Central Park in New York -- and they aren't far off. Washington Park is located south of central Denver, outside the bustling downtown area. Residents and visitors enjoy the numerous facilities and the peaceful atmosphere. The park covers 165 acres and boasts jogging paths, planted gardens, and two massive lakes. Relax on the grass, play a game of tennis on one of eight courts, or take a dip in the Recreation Center's pool.
Travel off the beaten path with one of Denver's food tours. These private events are perfect for a small group and help visitors discover the hidden culinary gems for which Denver is famous. Guides take you and your new friends around to various eateries and bars to sample a tasting selection at each or enjoy a "progressive dinner" during which you eat a course and have a complementing beverage at each locale.
Tamayo is situated in quaint Larimer Square. Award-winning chef Jordan Chavez has created a mouth-watering menu of south-of-the-border specialties. This long-standing Mexican restaurant offers a truly unique dining experience and a popular rooftop patio. Try the Bottomless Margarita Brunch, which features shareable small plates and appetizers and unlimited drinks for $39 per person.