What To See And Do And Where To Stay In Denver

If you are thinking about taking a vacation to Denver, Colorado, or have an upcoming business trip to this great western city, here's information on how to get there, where to stay and eat, and things to do while in the Mile-High City. Denver earns the nickname "Mile-High City" because it is located at exactly 5,280 feet--or one mile--above sea level. Denver was founded in 1858 as a gold mining town during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. It was first named Montana City, but the name was changed to Denver City in honor of Kansas Governor James W. Denver. When Colorado became a territory in 1865, its name was shortened to Denver. The city of Denver itself was estimated in 2006 to have a population of 566,974; the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Combined population was estimated in 2006 to be home to 2,927,911. There are four distinct seasons in Denver, and you'll find plenty to do no matter what season it is when you find yourself in Denver. If you are a sports fan, Denver has four professional sports teams and many collegiate teams to enjoy. Come with us and explore Denver!

Travelling To Denver

Denver is served by the Denver International Airport, some 25 miles northeast of the city. It's a major hub, connecting smaller West Coast cities to major airports in the Midwest and East. It's the home base of Frontier Airlines and the second largest hub (next to Chicago) for United Airlines. Other airlines serving Denver include Continental, Delta, American, Alaska, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, Jet Blue, US Airways, and International carriers such as Air Canada, Mexicana, and Lufthansa. Wherever you are in the world, you won't experience much trouble getting to Denver by air. Amtrak service to Denver is via the "California Zephyr" which traverses the country between the San Francisco area to Chicago, with intermediate stops in such cities as Reno, Salt Lake City, and Omaha, among others. And if travel by bus is a consideration, Greyhound operates many buses between Denver and other large and small cities in the U.S. Of course, there is also travel by automobile. Major highways through Colorado into Denver include Interstate 25, from north or south to Denver; from east or west the main highway is Interstate 70, although if you're coming from the west, this highway has its beginnings in southern Utah connecting from Interstate 15. Consult a good road atlas if you are planning to drive to Denver.

Lodging and Dining in Denver

Whatever your plans are for your Denver visit--be it business or vacation--you're sure to find hotel accomodations to suit your needs and your budget. From Bed and Breakfasts to Luxury hotels, Denver has it all. Here are just a few of your choices. You can find more on such web sites as, including bed & breakfasts and other lodging choices. As always, there just isn't room to cover more than a few of the choices available to you.

  • Holiday Inn Lakewood
    This facility is located just 10 minutes from downtown Denver, with rates starting as low as $89 per night if booked through Amenities include fitness center and heated outdoor pool, free high speed wireless internet access, onsite business center, room service, and is within walking distance to the Belmar Center, and minutes from Elitch Gardens Theme Park and sports centers.
  • Best Inn and Suites
    Affordably priced, rates start at $69 per night. In the Stapleton area, a short drive to the airport and to downtown Denver. Amenities include pool and fitness center, free parking, laundry facilities, wireless internet and continental breakfast
  • Comfort Inn, Denver Southeast
    Located south of Denver in Aurora, rates here start as low as $85 per night. Amenities include free guest parking, free deluxe continental breakfast, high speed wireless internet access, fitness center, and microwaves and refrigerators in all rooms.
  • The Timbers Denver Hotel
    Located just of I-70 between Denver International Airport and downtown Denver. Studio, one and two bedroom suites are available. Rates as low as $139 for studio and $159 for one bedroom units, unless booked through, where you will find some great discounts. Amenities include free airport shuttle, complimentary guest shuttle within a 5-mile radius of the hotel, free continental breakfast, fitness center, free wireless internet access.
Steakhouses, barbecues and American cuisine are tops in the Denver area for dining, but you'll also find other types as well. Asian, Latin and Continental restaurants also rate well. Here are a few choices, as always, we don't have room to showcase more than just a few.

  • Gumbo's
    Reportedly the best Creole and Cajun cuisine in the city. Open for lunch and dinner. Sweet Potato Catfish and Tenderloin George are two of their best-selling dishes. This restaurant is located in the historic Sugar district in downtown Denver.
  • Prima Ristorante
    Italian cuisine, located in the Hotel Teatro in downtown Denver, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recommended dishes include Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Omelet (breakfast); Butternut Squash Ravioli (lunch); and for dinner, Roasted Halibut or Chicken Paillard.
For American or Western cuisine, try Bastien's Restaurant on East Colfax in Denver (steakhouse); the Appaloosa Grill or Avenue Grill for American cuisine, or for barbecue fare, Brother's BBQ, all in the downtown area. For more dining choices, visit or

Things To See and Do in Denver

There's plenty to see and do in Denver and its vicinity. From sports events and activities to shopping and museums, there's something here and in the area, for everyone.

Sports Activities
Depending on when you're in town, Denver is home to four professional sports teams: The Colorado Rockies (baseball), NFL Broncos (football), NBA Denver Nuggets (basketball), and the Colorado Avalance (hockey). In addition to spectator sports, there's plenty of interactive sporting activities to do: golf, skiing in nearby ski resorts, white water rafting, hiking, biking, hunting and fishing (in season, of course).

Visit the country's only downtown amusement park: Elitch Gardens; the Downtown Aquarium or the Denver Zoo; if museums are of interest to you, try the Colorado History Museum, or if you have children along for the ride, they may enjoy the Children's museum. If you're willing to leave town, there are even more possibilities, such as the Air Force Academy between Denver and Colorado Springs.

If you'd like to take in some shopping on your visit, you'll find plenty to keep you occupied. From Art Galleries to shopping malls, you're sure to find what you need in the Denver area. Looking for that special something that says "Colorado?" Try Made In Colorado, Inc., Rockmount Ranch Wear Mfg. Co., or Where the Buffalo Roam, all in the downtown Denver area. If you're planning some travel outside of Denver, perhaps you'll consider visiting the Garden of The Gods in Colorado Springs. Their trading post also offers unique "made in Colorado" items for sale.

For shopping malls, try the Denver Pavillions or 16th St. Mall in the downtown area. And if you love to shop the factory outlet stores, you'll find three in the Denver area: one in Castle Rock--south of Denver; one in Loveland--north of Denver; and one in Silverthorne, which is west of Denver in the mountains.

Be sure to check, Denver's official web site, for more information on lodging, attractions and activities, shopping, sports, etc.

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