A 3-day stay in Denver allows you to venture into districts beyond downtown for a taste of the city’s diversity, including experiencing the outdoors in any season, from ski resorts to hiking trails. You also have time to visit the Rocky Mountains or Colorado Springs. Here’s how to maximize a 3-day trip.
Day 1: Capitol Culture
From its humble mining town roots, the Mile-High City has risen to new cultural heights, with museums to suit any taste. Get a primer on western expansion at the History Colorado Center, go abstract at the Clyfford Still Museum, or tour the Victorian home of a famous Titanic survivor at the Molly Brown House. A stroll in the Denver Botanic Gardens lets you connect with high-desert blooms right in the heart of the vibrant Uptown neighborhood. If traveling with kids, visit the acclaimed Denver Zoo or Denver Museum of Nature & Science for a surefire way to burn off some energy and keep the whole family happy. Prebook tickets, discount passes, or tours that include these attractions for an easy day of sightseeing.
Day 2: Be a Rocky Mountain Explorer
Denver’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains is a major draw for residents and visitors alike. From wildlife-watching and leisurely hikes to extreme sports such as mountain biking, rock climbing, and snowboarding, there are plenty of ways to get outdoors and play. In summer, venture into Rocky Mountain National Park for alpine lakes and moose sightings, hike among the Boulder Flatirons, or marvel at the views from the summit of Mt. Evans. Journey south to Colorado Springs to explore the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, Colorado’s most famous “14-er” (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet, or 4267 meters). Winter means ski season, and several resorts such as Winter Park and Copper Mountain are close enough for you to spend a day on the slopes and still get a good night’s sleep in your Denver hotel.
Day 3: Beers, Bites, and More
Back in the urban mix, treat yourself to a tour of Denver’s expanding dining and brewery scene, with the highest concentration of hot spots in Lower Downtown (LoDo). With options ranging from farm-to-table to hearty western fare (try the Rocky Mountain oysters if you dare!), a food tour offers a great way to hit up several hot spots without any guesswork. The city is also a craft beer haven, so pop into local breweries for a flight of seasonal lagers, stouts, and ales, or join a distillery tour to see how modern mixologists are reinventing Colorado’s prairie whiskey traditions.