Denver Travel Guide
Denver is known as the Mile High City, not because marijuana is legal here, but because its elevation is 5,280 feet — one mile — above sea level.
Denver is Colorado's state capital and the most populous city in the state. Dotted with world-class museums, gorgeous public murals, and city parks, it's also a gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Denver is home to the second-largest performing arts center in the U.S., after Lincoln Center in New York, and is frequently cited as a top city for singles.
Sports fans can watch the Denver Broncos play football, the Colorado Rockies play baseball, or the Denver Nuggets play basketball. Prefer hockey or soccer? Check out the Colorado Avalanche or Denver Outlaws. Looking to get some exercise? Take a hike in the Rocky Mountains or hit the nearby ski slopes.
Denver is also a beer town that's home to several craft brewers as well as Coors Light, which operates the largest brewery in the world just outside the city. The city even hosts the Great American Beer Festival each year. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, and Denver is home to several recreational marijuana dispensaries.
Mountain Standard Time
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Denver depends on what you want to do. In May, Denver celebrates Cinco de Mayo and hosts the Five Points Jazz Festival, Denver Arts Festival, and Colfax Marathon. During the summer, Denver holds PrideFest and Comic Con in June and a county fair in July. Autumn is the best time for foodies to visit Denver because it's when the city puts on A Taste of Colorado, Denver Beer Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival. Meanwhile, winter is a popular time for skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes nearby. The Denver Botanic Gardens holds its holiday light show from November through January, and Denver's National Western Stock Show happens each year in January.
Things to Know
Denver is located near the Rocky Mountains, not in the Rocky Mountains. About 200 named mountain peaks are visible from Denver.
Alcoholic drinks have a greater effect when you're drinking at a mile above sea level, so be sure to hydrate and pace yourself.
Marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older. Adults can possess up to one ounce of retail marijuana. Cannabis is sold through recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries. If you don't have a prescription, head to a recreational dispensary. Just make sure to find a private place to smoke, as marijuana consumption in public is still illegal. It's also illegal to take marijuana across state lines.
How to Get Around
Trains: Denver has 11 light and commuter rail lines covering nearly 66 miles and serving 44 stations. Parking in downtown can be expensive, making rail the more affordable choice.
Buses: The Denver area has 1,000 city buses with more than 10,000 local stops in eight counties. Local buses are an especially good way to travel from the airport to the city center and suburbs. An express bus runs between Denver and Boulder.
Taxis: Taxis are available through companies like Denver Yellow Cab. Expect to pay about $55 for cab service between downtown Denver and the airport. Rideshare: Lyft, Uber, and Migo are rideshare options available in Denver.
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
Central Business District: This is a neighborhood that's mostly business, though it's also home to the 16th Street Mall, an outdoor promenade lined with shops, restaurants, and art. You'll also find the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center, and a sculpture known as the Big Blue Bear here.
Highlands: Highlands is a laid-back Denver neighborhood with a great selection of restaurants and bars. The neighborhood sits on a hillside overlooking the city and is sometimes called North Denver.
LoDo: LoDo is where downtown Denver parties. This part of the city is known for its nightlife, though it's also home to offices and apartment buildings. LoDo is where you'll find Union Station and Larimer Square — the block where the modern-day city of Denver got its start. It's on the edge of Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies.
Capitol Hill: This is Colorado's most densely populated neighborhood, and it includes the Colorado State Capitol building. Capitol Hill is home to the Molly Brown House Museum and situated just west of the Denver Botanic Gardens. It's an area that's brimming with bars, restaurants, and interesting locals.
Five Points: This neighborhood was once the center of Denver's jazz scene and still hosts an annual jazz festival. Nowadays, it's a hipster haven known for its restaurants, bars, and public art.
Denver summers are hot, while its winters tend to be cold and dry. The temperature rarely dips below 6°F or rises above 96°F. The warmest months are June through early September. The coldest are late November through early March. Expect snow between November and February.
The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.
January: 20°F to 49°F
February: 21°F to 49°F
March: 29°F to 58°F
April: 35°F to 65°F
May: 45°F to 73°F
June: 55°F to 86°F
July: 61°F to 92°F
August: 59°F to 90°F
September: 50°F to 82°F
October: 37°F to 68°F
November: 27°F to 57°F
December: 19°F to 47°F