Denver Attractions what to do in Denver Colorado

There’s so much to see and do in Denver, Colorado that one hardly knows where to begin.  The best bets are to choose from items that are either in the same general location or to choose from favorite activities.  Or, a combination of both may be just the ticket.  There are also short trips one can take where Denver is either the home base or the starting point.

The first day should be spent leisurely so that one can acclimate to this ‘mile-high’ city.  Denver is about a mile above sea level.  This is where it gets its nickname.

Be sure to park at either end of the main drag or stay at a hotel there, then take the free tram to see Molly Brown’s (of the Titanic) house, play pool with a cold dark Guinness at an Irish pub, dine within a block or two at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant, stroll past street musicians or buckers, hike through the downtown mall, and/or enjoy fresh espresso on a terrace.

The next day could be spent exploring antique row and thrift stores just a few miles south of downtown.  There’s also a good one called Treasures Outlet at 4949 Lowell Blvd. (Here’s a map.)  The owner does a full spectrum of high end to regular antiques along with Estate auctions.

Then an afternoon massage after relaxing in a hot spring fed pool in Idaho Springs to soothe bargain hunting muscle cramps.  They have private pool/spa rooms, underground (nude) pools, and a very large indoor swimming pool with loads of trees and plants.  These facilities are located at the Indian Hot Springs Lodge.  It’s a rather large facility with the hot spring pools, spa and restaurant.  You don’t have to rent a room or cabin to use them.  Just stop at the front desk to pay per use.  Their web site is:

Maybe an evening up at Black Hawk or Central city just west of Denver off of I-70 (near Idaho Springs) will satisfy one’s entertainment desires.  Central city boasts a museum of the old West and one might even take in an Opera there. 

On the third day, one might enjoy a drive up Mt. Evans.  It’s just a drop kick from Idaho Springs and is the highest paved highway in North America.  Take along jackets and pants, even in July.  It gets colder the higher up.  It’s known as a 14’er due to its height.  Click on the word/link Evans to see pictures and information.

Mt. Evens is open to car travel from Memorial Day to Labor day.  One can expect to see mountain goats, big horn sheep and great views.  The road is usually open all the way up to the very peak.  In the fall, the Aspens are a spectacular shimmering sunshine gold color.  It’s a poet’s paradise! 

One can stop at Echo lakelodge for Mr. Evan’s road conditions and other information like the fee to use the road.  This is also a good place to take in a bite while watching humming birds feed.  Pan-fried trout is their specialty.  This author happily sampled their buffalo burgers once.

Other things one might enjoy visiting includes:  Taking in a concert after touring the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver zoo, the Denver museum of nature and science, Coors beer plant tour (FreeThings), Celestial Seasonings tour (in Boulder), Denver Mint (see how money is made), Mataam Fez Moroccan restaurant (they wash hands in rose water, belly dancing, sitting on cushions, etc.), buffalo Bill museum, and Georgetown rail rides on an old rail car line, Mile Hi flea market (Turkey drum sticks and west slope produce, yummm!), the buttermuseum (interactive, adults will enjoy it also), swim with the fish in divedowntown Aquarium and restaurant, sheep skin factory, cheese cake factory, world class healthfood stores, Foothills mall, and more.

OOOHHH!  And the Tattered cover book store in Cherry Creek is fun.  There are several racks of magazines with a coffee/juice shop and 3 floors of books.  They will waive taxes on books they ship to out of state addresses.  Park in the garage below and they usually stamp your park tag for free parking when you ask.

One can’t miss the Casa Bonita restaurant.  There’s usually a long line/wait, the food is average, but there’s spectacular entertainment and environment.  It’s a big pink building in the heart of Denver (not exactly downtown, but near there).  The gigantic inside is made to look like a night in a village with black ceiling, twinkling lights for stars and terraces.

Check out the different themed rooms and the Black Bart’s haunted cave!  There’s a dining room that looks like the inside of a white crystal cave.  One can walk behind the waterfall and watch the divers land in the small pool.  And there’s usually a roving band of Mariachi players.

There are lots of things to do and see in and around Denver, Colorado.  And, since three days won’t cover it all, one has to plan well before getting lost in all the fun.  Avoid the north section of Federal boulevard on holidays and after games.  It becomes a solid parking lot of lunatic partiers.