Denver, Colorado, is a fairly happening place. So we don’t blame you if you don’t ever want to leave. But assuming you’ve enjoyed an introduction to its noteworthy microbreweries, museums and other assorted attractions, you might want to reconsider leaving. We don’t mean permanently of course, just for a day or two, long enough to appreciate the fact that Denver has not only culture and pub crawls to its credit but some outstanding natural (and otherwise) assets as well.
With said assets in mind, one of the best ways to put the urban charms of Denver, Colorado in perspective is with a bit of quality time outdoors. And at little more than an hour’s drive from the city, Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular pick. Between hiking trails, scenic Trail Ridge Road and lovely lakes you could easily keep busy for a month of Sundays. More sunny days to fill? Watch for wildflowers along the road to lofty Mount Evans, or head south towards Colorado Springs, Colorado, for an up-close glimpse of Pikes Peak and a wander around Garden of the Gods.
While outdoor pursuits are high up the list of things-to-do in places like Boulder, there’s also shopping, a cool university vibe and lively festivals to woo in those disinclined to spend the day mountain biking. And since it’s less than an hour’s drive from downtown Denver, Boulder is a perfect day-trip destination, as is Breckenridge, about 80 miles to the southwest. Breckenridge is home to a well-known ski resort, so it boasts a loyal winter following, but even should you miss ski season there’s good cause to detour out this direction, from the town’s quaint historic buildings to its summer wildflowers. A mere 50 miles from Denver, Central City and neighboring Black Hawk are also known for their historic mining roots - in fact the two cities form one big National Historic District. Even if you’re not a big fan of historic architecture there’s another reason to make the trip out to what was formerly known as the “Richest Square Mile on Earth”: legal gambling. But you can also tour a mine and visit a ghost town for a well-rounded overview of gold fever.
So whether your interests run towards a natural rush or the Gold Rush, you’ll find that based out of Denver, Colorado, the surrounding region should bedazzle you for days on end.