Let’s say you’re new to Denver, Colorado, and looking for a pain-free introduction to the Mile-High City. Our advice? Try an organized tour. Even independent travelers will find there are distinct advantages to hooking up with a designated driver for that brewery crawl, or floating down Cherry Creek with your own pole operator (and punt).
Many visitors choose, understandably, to kick-start events with a brewery tour. Depending on your capacity for beer, it might be wise to only tackle one a day, but oh, the choices. A number of area manufacturers have thrown their doors open to tipplers, whether you favor big-time production houses or smaller microbreweries. Popular possibilities? Take a MillerCoors Brewery Tour in Golden, Colorado (a city just west of Denver), explore the Great Divide Brewing Co. with tasting to follow or knock back a few in the nation’s largest brew pub, Wynkoop Brewing Company, if you have the staying power. To pack in a few more breweries with one easy punch, consider a Denver Brews Cruise (think “Crusin for a brewsin”) or a guided walking tour around microbreweries in lower downtown (LoDo) Denver, Colorado, as part of the Denver Microbrew Tour.
Provided you’re not history after all that amber nectar, consider spending a few hours sleuthing out this fine city’s secrets, hand-held by tour operators that specialize in that sort of thing (history, not hand-holding). In addition to services run by Greyline, there are also more local options to consider, like Denver History Tours. Waffle between walking tours with themes like Haunted Denver, Victorian Denver, and the “Weaker” Sex in Denver or an equally intriguing selection of themed bus tours (they also offer a personal driving tour option). The Colorado Sightseer runs its own tours of historic Denver, hitting highlights like the Mile High Stadium, the Capitol, and assorted historic buildings. If you’re limited for time, seriously consider a 90 minute whirlwind introduction to the city with Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours - you may forget a few things about the city’s past but it’s unlikely you’ll forget Banjo Billy’s bus.
For fresh perspective on this fine city, there are other, creative ways to get around. Ever popular during warmer months is a boat float along Cherry Creek, propelled in a punt, gondola-style, by your very own pole operator (Venice on the Creek). Fancy yourself a foodie? Consider instead an intimate spin around town on a Denver Gourmet Tour. And finally, put your own stamp on the city with a foot-based photography tour of Denver landmarks. Oh, snap.