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Best Places for Outdoor Activities in Denver

May 29, 2019

Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

Often regarded as one of America's best outdoor cities, Denver offers year-round activities from outdoor concerts to seasonal watersports. There is more than you can see or do in Denver’s great outdoors. Good thing you’re a new Denver local who has plenty of time to see all of the city’s best outdoor spaces. Here are some of our favorite places for outdoor activities in Denver.

Stroll the Denver Botanic Gardens

Situated in Cheesman Park, the Denver Botanic Gardens features 230-acres of theme gardens, a sunken amphitheater, Mordecai Children’s Garden, and conservatory. As one of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, the gardens feature plants, flowers, and vegetation from all corners of the world. The gardens all celebrate Colorado's Western heritage and charm. On a budget? Savvy Denver locals keep an eye out for free admission days throughout the year.

Enjoy a Day on the Water

Regarded as Denver's kayaking headquarters, Confluence Park offers paddling and kayaking rentals. Take advantage, as it’s the perfect way to adventure on the park's whitewater chutes. For something less adventurous, take a gondola trip down Cherry Creek from Larimer Square to Confluence Park and back again.

Everyone who moves to Denver should relive the gold rush days at least once at the miners' cabin at Grant-Frontier Park. Situated just downstream from where gold was discovered in 1858, you can learn more about the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and enjoy the riverside. And for something especially family-friendly, try the paddle boats at Washington Park. Cap the day off with a scoop of ice cream from the snack bar.

See a Show at Red Rocks

Beloved as an outdoor amphitheater, Red Rocks Park features a pair of geologically formed sandstone monoliths with impressive acoustics. The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix are just some of the names who have played at Red Rocks. It’s one of the most unique places to see a concert in the world.

The park is located just 15-miles from west Denver and also offers the opportunity for hiking and biking to experience the natural beauty of the area. While you’re here, try the pedestrian-only Trading Post and Geologic Overlook Trail providing spectacular views.

Experience a Zip Line Tour

Just 30-minutes from downtown Denver, Denver Zipline Tours feature 850 ft to 1,900 ft long zip lines. Here you’ll ride with speeds up to 60 mph and up to 250 ft above ground. You'll see views of the Rocky Mountains you've never seen before and soar through nature in the treetops. Afterward, guests gather at Colorado's Best Beers tavern for micro-brews and snacks. It’s a perfect way to spend a Saturday and provide you with some stunning sights.

Take a Scenic Hike

There are endless options for hiking and biking around Denver. To enjoy the sites of the city, try the Cherry Creek Trail. This trail features 42-miles of paths, winding through downtown Denver and beyond.

As one of Denver's newest footpaths, the Mile High Loop soars 5,280 feet above sea level, or 1 mile high. Locals looking to get some exercise or enjoy time outdoors traverse the Mile High Loop past gardens, statues, playgrounds, lakes, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. After enjoying the Mile High Loop, you can also walk the other paved roads and bicycle paths in City Park.

Denver has no shortfall of outdoor activities and natural wonders to experience Start with our favorites from hiking to ziplining. Before you know it, you’ll be falling in love with your new city.

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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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