Denver is a year-round fun city, so there is never a ‘bad’ time to visit. Summers here are pleasantly warm, but never grueling hot and the nights are always cool and refreshing. Winters are mild, which is why the cafes and shopping malls continue to offer outdoor seating throughout the year. If you are an avid skier ready to take on the slopes of Colorado, the best time to visit is from late November to the end of March. This gives the slopes enough time to develop ample snow pack, and the fresh powder builds up and begs to be tackled. If you are more the summer activity type, and you want to enjoy the river rafting, biking, and hiking of the Denver area, then May to October offers ideal temperatures and plenty of sunlight into the evening. Denver does get a surge of travelers for skiing season and summer activities. So, if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the city with more space and less crowds, as well as avoid the high season prices, the best time for travel would be between April and May or September to October.
Domestic flights to and from Denver International Airport (DIA) include Delta, United, Great Lakes Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and American Airlines. For international travelers, the best airlines to Denver include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, British Airways, Frontier, Lufthansa, and Volaris, running daily. Most offer round-trip and direct flight options too. Curbside check-in is available for American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United at DIA.
The airport rail goes from the airport to Denver Union Station, and it takes approximately 37 minutes with a $9 – $13 USD fee. The cost depends on which way you are going and from which terminal. There are also taxi cabs at the loading and unloading areas as well as the airport shuttle, which take you straight to the downtown city center in 25 minutes. If you prefer public transportation, you have five bus routes that frequent the airport through SkyRide. Of course, there is also the option of ride-share services, like Lyft and Uber. It is definitely worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.
The light rail has 6 lines that service 46 stations throughout the city. They run from 4:00 am – 2:00 am. A one-way trip costs from $2.25 – $5 USD depending on the station you are traveling to. If you plan to use the rail a lot during your visit, consider purchasing a day pass or multi-ride ticket to save money. The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) bus network is well connected throughout the city, and some buses run 24 hours per day with 125 different routes. Prices are like the rail and cost $2.25 – $5 USD depending on distance. RTD also offers a free ride that is known as the Mallride. It runs from the 16th Street Mall to downtown and into LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver). The buses come every few minutes and run from 5:00 am – 1:30 am with a stop at almost every corner between the 3 points. Taxis are the most expensive option, with the cab’s meter starting at $2.50 USD and each mile costing an additional $2.50 USD after that. Extra passengers will cost $1 USD per person too.
From May to October, you can catch the Platte Valley Trolley, which takes you on the Riverfront sightseeing tour through South Platte River out of Confluence Park, to the Children’s Museum, past the downtown aquarium and Elitch Gardens. One ride is $5 USD for adults, $2 USD for children. The Trolley is available during the weekends starting on Friday and goes from noon to 3:30 pm coming every 30 minutes. An attractive option from spring into early fall are bike rentals. There are numerous bike paths and trails throughout the city, and using the Denver bike share program, known as B-Cycle, you will have access to 80 stations and over 800 bicycles throughout the city. It only costs $9 USD for a 24-hour pass, and you receive unlimited trips of 30 minutes per trip.
Denver is home to museums, galleries, restaurants, and numerous activities. Just a few of the big attractions you can see while you visit Denver include:
For Sports Fans
Catch a game at Coors Field or the Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Keep your kids entertained by visiting one of the many family hotspots like the Zoo, Museum of Nature & Science, Downtown Aquarium (featuring over 500 species), the Children’s Museum of , Dinosaur Ridge, Butterfly Pavilion, and the Denver Firefighters’ Museum.
No trip to Denver is complete without stopping by the house of Molly Brown, a famous Titanic survivor who earned the name “Unsinkable Molly.” You can also visit the Denver US Mint location for free, where more than 5 million coins are minted each year.
See if any events are going on at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.
Food, Wine, and Local Brews
Larimer Square is a good place to start for local beers and cuisines. The famous Coors Brewery is open for tours and tastings too.
Do not forget to stop in at Rockmount Ranch Wear to find your Colorado-ready Western-style attire.
Bring Your Sunscreen
While visiting, do not forget to apply your sunscreen. With the higher altitude, you are exposed to much more sun in Denver than your skin might be used to.
Prepare for Altitude Adjustments
Denver is known as the Mile High City because it is a mile above sea level. However, if you are not used to such a high altitude, you may notice symptoms of altitude sickness on your first few days in the city.