Denver Capital

How to Opt Outside Around Denver

In Active Lifestyle Living by Doug Phelps

Between ample parks and trails, a beautiful downtown area to explore, and plenty of free programming, there’s no shortage of ways to opt outside around Denver. So, round up the family or take some much needed “me” time and enjoy those 300 days of sunshine.


Visit Your Local Park


Nothing is better than spending some time meandering through one of Denver’s many city parks. Take a stroll around Washington Park and enjoy the lakeside views. City Park has wonderful spots for a picnic, as well as plenty of walking paths and outdoor recreation activities. If you’re with the family, spend some time at the Denver Zoo.


You’ll find several beautiful parks just throughout the Denver suburbs as well. Spend some time in Lair o’ the Bear Park in Morrison. Roxborough State Park near Littleton offers several hiking trails amidst the red rock formations. And, while Red Rocks Park is probably best known for those world class concerts, you can spend some time exploring the trails, or start your morning with a stair run or yoga in the amphitheater.



Explore the Mile High City


There’s so much to see and do in Denver, but sometimes it’s nice just to walk around. Stroll down 16th Street Mall or Larimer Square and enjoy one of many excellent patio seating areas or rooftop bars. Take a guided public art walking tour and enjoy the incredible street art around the city. Denver Public Art offers these tours of some of the best public art throughout the summer.


Denver’s also a great place for a bike ride. Bring your own bicycles or rent a bike from Denver’s B-Cycle, which has bike stations all over the city. Bike rentals are available in increments of 30 minutes. You can also purchase a day pass.


One of the best ways to enjoy the Colorado sunshine is to take in a baseball game at Coors Field.  For an extra dose of fun, sit in “The Rockpile,” a real party in the outfield.


Outdoor summer movies in Denver are also incredibly popular. There are parks all over the city and surrounding suburbs that offer free movies in the moonlight. You’ll find plenty of options for kid-friendly viewing as well.


Another excellent option is to spend the day walking around the Denver Botanic Gardens and enjoying one of the top five botanic gardens in the country. The Botanic Gardens holds some great events too, from concerts and art installations. They even have a children’s garden. The gardens are open all year round as well.




Go for a Run


There are so many amazing places to go for a run around Denver. Check out your local parks and neighborhood trails and get an excellent dose of outdoor fitness. You can even join a running meetup group and make your runs a little more social. Some groups even head for brunch or a beer after.


If you’re looking to take a run through the city, The Cherry Creek Trail is a great option. You’ll pass plenty of major landmarks along the way. For something a little more rustic, head to Cherry Creek State Park and run the nine-mile reservoir loop.


The High Line Canal Trail is another excellent running route in Denver. The trail runs from Waterton Canyon all the way through the south Denver suburbs, before ending at Green Valley Ranch. There are access points all along the way, so you can run any portion you want.


Hit the Links


There are over 200 public and resort golf courses across the state of Colorado. And, many of them are easily accessible from Denver. So, grab your clubs and hit the links. Here’s a great list of some of the most popular courses around Denver.


Take a Day Trip


With so many beautiful places close to Denver, consider taking a day trip to explore your Colorado backyard.


Boulder is a great option just 40 minutes from Denver. Enjoy a walk down Pearl Street Mall, and visit boutiques, galleries and restaurants or hit up the Boulder Farmers’ Market, often considered one of the best in the country. Take a walk along Boulder Creek Path or visit the Flatirons or Chautauqua Park, where you’ll find over 200 miles of scenic trails.


Estes Park is a charming mountain town and only a 1.5-hour drive from Denver. The downtown area is full of great restaurants and shops. Head into Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy one of the most popular national parks in the nation. With some 300 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty of ways to see those world-class landscapes.


Take a drive to Colorado Springs and visit Garden of the Gods, where you can hike or take a horseback ride through the towering red rock formations. You can also head to Pike’s Peak, where you can drive all the way to the summit. There’s plenty of hiking and picnic spots along the way.


Glenwood Springs is just a three-hour drive from Denver and also happens to boast the largest hot springs pool in the world. This is a great family-friendly option as your little ones will love the kiddie pool and water slides. For the adults, the nearby Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves are the ultimate in relaxation.


If you have any questions about getting outside, or any general questions about Colorado don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

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