Explore Denver, Colorado: An Unforgettable 1-Day Itinerary

Denver, Colorado

1 days

Confluence Park
Cheesman Park in the winter
Colorado State Capitol shot from the gardens
Market Street in the downtown area
Waterfall along the Platte River

About Denver, Colorado

Discover Denver, Colorado, the "Mile High City" nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Known for its vibrant arts scene, Denver offers a blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. Explore the Denver Art Museum, catch a game at Coors Field, or stroll through the Botanic Gardens. Indulge in world-class dining and shopping in Larimer Square. For nature lovers, the city is a gateway to some of the world's best skiing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Don't miss the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a natural rock formation turned concert venue. Denver's craft beer culture is a must-experience, with numerous local breweries offering tours and tastings. With 300 days of sunshine, Denver is an exciting year-round destination.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

A Day of Exploration in Denver

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the city's famous park. This park is known for its beautiful landscapes, walking trails, and a lake where you can rent a paddle boat. It's a perfect place to enjoy a peaceful morning walk and take in the fresh air.

Lunch

After a morning of exploration, head to a local restaurant in the downtown area. Denver is known for its diverse food scene, so you'll find a variety of options to choose from, including farm-to-table restaurants, vegan eateries, and classic American diners.

Afternoon

Post lunch, visit a renowned Art Museum in the city. The museum houses an extensive collection of artworks from around the world, including contemporary art, European and American paintings, and a collection of Native American art.

Dinner

For dinner, head to a popular neighborhood known for its vibrant food scene. Here, you can find a range of restaurants offering everything from gourmet cuisine to local favorites. After dinner, take a stroll around the neighborhood to soak in the evening atmosphere.

Evening

End your day with a live performance at a local theater. Denver has a thriving performing arts scene, with a variety of shows ranging from Broadway musicals to local productions. It's the perfect way to wrap up your day in the city.

Attractions in Itinerary (3)

Art Museum

1
Art Museum

A museum showcasing a wide array of art pieces from different periods and styles.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Downtown Denver

2
Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver is the main financial, commercial, and entertainment district in Denver, with many major museums, restaurants, and parks.

Attractions
Neighborhoods
Highlands Neighborhood

3
Highlands Neighborhood

Highlands Neighborhood is a trendy area known for its indie boutiques, art galleries, hip restaurants, and robust farmer's markets.

Neighborhoods

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters

A unique delicacy in Denver, these are actually deep-fried bull testicles, often served with a side of cocktail sauce.

Colorado Green Chili

Colorado Green Chili

A spicy stew made with pork, tomatoes, and green chilies. It's a staple in Denver and can be found in many local restaurants.

Denver Omelette

Denver Omelette

A hearty breakfast dish made with ham, onions, bell peppers, and cheese. It's named after the city itself.

Bison Steak

Bison Steak

Bison is a lean and flavorful meat that's popular in Denver. It's often grilled and served as a steak.

Palisade Peaches

Palisade Peaches

These juicy, sweet peaches are grown in Palisade, a town on the Western Slope of Colorado. They're often used in desserts or eaten fresh.

Colorado Lamb

Colorado Lamb

Colorado is known for its high-quality lamb, which is often roasted or grilled and served with a variety of sides.

Elk Sausage

Elk is a common game meat in Colorado, and it's often made into a flavorful sausage.

Trout

Trout

Trout is a popular fish in Colorado, often caught fresh from local rivers and lakes. It's typically grilled or pan-fried.

Colorado Craft Beer

Colorado Craft Beer

Denver is known for its thriving craft beer scene, with many local breweries offering a wide range of styles.

Colorado Whiskey

Colorado Whiskey

Colorado's high altitude and pure mountain water make it an ideal place for whiskey distillation. There are several local distilleries producing high-quality whiskey.

Chile Relleno

Chile Relleno

A popular dish in Denver's Mexican restaurants, it's a large chili pepper stuffed with cheese or meat, battered and fried, and served with tomato sauce.

Colorado Wine

Colorado Wine

Colorado's high altitude vineyards produce a variety of wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Denver, Colorado is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is warm and city parks are in full bloom. This is also the peak season for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and camping. However, if you're interested in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, the best time to visit would be from December to March. Denver also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, so it might be worth checking those out when planning your trip.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Denver's RTD Light Rail is a convenient way to travel around the city. It connects downtown Denver with its outlying areas and suburbs. The Light Rail operates on several lines, each designated by a different color. It's a great option for avoiding traffic and parking hassles.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) also operates an extensive bus network that covers Denver and its surrounding areas. Buses run regularly and cover many routes that the Light Rail doesn't. It's a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to get around the city.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Denver. These services are convenient for direct trips and can be cheaper than taxis, especially if you're traveling with a group. They can be hailed from anywhere using a smartphone app.

Denver's citywide bike-sharing program, B-cycle, is a great way to get around if you prefer a more active mode of transportation. There are numerous B-cycle stations around the city where you can pick up or drop off a bike.

Renting a car can be a good option if you're planning to visit places outside of Denver or if you prefer to have your own vehicle. Most major car rental companies have locations at Denver International Airport and around the city.

Taxis are readily available in Denver, especially in the downtown area. They can be hailed on the street, at taxi stands, or booked in advance. It's a convenient option, but can be more expensive than other methods.

Denver is a very walkable city, especially in areas like downtown, Cherry Creek, and the Highlands. There are plenty of sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly areas. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the city and take in the sights.

Electric scooters are a fun and quick way to get around Denver. Companies like Lime and Bird have scooters available for rent throughout the city. You can rent one using a smartphone app.

Car sharing services like Car2Go and Zipcar are available in Denver. These services allow you to rent a car for a few hours or a whole day, providing flexibility for your travel plans.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Denver, Colorado as a first time visitor

1

Denver is known as the 'Mile High City' because it is exactly one mile (5,280 feet or 1.6 kilometers) above sea level.

2

The city has a semi-arid, four-season climate with mild winters and warm summers. The average high temperature in summer is around 88°F (31°C), while in winter it's around 45°F (7°C).

3

Denver is very sunny, boasting over 300 days of sunshine a year, more than San Diego or Miami Beach.

4

The city is very dry, so it's important to stay hydrated, especially because the altitude can exacerbate the effects of dehydration.

5

Due to the high altitude, alcohol can have a stronger effect. It's recommended to drink in moderation until you know how your body reacts.

6

Denver is a very walkable city, with a compact downtown area. However, if you prefer, the city also has a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses and light rail.

7

Denver is a very bike-friendly city, with numerous bike rental stations and dedicated bike lanes.

8

The city is a foodie paradise, with a diverse food scene that includes everything from food trucks to high-end restaurants.

9

Denver has a thriving craft beer scene, with more than 100 breweries in the metro area.

10

The city is also known for its love of the arts, with a vibrant arts scene that includes numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues.

11

Denver is a sports-loving city, home to four major sports teams: the Denver Broncos (NFL), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Nuggets (NBA), and Colorado Avalanche (NHL).

12

The city is very environmentally conscious, with numerous parks, bike lanes, and recycling programs.

13

Denver is located near the Rocky Mountains, making it a great base for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.

14

The city has a high cost of living compared to the national average, so budget accordingly.

15

Denver's population is very diverse, with a large Hispanic community and a growing number of Asian and African American residents.

16

The city is very casual, so there's no need to pack formal wear unless you plan on attending a special event.

17

Denver is in the Mountain Time Zone and does observe Daylight Saving Time.

18

The city has a low crime rate compared to other major U.S. cities, but like any city, it's important to stay aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure.

19

Denver has a high altitude and it's common for visitors to experience some symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath. It's recommended to take it easy for the first few days to acclimate.

20

The city has a strong commitment to accessibility, with many wheelchair-accessible attractions and accommodations.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Light jacket or sweater

  • T-shirts

  • Jeans or comfortable pants

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or cap

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size toothpaste

  • Toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-size body wash or soap

  • Razor

  • Travel-size lotion

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Health insurance card

  • Car and house keys

  • Reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Backpack or daypack

  • Travel guidebook or map

  • Umbrella

  • First-aid kit

Weather Conditions

Denver, Colorado, also known as the "Mile High City," is known for its unpredictable weather patterns. It's not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day, so it's essential to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. In general, Denver experiences a semi-arid, four-season climate with mild winters and warm summers. The city receives a lot of sunshine, averaging over 300 sunny days per year. However, it's also known for its sudden weather changes, so always check the forecast before heading out. During the winter months (December to February), temperatures can range from 45°F (7°C) during the day to 18°F (-8°C) at night. Snowfall is common, but it usually melts quickly due to the frequent sunny days. If you're planning to visit during this time, pack warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, and a hat. Snow boots are also a good idea, especially if you plan to venture into the mountains. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are transitional seasons in Denver, with temperatures ranging from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (24°C). These seasons can bring anything from snow to warm, sunny days, so it's best to pack layers. Summers (June to August) in Denver are warm but not overly hot, with average high temperatures around 85°F (29°C) and lows around 60°F (16°C). Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons, so pack a rain jacket or umbrella. Regardless of the season, Denver's high altitude can lead to intense sun and rapid dehydration. Always carry a water bottle, apply sunscreen regularly, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Lastly, if you're planning to visit the mountains, be aware that weather conditions can be drastically different from those in the city. Temperatures can be much colder, and snow can fall at any time of the year. Always check the local forecast and be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

7° / -9°

January is Denver's coldest month, with frequent snowfall and chilly temperatures. Dress warmly and enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

February

11° / -8°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, but snowfall is still common. It's a great time for winter activities and exploring indoor attractions.

March

13° / -5°

March brings warmer temperatures and less snowfall. It's a transitional month, with winter sports still available and spring activities beginning.

April

17° / -1°

April is a pleasant month with moderate temperatures. It's a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and sightseeing.

May

24° / 4°

May marks the beginning of summer with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. It's perfect for outdoor adventures and exploring the city.

June

29° / 9°

June is a hot month with long, sunny days. It's an excellent time for water activities, picnics, and enjoying Denver's parks.

July

32° / 12°

July is the hottest month in Denver, with high temperatures and lots of sunshine. It's a great time for water sports, festivals, and outdoor concerts.

August

31° / 11°

August is still hot but slightly cooler than July. It's a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, visit the Rocky Mountains, and explore Denver's nightlife.

September

27° / 7°

September brings cooler temperatures and the start of fall. It's a beautiful time to visit for leaf-peeping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

October

21° / 1°

October is a crisp, cool month with beautiful fall colors. It's a great time for hiking, sightseeing, and enjoying Denver's breweries.

November

13° / -3°

November marks the start of winter with cooler temperatures and the first snowfalls. It's a good time for indoor activities and early winter sports.

December

7° / -7°

December is a cold, snowy month, perfect for enjoying winter sports and holiday festivities. Dress warmly and enjoy the winter wonderland.

Did you know?

Did you know that Denver is known as the 'Mile High City' because it is exactly one mile (5,280 feet) above sea level?

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