Colorado, in the Western United States, is the perfect vacation destination in any season.
With year-round sunshine, the state capital of Denver, at the base of Rocky Mountains, offers plenty of natural beauty and a wide variety of outdoor recreation and experiences.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
Named after its red sandstone rock formations, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a Denver must-see. Hiking and biking are popular, and there’s no shortage of beautiful scenery. What I liked most about this park is that it’s “full service” – there are a variety of trails, guided tours, a visitors’ center, a trading post, even a restaurant. Be sure to visit the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where countless legendary musicians have played surrounded by the spectacular natural setting. On non-event days, you can even exercise on the stadium bleachers.
Live music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado
Bicycling Around Denver
As I look around Denver’s breathtaking scenery, I am not surprised to see many people enjoying the fresh air on their bicycles. Denver has more than 1,300 km of paved trails and many more kilometers of mountain biking trails. Some options include the Greenway Trail for a ride along the South Platte River, the popular Cherry Creek Bike Path for beautiful scenery and the Bear Creek Bike Trail for longer biking loops. Using Denver’s super-easy B-cycle bike sharing program, I was able to join in on the fun. You can hop on a B-cycle at one of the city’s 80 bike sharing stations.
B-cycle Bike Share in Denver, Colorado
Denver’s City Park
Denver’s version of New York’s Central Park is City Park. I marveled at the beautifully landscaped grounds full of flower gardens, serene fountains and scenic lakes. This was a perfect place to breathe in the famously fresh Colorado air and take in the stunning scenery. Several people were enjoying picnics on the pretty grounds as I took a leisurely stroll. Right in City Park, you’ll find popular attractions such as the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens was one of my favorite stops in the city. There is a stunning diversity of plants, from beautiful flowers in bloom to drought-resistant native species. From March to November, families with children can enjoy the Mordecai Children’s Garden. I sat for a while and relaxed in the lovely Japanese garden, then enjoyed the wonderful plants and flowers on display indoors and out.
Rocky Mountain National Park
There are also many must-see natural scenic attractions near Denver. The most noted is the unbelievably beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, the perfect destination for all outdoor activities. People come from all around to take in the stunning mountain views while enjoying hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, wildlife viewing, horseback riding and more. In the winter, Nordic skiing and other snow sports are popular.
There is so much to see and do in the outdoors in this fantastic and diverse city, from urban gardens to high-altitude activities. When you visit Denver for these amazing natural wonders, your trip will surely be magnificent.