The Mile High City in Colorado is a great destination for seniors to visit. It is not because of the skiing, not because of the pro sports teams, not because it is as beautiful in the summer as it is in the winter, not because of the legal cannabis, and not because it is home to “the beautiful people,” healthy, fit and loving the outdoors. But because of all of these things and more, it is worth visiting. The sports, the skiing, the weather, the outdoor athletics, and the entertainment make Denver a great place for senior travel. Come with us as we discover the best places to stay in Denver as well as the things to do there.
Denver is the capital city of Colorado. It is about 750 miles from the west coast and about 1500 miles from the east coast. Not a day trip for sure. However, it is easy to get to the Mile High City from just about any location in the US. Most major airlines have daily flights to Denver.
There are so many wonderful things about Denver that you may not know.
- The Mile High City: Denver’s Nickname and Altitude
- Exploring the Front Range: Denver’s Alternate Name and Scenic Location
- Red Rocks: Denver’s Amphitheater and Natural Wonder
- Mile High City Has One of the Largest Park Systems in the US
- Living Well in Denver: The City’s Reputation as a Healthy Destination
- Getting Around Denver: Convenient and Accessible Transportation Options
- Sports, Sports, and More Sports
- Discover More of Denver: Additional Attractions and Activities to Explore
- Map of Hotels and Attractions
- Best Places to Stay in Denver: Accommodations
The Mile High City: Denver’s Nickname and Altitude
The official height of Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level, exactly one mile., thus known as the Mile High City. The height is measured at the 13th step of the State Capitol Building.
That moniker has stuck with the city and its residents.
Because the city is one mile closer to the sun than cities on the coastline of our country, there are significant differences. When you are at a higher altitude, there is less gravity force and thus less pressure on everything vs those same items being at sea level.
For instance, it takes less time for water to boil. Due to the pressure of the atmosphere, water will boil at a lower temperature in Denver than in a city at sea level. This difference will affect baking goods as well, so be careful.
The lower pressure will also affect your physical well-being. You will feel the effects of increased pressure when you perform any physical activity. You will get winded much faster than usual. You may experience headaches so drink lots of water to avoid the dry air.
Don’t underestimate the sun. Since you are closer to the sun, and in relatively thin air, you are more likely to get sunburned, even in the winter so get out that sunscreen.
And take into consideration that if you drink alcohol, you will feel the effects much more quickly in higher altitudes than at sea level. One more thing to consider!
Exploring the Front Range: Denver’s Alternate Name and Scenic Location
Denver, Colorado is also part of the front range which is actually a mountain range that is part of the Rocky Mountains. This stunning mountain range stretches from Wyoming to Colorado Springs and offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country. As the gateway to the Front Range, Denver is the perfect starting point for exploring the area’s natural beauty. But first a review of the Mile High City itself.
Red Rocks: Denver’s Amphitheater and Natural Wonder
Red Rocks is an open-air amphitheater carved into a natural rock formation of the red rocks of the mountain. It is one of the best outdoor theaters in the world. Not only is the view stunning but the acoustics are perfect.
However, not only is it an amphitheater, but it is also a park. It spans over 868 acres and has no admission charge. Today deer and prairie dogs roam the park, but dinosaurs roamed the area millions of years ago. Fossils are found throughout the park. Just take a picture and leave them where you found them. The locals do not take kindly to anyone removing them. Hiking trails are throughout the park and many visitors have joined the runners and yoga enthusiasts who come to the park. The venue hosts Yoga On The Rocks at the amphitheater on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Mile High City Has One of the Largest Park Systems in the US
The Mile High City boasts one of the largest park systems in the US. When measured by acreage per capita, Denver’s park system ranks among the top in the country. With over 250 urban parks, including off-street trails, historic parks, natural areas, and playgrounds, there’s no shortage of outdoor spaces to explore.
From the expansive City Park, which features a zoo, golf course, and several lakes, to the picturesque Washington Park with its gardens and boathouse, Denver’s parks offer something for everyone. So, whether you’re looking for a place to hike, bike, picnic, or simply relax and enjoy nature, Denver’s park system has you covered.
Living Well in Denver: The City’s Reputation as a Healthy Destination
When it comes to healthy living, Denver, Colorado has earned a reputation as one of the top destinations in the US. With its focus on outdoor recreation, clean air, and water, access to healthcare, and healthy food options, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to the Mile High City to live well.
Denver residents enjoy an active lifestyle with an abundance of opportunities for hiking, skiing, biking, and other outdoor activities. The city’s commitment to sustainability and clean energy has also led to improved air and water quality, making it easier for residents to maintain their health.
Additionally, Denver is home to a thriving food scene that emphasizes locally-sourced, organic, and healthy options. So, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, nature lover, or simply looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, Denver has everything you need to thrive.
Getting Around Denver: Convenient and Accessible Transportation Options
Denver has an excellent public transportation system of buses and rail (sorry, no subway). The trip from the airport to Denver or vice versa on the public rail takes about 40 minutes. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates buses, light rail trains, and commuter rail lines throughout the Denver metropolitan area. They make it easy to traverse the Mile High City.
Here are some of the benefits of the Mile High City’s public transportation system:
- Extensive Coverage: RTD operates over 170 bus routes and 9 light rail lines, covering a large area of the metropolitan area.
- High Frequency: Many bus and light rail routes operate at high frequency, making it easy to travel quickly and efficiently.
- Integrated Payment System: RTD uses a smart card called the “MyRide” card, which can be loaded with funds and used to pay for fares on all RTD services.
- Bike-Friendly: Many RTD buses and light rail trains are equipped with bike racks, making it easy for cyclists to combine bike travel with public transportation.
Sports, Sports, and More Sports
The Mile High City boasts a vibrant sports scene with numerous professional sports teams representing a wide range of sports. Whether you are a die-hard fan or simply an enthusiastic spectator, there is a sports team in Denver to suit your preferences.
With so many sports teams to choose from, the Mile High City truly has something for every sports enthusiast.
- Denver Broncos (NFL) – The Broncos are a professional football team that plays at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos have a rich history, having won three Super Bowl championships and eight AFC championships, making them one of the most successful teams in the NFL.
- Colorado Rockies (MLB) – The Rockies are a professional baseball team that plays at Coors Field in Denver. The Rockies were established in 1993 and have since become a beloved part of the city’s sports culture. The team has had some notable moments in its history, including reaching the World Series in 2007, and boasts talented players like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.
- Denver Nuggets (NBA) – The Nuggets are a professional basketball team that plays at Ball Arena in Denver. They have been a fixture of the NBA since their founding in 1967. The Nuggets have a passionate fan base and are perennial contenders in the Western Conference.
- Colorado Avalanche (NHL) – The Avalanche is a professional ice hockey team that plays at Ball Arena in Denver. They have won two Stanley Cup championships since their inception in 1995.
- Colorado Rapids (MLS) – The Rapids are a professional soccer team that plays at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, a suburb of Denver. The Rapids have made the playoffs several times in their history and are always competitive in the MLS.
- Denver Outlaws (MLL – Major League Lacrosse) – The Outlaws are a professional lacrosse team that also plays at Empower Field at Mile High City. They were founded in 2006 and have quickly become one of the most successful teams in the league, winning the championship six times.
- Colorado Mammoth (COL) -The Colorado Mammoth is a professional indoor lacrosse team that plays its home games at Ball Arena in Denver. They were established in 2003 and have won two NLL championships.
- Denver Barbarians (D Barbarians) – The Barbarians are an amateur rugby union club. They Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado. It is also the official training ground for the United States national rugby team.
Discover More of Denver: Additional Attractions and Activities to Explore
Denver, Colorado is a vibrant and diverse city with many interesting attractions and things to do. Here are some of the top items of interest in the Mile High City:
- Rocky Mountains: Denver is located near the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which offer breathtaking scenery and a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.
- Denver Art Museum: This museum has an extensive collection of art from around the world, with a particular focus on Native American art and artifacts.
- Colorado State Capitol: The Colorado State Capitol building is an impressive structure located in downtown Denver, with a beautiful dome and stunning views of the city from the top.
- 16th Street Mall: This pedestrian mall in downtown Denver features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, as well as free shuttle buses that run up and down the street.
- Coors Brewery: The Coors Brewery in nearby Golden, Colorado offers tours of its facilities and tastings of its famous beer.
- Denver Zoo: The Denver Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from around the world, and features a variety of exhibits and interactive experiences.
- Sports teams: Denver has several professional sports teams, including the Broncos (NFL), Rockies (MLB), Nuggets (NBA), Avalanche (NHL), and Rapids (MLS).
- Botanic Gardens: The Denver Botanic Gardens are located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood and feature a wide variety of plants and flowers, as well as art exhibits and special events throughout the year.
- Museums: In addition to the Denver Art Museum, Denver is home to several other museums.
- Museum of Nature and Science
- Children’s Museum of Denver
- Clyfford Still Museum
- Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
- Molly Brown House Museum
- Molly Brown was epitomized in the 1964 movie, The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Debbie Reynolds.
- However, the museum is less about her survival of the Titanic than about her life. “Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum is committed to enhancing the city’s unique identity by telling the story of Margaret “Molly” Brown’s activism, philanthropy, and passion through educational programs, exhibits, and stewardship.
- By exploring the dynamic between past and present, we shape a stronger community for the future and inspire engaged citizens.”
- Denver Mint. You can tour the mint but take notice of the items you can not take with you on the tour.
- Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve. It is on your way to the mountains.
- The grave of Buffalo Bill. It is not in Denver proper but is off the major road near the buffalo herd preserve.
- Gold Mine Tour. The mines are not in Denver proper but they are worth the extra time it may take.
Map of Hotels and Attractions
Best Places to Stay in Denver: Accommodations
Denver has many different areas or neighborhoods within the city. Each one is different and offers its own attractions. Here is a list of the 3 largest areas along with the best places to stay in Denver:
Downtown Denver – LoDo and Central Business District
This area includes LoDo (Lower Downtown) as well as the Central Business District. Union Station is located in this area. This area is one of the best places to stay in Denver. There are numerous fantastic restaurants and bars in the area. You do not need to have a car to explore this area. You can walk, take a local bus, or grab an Uber.
This area includes LoDo (Lower Downtown) as well as the Central Business District. Union Station is located in this area. There are numerous fantastic restaurants and bars in the area. You do not need to have a car to explore this area. You can walk, take a local bus, or grab an Uber.
For a truly luxurious experience, we recommend the Kimpton Hotel as it is a luxury boutique hotel right next to Union Station. It is a pet-friendly hotel and just the thing if you need some relaxation. It is right in the middle of where the action is yet has all the amenities you expect and deserve.
Your stay includes the following amenities:
- $10.00 per room, per day, credit to Citizen Rail Restaurants
- Complimentary access to the Museum of Contemporary Art
- Complimentary access to the Colorado Athletic Club Union Station, located feet from the hotel
- Complimentary Tesla car service within 1 mile of the hotel
Other accommodation options in Downtown Denver:
From downtown, you are a few blocks away from Larimer Square. Walk down the street and take in the sights. Eat in the district and enjoy Denver.
Walk to Coors Field and take in a ball game. The Museum of Contemporary Art is right around the corner as is the Pepsi Center (renamed the Ball Arens) and the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
Don’t forget to visit the State Capitol and take a tour. If there is time, The Molly Brown House is worth visiting. The history of her home and family is fascinating.
Denver – Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek is an affluent residential district with a lively shopping scene. This is another one of the best places to stay in Denver. Cherry Creek Mall is situated along the creek and offers department stores as well as upscale fashion boutiques. North of the mall, restaurants, cafes, and cocktail lounges line the surrounding streets, which are also home to small contemporary art galleries. Cherry Creek Trail is a popular recreational route in the area. Cyclists as well as backpackers frequent the area.
The Jacquard is a 4-star hotel that features contemporary lodging in a great location. Cherry Creek is a distinguished hub that attracts a diverse range of people, from bankers and financial analysts to shoppers and food enthusiasts. It is the starting point for Cherry Creek Trail. You will see runners and bicyclists along the Trail.
For your stay, you can choose between many Hotel Packages including the ultimate in shopping and dining.
The Rooftop Dining is an experience not to be missed.
Other accommodation options in Cherry Creek:
The Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Mall) is close by. You can find world-class shopping and fine dining.
Explore the parks in the area, especially Cherry Creek State Park. You are in the middle between the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Wings Over the Rockies Museum.
Denver – RiNo – River North Art District
The River North Art District is 1.8 miles away from Union Station. One of the best places to stay in Denver is near Union Station as you are close to everything you will want to see in the city. There are hotels in that area but when visiting the Mile High City Union Station is the perfect place to stay. You can not go wrong when getting a hotel right in the middle of everything.
The RiNo area is considered to be a creative district. There are wall murals throughout the neighborhood. The area contains numerous art Galleries and studios. The following tours will take you to this district as you explore Denver’s hip, fun, trendy RiNo Art District.
In conclusion, Denver, the Mile High City, is a unique destination that offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and urban excitement. From the stunning views of the Rocky Mountains to the vibrant arts and food scenes, Denver has something for everyone. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a weekend getaway, Denver is a city that never disappoints. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to uncover the magic of Denver and experience all that this wonderful city has to offer.