Denver is the capital and most populous city of Colorado. It’s also a very popular destination year round because of its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, outdoor activities, and bustling city life.
Though spring is the slow season, it’s still a great time to visit Denver, as there are many activities that you can enjoy outdoors. Spring is the slow season because higher elevation roads are still closed to the public, making some attractions off limits, and some lower elevation trails are muddy from the snowmelt. However, there is still plenty to explore, popular attractions won’t be crowded, and the weather is usually mild during this time of year.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
White Tailed Deer
Spring is a great time to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, deer, eagles, and coyotes. During the spring, the animals are actively seeking mates and raising their young, making for some incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition, the warmer weather makes it easier to explore the Refuge’s 10 miles of trails.
One of the best things about the Refuge is the 11 mile auto loop, which allows visitors to see all the major attractions without leaving the car. The loop can take as long or as little as you want, so it’s a great way to see the Refuge if you don’t have a lot of time.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a unique geological site in southern Colorado. Known for the brightly colored deposits of clay that are that result from millions of years of erosion and weathering, and are a striking contrast to the surrounding landscape. The clay deposits are also home to a variety of plant and animal life, making the Paint Mines a fascinating place to explore. Whether you’re interested in geology or simply looking for a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, Paint Mines Interpretive Park is definitely worth a visit.
Gold Mine Tours
For those interested in Colorado history, gold mine tours are a must. These tours offer a chance to see how miners worked during the state’s early years, when gold was first discovered in the Rockies. Today, many the mines have become tourist attractions, and visitors can ride in authentic ore cars, experience what it was like to work underground, and even pan for gold themselves. Most tours also include a visit to a museum or exhibit, where you can learn more about the state’s mining history. So whether you’re a history buff or just looking for some interactive fun, gold mine tours are sure to be a memorable experience.
RiNo Arts District
Denver’s River North Art District, better known as RiNo, is one of the city’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods. Once a warehouse district, RiNo has been transformed into a haven for artists, designers, and makers of all kinds. The area is home to an ever-growing number of galleries, restaurants, street art, craft breweries, and several popular event spaces. Visitors can explore the neighborhood on foot or by bike, and there are always plenty of new murals and art installations to discover. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or want to soak up some local color, RiNo is the perfect place to start.
Great stops in RiNo
- Odell Brewing
- Bier hall
- Denver Central Market
Visit Denver Botanic Gardens
If you’re a photography enthusiast, then Denver is the perfect place for you. The Mile-High City offers endless opportunities for amazing shots, from the iconic Rockies to the bustling city streets. Here are just a few of the best places to take pictures in the Mile High city.
For street photography, head to downtown Denver. Larimer Square at 16th Street Mall is a great place to people watch and capture candid shots of everyday life. Or stroll through one of Denver’s many historic neighborhoods, like LoDo or Five Points, for a taste of the city’s character. If you’re looking for breathtaking landscapes, visit Red Rocks Amphitheater or Garden of the Gods. The red rock formations make for an otherworldly backdrop, and there’s also plenty of hiking.
Drive a Scenic Byway
There are plenty of beautiful scenic drives near Denver, Colorado; here are a few of our favorites.
If you’re looking for a peaceful and serene drive, head to the Rocky Mountain National Park. The park offers stunning views of the mountains and plenty of opportunities for hiking and wildlife watching. For a more urban driving experience, check out the Loveland Scenic Byway. This byway takes you through the city of Loveland and its surrounding farmland. Along the way, you’ll pass by several art studios, as Loveland is known for its vibrant arts scene. Finally, no visit to Colorado would be complete without a drive on the iconic Trail Ridge Road. This road takes you through the Rocky Mountain National Park and up to the Continental Divide. At over 12,000 feet above sea level, the views from Trail Ridge Road are truly breathtaking.
Go On A Train Ride
The Royal Gorge Railroad Route is one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides in the country. The landscape is varied and lovely, with mountains, forests, and valleys all coming into view. If you are lucky, you may see eagles, deer, and other animals along the way. The train ride itself is very comfortable and relaxing, making it a great way to see the sights.
In short, the Royal Gorge Railroad Route is an experience not to be missed. The train itself is also a work of art, with lavish cars that are reminiscent of a bygone era. Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique way to see the mountains, the Royal Gorge Railroad Route is sure to please.
Explore the Endless Hiking Trails at a Local Park
Siamese Twins Hike - Garden of the Gods
Denver is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country, and there’s no better time to visit them than during spring. The flowers are in bloom; the trees are turning green, and the weather is perfect for outdoor adventures. There are dozens of magnificent parks to choose from, but here are a few of my favorites.
- Garden of the Gods is a small park outside Colorado Springs with hiking trails through beautiful red rocks and other geological structures.
- Surround yourself with over 50 species of butterflies at the Butterfly Gardens.
- Barr Lake State Park is a year round nesting site for Bald Eagles and other birds.
- Elk Meadows has trails that lead you through a pasture that several Elk call home.
- Genesee Park and Daniels Park will almost guarantee you sightings of buffalo.
Sample 7 Day Itenirary and Interactive Map
- Explore East Colfax Ave
- Eat Lunch at Baba & Pop’s Pierogi
- Explore RiNo Arts District
- Eat dinner and craft beers by the ounce at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen
- Explore Downtown Denver for pictures – LoDo, Dairy Block, Larimer Square, 16th Street Mall
- Visit Washington Park
- Eat lunch at Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery
- See buffalo at Daniels Park
- Dinner at Stanley Market Place
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Lunch at Crepes n’ Crepes
- Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Arts
- Molly Brown House
- Enjoy dinner and Jazz at Nocturne
- Garden of the Gods
- Royal Gorge Route Rail Road
- Skyline Drive Scenic Byway
- Peak to Peak Scenic byway
- Stop in Boulder for drinks and dinner at Colorado Cider Company
- Visit the Butterfly Gardens
- Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge
- Barr Lake State Park
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
- Paint Mines Interpretive Park
- Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
- Pikes Peak Highway