Denver is the largest city in and capital of the state of Colorado, USA. Denver ("The Mile-High City") is at an altitude of 5,280 feet/1,600 meters, where the midwestern plains give way to the Rocky Mountains. The city officially records its Mile High Status by a gold band embedded in the steps of the state capitol, located in downtown Denver.
Denver is the Mile High City, a bustling city of over 579,000 people supporting a metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people. Though the city embraces its cowboy and mining past it also looks forward to the future with a vibrant arts, and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, awesome neighborhoods offering their own unique experiences, and pretty much everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer, not to mention great access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains only 15 miles west of town (Unlike the Denver seen in the television series "Dynasty").
Thanks to the Denver MintDenver Mint Tours, more U.S. money is made in Denver than anywhere else in the world. Fish a coin out of your pocket and look for the "D" on the face side of the coin (usually in the bottom right quadrant). The 'D" means the money was minted in Denver.
Still, Denver does have its growing pains. Sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation. Denver is generally a driving city, and problems with pollution and traffic are thus a part of every day life. In November 2006, the T-REX transportation construction along I-25 was completed (with a Light-Rail line as well), which is aiding in the traffic and transportation for this area of the city. Denver's grid system is fairly efficient as well, though there is often confusion at the intersections of the NE-SW, NW-SE downtown grid, with the N-S, E-W grid of the rest of the city.
The Denver climate is generally mild year-round, with mostly low humidity and spectacular seasons. Visitors are often surprised to see temperatures in the 50s and 60s even in January, although it certainly can get very cold in Denver on occasion during the winter months. Though summer temperatures can get into the 90s and even the 100s, the low humidity keeps the heat bearable, and afternoon thunderstorms often cool off the city by mid-day. No matter what time of year, Denver weather can be very unpredictable. Its position next to the mountains can quickly bring in storm systems as well as warming "Chinook" winds that quickly raise the temperature 20-30° in the course of a day. Weather in the nearby mountains changes even more rapidly. Don't be surprised by the weather -- pack a variety of clothes at all times of the year.
Late spring/early summer and early autumn are excellent times to visit Denver if you are an outdoor sports enthusiast. The weather is generally pleasant, there is an abundance of outdoor festivals at these times, and the mountains offer great beauty in the form of plenty of wildflowers in early summer and the fantastic color of the changing aspen trees in September.
Of course, for skiing enthusiasts, winter is the best time to visit Denver. There are many ski resorts about 1 1/2-2 hours west of Denver along I-70, though the weekend traffic to these resorts can be very slow, especially in inclement weather. To avoid the drive, you can take the Ski-Train from Union Station to the Denver-owned Winter Park and Mary Jane ski resorts or the RTD bus service to the Eldora Ski Resort west of Boulder (by far the cheapest option). You can find information about the latter at the RTD bus station at the corner of 16th and Market streets in downtown Denver. To avoid the crowds, go skiing during the week or avoid the busy Thanksgiving to New Years season. There are also numerous mountain trails for snowshoers and cross-country skiers that are generally free.
Denver International Airport, (IATA: DEN, ICAO: KDEN). Commonly referred to as DIA. It is located about 20 miles to the east of downtown. It is a hub for both United Airlines and Frontier Airlines as well as being served by most major domestic carriers.
Frontier Airlines. Discount carrier with its hub at DIA and service to and from over 60 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
The airport is located amidst rolling plains, far from any conceivable local destination. A public skyRide bus goes to downtown Denver for $8 one way, $13 round-trip. The airport is often crowded due to its design of having a single central screening station, followed by a train that passengers must take for access to concourses B and C. It can take up to an hour to get from the ticket line to the gate, so travelers should get to the airport at least 1.5 hours before the scheduled departure time. There are a number of Airport Shuttle companies that will deliver your to the city & points beyond.
Private pilots will prefer Centennial Airport (ICAO: KAPA) south of town. Be aware that on warm days the density altitude may make takeoffs difficult; Centennial has long runways for this reason, and to accommodate a large volume of private jet traffic. Flight visibility in the Denver area is often in excess of 100 miles; weather fronts tend to travel quickly N-S along the front range. For small planes, any direction but West is a good choice.
U.S. Highway 36 connects to the North western suburbs and eventually to Boulder.
If you choose to rent a car and are heading for the southern suburbs, Hwy E470 is a toll road that will cost you $5 each way, and connects to the Northwest Parkway (also a toll road) and C-470 to form a 3/4 loop around the Denver Metro Area.
I-25 (north and south), I-70 (east and west), and I-76 (northeast) are the major interstates leading in and out of the city. I-225 and I-270 cross the Denver area.
Amtrak serves Denver at Union Station (DEN). The California Zephyr stops once a day, and continues east to Chicago, and west to California.
Please note, however, that Union Station is currently under renovation, and when it is complete, Union Station will become the central terminal for bus, light rail and Denver commuter rail, as well as Amtrak national railway service.
Greyhound, 1055 19th Street. The bus station is located in downtown a few blocks away from Coors Field and other central attractions. It is serviced by Greyhound and Skyride buses. The station also has storage lockers, which can be rented hourly.
The light rail station at 16th and Stout streets downtown
Though voters approved a plan to greatly increase the public transportation in Denver in 2004, these plans will not be even close to completion until the beginning of the next decade, so public transportation is still fairly underdeveloped, especially outside of the central core of the city.
However, Denver does have a light rail system  that that can get you around downtown, and some sections of south central and southeast Denver. A new light rail line opened in November 2006, that travels parallel to I-25 from its intersection with Broadway to Lincoln Avenue in the southern part of the Denver metro area, with another light rail spur on I-225 connecting the highway to its intersection with Parker road. Another light rail line built in 1998 connects downtown to south Santa Fe Drive to Mineral Avenue. Most light rail lines connect to downtown Denver on to either the central part of downtown or to Union Station. There are also many RTD buses  you can take for additional travel throughout the city. Buses are $1.50 a trip with a free transfer to another line within two hours. Light rail tickets must be purchases at stations before entering the trains and cost between $1.50-$3.75 depending on how far you travel.
If you do have a car, you could definitely park it near downtown (there are many places within reasonable walking distance of downtown that have completely free parking, especially in the Golden Triangle and Commons Park areas) to visit the central part of the city. A car is unnecessary to travel in this area, and the strange diagonal layout of the downtown area can be sometimes difficult to understand -- especially for first-time visitors. RTD offers a free shuttle bus along the 16th Street pedestrian mall, which has a length of 1.25 mile and takes you close to most places downtown. The streets are also fairly compact and easily walkable. The light rail system and most buses go through downtown and connect with the rest of the city. Information about both can be found at the Market Street and Civic Center bus stations at either end of 16th street.
Car rentals are the most convenient for of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
Chamberlin Observatory,  2930 East Warren Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80210. Information line: 303-871-5172. Built in 1890, this working observatory is a historic landmark and a pride of the University of Denver. Star Parties and other events are open to the public.
Colorado Historical Society,1300 Broadway, 303 866-3682, . Home of the Colorado History Museum and the Stephen H. Hart Library. Exhibits, museums and historical sites throughout Colorado. Check website for details.
Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, 720 865-5000, . Closed M and holidays.
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St, 720 865-3500 . Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Denver Mint, 320 West Colfax Avenue, Denver Mint Tours - Registration is required for all tours.
The Molly Brown House Museum,  1340 Pennsylvania St., Denver CO 80203; Tel. 303.832.4092
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, +1 303 322-7009, . Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Includes exhibitions, planetarium and IMAX.
Denver Zoo,2300 Steele St, +1 303 376-4800, . Open every day of the year, hours vary by season.
Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 Westminster Blvd. Westminster, CO 80020.
Denver LoDo Self-Guided Audio Tour,  Want to explore downtown Denver on your own time and at your own pace? Download one of these cool hip tours onto your iPod or other personal player, and off you go! Don't have a MP3 player? No problem, you can call up and listen to the tours on your mobile phone. Explore LoDo with Bessy LaBovine, Pedro the goat and Soapy Smith.
Six Flags Elitch Gardens,  Elitch Gardens, Six Flags, Amusement Park.
Washington Park Beautiful and lush Denver park, with lakes, flower gardens, a recreation center, soccer fields, tennis courts.... Over 160 acres of natural beauty, surrounded by turn of the 19th Century homes.
Waterworld,  One of the largest family water parks in the U.S. Open last weekend in May through Labor Day.
Festivals & Events
January National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, Martin Luther King Parade, Indian Market
February Colorado Garden and Home Show, Denver Restaurant Week, Buffalo Bill's Birthday Party
March St. Patrick's Day Parade, Denver March Powwow, Starz Global Lens Film Festival
April Doors Open Denver, Colorado Rockies Home Opener, KBCO Kinetics
May Cinco de Mayo, Tesoro Indian Market and Powwow, Downtown Denver Festival of the Arts, Colorado Colfax Marathon also includes Denver's Navy Week.
June Colorado Renaissance Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, Comcast La Piazza dell’Arte, PrideFest
July Cherry Creek Arts Festival, The INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, Colorado Irish Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Evergreen Jazz Festival
August Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival
September A Taste of Colorado, Annual Oktoberfest, Festival Italiano
October Fright Fest, Great American Beer Festival, Denver Mariachi Festival, Denver Marathon
November Starz International Film Festival, Denver International Wine Festival, Downtown Denver, Grand Illumination
December Mile High Holidays, Blossoms of Light, Zoo Lights, 9News Parade of Lights
Art Institute of Colorado,  1200 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203-2172; Phone 303-837-0825, Toll Free 1-800-275-2420.
Central Library,  10 W 14th Ave. 720-865-1111 Denver Public Library's Central Library was designed by acclaimed architect Michael Graves, was host to the G7 Summit in 1997 and has a wealth of information of all kinds. The library also offers free Internet access and its Western History collection is considered one of the best in the world.
University of Colorado at Denver,  1380 Lawrence St, Denver CO; Phone: 303-556-5970.
University of Denver,  2199 S University Blvd, Denver CO; Phone: 303-871-2000. DU is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in Colorado.
Denver is rapidly becoming the second main business center of the West, primary industries in the Denver metro area are: Technology, Telecom, Defense, and Tourism.
There are a number of shopping areas in Denver. The two most prominent are the 16th Street Mall, and the Cherry Creek Shopping District.
The 16th Street Mall runs the near entire length of 16th St. in downtown Denver. It is home to a number of chain stores, as well as novelty shops. It is dominated by the Denver Pavilions, an "urban mall," on the southeast end of the street.
The Cherry Creek Shopping District sits southeast of downtown Denver, and hosts some of the most expensive stores in the metropolitan area. The Cherry Creek Shopping Mall is the epicenter of this district.
The Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue 303-322-7727 (and other locations), is the area's largest and best-known bookstore, selling both new and used books. The bookstore hosts author readings and other educational programs.
Mexican food is abundant and satisfying and takes a local Denver flavor. Green Chili is the order of the day: a brown, chunky and spicy sauce made from pork and Pueblo or Hatch green chilies that works well on everything from chorizo and eggs to tamales. Denver is also known for "western" food using ingredients such as angus beef, buffalo, rattlesnake, cutthroat trout and Rocky Mountain oysters. Denver has most types of cuisine as other large cities and has several restaurants recently noted in top food publications. A recently passed bill had outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants statewide. However, some places with outdoor patios still allow smoking there.
The restaurant section of the weekly independent newspaper Westword (available for free every Thursday at newsstands and locations across the city) is a good place to find the food your interested in for your price-range and location. Below is a sampling of some consistently good choices.
Clancy's Irish Pub, Located a wee bit west o' Kipling and 38th ave. Clancy's serves a verity of Anglo-Irish and domestic favorites, including Corned Beef and Cabbage, Fish n' Chips. (listed by Westword as the best in town.) Shepards Pie Ruben sandwitches and pint after pint Guinness Stout on tap. open from 11:00am-10:00pm daily.
El Taco de Mexico, 714 Santa Fe Dr. Phone: 303-623-3926. This small Mexican lunch-counter offers many delicious food choices for the adventurous palette.
Tommy's Thai, 3410 East Colfax, Phone: 303-377-4244.
Taqueria Patzcuaro, 2616 West 32nd, Phone: 303-455-4389. This neighborhood favorite boasts the most amazing tacos and green chili.
Buenos Aires Pizzeria, 1319 22nd St., Phone: 303-296-6710. An Argentinean-style pizza joint with unusual topping choices and plenty of $2 empanada (small savory turnovers) offerings.
Jerusalem, 1890 E Evans Ave., Phone: 303-777-8828. Open until 3AM, and within walking distance of the University of Denver, this small but excellent Middle Eastern restaurant offers great no-frills food in a laid-back and hip atmosphere that only a college eatery can provide.
Blue Bonnet, 457 S Broadway, Phone: (303) 778-0147. A noisy bar featuring some of the best southwest/Tex-Mex in Denver with most items under $10. There is patio seating and two separate dining rooms that are a bit quiter than the man bar. Consistently rated a "Best Of" in various local polls.
Racine's, 650 Sherman St ., Phone: 303-595-0418. THE restaurant for both Denver's power brokers and proletariats with its simple yet elegant American menu and casual yet sophisticated decor.
Jack n Grill, 2524 Federal Blvd., Phone: 303-964-9544. Excellent New Mexico-style food with heaping portions usually soaked in your choice of a green or red chili or for the indecisive, both.
New Saigon, 630 S Federal Blvd., Phone: 303-936-4954, . Denver is home to a sizable Southeast Asian population that shows off its unique culinary talents at this great Vietnamese community institution.
Empress Seafood, 2825 W Alameda Av., Phone: 303-922-2822. Empress has long been the queen of dim-sum and affordable yet flavorful seafood selections from all over Asia.
Le Central, 112 E. 8th Ave., Phone: 303-863-8094. A surprisingly affordable French restaurant in central Denver offers Provence-style French food such as mussels et frites. A great choice for the fancy dinner without the fancy check.
Imperial Chinese, 431 S. Broadway. Phone: 303-698-2800. Simply put, The Imperial  is Denver's premier Chinese restaurant and has been for the over 20 years it's been in existence. Dinner entrées range from $10-$30, with all but the Peking Duck and various specials under $22.
The 9th Door,  1808 Blake Street, Denver, Colorado 80202; Phone 303-293-2111. Spanish tapas and wine, desserts and atmosphere.
Barolo Grill, 3030 E 6th Av., Phone: 303-393-1040. Decadent Italian.
The Black Pearl,  1529 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210. Phone: (303) 777-0500.
Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage Street; Phone: 303-534-9505, The oldest continuously operating restaurant in Denver, noted for its "western" menu and decor. Right next to the 10th and Osage light rail stop. Famous for offering game meat such as elk, bison, and venison.
The Fort, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison. Though a bit of a drive, The Fort is possibly Denver's most famous restaurant. It sits just on the edge of suburban Denver and is perhaps most famous for hosting a dinner during the G7 conference in 1997. Reservations highly recommended.
Luca d'Italia, 711 Grant St., Phone: 303-832-6600, .
One should keep in mind that the effects of alcohol are magnified at higher elevations, so people may find themselves inebriated more quickly and with greater effect than they would at lower altitudes. Moderation is probably a good idea until you understand your body's reaction to alcohol and can acclimatize to its effects at higher elevations.
That said, the following are some of the best bar-hopping locales in the city:
Bars in Lower Downtown (LoDo)
LoDo is the name Colorado locals have given the Lower Downtown district of Denver. It's a great place for meals, entertainment, and nightlife, where restored Victorian buildings now house more than 90 sports bars, brew pubs, jazz clubs, and restaurants.
My Brother's Bar (Brother's), 2376 15th St, +1 303 455-9991. The oldest bar in Denver and steeped in the history of the Beat movement. Massive selection of premium choices and a fantastic single-malt scotch selection. Classical music plays, but don't expect to hear it on a really busy night. Good food, including the JCB: a cheeseburger featuring Jalapeno Cream Cheese. There's no sign on the bar so don't look for one, but it's right on the southeast corner of 15th and Platte streets. This is where the locals go and regulars abound.
The Cruise Room 1600 17th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-825-1107. 1930's Art Deco Martini Bar inside the Oxford Hotel. Best Martinis in Denver! You can also order fresh seafood from McCormick's Fish House.
Double Daughter's Salotto 1632 Market St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-623-3505
Illegal Pete's 1530 16th St. #101, Denver Co. 303-623-2169 A local favorite hangout with great, cheap burritos! It's patio is located directly on the 16th St Mall, making it a great place to people watch.
Fado Irish Pub 1735 19th St. Denver. CO. 303-297-0066
Falling Rock Tap House 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338
Lodo's Bar & Grill 1946 Market St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8555
Nallen's Irish Pub 1429 Market St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-572-0667. A little piece of the Old Country in Denver, Nallen's has great nightly drink specials, authentic Irish ambience and a great Tuesday night pub quiz.
Pour House Pub 1435 Market St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-623-7687
Sing Sing 1735 19th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-291-0880
Wynkoop Brewery,  1634 18th St Denver, CO 80202. 303-297-2700. Fresh brews, billiard tables, and excellent food. Banquets and private parties. Historically significant architecture.
Bars in Capitol Hill & Other Neighborhoods
Capitol Hill is the neighborhood directly east and south of the Colorado State Capitol, located on Colfax Avenue and Grant Street. It has long held as place for young people, sub-cultures and the gay and lesbian community. Currently, it rivals LoDo as the place to party, no matter what your scene is.
Bender's Tavern 314 E. 13th Ave. Denver, CO 303-361-7070
Funky Buddha Lounge 776 Lincoln St, Denver, CO, +1 303 832-5075
Govnr's Park Restaurant & Tavern 672 Logan St, Denver, CO, 80203, +1 303 831-8605. Practically the after work bar for all of the state workers and lobbyists at the capitol, this comfortable place has great happy-hour specials and tasty food.
Park Tavern 931 11th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Cricket on the Hill 1209 E. 13th Ave, Denver, CO "+1 303" 830-9020. Denver's preeminent punk bar/club offers almost nightly live music, great specials and some of the best clientele to people watch in the city.
The Church 1160 Lincoln St., Denver, CO, "+1 303" 832-2383, part of the "SoCo" (South of Colfax) club district, the Church is one of the most popular dance clubs in the city, and as its name suggests, is housed in a former Episcopalian church. That however, does not prevent hundreds if not thousands of people from decending on the dancefloor every night to shake what God has given them.
Bars On Colfax
Colfax Avenue, described by Playboy Magazine as the "longest, wickedist, street in America," stretches 26 miles through Denver and its suburbs. Colfax has long had a "gritty" reputation for being home to prostitution and drug peddelers. However, through much urban development work, Colfax has shed its past and emerged hipper, cleaner and more popular than ever. The many bars, restaurants and nightspots along the street give it a 24/7 ambience.
The Bank Bar & Grill 2239E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80206; Phone 303-320-9494
Irish Snug Restaurant & Bar 1201 E Colfax Ave # 100, Denver, CO 80218; Phone 303 839-1394
Goosetown Tavern 3320 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80206; Phone 303-399-9703
Lion's Lair 2022 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80206; Phone 303-320-9200
Mezcal 3230 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80206; Phone 303-322-5219, Mezcal is a hip Mexican-themed bar/restaurant serveing excellent and cheap Mexican food along with its plentiful selection of great drinks, particularly tequilas.
The Red Room 320 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203; Phone(303) 830-7050
Sancho's Broken Arrow 741 E Colfax, Denver, CO; Phone 832-5288, One of the four Don Quixote themed bars in Denver, Sacho's is the best place in Denver to relive your old days with its Grateful Dead come alive decor and live rock and roll every Monday.
Streets of London Pub 1502 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80218; Phone 303-861-9103, The closest thing to England you can get without a 10 hour flight, Streets of London has an abundant selection of ales, draughts and other favourites.
The Squire Lounge 1800 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 80206; Phone 303-333-9106
Charlie's 900 E. Colfax Ave. Denver, CO Phone 303-839-8890. While technically a gay bar, Charlie's is also a cultural landmark catering to the old west spirit and/or disco diva in all of us. Very straight-friendly and not at all creepy, Charlie's friendly clientele and music makes everyone who visits at least a little "gay" (as in happy).
15th St. Tavern,  623 15th St, Denver, CO 80202; Phone 303-572-0822
Bender's Tavern 314 E. 13th Ave. Denver, CO 303-361-7070
Bluebird Theater, 3317 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206; Phone 303-322-2308
Climax Lounge, 2217 Welton St. Denver, CO 80205
Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St, Denver, CO 80216
Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St, Denver, CO 80206
Gothic Theater,  3263 South Broadway, Englewood, CO, 80113
Hi-Dive, 7 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209. Cross Streets: Ellsworth & Broadway
Invesco Field at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St, Denver, CO 80204
Summerfield Suites Hotel by Wyndham, 9280 East Costilla Avenue, +1 303 706-1945, . Within Denver Tech Center's corporate park and just a short drive from the Rocky Mountains' finest resort cities.
Wyndham Denver Tech Center Hotel, 7675 East Union Avenue, +1 303 770-4200, . In the heart of Denver's most prestigious business center.
16th Street Mall. Free Wifi along the pedestrian 16th Street Mall in the heart of Downtown.
Cherry Creek North. Entire area has free WiFi provided by the Cherry Creek North Business District.
Common Grounds, 3484 W 32nd Ave, +1 303 458-5248 or 1601 17th St, +1 303 296-9248. Both locations in the West Highlads and LoDo neighborhoods respectively, offer wireless Internet as well as a wide selection of coffee and coffeehouse food. The LoDo location also offers pay internet terminals.
Peaberry Coffee, . Multiple locations. Free WiFi, but you have to ask the barrista for username and password. Use your browser to log in.
Paris on the Platte, 1553 Platte St, +1 303 455-2451. A funky little coffee shop down in LoDo. Good food, good art, great coffee. Free WiFi and even tables where you can plug in for power and even ethernet for those that lack wireless.
Denver is pretty safe for a city its size. Use your common sense when traveling, particularly in downtown and some of the other inner-city neighborhoods. Denver does have a higher than usual population of homeless people, but the city has strict laws about accosting for money. In general, they are not really harming anyone. Downtown has a fairly active 24/7 population, especially in LoDo, so it's generally safe. Still, it may be a good idea to not travel alone, especially at night, and especially in some of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Unlike some larger cities, there are really no neighborhoods where one should not travel at all. Violent crime is fairly low in Denver for a such a large city. Muggings and theft are not nearly as common in Denver as other cities, but common sense dictates that you should be careful with your money and valuables. Probably the most common theft in Denver is stealing from cars, especially around busy shopping districts. Take extra care with valuables in your vehicle, and consider either keeping them in your posession or keeping them at the hotel. At the least, keep valuables out of sight in your trunk.
Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness is an ailment that potentially anyone can have when they visit areas with higher altitudes than they are used to, due to decreases in barometric pressure (though not oxygen content). Denver is called the Mile High City for a reason -- at an altitude of a mile above sea level, one can start to experience some of the effects of altitude sickness, though generally this condition becomes more pronounced at elevations around 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) and above. Some normal changes may occur when people travel to higher altitudes that are not altitude sickness. These include:
Hyperventilation (breathing faster, and/or deeper than normal)
Shortness of breath after exertion
Changes in nightly breathing
Awaking at night
The above are generally nothing to worry about, though problems with breathing may be helped by a drug called acetazolamide. If you think you may have problems, get advice from your doctor before traveling to Denver.
Some people get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which can be serious, at the higher elevations you will experience if you are touring through the Rocky Mountains. A diagnosis of AMS is usually given if a person has a headache accompanied by one of more of the following symptoms:
Loss of appetite, vomiting and/or nausea
Fatigue or weakness
Dizziness or light-headedness
Insomnia, difficulty sleeping
Some people liken AMS to a bad hangover or worse. It occurs because your brain tissue swells at higher elevations than it is used to. If you are feeling unwell at high altitudes assume that you are suffering from AMS unless there is another logical explanation that would be accompanied by other symptoms (food poisoning or a viral infection). To avoid AMS, try to get to a lower elevation until your symptoms subside, drink lots of fluid to avoid dehydration, and avoid traveling at high rates of ascent. If the symptoms continue or worsen, travel to a lower altitude. AMS can turn into High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), a potentially fatal condition where the brain swells so much that it ceases to function properly. Symptoms of HACE include confusion, inability to think clearly, lethargy, ataxia (walking staggerdly, as if one was drunk), and changes in behavior. The person may not recognize they have HACE, but if you or a person you are with experiences any of these symptoms (especially ataxia), they need to immediately be taken to lower elevations for medical treatment.
Another very serious condition, called High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) causes fluid in the lungs. If someone suffers chest tightness, congestion, gurgling breaths, blue or gray fingers or lips, cough producing frothy or pink liquid, and difficulty breathing even at rest, they should be taken to a lower elevation and receive medical treatment immediately.
Although not particularly common, keep in mind that these illnesses are possible, and that anyone is susceptible to them, even if you have traveled to high elevations before. For more information about AMS and related illnesses, see .
Another medical concern at higher elevations, particularly those in Colorado and Denver, is sunburn and skin cancer. The higher elevation means that there is less atmosphere protecting the skin from harmful solar radiation. This is especially true in Colorado, with both dry air that saps the skin of protective moisture and with the beautifully sunny days we have in the state. Colorado actually has the highest rate of skin cancer in the country, so it's always a good idea to wear a lot of high SPF sun-screen, hats, long sleeve shirts and pants. Don't think that you are protected from the sun in the winter either. The sun's rays can actually be reflected by the snow on the ground, still causing skin damage, so when in Colorado, do as the locals do, and wear sunscreen on any exposed skin surface at any time of the year.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Located in Morrison, Colorado on the western edge of Denver, is a gorgeous outdoor concert venue with amazing natural beauty that provides a great view of Denver below. The history of this concert venue is quirky and storied--from Igor Stravinsky performing the North American debut of the Rite of Spring at the park's opening in the '40s to the Jethro Tull, Grateful Dead and Phish riots of the '70s, '80s and '90s. Red Rocks was also a stop on The Beatles famous British Invasion tour of America. But if you pay and visit Red Rocks only during a concert, you are seriously cheating yourself. Visit the Rock and Roll Museum at the top of Red Rocks, eat in the restaurant, hike the red sandstone and scrub oak trails for their scenic beauty and wildlife. It is possible to book a room or stay in a campground next to the amphitheater.
Most travellers are likely to use Denver as a base for their forays into the neighboring mountains.
Boulder is a laid-back university town about 25 minutes northwest of Denver. Snow-capped mountains can be seen for miles from the town.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!