Just half an hour down the highway from Boulder sits the famed Mile High City. Home of the Broncos and affectionately dubbed the Queen City of the West, Denver has more attractions, sites and beer than one city should be allowed. So come wet your whistle by following our full-proof, day-trip Denver itinerary.
We highly recommend stopping into one of the city's acclaimed museums or the zoo. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is an excellent stop for adults and kids alike. No matter your age, your eyes are sure to light up at the site of gigantic T-Rex fossils, mummies and the comprehensive, awe-inspiring Body Worlds exhibit that allows visitors to virtually see inside the human body to discover all of its intricacies and mysteries.
If you're a little more right brained and prefer art over science, stop into the Denver Art Museum. The zoo also offers fun for all ages and is within walking distance of the Nature and Science Museum.
Nature and Science T-Rex — Photo courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Drink Your Lunch:
Denver is to beer what Napa is to wine. Microbreweries abound and offer the perfect setting to grab a bite or just drink your lunch altogether. Some of the not-to-be-missed breweries include Denver Beer Company, the Great Divide and the Wynkoop Brewery, where you can try English IPAs, stouts and their famous Rail Yard Ale, an amber beer with a malty flavor that is refreshing on a warm, Denver day.
One of the city's best shopping strips, 16th Street Mall offers a variety of food and retail attractions, including The Gap, Rock Bottom Brewery and the Hard Rock Cafe. Don't really feel like walking after all that beer? The 16th Street Mall offers a complimentary trolly service that will take you from store to store.
Round Out the Evening at Red Rocks:
Without a doubt one of the best outdoor concert venues in the world, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has hosted big names, from the Beatles in 1964 to Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel, The Avett Brothers and Zac Brown Band. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Denver Skyline, this amphitheatre is surrounded by enormous, rust-colored monoliths, which provide the perfect acoustic setting. Catch a show, watch a movie at Film on the Rocks or attend one of the many festivals.
Before you return to Boulder, you may want to stop off at the unique One-Up Bar to play Pacman or Pinball. If that beer is still in your system, be sure to ride the RTD bus system, which will take you back to the bubble for a small fee.
With all that Denver has to offer, you're sure to feel that "Rocky Mountain high" that John Denver twanged on and on about.