Best Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Denver



A trip to Denver, Colorado can best be experienced in the great outdoors. With a long list of well-maintained city parks, world class sporting venues, plenty of bike lanes and fitness offerings for all skill levels, you are sure to find something that suits your agenda. For a unique city overview, check out Scoo Tours Denver where you will see top city sites via a Vespa scooter all the while spotting top landmarks in town. Another adventurous take comes from Confluence Kayaks, a company that will guide you down the South Platte River on an inflatable kayak. To amp up your fitness, head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a free but insanely tough bootcamp led by a former pro BMX biker. For something more relaxed but that will still get you moving, head to Denver Botanic Gardens where yoga classes are offered at both sunset at sunrise. Of course, every vacation needs a dose of adrenaline and both Water World and Elitch Garden’s have you covered with new rides and attractions for all ages. For the sports fans, Coors Field is always a home run for fun; just make sure to wear your purple and cheer for the home team and check out the new rooftop bar where craft beers are on tap. 



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Denver B-Cycle is the city's bike-sharing program and an excellent way to access many Denver sights. Simply check out a bike at any B-Cycle station and return it to any other station. You could start at the Cherry Creek Bike Path, a paved trail that begins where Denver was founded and runs along Cherry Creek for 40 miles. Another option: The Greenway Trail, which follows the South Platte River for almost 30 miles; 20 historic markers along the trail help tell the story of the area. The Platte River Bike Path, part of the Greenway Trail, connects the LoDo and RiNo neighborhoods. There are stations near the Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, Cherry Creek Mall and Denver Botanic Gardens, among others.


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If you've got baseball in your blood, you have to make a stop at Coors Field. The baseball-only stadium came at a price tag of $215 million dollars, but locals say the cost was well worth it. The facility seats more than 50,000 fans and occupies 76 acres. Thanks to loyal fans, the famous ballpark sees a lot of in-season action. By the way, if you're in row 20 of the upper deck, you'll find yourself in a purple seat, indicating that you're exactly a mile above sea level. Tours are offered year-round, but times may vary based on game schedules so call ahead to confirm.


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Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park


 

Located in the heart of Denver and celebrating 125 years of fun, Elitch Gardens is America's only Downtown Theme and Water Park. The park is open May 2nd through November 1st. There's something for everyone, with 53 rides and attractions, including 14 pint-sized adventures, thrilling roller coasters and an entire water park. New for 2015- Get spun around, swallowed up and spit out by the all new six story Hydro-Beast SlideZilla. This year, there's more entertainment than ever before with exciting new family shows Conjure and Disney's Octonauts, Dive-In Movies, a free summer concert series and three stunning fireworks extravaganzas that will light up the Denver skyline, plus Fright Fest in October.


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Just 10 minutes from downtown Denver, the Botanic Gardens is a 24-acre oasis in the middle of the city with consistently spectacular exhibits. During your visit, you'll learn about unique flowers and plant species and environmentally responsible practices (the Denver Botanic Gardens was one of the first in the country to emphasize native plants). Find intriguing specimens from all corners of the globe. Two sister properties, Chatfield Nature Preserve in Littleton and Mt. Goliath on Mt. Evans, are affiliates of the Denver Botanic Gardens and offer additional resources for fans of botany and gardening. Sunrise Vinyasa Yoga in the Gardens happens every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. for $12. Or, check out an evening Vinyasa class for $12 at 6 p.m.


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North Denver
Water World


 

Water World is among the country's largest water parks offering 50 water rides and attractions that meet all levels of adventures- from steep slides, relaxing river tubing, and even a watery playground sized for young kids. In June Water World will open Warp Speed, a new concept that pairs gaming with the water slide experience. Imagine yourself on a SLIDEBOARD flying down a wormhole while gaming on a device that takes out light targets along the way. In addition to the new ride, Water World is hosting the Annual Belly Flop Contest and hopes to set a Guinness World Record with the World's Largest Swim Lesson.


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It Burn's Joe Fitness
Photo courtesy of Joe Hendricks

 

Joe Hendricks, a former pro BMX biker who once made a living doing half time shows at sporting events and even starred in commercials, Is now leading the world's largest and free boot camp. Workouts are often held at Red Rocks Park but make sure to check online (itburnsjoefitness.com) for the current location. Classes have reached up to 300 people and are open to all fitness levels as modifications are offered. Expect intense cardio- with stair and bleacher running, ab and core strengthening, plyometrics, military exercises and yoga. Some of the most fun parts of class are partner exercises where you may find yourself piggybacking a newfound friend or trying other exercises you haven't found before.


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Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Photo courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods Park

 

The Colorado Rapids are one of 20 Major League Soccer Teams and it's definitely worth catching a game during your time in Denver, especially for the sports fanatic. The team earned major respect after winning the MLS Cup in 2010 against FC Dallas with a final score of 2-1. The team hasn't been back on the championship stage since but a base of loyal fans sporting burgundy and blue make for a spirited game. The season runs March to October with a total of 24 games. The Rapids play at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City at an 18,000-seat outdoor soccer stadium.


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Scoo Tours
Photo courtesy of Carri Wilbanks

 

You are cuter on a scooter. At least that's what the owners of this Denver based company say. Via Vespa is definitely a unique way to see some of top sights in the city like the Sante Fe Arts District, the Capitol Building and the Big Blue Bear. Tours can be customized to what groups are looking for as well. A safety briefing and lesson on how to ride a vespa takes places before tours take off. For the more adventurous take, take to the streets on your own with the rent and ride option. Scoo Tours covers the liability insurance and gas, so there is no reason to not explore. Tours take off near the Colorado Convention Center.


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AVA's Colorado Rafting - Arkansas Valley Adventures


 

AVA offers world class whitewater rafting and ziplining just 30 minutes from downtown Denver. Dropping over 65 feet per mile, Clear Creek epitomizes the Colorado whitewater rafting experience. The snow along the Continental Divide melts each spring to create a steep, technical river that offers whitewater from beginner to advanced. Options range from the family-friendly Class II and Class III Gold Rush trip to the exhilarating Class V Lower Canyon, sure to challenge even the most serious paddlers. The truly adventurous can tackle all 27 miles of whitewater on the full-day Phoenix trip, breaking midday for a catered barbeque lunch. AVA's Cliffside Zipline Tour combines 6 unique and thrilling zips into a 2 hour adventure that includes log bridges, a "surf zip", and the ultimate adrenaline rush --a 50 foot cliffside free fall.


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Commons Park
Confluence Kayaks
Photo courtesy of Confluence Kayaks


 

Confluence Kayaks is Denver's Paddling Headquarters. Founded in 1995 on the banks of the South Platte River in Downtown Denver, this is the best source for paddling lessons, rentals and equipment. Local paddlers have this the go to shop for Kayak and Standup Paddle equipment. The company also rents bikes, tubes and inflatable kayaks as well as electric skateboards. The Half day inflatable kayak tour is the perfect introduction to river kayaking. Inflatable kayaks are stable and easy to use for novices, and allow you to experience the thrill of maneuvering your own boat through class 2-3 whitewater. Join a small group of fellow adventurers on an exciting tour of the urban S. Platte River, and get a taste of paddlesports in the Mile High City. All equipment is provided and no experience is necessary.


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Meet Carri Wilbanks

Carri Wilbanks (CatchCarri.com) is a Denver based freelance writer, producer and TV host  for Xfinity Comcast who is always on the hunt for the next adventure. Whether climbing a volanco in...  More About Carri

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