Get your Rocky Mountain highs in this surprising city, a winning mix of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. The Rockies rock the skyline to the west, calling you closer for fresh-air pursuits. Fun fact: Denver sits at exactly 1 mile (5280ft) above sea level, hence its nickname: the Mile High City.
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Icelandair offers cheap flights from the UK and Europe to Denver, a brilliant base camp for adventures into the mountains. Read all you need to know about the latest entry requirements and practical information about travelling to the USA.
This youthful city has a sunny attitude to match its blue skies - the sun shines 300 days a year here. Bike trails and sprawling parks keep the locals busy, as do the brewpubs and music venues. The culinary and arts scenes are flourishing - chief arts drawcard is the world-class Denver Art Museum.
The museum's Hamilton Building is an angular modern masterpiece; inside the treats include one of the largest American Indian art collections in the USA. There is some fun and head-turning public art scattered around downtown.
Ready to rock? One of Colorado's highlights is taking in a concert at Red Rocks, 15 miles west of Denver. This natural amphitheater sits between towering red sandstone monoliths and is one of America’s most iconic music venues.
Just northwest of downtown is the hip, historic neighborhood known as LoDo (Lower Downtown). Many buildings here have been restored and the now-revitalized area is filled with fine restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries, plus a bumper crop of breweries and brewpubs.
LoDo's Union Station Building dates from 1914, and it's been dolled up beautifully to house a number of restaurants, bars and even a hotel. It's a great place to check out the works of some of the city's favorite chefs.
Chic Highlands is another fertile area for dining and drinking fun - stop by Avanti food hall, a culinary collective that brings together seven different restaurant operators. Alternatively, under blue skies it's hard to beat a picnic at either the view-enriched City Park or the majestic Botanic Gardens.
From the airport, a 20-minute drive takes you to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for a smorgasbord of outdoor activities: hiking, rafting, kayaking, fishing and mountain climbing, plus excellent golf courses. In winter, you know what to do: ski, snowboard, and indulge in a little après ski.
Colorado boasts some of the world’s finest ski resorts, and within a two-hour drive from Denver you'll find winter wonder at places like Keystone, Breckenridge and Winter Park. Press a little further west and you'll reach the jewel in the crown: Vail. This is the state's largest resort, and one of its most celebrated.
There are countless other super-scenic natural attractions. To reach road-tripping nirvana, in summer drive North America’s highest paved road up to the 14,264ft summit of Mt Evans.