Making Time For The Mile High City: Denver

10 June 2015
Read Time: 2.1 mins

What's medium-sized, attractive and located just a two-hour flight from Los Angeles?

If you answered Denver, you've probably sunk a beer or two with the good folks of tourism bureau Visit Denver just like I have.

There's no doubt about it; Denver is a great town for a good time. I realised that somewhere between a trip to Coors Field to check out the facilities and our visit to a sixth different microbrewery within a matter of days.

 The sun sets on downtown Denver. (Image: Getty)

When it comes to entertainment, you name it and Denver's got it. The city's Major League Baseball team the Colorado Rockies play their home games at Coors Field, which boasts the Blue Moon Brewery at The Sandlot underneath the right field stand. Talk about convenient!

If baseball's not your game, the city is also home to the National Football League's eternally popular Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche – both of whom call the downtown Pepsi Center home – as well as the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, who play in neighbouring Commerce City.

In fact, Denver is one of just 12 cities to boast teams in all four major US sports and it's by far the smallest metropolitan market to do so.

Even if spectator sports don't take your fancy, there's still plenty to do in Denver. After all, this is a city boasting bars, microbreweries and gastropubs on practically every corner.

Denver's beer resurgence arguably started with John Hickenlooper – perhaps better known as Colorado's 42nd Governor – who with his business partners opened the Wynkoop Brewing Company in 1988, helping to re-energise the city's Lower Downtown district and kick-starting a wave of craft brewing.

Today, more than a hundred breweries of are scattered throughout the Denver city limits, making this former mining town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains one of the best places to grab a beer in all of the United States.

The surrounding Rocky Mountain scenery makes al fresco dining in the summer months a delight, while Denver and its surrounds transforms into a winter wonderland when the first of the season's snow blizzards hit.

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Lying a mile above sea level – the exact point is marked on the thirteenth step of the distinctive Colorado State Capitol in Denver's busy Civic Center precinct – Denver is renowned for its thin alpine air and snowy winters.

Skiing, it goes without saying, is a popular Colorado pastime, with the ski resorts of both Vail and Aspen located within driving distance of Denver. Indeed, the mountain town of Breckenridge is just a stone's throw from the city and every January this picturesque resort town hosts the International Snow Sculpture Festival.

Even in the summer months, the mountains around Denver are a hive of activity, with hiking, mountain bike riding and sailing on Dillon Reservoir all popular summertime activities.

Yet you don't need to leave the city limits to enjoy the best of Denver's outdoor activities, with the city positively teeming with bicycle paths, pedestrian walks and plenty of green urban spaces.

The South Platte River and the meandering Cherry Creek converge at Confluence Park in the heart of Lower Downtown Denver, lending the city miles of riverfront that has in many parts been converted into cycle ways.

Denver is just that kind of town. If you're not outdoors enjoying the weather, you're usually indoors enjoying some award-winning craft beers.

And with a flight time of just two hours from Los Angeles, it's the perfect place for a stopover en route to New York City.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Denver.

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Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.