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Denver- The Completely Activity Guide

Once your direct flight touches down in Denver, you’ll quickly realize why it’s an increasingly popular vacation destination with plenty of local food, places to shop and things to do. While visiting the “Mile High City,” you might make a note to visit the 13th step of the capitol building where the sea level is 5,280 feet, thus the nickname. Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and Colorado is consistently ranked in the top five happiest states in America. The mountain views, professional athletic teams, variety of museums and theme parks make Denver a fun vacation. However, you will find a touch of home with Denver’s similarities to mid-Missouri such as expansive parks systems, great music scenes and an assortment of craft beer offerings. Beginning Aug. 1, 2017 you can take the short direct flight from Columbia Regional Airport in Columbia, Mo. to the mountains and adventure in Denver.

Cityscape of Denver Colorado. Clear skies in the afternoon.opens IMAGE file Union Station with a construction Crane in the backgroundopens IMAGE file


Denver’s downtown area (the 10th largest in the country) is the perfect mixture between hip and historic. Restaurants, bars, boutiques and shops are sprinkled in among buildings from the Gold Rush era.  In the middle of downtown Denver, there’s the 16th Street Mall, a mile long shopping district packed with delicious places to eat and unique places to shop.  The free shuttle can take you all around downtown to places like the historic Larimer Square (filled with art, shops and eats) or LoDo (28 blocks of restaurants, bars and pubs).



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Denver is the city for every inner foodie. Restaurants from all over town are regularly featured on the Food Network, and Denver ranked third on Zagat’s “26 Hottest Food Cities of 2016.” The city is known for innovation when it comes to food.  The cheeseburger was invented by Louis Ballast at his drive-in restaurant, and the first Chipotle ever was opened up right next to the University of Denver.  Elvis even took his private jet from Graceland to Denver just for a Fool’s Gold Loaf sandwich from the Colorado Mine Company. There are lots of eats and plenty of sweet treats, from Vesta Dipping Grill all the way to Little Man Ice Cream.


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From history buffs to scientists and art lovers to sports fanatics, Denver has a museum for everyone.  Denver is also home to one of the six U.S. Mints in the country, which provides a free guided tour and is the single largest producer of coins in the world, making over 40 million per day. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science features an IMAX theater and an astronomy demonstration that make it a fun trip for people of all ages. The Denver Art Museum is home to work from all over the world and includes a photography exhibition of the 19th century American West. The National Ballpark Museum is located in LoDo and displays unique memorabilia from ballparks all over the country.



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Denver is one of the sunniest cities in the country, enjoying around 300 days of sunshine per year.  This makes Denver one of the best places to experience the joys of nature.  There are three botanical gardens around town, which have sculptures, flowers, a little bit of wildlife and were one of the filming locations of Woody Allen’s “Sleeper.”  The Denver Aquarium is home to over 500 species of sea life and features an interactive touch tank.  The Denver Zoo houses a variety of animals in the Primate Panorama, Tropical Discovery, Predator Ridge and many more.  Denver also has the largest city park system in the nation.  With 14,000 acres of mountain parks and 2,500 acres of natural areas, a day trip to somewhere like the Rocky Mountain National Park (National Geographic Best Trips in the World 2014) will offer great hiking and an even better view.



Mile High Stadium in Denver, Coloradoopens IMAGE file Coors Field in Denver, Coloradoopens IMAGE file


With eight professional teams, Denver is a sports fan’s haven. The Colorado Rockies play baseball at Coors Field, which is located at the highest elevation in the MLB. One of the best ballparks in the nation to see a home run is Coors Field.  Because of its high elevation and dry air, the balls fly much farther than when hit in other stadiums.  Sports Authority Field at Mile High is the home field for both the Denver Broncos and the Denver Outlaws.  Catch a football or lacrosse game at the field where three out of the four longest field goals in NFL history took place. There are plenty of games going on at the Pepsi Center, where the Colorado Avalanche play hockey, the Colorado Mammoth play lacrosse, and the Denver Nuggets play basketball. Watch a soccer game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, or a rugby game at CIBER Field, home of the Denver Stampede.



Red Rocks Amphitheateropens IMAGE file The Bluebird Theater in Downtown Denveropens IMAGE file  


A trip to Denver wouldn’t be complete without a trip out to see the Red Rocks.  Rolling Stone’s Best Amphitheater is literally surrounded by giant red rocks, which will give you a concert experience like no other.  When there isn’t an event going on, the Red Rocks are free to visit and take a tour around.  Denver’s music scene is continually growing from small music clubs all over town to cultural theaters like the Bluebird Theater or the Gothic Theater.  Music’s The Fray, OneRepublic, The Lumineers and Tennis are all Denver natives.



 Denver Beer Co. signopens IMAGE file A flight of beer samples on a wooden tableopens IMAGE file A rack of bourbon barrels aging or souring beeropens IMAGE file


The “Napa Valley of Beer” is the perfect nickname because Denver brews more beer than any other city in the nation, with over 80 different beers brewed daily. The Denver Beer Trail will take you on a tour of 27 different breweries in town, including Blue Moon Brewing Co, Denver Beer Co and Spangalang Brewery.  Although not on the Trail, Denver is also home to Coors Brewery, which offers free tours to people of all ages.  The Great American Beer Festival, which holds that Guinness World Record for most beers on tap, takes place in Denver every October. Be careful while drinking though because the extra altitude makes the alcohol hit you a little quicker than it usually would!



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Theme Parks:

Thrill-seekers visiting Denver will be happy to hear that there are two huge theme and water parks in the city. Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Parks is 70 acres of rides, pools and games. The Star Flyer is the newest ride, which reaches 17 stories high and spins at 50 miles per hour.  The XLR8R is the world’s highest free fall swing that drops the bravest of people from 150 feet in the air, and the Mind Eraser is the fastest suspension coaster which propels faster than 50 miles per hour. Water World is also located in Denver, and spans over 64 acres of land, making it one of America’s largest water parks.  Whether you’re visiting to unwind or find adventure, Water World has something for everyone. From one of the longest lazy rivers to the Zoomerang, which is a four story high waterslide, people of all ages can enjoy this park.

If you’re looking to enjoy a nice getaway, family vacation, trip with friends or a solo adventure in beautiful Denver, book your direct flight from COU today. Visit for more information about flights.