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Denver and Colorado Holidays

Hilltop thrill meets urban chill

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Discover snowy peaks and LoDo treats

Virtual year-round sunshine, wide-open skies and powder-tipped peaks form an impressive frame for the mile-high city of Denver. Sitting in the highland heart of America’s Rocky Mountains, the city doesn’t just promise a gateway to adventure – with stellar skiing, cycling and hiking all within in easy reach – but serves a delicious menu of culture. From chef-own restaurants and indie breweries to a burgeoning arts scene, you’ll find it all served up within Denver’s playful urban vibe.

It may not be a surprise that Denver’s first building wasn’t a church or a house, but a saloon. The city that wears its badge as beer capital of the US, is also perhaps, one of the hippest.

Take RiNo (River North) where you’ll be tripping over – perhaps literally – its baffling collection of breweries offering anything from sours and stouts to ‘Beer Therapy’ at its Beer Spa. It’s also a sweet spot for art lovers and creative types. For a truly hipster hangout, head to the LoHi (Lower Highlands) for funky boutiques or a spot of lunch at Linger – once a mortuary, now, a restaurant. As the evening draws in, head for its buzzing centre (LoDo) where you’ll find Union Station’s chef-driven treats, bars and more.

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Best hotels in Denver for all types of traveller

Embrace the urban vibe and stay in Denver’s hotels within the beating heart of the city’s downtown. Here you’ll find the Hilton Denver City Center or the luxurious Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel, offering a year-round heated rooftop pool and easy access to nightlife on the pedestrianised 16th Street Mall. Offering sumptuous styling with dark woods and pops of marble is The Ritz-Carlton, Denver – the city’s longest running AAA Five-Diamond hotel, near to the hip Larimer Square.

Take a drive out to Colorado’s impressive Rockies. The award-winning Viceroy Snowmass sets a palatial scene among the ski areas of Aspen, and includes a nursery, gym, year-round heated pool, and direct slope access. For families, the four-star Viewline Resort Snowmass Autograph Collection sits in the heart of Snowmass Village, close to Aspen, and offers ski in/ski out convenience.

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Make the most of your Denver holiday

Whether you’re breathing in the mountain air, imbibing its array of walking or cycling trails, skiing its majestic slopes or hitting the vibe of the city’s arts and culture scene, Denver and Colorado present the best of urban and rural adventures – and a few surprises too.

What are the best things to do in Denver?

  1. Visit the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. This one-of-a-kind concert venue is an amphitheatre cut out of the landscape in this city park. Carved from a Martian-red backdrop of craggy cliffs the concert venue is 16 miles west of the city. Enjoy concerts under the stars from every seat of this near-10,000 capacity space.
  2. What’s brewing in Denver? There are more craft ales, breweries and ale appreciators here than in any other American city. The oldest, Tivoli Brewing Company, opened in 1859, while Wynkoop Brewing Company is notorious for experimenting with everything from roasted bull testicles to spicy ancho peppers, if you please. After that you might well be ready for some on-tap therapy at Denver’s Beer Spa. Visit in autumn for the annual giant Great American Beer Festival (GABF), one of the largest in the world.
  3. Big, brash and undeniably bold, the Rockies are one of the world’s most iconic ranges. Some peaks rise 4,000 metres, and you’ll find anything from rivers, waterfalls, alpine fields and snow-capped peaks. Take the high road to Trail Ridge Road (up to 3,600 metres) or if you prefer, you can walk with a ranger to spot elks, moose and bears. Colorado Springs is where you’ll find the stunning formations of the Garden of the Gods Park or head to Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, offering cave tours and a zip line. Seven Falls offers an impressive 55-metre waterfall or hop on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for panoramic views.
  4. In recent years, the arts and cultural scene in Denver has blossomed and thrived, and has seen many major hubs created. The impressive Denver Art Museum and the MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art are in the heart of downtown. The MCA was designed by British architect David Adjaye, and is an eco-friendly space for worldwide artists. Denver's creative scene is huge, with several neighbourhoods dedicated to art and creativity. See a lot of Latino influence (colourful murals and Mexican culture) in the Art District On Santa Fe, while the RiNo Art District is more aligned with contemporary galleries and street art. Don’t miss Colfax Avenue for live music and hipster culture, arthouse cinema and eclectic record and book stores.
  5. Aside from its red-rock amphitheatre, there’s plenty: see the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – the second-largest complex of its sort in the whole US to the November-based Denver Film Festival, displaying some 250 plus films from indies to hits. By night, explore the historic and bohemian vibe of Larimer Square, which becomes a sassy spot for dinner, local bands or stellar live performances at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox.
  6. Union Station’s facelift has been so effective you’d never guess it’s 150 plus years old. Revamped in 2014, it now forms one of the city’s central bustling bases with its 12,000-square-feet atrium adorned with cocktail bars, boutiques, restaurants, indie bookstores and shops. You’ll find it in the city’s buzzing LoDo area.
  7. Denver’s denizens love two wheels. It’s impossible to miss them, what with 85 miles of cycling trails stretching around the city, decent bike-sharing schemes and bike hire stations generously dotted about. It’s a great and green way to explore the city’s colourful and cool districts.

What is the best ski resort to stay in near Denver?

Ski resorts in Aspen – well-heeled (or should that be well-ski booted) fans of this former Victorian mining town are often lured by its charming setting, its unashamed opulence and the chance of spotting a celebrity or two. The ski region certainly offers some challenging runs too and is made up of four main ski areas all linked by free shuttle bus: Ajax, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk (best for beginners) and Snowmass. Collectively, it’s known as Aspen Snowmass.

Ski resorts in Breckenridge – one of the more beginner-friendly areas, Breckenridge is divided into five sectors. It offers a long, sweeping nursery slope to rival many others, and the ski schools are among the best known. Its 2,908 acres of slopes offer lots to intermediates and experts too, with steeper runs above the tree line.

Its 3,000m-high resort has a Victorian-style charm (you may need to acclimatise a little) and offers bags of bars and restaurants.

Ski resorts in Vail – having turned 60 in 2022, this pensioner packs a punch as another upmarket resort. Prices for lift passes can be as steep as the slopes, but you can save by buying in advance to take advantage of being in one of the best-connected, most-varied ski areas in the US. Swish your way to its coveted north slopes for a good chance of powder snow. The resort village is vast but there’s a free shuttle, and you can experience anything from its Tirolean-style Vail village to the modern Lionshead. It offers lively apres ski and is family friendly, too.

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