Photo: A downtown museum building

Inspired by the Rocky Mountains, the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building, opened in 2006, showcases the western city’s modern sophistication.

Photograph by Joaana B. Pinneo, National Geographic

Denver is a city of old meets new, a mix of rugged and sophisticated, a place that has a lively arts scene, but where a Wild West spirit is still alive and well. The city also is home to professional hockey, football, basketball, and baseball teams, so sports fans can find a game to feed their appetite, no matter the season. To top it all off, the Mile High City averages 300 days of sunshine each year, they say.

Where to Play

Rent bikes and pedal the Cherry Creek Trail, which starts at downtown’s Confluence Park, where the Cherry Creek and South Platte River meet. For bike rentals, try Cherry Creek Bike Rack. See the boats docked at Cherry Creek Reservoir. At the Denver Firefighters Museum, slide down a fire pole, try the kid-size equipment, and hop on board a real fire engine.

At Day’s End

Chow down at Old West-style Buckhorn Exchange, the city’s oldest restaurant, with mounted animal heads on the walls and a kids’ menu that includes a buffalo cheeseburger.


Stay in historic digs at the Brown Palace Hotel, which opened in 1892.

For Denver visitor information, visit

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel