Things to do in Denver?

I'm going to be travelling to Denver in a couple of weeks for a big choral gathering out there, and a lot of my time will be called for. However, in between I'd like to do a little exploration and see what's going on in the city.

For the most part, I'm going to be downtown near the arts complex, since that's where everything's focused. I'll be able to hoof it around a bit, and can take a taxi here and there.

Any suggestions what I might want to keep an eye out for?

Any suggestions what I might want to keep an eye out for?

Mr. Shhh!

I've seen lists around, but apparently they're only good if you're dead.

When you're dead?

Okay, let's just assume I'm alive...

For the confused folks

Plus, I'd like to see the answer. Denver is on the list of places the Mrs. and I are considering.

I had the chance to visit for a couple days at the end of May.

Highly recommended: Maintain your hydration.

16th Street will be your friend. Free bus travel along it and very frequent. So many choice places to eat at. Paramount Cafe is their Rock n Roll cafe, right across from a Hard Rock ironically. Maggiano's Little Italy was great with the option of family style ordering.

I would have liked to go to most of what is listed here and would approve: Dowtown Must See

I only had the chance to walk 16th St Pedestrian Mall, see the State Capital, LoDo and a Rockies game at Coors Stadium.

I brought my camera and was happy to find lots of interesting high rises, street art and public art to take photos of.

Tavern: The Thin Man

Dining: Sushi Den

A half-hour drive into foothills is enough to view the grandeur of the Rockies. Truly epic mountain vista views that shouldn't be missed if you're in the Denver area. Just Google short drives for a easy route (just take Rt. 70 to Dillan and back or something).

Hi, y'all,

I thought I'd resurrect another thread, since I already raised this one from the dead. At some point it'll make more sense to start anew, but I'm not there yet.

We're ready to not live in Ohio. There are reasons it'll be a few years before anything comes to fruition, during which we're going to travel some and figure out to where we will move. I love Albuquerque but my wife raises a fair point: neither of us knows much about most other places west.

Enter Denver. We're looking to travel their in the middle of June, staying a week. I want us to see enough of why Denver might be The Place and have some fun. Principally, I want to spend the bulk of two separate days hiking around The Mountains, kids in tow. There are also an embarrassingly high 850 or so miles of networked bike paths in and around Denver. There are the arts, of course, which is mostly a "meh" from me but I'm open to not being cynical about it.

What are some recommended sights? I'm sure it's super touristy, but I'd like to find a train ride that doesn't suck, perhaps a mining/ghost town that's not just a storefront for WalMart trinkets. I'm not sure what else.

Also, I wouldn't be above meeting for dinner with Denver Goodjer folk. I don't know many people well, even in internet terms, so don't feel obliged.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: Of course I'm checking the thread's recommendations. For instance, there is The Georgetown Loop Railroad, which is probably a win. But as is often the case, the official tourist guide may not cover someone's favorite cool place or landmark or whatever.

Seeing a concert at Red Rocks (if schedules permit) and catching a show at the DCPA (Denver Center for Performing Arts) are generally a must when in Denver.

I live near Boulder, but the whole front range really is a paradise if your a cyclist. You can take trails all the way to Denver and all around. If you head to Rocky Mtn Natl Forest be sure to snoop around Estes Park, it's a nearby tourist town but not overly tacky, just comfortable. The Scottish Highland Festival & games are held there yearly the weekend after Labor Day. Don't miss that. If you head south maybe look for the Great Sand Dunes park. It's a mini desert by the mountains, which I know makes no sense.

The thing I like about living here is the massive amount of sunny days we get every year. But as far as sights go, check these out. Most of these are not really in Denver, but all within driving distance:

1. Pike's Peak - I always just ride my motorcycle up, but there are other ways to get up that are more touristy, such as a cog railway. Be prepared to suffer altitude sickness.

2. Garden of the Gods - It's about 45-50 minutes south of Denver in Colorado Springs. Absolutely spectacular place to spend the day hiking around.

3. Rocky Mountain National Park - Very scenic, and usually not too busy. I absolutely love riding my bike through this park in the summer. You can loop through it and visit Boulder on the same day since it's close by.

4. Red Rocks Amphitheatre - One of the greatest natural concert halls in the world. See if there's a show you want to attend during the time you'll be here. This is where the video for U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday was shot. I've seen quite a few shows there and it's always spectacular.

5. Downtown Aquarium - I haven't been to this place since it changed ownership several years back, but from what I've heard it didn't change all that much other than adding a restaurant. There are lots of sharks and a 300lb grouper (if he's still alive) to check out from the tunnels going through aquarium. It's very cool. If you're a certified scuba diver you can even go for a dip in the pool with the fishies, although it's expensive.

If you want to go a little farther afield to check out an old mining town, there are literally dozens to choose from. Two of my favorites are Leadville and Cripple Creek.

The air is thinner and the sun a little more vicious up here, so make sure you put on sunblock and stay hydrated. Running around in the Rockies can be rough on you lowlanders until you acclimate.

Thank you both.

Xeknos: Red Rocks would be a treat. Not sure if anything's coming that'd be interesting to a 9- or 10-year-old, but I'll check. Probably more likely the DCPA, though.

Running Man: I would love to bring our bikes, or rent. The more I think about it the more I might just want to do it, but it's kinda hard to get a good ride in as an adult when you're trailing along the kids. I'll keep thinking about that.

Waiting until Labor Day would certainly allow for a bigger budget, but kids'll be in school for a week.