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Erin
Salt Lake City

Colorado, Denver

Must see and do things in Denver and Colorado vicinity?

Denver Advocates,

Thinking about taking a last-minute road trip through Colorado and to Denver. My boyfriend and I are trying to decide if it's worth it. Here's why: (ps, we have never been to Denver before.)

1. I am from Salt Lake City, and while Denver is much bigger, I worry it's too similar to Salt Lake City. We want to do something different from what we're used to everyday. For those of you who have been to both, is there things you can get out of Denver that you can't get out of SLC? 

2. It's COLD! The weather is changing and we just had our first snow in Salt Lake. Is this time of year too cold for hikes in Colorado? 

3. We don't want to spend our entire time in Denver. Are there must-do things around the vicinity of Denver or in other parts of Colorado? 

We're deciding between a road trip to San Diego, which we have been to many times, or Denver/Colorado vicinity. We want to visit Denver eventually but need some convincing that now is the time to do it. I appreciate the help! 


6 Answers

top answer by
Janice from Golden, CO

Hi Erin - I agree with Mark.  Downtown Denver has some great live music venues and excellent restaurants.  I'd definitely make an effort to go to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, if not for a concert, then to just take in the incredible views.  It's also a place where people like to workout, so if that's something you do, try it!

I'm assuming that SLC has plenty of museums, so I won't recommend the ones we have here.  They're fine, but they're probably similar to ones you've seen already.

It's still not too late to hike around here, although I heard tomorrow we'll possibly be getting some snow.  Evergreen (Colorado) has some great places to hike - Elk Meadow and Bergen Peak, Three Sisters and Lair o' the Bear are my favorites - and it's not too far away.

If you can, I'd also try to make it to Boulder.  You'll find even better hiking there, more great restaurants and Pearl Street.  I'd also recommend the Coors Beer tour here in Golden, because you get free beer at the end of it :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Evergreen (Colorado) (city)
  2. Boulder (city)
  3. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre (attraction)
5 thanks


answered first by
Mark from Hermosa Beach

Denver is a must. Especially if the road trip is coming up really soon.  The drive from Salt Lake to Denver alone is worth the price of admission.  I70 through the Rockies is among the most beautiful stretches of highway in the country, if not the most beautiful.  Make pit stops in Grand Junction (some very decent vineyards); Vail (nothing like it in the Salt Lake area); and maybe a cup of coffee in Georgetown (Colorado) before decending in Denver.  You may be a bit late to catch any of the mountain folliage...but if you're leaving soon, you should still be able to catch some of the glowing yellow hillsides.  I don't know what the concert calendar is over coming weeks, but if you have the opporutnity to catch any event at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, you won't be disappointed.  The downtown Denver area is a world apart from Salt Lake...attracting amazing music acts in some fabulous venues around town.  The restaurant scene has drawn world-class chefs from all parts of the globe, and if you're looking for nightlife, no shortage of options await you...speakeasy's, clubs, wine bars...etc.  If you're feeling really adventurous, there are a number of tours that are capitializing on the recent legalization of marijuana in Denver:  http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/pot-tourism-my-420-tours-marijuana-tourism-in-colorado...you definitely won't find that in SLC :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Denver (city)
  2. Grand Junction (city)
  3. Vail (city)
  4. Georgetown (Colorado) (city)
  5. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

All correct answers above.  An hour north is Fort Collins, like Boulder, it has a smaller, more intimate downtown with tons of local flavor.  Lots of micro-brews around here too, if you are into beer. Red Rocks will definitely take you away from a SLC feel, the zoo has an excellent elephant exhibit if you are into that thing (it is really cool though), Royal Arch Trail in Boulder is one of my favorites-enough to get the blood pumping and a wonderful place to sit and take in the view from the top.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fort Collins (city)
  2. Royal Arch Trail (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Alyssa from Boulder

Good answers here! Someone above mentioned heading up to  Boulder – great idea! It's only ~45 mins north of Denver and makes for a perfect afternoon adventure. We had some friends up a few weeks ago and this is what we did:

1. Hike up to the base of the Flatirons from  Chautauqua Park. It's a pretty easy walk and gives you an awesome view of the city. 

2. Stroll down to the outdoor  Pearl Street Mall and see the shops & do some peoplewatching. There are lots of little art stores and clothing stores, and the outdoor mall itself is a really nice place to sit & enjoy the weather.

3. Get something delicious to eat. If you're looking for coffee & pastries, try  Spruce Confections. If you'd prefer lunch, get some burgers and beers at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Have fun! :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boulder (city)
  2. Chautauqua Park (attraction)
  3. Pearl Street Mall (restaurant)
  4. Spruce Confections (restaurant)
  5. Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (restaurant)
2 thanks


answered by
Ross from Glenwood Springs

Denver is not too cold this time of year...almost as maysunny days as L.A. On the way to Denver stop in Glenwood Canyon and hike Hanging Lake....2 mile hike to a beautiful lake hanging on the side of the canyon walls, don't miss spouting rock, a very short trail that takes you above hanging lake to a cool waterfall that spouts from the middle of a solid rock cliff. Denver has lots of sports that might be available (ie hockey, football....) and LoDo (lower downtown) is pretty cool....lots of shops and dinning.

Hope you come and have a good time.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. LoDo (attraction)
  2. Hanging Lake (attraction)
  3. Glenwood Canyon (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Amanda from Durango

I have friends in Salt Lake! It is very cold in Denver right now though. I would wait until Spring to hike. There is so much to do in Denver you could easily never run out of fun ideas! Honestly the best places to hike would be in Boulder, CO and surrounding areas (just outside of Denver). 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Denver (city)
  2. Boulder (city)




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