5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Denver, CO

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Denver.

City Park

With views of the city and the mountains in the distance, and plenty of open green space, City Park is definitely one of the best places for a picnic in Denver. The park is home to two large lakes (Ferrill Lake and Duck Lake) as well as the Denver Zoo. There are trails throughout the park, an open meadow on the East Side, and several designated Picnic Sites. 

Cheesman Park

A stone pavilion of classic architectural design (likely Roman inspired), fountains, large meadows of open space for laying down a picnic blanket, and paths lined with trees and benches. Cheesman Park is made for relaxing in the sun, enjoying the company of family and friends, and for sandwiches that always taste better when they come from a picnic basket. Cheesman Park is also home to the Denver Botanic Gardens, a great place to explore and marvel at nature when visiting this park.

Hudson Gardens

Located just south of Denver is this oasis made of tranquil waterways, bridges, lush foliage, and blooming flowers. There are several places to explore in Hudson Gardens (free to the public) and plenty of spots to take a break for a picnic lunch. Concerts are often held in the evenings as well. 

Washington Park

If you’re looking for a picnic with stunning mountain views in the distance, Washington Park is the place to be. Settle on a bench along the lake, looking out of the water to the trees and the mountains in the distance. There are several playgrounds and well-kept picnic sites throughout the park as well as groves of trees that light up like magic during a sunset when the rays of the sun peer through the leaves.

Alamo Placita Park

Alamo Placita Park is a beautifully, carefully designed park with gardens of vibrant flowers and paths shaded by trees of every kind. It is also one of the smaller, quieter parks in Denver, but with just as much space for lounging on a picnic blanket or tossing the ball around with your dog. 

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Denver, CO

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO 80465

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an open-air amphitheatre built into a rock structure in the western United States, near Morrison, Colorado, ten miles west of Denver. A large, tilted, disc-shaped rock is located behind the stage, a huge vertical rock angled outwards from stage right, several large outcrops angled outwards from stage left, and a seating area for up to 9,525. The amphitheater’s top row elevation is approximately 6,450 feet above sea level, and the surrounding Red Rocks Park covers 868 acres.  The audience faces east-northeast, toward southern Denver, with the skyline of downtown visible to the left.

Molly Brown House Museum

1340 Pennsylvania Street, Denver, CO 80203

The Molly Brown House Museum is a house that was the home of American philanthropist, activist, and socialite Margaret Brown. Brown was also known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” because she survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The museum, now located in her former home, presents exhibits interpreting her life and that of Victorian Denver as well as historical preservation. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It is designated as a Denver Landmark.

Elitch Gardens

2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO 80204

Thrilling rides. Entertaining shows. Refreshing water slides. Two parks for the price of one await you at Colorado’s coaster capital, Elitch Gardens. Give your family a much-needed escape at the area’s #1 theme and water park. Water Park is FREE with Theme Park admission from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Two parks, for one admission price, with unlimited rides for everyone in the family. Elitch Gardens is Colorado’s must-see destination.

Larimer Square

1530 16th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202

Best Shopping, Restaurants, and Entertainment in Downtown Denver at Larimer Square.  The buildings along Larimer Square are now home to an inspired mix of independent shops, chef-driven restaurants, lively bars, and wellness and beauty services.  You’ll find everything from one-of-a-kind fashion to vibrant nightlife—all with our signature canopy of lights above.

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Best Hikes Near #Denver

Summer is nearly upon us, which means you’re probably starting to think about ways to enjoy The Great Outdoors! Hiking is one of the most rewarding summer activities – you explore new areas, get in touch with nature, and get great exercise.

If you’re in Denver, you’ve come to the right place. The Mile High City is located in the Rocky Mountains near many, many trails and the town has quite a hiking culture. So, if you find yourself there this summer you should definitely get out on the trails. We’ve got a list of awesome hikes you can do in the Greater Denver area to get you started.

Wild Basin

Not sure if you want to do a quick hike or a longer, challenging one? Wild Basin is the park for you. It has a mix of short trails to scenic points and treks up to 12 miles. There is an assortment of waterfalls and lakes to view, so the whole area is very photogenic.

Wild Basin is part of Rocky Mountain National Park, so if you’re a National Parks Passport holder, you can get that stamped!

Red Rocks Park

If you’re looking for an easy hike that’s pretty close to Denver, drive just half an hour to Red Rocks Park. The park has a couple of loop trail options where you can view cool, towering red rock formations.

This area is also the home of the outdoor concert venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater (and its accompanying restaurant) so you could follow up your hike with dinner and a show if you wanted to make a full day of it!

Comanche-Venable Loop

Looking for something more extreme? If you want to go backpacking on a long trail, try the Comanche-Venable Loop. It’s a little over 12 miles and makes for a great trail on which to camp overnight!

While it’s possible to complete the one in one day, we recommend you make a weekend of it since it’s located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness about 4 hours from Denver. Plus, you’ll gain about 3,600 feet in elevation during the hike!

Bergen Peak

Don’t have a full weekend to make the trek all the way to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness but still want a challenge? Bergen Peak is for you. This hike is about 9 miles and rated difficult, but is only about a half-hour drive from Denver and can be more easily completed in a day.

The hike is located near the small town of Evergreen in the Colorado foothills. The trail will take you through prairie and pine forests up onto a ridge. You’ll gain about 2100 feet in elevation and enjoy panoramic views.

Garden of the Gods

For a hike in a famous park that many try to check off their bucket lists, drive south just under 90 minutes to Garden of the Gods.  The park, which also has a Nature Center, contains over 21 miles of trails winding through stunning landscapes of sandstone formations.

This is a great location for families and beginners, with trails ranging from easy to moderate and guided nature walks. Despite the hikes being on the easier side, the scenery is still beautiful enough that you get a great payoff!

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Denver

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Denver this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

See a Concert

Electronic rock duo Zed’s Dead will be playing shows in Denver over 4th of July weekend. On the 2nd and 3rd at 5 pm, they’ll be at the beautiful Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. You can make a full evening of it by dining at Ship Rock Grille or make a full day of it by adding on a hike. The Red Rocks Trail winds for 6 miles around the park and Amphitheatre, giving you up-close views of the impressive red rock monoliths dotting the landscape.

On Independence Day, Zeds Dead will be playing at Mission Ballroom in Denver, at 9 pm. If you want to spend the day partying with the band, find them in the heart of the city at Sculpture Park, where they’re throwing a Deadbeats July 4th Backyard Jamboree. They’ve promised music, art, food, and games. Tickets are on sale now.

Go to a Baseball Game

As the ultimate American pastime, baseball pairs perfectly with Independence Day! And the Colorado Rockies just happen to be playing the St. Louis Cardinals this year at home on July 4th. The afternoon game starts at 1:10 pm and you can get seats for under $50. Make sure to stay through the end of the game for the spectacular fireworks show Coors Field will be putting on! And of course, it wouldn’t be July 4th without enjoying a hot dog.

Four Mile Historic Park

Denver’s open-air museum celebrating 19th-century life, Four Mile Historic Park, will be hosting an Independence Celebration where you can “channel the spirit of the American West” on Friday, July 2nd. The event takes place from 5-9 pm and tickets range under $15. There will be crafts, activities, prairie games, live music, and food trucks! Then at sundown, they’ll be doing a fireworks show. Make a full day of it by exploring the park, checking out the farm animals, log cabins, and Denver’s oldest structure, the Four Mile House Museum. Tickets to the park for adults are only $5.

Water World

Cooling off in the pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Denver conveniently has an outdoor water park where you can do just that! Family-friendly Water World is back open this season with some new health and safety guidelines in place. This huge park has a wide variety of activities available, from those specifically designed for little kids, to activities for thrill-seekers, to those for adults who just want to relax. And if you fall into the last category, you can also rent a private cabana for the day.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Denver

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Denver Botanic Gardens

1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206

The Denver Botanic Gardens is a public botanical garden located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. The 23-acre park contains a conservatory, a variety of theme gardens, and a sunken amphitheater, which hosts various concerts in the summer.

Centennial Gardens

1301 Elitch Cir, Denver, CO 80204

Just steps away from Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park and the South Platte River, the Centennial Flower Gardens are a must-see for anyone with an interest in gardening. The gardens are patterned after the Gardens of Versailles, with paths and patterned flowerbeds showcasing native species along with other flowers that grow well in Colorado’s arid climate. This is an excellent spot for a refreshing afternoon stroll.

Andrews Arboretum

1560 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

Andrews Arboretum is a small arboretum located on the east side of Broadway between Grandview and Marine Streets in Boulder, Colorado, United States. It is open every day free of charge. The arboretum was established in 1948 by Miss Maud Reed, a former botany teacher at Boulder High School. 

The Hudson Gardens & Event Center

661 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80120

The Hudson Gardens & Event Center is a botanical garden and event venue located in Littleton, Colorado, 12 miles southwest of Denver. The property is composed of thirty acres of garden exhibits, trails, natural terrain, and event venues. The gardens opened to the public in June 1996.

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Best Views around Denver to See the #Landscape

Everyone loves a stunning landscape photo! Nestled at the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is the perfect place to get some stellar landscape views. After all, being in “The Mile High City” gives you an advantage when it comes to getting a bird’s eye view. We’ve rounded up some of the best spots for you below.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

This concert venue has absolutely stunning views of the hilly, red rock landscape around Denver. The amphitheater is located just 30 minutes outside of the city. At an elevation of 6,000 feet, you know you’re getting a phenomenal view! It’s a historic concert venue with nature-made acoustics and they also host fun events there, like yoga classes.

Linger

Looking for more of a cityscape when it comes to your view? Linger is your spot! This former mortuary (I know, let’s just forget that part) is now an eclectic, high-end bar and restaurant. They have a rooftop lounge with one of the best views of the Denver skyline. Their menu is made up of creative small plates and craft cocktails, so you can make your stomach happy while you feast your eyes on the view.

Mount Falcon Park

Not here for the cityscapes? If you want all-natural landscapes, Mount Falcon Park is a great place to see them. The park is just under 30 minutes from the city (it’s quite close to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and they could easily be paired for a day of hunting for views) and offers lots of hiking trails with stunning views. Try the 3.9 mile Upper Loop Trail for Rocky Mountain views or the Castle Loop Trail to see historic ruins sitting in the landscape of rock formations and bush-dotted hills.

Peaks Lounge

Denver is already a mile high, but sometimes you need to get even higher. Climb up to the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency and you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the whole Denver landscape, from the city to the mountains and plains beyond. Peaks Lounge, the restaurant at the top of the hotel, serves up sustainable food and craft beer in a chic modern setting.

Chautauqua Park

On the outskirts of the nearby city of Boulder, there’s an urban park that opens right up to the Flatirons with tons of trails.  Founded in 1898 as one of the first steps by the city to preserve wild lands, the park considered a National Historic Landmark! The park is so beautiful that it is a popular location for weddings and retreats and also has cabins onsite for year-round lodging. If you don’t have time to do one of the longer hikes (try to make time, though, they’re worth it) you can still get a lovely view about a mile in at the Chautauqua Trail Overlook.

Lariat Loop

Hiking isn’t for everybody. And if you can’t, or don’t, hike you can still get awesome views from your car. West of Denver is the Lariat Loop, a National Scenic Byway. You can easily make a day of it stopping at scenic overlooks, landmarks, shops, and galleries.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Denver

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

The Bagel Deli and Restaurant

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Denver, there’s no better place for brunch than The Bagel Deli and Restaurant. It’s a classic, family-run Jewish deli that has been a Denver staple for 53 years! They’ve recently re-opened their dine-in services, but if you want to be extra careful, their food travels well. Invite mom’s closest friends and family to your house for a brunch gathering, and then pick up lox and bagels, challah French toast, cheesecake, and blintzes to feed everyone. You know it serves up good food when Guy Fieri has featured it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives.

Centennial Gardens

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Centennial Gardens. This 5-acre park is stately and well-manicured, yet uses native plants in its formal beds. It’s a lovely spot to relax and you’ll feel transported to Versailles! After you eat, you can take a stroll on one of the paved trails that go through the park. Public restrooms are also available.

Mother’s Day Tea

Do you and your mom like feeling fancy? Cherokee Ranch & Castle will be hosting a Mother’s Day Tea at 2 pm on Sunday, May 9th. You’ll be enjoying an English-style tea that includes scones, finger sandwiches, and more. The experience is unique and elegant – dress attire is encouraged. Afterward, you can embark on a tour through the castle.

Terrarium Workshop

Is that mom in your life fun-loving and young at heart? It might be nice to plan an activity that you can both do together, like the Succulent & Crystal Terrarium Workshop at Barquentine Brewery. The event will be hosted by Lauren from ELEPH Succulent Boutique and all materials will be provided. Your ticket also comes with one beer from the brewery’s huge list of craft brews. As a bonus, if the mom in your life still has young kids, this event is both kid-friendly and dog-friendly so the whole family can get crafting together

Rioja

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Rioja, a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Denver, located in historic Larimer square. The restaurant is known for its delicious wine selection and locally sourced ingredients. Chef Jennifer Jasinski made history in 2013 when she became the first woman in Denver to win the James Beard award for Best Chef Southwest!

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Best Car Washes in Denver, Colorado

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Denver, Colorado. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Denver has to offer.

First, we recommend Mile High Customs. Not only does this shop offer interior and exterior detailing, they also offer vinyl wraps, window tint, ceramic coating, and cleaning of your wheels and tires. They service all kinds of vehicles, from trucks to SUV’s, from cars and sedans, to sports cars and vans. All car washes and detailing work requires an appointment, so call or go online to book your appointment today. You’ll also be given a quote depending on the work you need done.

Second, we suggest Steve’s Detailing & Hand Car Wash. This shop boasts 32 years of detailing experience in the city of Denver. As their name says, they specialize in handwashing your vehicle to be the gentlest they can possibly be with the exterior of your car. They will clean your engine bay by hand, polish your paint, wax your car, trim your chrome, seal and clean all rubber, vacuum the interior from top to bottom, and much more. Call or go online to book your appointment today.

Finally, Finish Line Car Wash & Detail Centers might be your best bet. This shop offers several different packages depending on what you’d like done. Come on in and just wash your car or enjoy a full detailing package to make it look like new. You might also enjoy purchasing an annual package which includes a yearlong membership for a clean car. Join their VIP Club Plan and you will save over 20% on your car wash if you wash your car every week. Any service they offer can be chosen for your VIP Club Plan. Mix and match your perfect combination to keep your car looking gorgeous. With services such as headlight restoration, odor elimination, carpet shampoo, and leather seat cleaning, you really can’t go wrong at the Finish Line.

If you’d like to save a little money and be done in five minutes or less, you can visit some local drive through car washes as well, such as Shiny Happy Car Wash on E. Colfax Ave., Car Wash USA Express on Santa Fe Dr., or Eco Express Car Wash on Colorado Blvd. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Denver, Colorado, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Denver

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Denver and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Denver that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

The Curtis

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than The Curtis, A Doubletree by Hilton. The themed rooms are unique and hip, and every bit of the hotel is bursting with artwork, personality, color, fun lighting, and surprises. It might just be the most Instagrammable spot in the city! Dine-in during your stay at the most exciting restaurant in Denver, The Corner Office Restaurant & Martini Bar, which offers a global menu made of fresh ingredients. Other amenities in the hotel include complimentary Wi-Fi, an old-school 5 & Dime Gift Shop, a Starbucks, an impressive art collection, and a business center. Up to two pets are allowed per room for $25/day (but they’ll only charge you a maximum of $50 if you stay longer than two days).

Airbnb House

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this house on Airbnb, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and a fenced-in yard. This Airbnb is ideal if you’re traveling with kids or friends and want a base that feels like home while you explore both downtown Denver and the surrounding parks, ski trails, and mountains. There are two beds as well as four spots on the couches to sleep additional people. The host, Lane, is an experienced Airbnb Superhost and has earned fantastic reviews for the house’s charming, homey atmosphere and the many on-site houseplants.

The Westin Denver International Airport

Downtown Denver is a solid half-hour drive from the airport, so if you and your pet have an early flight, you may want to stay somewhere close to Denver International. Book a room at The Westin Denver International Airport, which is practically located on the tarmac. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a runway view from your hotel room window and a quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a luxurious stay at this high-end hotel, with access to farm-to-table dining, an indoor pool and hot tub, and soundproof rooms and suites. Pets up to 40 lbs. are welcome.

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#WonderfulPlaces in Denver to Order International Meals that Quell Your Wanderlust

Most of us are experiencing major wanderlust these days as the pandemic has prevented everyone from traveling as much as they would like. A creative way to explore other countries without even leaving your home is by delving into authentic cuisine. Here are some highly-rated Denver restaurants with pickup and delivery options so you can sample the world’s many flavors and stay safe from COVID, too:

Burma: Urban Burma

Owner Siri Tan opened the very first Burmese restaurant in Colorado and people are loving it! It’s earned rave reviews for its affordable, delicious food that includes curries, noodles, and tea leaf salads. Most dishes can be made Vegan or Vegetarian upon request, too!

Cuba: Cuba Cuba Café & Bar

This family-owned restaurant is super festive with its front lawn palm tree and salsa music pumping. But you can bring that Caribbean vibe home with no-contact delivery or pickup. You can choose from delicious Cuban foods – like traditional Cuban sandwiches – of course, but you should also take your meal to the next level with a cocktail like a mojito to accompany it. The bar has the largest selection of exotic rums in Denver!

Syria: Jasmine Syrian Food

Get your Middle Eastern food fix at this lovely small business with friendly staff and authentic cuisine. They have all the standard fare like hummus, kabobs, shawarma, rice, baba ghanoush, and more! You can also try more unique options like Syrian pizza, or satisfy your sweet tooth with knaffa or baklava.

North Africa & Mediterranean: Sudan Cafe

If you can’t quite decide on one country to visit through food, Sudan Café has you covered with a variety of Ethiopian, Sudanese and Mediterranean dishes. The fresh foods served here are packed with veggies, spices, and herbs!

Vietnam: Anise: Modern Vietnamese Eatery

This restaurant’s Owner and Executive Chef hails from Saigon and named her restaurant after star anise, a spice native to Vietnam. Their motto is “fresh, healthy, fun” and their food strives to fit that description. They have an assortment of banh mi, pho, spring rolls, lemongrass bowls, curries, stir frys, and more. If you want something stronger, they also carry sake and a variety of Japanese whiskies.

Germany: Rhein Haus Denver

With its indoor bocce ball courts, Rhein Haus Denver is a fun place to spend a day with friends – but they’re also offering takeout and no-contact delivery so you can enjoy their German cuisine at home. This includes spätzle, schnitzel, apple strudel, giant pretzels, an assortment of bratwursts, and of course, beer.

India: Serene Cuisine of India

Wanting something a bit spicier? You’ll find it at this restaurant where they prepare authentic Indian food using traditional methods and fresh ingredients, including good-for-you spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Try a specialty masala, a fiery vindaloo, or a traditional curry!

Russia: Masha and the Bear Russian Café

This cozy, family-style café takes pride in creating dishes inspired by Russian and other Eastern European cuisine, while improving on the traditional dishes in innovative ways. From borscht and beef stroganoff to cabbage rolls and more, you’re sure to find some comfort food here.

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