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Denver is the capital of Colorado and the largest city in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States.
Known as “The Mile-High City”, Denver sits at an altitude of 5,280 feet (1,600 m) above sea level and lies where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Denver is a large city and one of the fastest growing in the U.S.
The Denver skyline
Denver is a bustling city of more than 600,000 people supporting a fast-growing metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people.
The city embraces its cowboy and mining past but also looks toward the future with a vibrant arts and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, and distinct neighborhoods each offering a unique experience.
You’ll find everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer including a spectacular view of and easy access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which are only 12 miles (19 km) west of town.
Denver does have its growing pains. Urban sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation.
Denver is generally a driving city, and some problems with pollution and traffic are a part of everyday life. Large mass transportation and freeway expansion projects have recently been completed, including the popular light rail system.
Denver residents enjoy a temperate climate and about 300 days of sunshine per year, with four pronounced seasons.
Although known for its heavy snowfalls, which can occur between October and April, Denver experiences average winter temperatures warmer than those of cities along Mid-Atlantic and New England.
The city typically receives about 60 inches (153 cm) of snow per year, averaging about one storm per season totaling 12 inches (30 cm) or more.
While daytime temperature typically rise to the 40s (4-9 °C), evenings cool considerably, often dropping into the teens. “Chinook” winds, which warm as they descend from the mountains can occasionally bring unseasonably warm temperatures for days at a time.
If you’re planning to visit Denver during the winter, be prepared with full winter gear just in case, but also pack a light sweater and t-shirt.
Evening thunderstorms are common in late spring and fall.
Spring in Denver is pleasant, though generally rather brief.
Trees begin budding by late March and are in full leaf by mid April to mid May. March, on average, is Denver’s snowiest month.
By June, Denver enters its summer season. Temperatures typically rise in earnest at this time, with most heat waves beginning in mid-June and continuing through July, usually Denver’s hottest month with temperatures in the high 80’s to mid-90’s (31-35 °C). By late July, the southwest monsoon kicks in.
In August, short spells of thunderstorms occur about three to four days per week. By late August, temperatures begin to drop with a noticeable difference between day time and night time temperatures.
As the days get shorter through September and October, daytime temperatures drop to the high 50’s to mid-60’s (14-18 °C). Slather on that sunscreen all summer long; the rays are strong and the air is dry, with temperatures often reaching the upper 90s (~35 °C)in July and August.
Autumn is a peaceful time to visit, with mild temperatures, little severe weather and lots of that famous clear blue sky.
You’ll get to see the trees display their fall colours, which usually peak around mid-September in the mountains and October in the city itself.
October usually brings the first snowfall of the season to Denver, although it’s very light. By November, it’s clear that winter is on its way, with plenty of clouds, some snow and much cooler temperatures.
Learn about invertebrates, science and conservation through fun, interactive exhibits ideal for families with kids.
All ages enjoy visiting their tropical conservatory, which is filled with 1,200 free-flying butterflies.
A huge amusement park with rides and family entertainment.
Open last weekend in May-first M of Sep (Labor Day).
A throwback from Denver’s past, Lakeside is an amusement park like they used to make; without all the corporate branding and commercialism.
While it may have a somewhat seedy exterior, Lakeside is still a staple of local kids’ upbringings, and remains a fixture of Denver culture as well as a much cheaper alternative to Elitch Gardens.
Coaster buffs will squeal with glee over the Cyclone, the park’s original 1940 Edward Vettel-designed wood coaster.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, Martin Luther King Parade, Indian Market, Mile High Snowfest.
Colorado Garden and Home Show, Denver Restaurant Week, Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Party.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Denver March Powwow, Starz Global Lens Film Festival.
Doors Open Denver, Colorado Rockies Home Opener, KBCO Kinetics.
Cinco de Mayo, Tesoro Indian Market and Powwow, Downtown Denver Festival of the Arts, Denver Day of Rock, Colorado Colfax Marathon also includes Denver’s Navy Week.
Colorado Renaissance Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, Comcast La Piazza dell’Arte, Do At The Zoo, PrideFest, The People’s Fair, Highland Street Fair.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, The INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, Colorado Irish Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Evergreen Jazz Festival.
A Taste of Colorado, Brew At The Zoo, Annual Oktoberfest, Festival Italiano, Denver Beer Fest.
Fright Fest, Great American Beer Festival, Denver Mariachi Festival, Denver Marathon.
Denver Arts Week, Starz International Film Festival, Denver International Wine Festival, Downtown Denver, Grand Illumination.
Mile High Holidays, Blossoms of Light, Zoo Lights, 9News Parade of Lights, New Year’s Eve Downtown Fireworks.
The Denver International Airport main terminal
Denver International Airport commonly referred to as DIA, it’s about 18 miles (29 km) northeast of downtown.
Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all maintain hubs in Concourses A, B, and C respectively. Most other major domestic carriers also have service here.
In addition, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, British Airways, Icelandair, Lufthansa, and Volaris offer service to international destinations.
Frontier Airlines discount carrier with its hub at DIA’s Concourse A and service to and from over 60 cities in the United States, Mexico, and Central America.
United Airlines the largest carrier at the airport, with service across the nation and the world from Concourse B.
Southwest Airlines the quintessential discount airline maintains its fastest-growing hub in Concourse C.
The airport is set amidst rolling plains with the towering Rocky Mountains and Denver to the west. DIA is somewhat far from any conceivable local destination.
The public transportation service SkyRide offers five bus routes from the airport with several stops each, delivering you to many “Park and Ride” locations in the metro area for $9-$12 one way. Purchase tickets at the RTD desk in the main terminal.
The airport can be crowded due to a post-9/11 security redesign that created a single central screening station, followed by a train that passengers must take to Concourses B and C.
It can take up to an hour to get from the ticket line to the gate, so travelers should get to the airport at least 1.5 hours before their scheduled departure time.
There are a number of airport shuttles you can take from DIA to the city and destinations in the mountains.