Explore Denver and Beautiful Colorado
Don't let anything you hear about the mile-high altitude
scare you. The air is just thinner and dryer. In fact,
many people with respiratory problems move to Denver for
the benefits of the dry air. Just follow these simple tips and you will very
likely not even notice the difference.
The city of Denver and its immediate neighborhood (including Boulder) is well served by the Denver Regional Transport District (RTD). The CCS 2015 Conference venue is on RTD Light Rail's D, F and H lines (18th St and California), and also served by RTD bus routes 38 and 44. There are two parking garages right next to the conference hotel. Find them here on a map.
Featured activities from October 12-16, 2015:
- Matisse and Friends showcases 14 paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., by artists Henri Matisse, André Derain, Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, and Kees Van Dongen. These artists shocked the art world with their raw approach and triggered a succession of innovative movements in modern art. Working in and around Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, they were part of a creative community that sought to redefine painting, favoring an expressive style that emphasized loose brushwork and bold colors. The exhibition's gallery setting draws inspiration from Matisse's studio, employing vibrant walls, colorful rugs, and plush couches that encourage visitors to sit back and savor the details. (Denver Art Museum)
- Whales: Giants of the Deep is a new exhibition that transports visitors to the vibrant underwater world of the mightiest animals on Earth. Whales explores the latest research about these marine mammals as well as the central role they have played for thousands of years in human cultures. From the traditions of New Zealand's Maori whale riders and the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples of the Pacific Northwest to the international whaling industry and the rise of laws protecting whales from commercial hunting, the exhibition traces the close connections humans and whales have shared for centuries. (Denver Museum of Nature & Science)
- 16th Street Mall Denver's mile-long 16th Street Mall is the heart of the city. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the pedestrian promenade is made of red, white and gray granite in a repeating pattern that, seen from above, resembles the skin of a Diamondback rattlesnake. Free electric shuttle buses travel up and down the Mall, stopping on every corner. Hop on and hop off, the free shuttles come every few minutes and make everything downtown easy to reach.
- Outdoor Activities: The Mile High City and the nearby Rocky Mountains are filled with outdoor recreation thrills for the whole family. Here are just a few of your options.
- Denver Railroads Colorado has one of the most colorful railroad histories in the world. Following the discovery of gold and silver in the Rockies, railroad lines were pushed up nearly every canyon and high pass, making them the lifeline of every mining camp and community in the state.
- Denver Story Trek The Trek leads visitors through a rich variety of Denver neighborhoods, capturing the essence of Denver's heritage and showcasing the vibrant city that it is today. A great experience by car or bus, Denver Story Trek can also be geared to two wheels - on a bicycle. Trek routes include the Cherry Creek Bike Path, Civic Center Park and five landmark "hubs" - Four Mile Historic Park, Byers-Evans House Museum, Molly Brown House Museum, Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and the Black American West Museum.
Mile High Must Do
- Must-Sees at the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum has been bringing phenomenal exhibitions to The Mile High City for decades now. But in 2015 they may have outdone themselves.
- Denver Performing Arts Complex
The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the second largest complex of its kind in the world after the Lincoln Center in New York.
- Rocky Mountain National Park-One of
National Geographic's "Best Trips 2014"
The editors at National Geographic chose wisely when they selected Rocky Mountain National Park as one of their "Best Trips 2014." After all, this almost 100-year-old national park, just 70 miles from Denver, is one of the world's greatest outdoor experiences: 400 square miles (1,036 sq km) of unspoiled scenic beauty, including Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuously paved highway in the USA crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level. The park has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, wildlife and horseback riding. It's a dream come true. Find out what National Geographic thinks are Rocky Mountain National Park's high points.
- Denver is Sports City, USA
Home to seven pro sports teams, Denver is a pro sports paradise during any given year. The NFL's Denver Broncos, led by NFL record-setting QB Peyton Manning, thrill sold out crowds at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies hit homers in downtown's Coors Field. The NBA's Denver Nuggets and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche battle the competition at the Pepsi Center. But these teams are just the beginning of the fun for sports lovers this year.
- Big Happenings at the Denver Museum
of Nature & Science
While the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) has been exciting imaginations of all ages since 1900, 2015 may well be the most exciting in its history, with the addition of a brand new wing with 126,000 square feet and five levels of discovery to the Museum, providing even more space to engage and delight.
- The Craft Beer Capital of the West
Denver has repeatedly been listed as one of the great beer cities of the world and is home to the world's largest single brewing site (Coors Brewery) and the largest beer festival on the planet, the Great American Beer Festival, held in September. More than 200 named beers are produced and served every day in Denver's tap houses, brew pubs, breweries, and gastro pubs, with new breweries opening year-round. Check out some of the newest Denver brews at Beryl's Beer Co., LowDown Brewery & Kitchen, Baere Brewing Company, Fiction Beer Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company, and many more.
- The Incomparable Red Rocks Park &
In 2015, Thrillist voted Red Rocks as one of the "most beautiful music venues in the world," and Rolling Stone named the location "the best outdoor amphitheatre in the U.S." Maybe it's time to see what the buzz is about. Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, a gorgeous 9,000-seat venue, just a short drive from downtown Denver, hosts a spectacular summer concert series from May through September - a show here is on every music lover's bucket list.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is open year-round, with hiking trails that weave around the massive red sandstone rock formations that surround the amphitheatre, not to mention a free Performers' Hall of Fame and the summer series, Film on the Rocks. Can such a great place get even better? You bet: The Colorado Music Hall of Fame has moved into the Red Rocks Trading Post, paying tribute to Centennial State favorites like John Denver and Judy Collins.
- Farm to Table Food and Superstar
There's never been a better time to eat in Denver. For years, Mile High City chefs have been working directly with local farms, utilizing Colorado's bountiful harvest of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and organically raised meats to create dishes that are eco-friendly, innovative and - most importantly - delicious. In Denver, local is always better. The Mile High City's superstar chefs are regulars on everything from The Food Network to Top Chef and make frequent appearances at the famed James Beard House in New York City.
- Open Air Art
Great art isn't just in museums in Denver. All over the city, you'll find gorgeous murals, whimsical sculptures and other kinds of public art that will delight and inspire. Denver's Public Art Program directs 1 percent of any capital improvement project over $1 million be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. As a result, Denver has installed more than 150 works of art all around town.
- The New, Improved Union Station
Denver's Union Station has undergone a massive restoration and redevelopment that has transformed the landmark into a transportation, dining, shopping and entertainment hub, all centered around the new Crawford Hotel. This historic 112-room property opened in August 2014 and offers three styles of rooms. The "Pullman" rooms on the second floor are modeled after the luxury private sleeping cars of old. The "Classic" rooms on the third floor come with tall ceilings and large windows. The former attic area is now the "Loft," featuring exposed wood timbers, vaulted ceilings and a more contemporary design. The hotel shares The Oxford Club Spa with the award-winning Oxford Hotel across the street.
- Denver is an Outdoor Paradise
Denver is all about the outdoors. Whether sipping a craft beer at a café, rafting down a river, biking from park to park, or exploring the natural splendors of the nearby Rocky Mountains, few places offer more opportunities to commune with nature than The Mile High City. And with 300 days of sunshine a year (more annual hours of sun than Miami Beach or San Diego), Denver provides them with plenty of time to do it.
Exploring the city on two wheels has never been easier, thanks to Denver B-cycle, the city's pioneering bike sharing program. Sturdy, red Trek bikes are available at 84 convenient stations across the city for a small fee. Denver has 200 named traditional parks within city limits, offering tennis and basketball courts, jogging paths, paddle boats and picnic tables. But there's nothing traditional about the outdoors in The Mile High City. Denver Mountain Parks is a special division that operates 14,000 acres of rugged terrain in the nearby Rockies, including the highest paved road in North America, Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
Hidden Gems close to Denver
- Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve -- I-70, Exit 254
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- 15013 Denver W. Pkwy., Golden
- Historic Daniels & Fisher Tower Tours -- 1601 Arapahoe St.
- Georgetown -- I-70, Exit 228.
- Colorado Railroad Museum -- 17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden
- Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge -- 6650 Gateway Rd.
- Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield -- 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd. Littleton
- Estes Park -- Hwy. 36 West
- American Mountaineering Museum -- 710 10th St., Golden
- Butterfly Pavilion -- 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster
- Mount Goliath -- I-70, Mount Evans Exit
Other Cities in Colorado
- Vail -- Located 97 miles
west of Denver, driving time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Vail is a year-round playground with a pedestrian village that is lined with upscale shops and outdoor cafes, as well as the largest ski mountain in North America.
DON'T MISS: The stunning Eagle-Bahn Gondola ride, which gives you unparalleled Rocky Mountain views.
- South Park/Fairplay --
Located 85 miles southwest of Denver, driving time:
1 hour, 40 minutes
Experience the best of Colorado's high country in South Park, including skiing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, historic ghost towns and much more.
DON'T MISS: South Park City Museum, a remarkable, "living history" restoration of a 19th-century Colorado mining town.
- Florissant Fossil Beds National
Monument -- Located 108 miles southwest of
Denver, driving time: 2 hours
This fascinating monument is a portion of an ancient lakebed that has preserved almost in its entirety an ecosystem that existed 35 million years ago. Leaf, insect and seed fossils are found throughout the 6,000-acre Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
DON'T MISS: Petrified Forest Walk, a one-mile trail that passes massive, petrified Redwood stumps, an historic excavation site, and a geologic timeline exhibit.
- Salida -- Located 142 miles
southwest of Denver, driving time: 2 hours, 45
Located right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Salida boasts a hopping, historic downtown, with great restaurants, bars and shops, all just steps away from the peacefully flowing Arkansas River. Beyond downtown, enjoy great biking, hiking and rock climbing, among other outdoor pursuits.
DON'T MISS: Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas - there are dozens of outfitters in the area who can cater to all skill levels.
- Aspen -- Located 159 miles
southwest of Denver, driving time: 3 1/2 hours
Known as a hotspot for the rich and famous, Aspen is actually a welcoming, authentic mountain town - with just a touch of glamour. It's consistently rated one of the top by ski and travel experts in the winter, while in the summer, the area attracts mountain bikers, kayakers, zip-liners and other outdoor adventurers.
DON'T MISS: The John Denver Sanctuary, an idyllic location with many of the singer's best-loved songs etched into the rocks - including "Rocky Mountain High," of course.
- Bent's Old Fort National Historic
Site -- Located 181 miles southeast of
Denver, driving time: 3 hours
This painstaking reconstruction of an old adobe fort and trading post takes visitors back to 1845 when Bent's was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Costumed interpreters demonstrate what life was like during the days of the mountain men.
- Curecanti National Recreation
Area -- Located 217 miles southwest of
Denver, driving time: 4 hours
Explore Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado's largest water area, made up of three lakes (Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal), all created by dams on the Gunnison River. Enjoy the starkly beautiful landscapes and water sports all summer long.
DON'T MISS: The amazing Morrow Point Boat Tours through the upper Black Canyon within Curecanti.
- Crested Butte -- Located 229
miles southwest of Denver, driving time 4 hours, 20
Known as both "Colorado's Last Great Ski Town" and "The Wildflower Capital of Colorado," Crested Butte has just about everything an outdoor enthusiast desires: skiing, mountain biking, hiking, wildflower viewing, kayaking, fly-fishing, climbing and plenty more.
DON'T MISS: Crested Butte Summit Trail, which takes you to the summit of Crested Butte Mountain through tall timber, across tundra, and a screefield. If you don't feel like making the trip down, you can take the chairlift!
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
& Reserve -- Located 235 miles southwest
of Denver, driving time: 4 hours
This astonishing natural wonder contains some of the highest inland sand dunes in the world. Located at the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes rise to heights of 800 feet/252 meters. You can walk, climb and even ski the dunes!
DON'T MISS: The refreshing Medano Creek, where you can splash, swim and relax with the magnificent dunes all around.
- Colorado National Monument
-- Located 255 miles west of Denver, driving time 4
Colorado National Monument is an area of fantastic red rock canyons, monoliths, pillars and cliffs, with self-guided walking trails and a visitor center, as well as numerous pull-offs offering spectacular views.
DON'T MISS: Rimrock Drive, which follows a scenic course around the canyon's rim, 2,000 feet / 610 meters above the floor of Grand Valley.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison
NAtional Park -- Located 262 miles southwest
of Denver, driving time: 5 hours
Discover the most spectacular 12-mile section of a 53-mile-long gorge carved by the Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers many hiking trails, including one that takes you down the 2,000-foot high gorge to the river at the bottom.
DON'T MISS: The paved road that circles the rim of the canyon, offering many thrilling viewpoints over the lip, which at some points drops a half-mile down!
- Dinosaur National Monument
-- Located 297 miles northwest of Denver; driving
time: 5 hours
About 140 million years ago, this area of northwestern Colorado was a marshy lowland inhabited by hundreds of prehistoric creatures. Today, Dinosaur National Monument one of the world's richest deposits of dinosaur and reptile fossils.
DON'T MISS: The Dinosaur Visitor Center, where you can watch workmen dig away barren rock and expose fossil bone. Exhibits include one of the rarest fossil finds in the world - an infant Stegosaurus.