Things to do in/around Denver?

steelphantom

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 15, 2005
555
1
My family will visiting my aunt and uncle in Denver, CO (actually, Parker, to be specific) in a few weeks, and I was just wondering if any MacRumorers knew of some cool things to do while in the area. We'll be there for about a week, so there should be plenty of time to see the sights in Denver. I'm only 18 and my brother is 15, so please don't recommend any bars or other such 21-or-over establishments, please. :D

We'll be driving out from Pennsylvania, too, so if there are some interesting things to see while on our drive throughout the midwest, let me know! And whatever you do, please don't reccommend the world's largest twine ball. :rolleyes:
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
1,401
0
CO
Let's see....

Water World
One of the largest water parks in North America, Water World is loads of fun - it's been very hot here lately as well, so definitely consider visiting. You can pick up discounted tickets/packages at a local King Soopers (our major grocer)

Colorado Rockies
I know, I know - they're not the best baseball team ever, but they're doing well this year...anyway, the number one reason to attend a game is the stadium itself. It's fun to walk through, and it even has a line of purple seats that encircles the entire stadium that's exactly one mile high - definitely a good picture moment for tourists....Oh, and tickets are rock bottom cheap. You can sit in the "rockpile" for 4 bucks a pop.

Sixteenth Street Mall
Some of the finest retail in the West, 16th street mall is a terrific place to grab a good, cheap hot dog from a hot dog stand, browse over 100 shops, and even watch a movie in the Pavilions.

The Denver Aquarium
They recently remodeled this place, and I haven't been there since...but it was fantastic before, so I'm sure it's even better now. This is also near the Rockies stadium and 16th street mall.

The Denver Mint
Tours are free, but they require reservations. The Denver Mint is, in addition to the Philadelphia Mint, the only mint in the United States that produces coins. It's a lot more fun to watch than it sounds - they make a lot of pennies....a lot of pennies...

Hike. Bike. Fish. Climb. Get outside, it's Denver! Either way, you'll have a great time.

Hope this helps.
 

hmmfe

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
239
57
In addition to all of the suggestions above, I'd suggests getting out of town for a day and go to Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. It is not that far away, but you'll spend the entire day. I like entering the park from the western (Grand Lake) entrance. Trail Ridge road opened one week early this year and is an amazing drive. The end of the road is Estes Park which is an interesting place as well (you can go see the hotel from The Shining).

If you don't have that much time on your hands, I'd suggest a quick trip up Mt. Evans. It is the highest paved road in N. America. The parking area at the top is 14,130 ft. You can climb the last 134 feet. Toll is $10.00. You can grab a quick bite in Idaho Springs on the way back.

Very near Parker is Castlewood Canyon. It is a state park. Nice quick day hike if you are into such things.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
487
A geographical oddity
Go driving west on US-40. It's a brilliant road in the summer time (I have a feeling it's a nightmare in the winter), winding through the mountains and such towards Steamboat Springs.

There is a bookstore just beyond the 16th Street Mall - I can't remember the name of it, but I'm sure someone here knows what I'm talking about. I thought it was a pretty cool place to check out if you happened to be down there already. Not worth a special trip on it's own, but something to kill an hour or so.
 

steelphantom

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 15, 2005
555
1
Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! We are probably going to visit at least the Denver Mint, Water World, and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Hopefully we'll be able to take US-40 for at least some of the trip. About this book store: is it a used book store or something, or is it more in the league of a Barnes and Noble type thing? I'm kind of curious, and I might want to go check it out if we have time.

Diddiyo: Have you ever visited Elitch Gardens? I took a look at the park map and such and it doesn't seem to offer quite as much as other Six Flags parks. I'd like to get a feel for what I should expect if we decide to go there.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
1
Seattle
steelphantom said:
Diddiyo: Have you ever visited Elitch Gardens? I took a look at the park map and such and it doesn't seem to offer quite as much as other Six Flags parks. I'd like to get a feel for what I should expect if we decide to go there.
I've been, its ok. The roller coasters are pretty fun. And there is the tower of doom which is just a drop, but it gives you that crappy feeling.

Oh and if you pay more money you can do the thing where they put you in a harness and hoist you up and drop you so you swing in an arc, thats way fun.
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
5
American Riviera
steelphantom said:
About this book store: is it a used book store or something, or is it more in the league of a Barnes and Noble type thing? I'm kind of curious, and I might want to go check it out if we have time.
The Tattered Cover is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, I think. They have an excellent selection, atmosphere, yadda yadda yadda. Check it out if you have a chance.

Tattered Cover
 

steelphantom

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 15, 2005
555
1
I've been, its ok. The roller coasters are pretty fun. And there is the tower of doom which is just a drop, but it gives you that crappy feeling.

Oh and if you pay more money you can do the thing where they put you in a harness and hoist you up and drop you so you swing in an arc, thats way fun.
Well, I probably won't go to Elitch Gardens then. It's probably fun, but compared to a lot of other parks it seems pretty mediocre. I'll be making the trip to Cedar Point later this summer and it doesn't seem like Six Flags will quite stack up. Our time might be better spent elsewhere.
At least, don't forget to visit world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater!

You may also want to visit Body Worlds 2 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

There also Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum, with a B-1A Lancer indoors as well as a full-scale replica of a Star Wars X-Wing Fighter!

Got some Tony Hawk in ya? Check out Denver Skatepark.

Hungry? You gotta eat at Casa Bonita!
I'd love to go check out Red Rocks! The photos on the web site make it look so cool! I really want to eat at Casa Bonita too, if only just to say that I went there. After seeing that South Park episode, it would be awesome to see it in real life! It's Black Bart's cave you guys! :D
The Tattered Cover is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, I think. They have an excellent selection, atmosphere, yadda yadda yadda. Check it out if you have a chance.

Tattered Cover
I'll try to get this in during the trip. It looks like they have three locations. Which one should I visit?
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,981
450
The Centennial State
steelphantom said:
I'd love to go check out Red Rocks! The photos on the web site make it look so cool!
Yeah, and the pictures don't even do it justice. In person, it is just awesome. Try and get there on a non-concert day. Then you can probably wander around more, including walking onto the stage and backstage some.
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
5
American Riviera
steelphantom said:
I'll try to get this in during the trip. It looks like they have three locations. Which one should I visit?
I think they are moving the Cherry Creek location, and I've never been to the Highlands Park one. I guess that leaves LoDo :).

Have fun
 

steelphantom

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 15, 2005
555
1
Yeah, and the pictures don't even do it justice. In person, it is just awesome. Try and get there on a non-concert day. Then you can probably wander around more, including walking onto the stage and backstage some.
Doesn't look like there will be too many concerts when we'll be there, so we should be able to check it out when there's nothing going on.
I think they are moving the Cherry Creek location, and I've never been to the Highlands Park one. I guess that leaves LoDo :) .

Have fun
Sounds good! I'll try to make that one of our stops on the trip. After we visit Casa Bonita, of course... :p

 

XNine

macrumors 68040
Tattered cover is awesome. Red Rocks is awesome. I saw Tool when they were good (Aenima tour) there and when it got dark out the sky and the show itself were truly amazing.

Denver really isn't that great. People here think it's a "Big City" but compared to Dallas, Chicago, or L.A. It's not. Most everything shuts down at 9, bars at midnight or 2. Denver... Sucks.

If you have the chance, take a tour of the Pepsi Center as well. One of the best venues/arenas around period. Extremely nice, and the food is great.

And I'll have to get the crossroads, but downtown there's a small church nestled right between two large office towers and it's so out of place. Take pics, it's pretty cool.

Edit: Don't actually eat the food at Casa Bonita.
 

leftbanke7

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2004
746
1
West Valley City, Utah
Last time I was in Denver, my friend and I went to the Second City and watched a performance called "Red Scare". It was a riot. I would highly recommend it.

Coincidently, I will be moving to Denver this weekend.
 

jaydub

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
797
2
haha Casa Bonita, man that brings back memories (and I hated their food)
 

XNine

macrumors 68040
leftbanke7 said:
Last time I was in Denver, my friend and I went to the Second City and watched a performance called "Red Scare". It was a riot. I would highly recommend it.

Coincidently, I will be moving to Denver this weekend.
Aha! a fifth MR member in Denver. Woot! Our numbers are growing!

Oh, and for anyone that likes bars, there's a place off of Arapahoe just east of I-25 called JD's Baitshop. Great bar. Hot waitresses, great environment, very little BS and fights. Old and young alike hang out there with no problems. Everyone's cool there. One of my favorite bars.

Also, America's Bar off of Illiff and Chambers has ****ing awesome green chili-cheese fries.
 

floriflee

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2004
2,707
1
Casa Bonita is only good for the entertainment. The food pretty much stinks, but the atmosphere is good family fun. I went there with some friends a couple of times when I was in high school (back when the hormones were raging all over the place) and we were gaga over the divers. :D

In any case, there's also Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which is a bit south of Denver. It has some really cool rock structures (and it's free from what I recall) and makes for a nice, relaxed nature walk.

Maybe check out a Rockies game?
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
487
A geographical oddity
While most of the places you sound like you want to go to are near enough to each other, I think you've got enough suggestions to last you close to a month. Hope you enjoy it.

As a caveat, I just thought I would echo Oni's comments about Denver. Lori might remember the last time I got on my Denver soapbox, I was complaining about the same thing. It's a small town that tries to act like a big city (compare with Seattle which is a City that feels like a small town - it's really nice) and tends to create somewhat overly annoying people. But, there is enough around Denver to make things a good bit of fun.