Travel

Colorado Activities

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Chautauqua Trailhead
Bluebell Rd., Chautauqua
In addition to hosting the Chautauqua Organization's lectures, films, and musical performances, this little enclave of summer homes (many of which can still be rented) is home-base for some of the best hiking in Boulder. The classic trail here is the Royal Arch, a two-mile out-and-back that climbs several switchbacks to a section of the flatirons that forms a golden, natural arch and offers sweeping views of the plains, with the city of Boulder laid out below you. From this trailhead, you can also link up with the Mesa Trail, a 7-mile stretch that crawls along the base of the mountains and runs the entire length of the city from North to South. Sure, it's a Boulder pilgrimage to complete the entire thing (down-and-back) in one day, but you can also access it in small pieces.
Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St., Cheesman Park
Located adjacent to (and really a part of) Cheesman Park, the botanic gardens are nestled into one of Denver's nicest and most historic neighborhoods. The gardens themselves are a perfect combination of locally inspired (the Gardens of the West are inspired by Colorado's arid landscape and the hardy plants that evolved to thrive here) and lusher, more ornamental gardens that typify classic gardens anywhere. There are plenty of magical little pockets to explore, and it's particularly beautiful to visit at night. In the summer, they host a live concert series in the round on their largest lawn—arrive a bit early so you can set up a picnic and a lawn chair near the stage.
The Mayan Theatre
110 Broadway, Speer
This Art Deco movie theater, which is a short walk (and even shorter Uber) from the shopping and food on South Broadway, first opened in 1930 and is on Denver's list of historic landmarks. They're always screening hard-to-find shows, and the fact that they're one of the few theaters in town with a liquor license also makes it a great place for date night. Check out their schedule during the Denver Film Festival, when the local film society brings in a slew of interesting indie movies you can't find any other time of year. A warning to the long-legged: The vintage rows are pretty close together.
Washington Park
S. Downing St. & E. Louisiana Ave., Wash Park
Washington Park (known affectionately as Wash Park by Denverites) is one of those places that seems to be busy no matter when you visit. The 155-acre space centers on a lake, complete with a boathouse and swans, and surrounded by well-manicured gardens and plenty of green space where you'll find neighbors throwing the ball for their dogs or picnicking on warm summer nights. The entire park is encircled by a 2.5-mile dirt running path that's always packed with runners, parents with strollers, and power walkers, plus an inner, paved loop that's perfect for roller-bladers and cyclists. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and grills on site.
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