Rocky Mountains, Denver
Nothing but you, a few friends, a family of elk, and a bald eagle. That—plus a lot of fresh air in a series of jaw-dropping locations—is the general idea of this trip. While MT Sobek offers excursions and hikes and adventure travel all over the world, not much can beat a view of the Rocky Mountains from 10,000 feet. You’ll hike up to a dozen miles a day and raft for about eleven miles—but this isn’t the kind of Outward Bound–style trip where you have to pitch your own tent and kill your own dinner. (You stay in a hotel every night.) After a week, you’ll come home a stronger, fitter, more well-adjusted human.
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.
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.
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.
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