As travelers, we gravitate toward the places that we imagine will bear us on the wings of fresh experience; the places that without question offer a potpourri of adventure and culture and beauty. After all, such places fuel the self-discovery we long for, consciously or otherwise, when we make the choice to pack up our bags and take to the road.
One such place is Denver, Colorado. Cheap hotels in Denver will have you experiencing its unique blend of sophistication and natural beauty in a way you never believed possible. With a fascinating past filled with mining history and cowboy tales, Denver is much more than its stunning views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, and it will never leave your spirit in want of a fresh thrill. Isn't that what we all seek? For as Christopher McCandless said, "The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
To let a city's art, music, and customs touch your spirit is to be changed forever, and thus these creative pursuits are among the best ways to encounter its essence. Once you're settled in at your Denver lodging, start your day at the world-renowned Denver Museum of Nature & Science, just a short distance from many Denver hotels where the majestic remains of dinosaurs and extinct Ice Age animals will fill you with awe. While examining the glittering mineral collection and countless Native American artifacts, you'll find your mind drawn into new trains of thought it may not have known to pursue without prompting.
Later, steer yourself toward the immense Denver Art Museum, which boasts a diverse collection crowned by an incredible hoard of pieces created by Native American and other indigenous artists. Or stand in front of the magnificent Capitol Building and allow its gorgeous 24-carat golden dome to lure you into its equally impressive interior, limned with rare and beautiful Colorado Rose Onyx. Don't forget to pause on the 13th step leading inside; it's precisely 5,280 feet high, or one exact mile above sea level.
Outdoor Activities and Green Spaces
There's nothing quite so spirit-stirring as trawling your eyes through a new place's natural splendor, especially when the place in question is the Mile High City. Whether you're into extreme sports or just want to enjoy a beautiful vista, Denver hotel deals are the place for outdoor enthusiasts of all breeds. Cut into fresh powder on the slopes of one of the world-famous Denver ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, hike through fields of shivering wildflowers during the spectacular spring in Denver, or paddle your way through the churning rapids on one of the majestic rivers cutting through the Rockies.
But if all of that sounds too intense for your inclinations, don't worry—there are many ways to enjoy the natural beauty. If you want to see what all the fuss over Mount Evans is about, buckle up and steer your car through the hairpin turns and steep inclines to the top. It's the highest paved road in the States, running to 14,266 feet, and the exhilarating terrain will have your heart in your throat. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, and, of course, take your time soaking in the incredible vista at the top.
If you'd rather keep it local, enjoy a mellow afternoon in the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens, where you can admire the verdure and sip lemonade in the cafe at its center.
Food and Drink
Speaking of food and drink, the culinary scene one of the best ways to (literally) take in the essence of a new place and experience it as the locals do. When in Denver, you'll find that Mexican food is both ubiquitous and diverse. Follow the tantalizing scent of tacos in search of authentic Mexican cuisine, and treat yourself to freshly made guacamole and an ice-cold margarita crusted with salt and cayenne. Be sure to try the green chili, a local specialty. Opinions vary on whether it's a stew or a sauce, and everyone has their own secret recipe, so embark on your own pilgrimage to find the perfect bowl.
When you've had your fill of Mexican, take your culinary sensibilities out on a limb and try a bite of buffalo or even rattlesnake in homage to the city's Western roots. And if you favor a good brew, you're in luck. Denver produces the most beer of any U.S. city, and microbreweries abound, so you'll have plenty of new brews to sample. Just remember that alcohol hits you faster at higher altitudes, so you may want to partake more modestly than usual. You can always come back tomorrow to resume the brewery tour trail.
The food scene is but the tip of the iceberg; no matter how long you stay, you’ll never run out of things to do in Denver. When you brush elbows with locals in bars, cafes, and sports games, you begin to feel the unique vitality of the city. Larimer Square is the premier destination for entertainment, not to mention one of the best places to stay in Denver. This historic district, once home to Buffalo Bill, is rife with restored buildings dating all the way back to the Civil War. Beneath a net of twinkling lights strung across the street, enjoy sidewalk cafes, restaurants, galleries, and shopping galore. Duck into one of the clubs or bars to get a sense for the lively thrum of the local nightlife. Elsewhere, treat yourself to tickets to one of Denver's premier sports venues and watch the Colorado Rockies at bat, or settle into your seat at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to cheer on the Broncos.
The wise wanderer doesn't mind a little rain here and there, but almost everyone can agree that there's nothing like sunshine to illuminate the best side of a city. With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, your chances of seeing that best side are pretty good.
Stride smiling into the Colorado sunlight, lace up a pair of hiking boots, and explore the natural bounty of this gorgeous region. You can focus on finding the best hikes through the Rockies, since Travelocity will help you decide where to stay in Denver. This "new and different sun" is one you could get used to.