Summer is here, and we hope you’re all out enjoying a little downtime and some fun in the sun. There’s so much to do in Colorado that it is hard to choose sometimes, but if you need a little inspiration, here are a few possibilities that run the gamut—from outdoor adventures to quintessential Denver festivals.
Farmers’ markets – ‘Tis the season for enjoying locally grown produce (and more), and no matter where you live in the Denver metro area, there is certain to be a farmers’ market to check out! Farmers’ markets are perfect for stocking up on fresh, local fruit, vegetables, meats, and baked goods, but many also showcase vendors selling handmade items, artwork, clothing, and more. Denver.org has an extensive list of well-known options, but explore your nearby outdoor shopping center or main street too, as they often have them.
Red Rocks events –Yes, Red Rocks Amphitheater is arguably one of the best concert venues in the country, but there are other ways to experience this iconic Colorado landmark. Try Yoga on the Rocks for an inspiring sunrise workout (Most Saturdays through mid-August). Or, grab the blankets and snacks for a classic movie under the stars at Film on the Rocks (and a pre-show performance too).
Whitewater rafting –The Rocky Mountains offer world-class whitewater rafting, but even if you’re a beginner, this is a great way to spend a day with family or friends. Many first-timers choose Clear Creek for its convenience to Denver (about a 30-minute drive) and routes for different skill levels. You can also check out the Arkansas River (accessed from Canon City or Buena Vista), which flows through the stunning canyon of the Royal Gorge, or the Cache La Poudre River outside of Fort Collins for some beautiful views throughout the Poudre Canyon.
City Park Jazz –Whether you love jazz or not, the City Park Jazz Summer Concert Series is a Denver staple for anyone who loves a little outdoor music. Free jazz concerts started in June and continue every Sunday through early August (6:00-8:00pm). Load up a few folding chairs and blankets, bring the family, and start your week off right. Pack a picnic or enjoy food and treats from one of the food trucks. Check out the 2023 lineup.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway – Ever wanted to take in the view from atop a fourteener…without having to hike it? Take a ride up the 8.9-mile Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the world’s highest cog train. Up top, you’ll get to take in breathtaking views of the Peak, the Collegiate Peaks, the Continental Divide, and even downtown Denver on a clear day. Afterward, stroll through Manitou Springs and its many shops, galleries and restaurants. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can first do the Manitou Incline, which climbs over 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile. (The Incline now requires reservations, FYI, which you can do here.)
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival –The largest Dragon Boat Festival in the country is a colorful taste of Asian culture to be held in Sloan’s Lake Park July 22-23, 2023. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Denver tradition, which centers around the dragon boat competition of more than 50 teams of boaters racing in colorful dragon boats across the lake. There are also performing arts stages, an Asian marketplace with novelties, artwork and crafts, performers, two Taste of Asia food courts, and lots more.
The beautiful outdoors –Truly, there is no shortage of fun things to do in the Denver metro area during summertime, but as we all know, Colorado is a majestic place to live—in large part thanks to our gorgeous weather and landscape. Summer is the perfect opportunity for some outdoor adventure, whether you go for a hike, plan a daytrip to your favorite mountain town, hit one of the many running/biking trails throughout the metro area, head to a nearby river or lake for some fishing or relaxation, enjoy a round of golf, soak up the sun at one of your favorite parks, or meet up with friends at your favorite restaurant patio. The sun is practically always shining here in Colorado. Enjoy it!
Have an amazing summer!