Pride Journey Outdoors: Denver, Colorado
With 300 days of sunshine and a temperate climate, Denver is very conducive to being in the great outdoors whether hiking, biking, running or walking. In a 2019 report, WalletHub named Denver in the top 10 of the “100 Best Cities for an Active Lifestyle” based on various factors including favorable weather and the number of available parks and trails. Outdoor retailer and co-op, REI, named Denver one of its “Top 50 cities to #OptOutside.”
Denver Botanic Gardens - One of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, offering year-round events, Mordecai Children’s Garden, lifelong learning opportunities and research to preserve Colorado’s precious natural resources.
Hive Garden Bistro serves food made with some ingredients grown right at the Gardens
Enjoy time in one of Denver’s City Parks – The Mile High City boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres, more than 300 acres of designated rivers & trails and an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks, plus many miles of paved, off-street bike trails. Whether families create a picnic feast from their favorite food trucks or select their favorite recreation activity (kayaking, paddle boating, running and more), there is no shortage of space to enjoy for free or very low cost.
Cheesman Park is the site of Denver’s first Pride Celebration, and still serves as the starting point for the annual PRIDE parade
City Park has a paddle boat rental station in the summer
Washington Park has four-person surrey rentals
Metro Denver is also home to more than 850 miles of off-street bike paths, one of the largest urban bike trail systems in the nation, and 90 golf courses in the metro area that stay open all year long due to Denver’s mild winters. With all of these recreational opportunities, most studies include Denver as one of the healthiest major cities in the United States.
Audio Walking Tour of Denver LGBTQ History – Take a self-guided audio tour right on your smartphone to learn about Denver's LGBTQ history. Developed by AARP Colorado, and the GLBT Community Center, the GPS-led app will guide you through Denver’s LGBT landmarks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and along Colfax Avenue. The 10 point- tour includes Cheesman Park; Charlie’s, home of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association; and Smiley’s Laundromat, a community landmark which generated intense debate about historic preservation and community identity. To access the tour, download the free Geotourist app on the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Explore Denver’s neighborhoods – some retail shops are open; a self-guided street art tour of RiNo would be fun; and picking up a latte and juice or takeout from a local spot are all options. Additionally, some restaurants have begun opening up for dine-in service, many of which are making full use of their outdoor spaces/patios.
Click HERE to view 2020 LGBTQ Travel Directory
Photos courtesy of Visit Denver