Navigating the US: Getting Around in Denver, Colorado
Denver is the capital of Colorado and the largest city in the Rocky Mountains region, as well as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It’s known as “The Mile-High City” for its sitting at an altitude of 5,280 feet above sea level.
Recommended Modes of Transportation
Though you can easily get around Denver by car or bus, we recommend traveling by bicycle. The city has a fierce cycling culture that is reflected in the numerous bike lanes and trails leading in and around downtown. There are over 50 bike sharing stations throughout the city, where you can purchase a membership or get a bike to ride for 30 minutes for free.
Major Highways and Roadways to Know
There are four major highways to know in Denver. I-25 cuts down through the city, I-70 across, and I-76 from the northeast to southwest. I-225 circles around downtown and will likely be one of your most-used roads if exploring the entire area by car.
Best Places to Park
Parking can be difficult in The Mile-High City. The best places to park would be outside the downtown core. 20th St, Speer, Wynkoop St, Colfax, and Broadway usually have meters that end at 6pm and are free on weekends. The area just northwest of downtown (across the train tracks from Union Station) has free two-hour parking spots.
Airport and Car Rentals
Denver International Airport is located about 18 miles northeast of downtown. It’s usually quite congested so we recommend getting there at least 1-2 hours before your scheduled departure time when it’s finally time to leave. You’ll find the usual major car rentals but also a number of airport shuttles that can take you to the city or destinations in the mountains.
Hotels and Attractions
Denver is a great city if you love the outdoors and museums. You can scale Mount Evans, enjoy the Botanic Gardens, and visit the Nature & Science Museum. In between, you can feast on the local cuisine in gastropubs and impressive restaurants. There are numerous hotels for all budgets, but our favorite is the Hampton Inn Denver-International Airport, located just five minutes from the airport, which provides easy access to major highways and offers free breakfast, internet, and airport transport.