Photos: Top thirteen best free day trips from Denver
We recently shared the Mile High City's top eleven tourism hidden gems as chosen by the folks at Visit Denver's Denver.org website. But there's another important consideration that needs to be taken into account by visitors and locals alike — the cost.
We've got you covered on that score, too. The site features a roster of thirteen great day trips from Denver, all of which just happen to be free. Check out the baker's dozen in the order listed, complete with links and Visit Denver text, plus photos and videos.
Number 13: South Park
"The mountain town that inspired the long-running animated TV series of the same name is actually a charming spot, offering plenty of adventures, just up U.S. 285 from Denver. Try hiking, biking, horseback riding, excellent fishing and hunting, and ATV/jeep trails. Tour historic sites and visit shops full of local crafts." Number 12: The Highlands
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"Explore one of Denver's most happening 'hoods. Sip a mojito while relaxing on a patio with a panoramic view of the city skyline. Go bargain hunting at one of Highland Square's unique boutiques. Get a delicious treat at an artisan cheese shop or a bakery devoted to cupcakes."
Number 11: Golden
"The authentically Western town of Golden was Colorado's first capital city. Today, visitors encounter a mix of outdoor cafes, Western stores and museums with a quaint main street that in places still has covered walkways, false-front buildings and plankboard sidewalks. An award-winning kayak course runs through the center of the town." Number 10: Georgetown
"Nestled in a steep mountain valley, the 'Silver Queen. is one of Colorado's most elegant mining towns with 200 Victorian buildings. Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad over a 100-foot high trestle to neighboring Silver Plume."
Number 9: Mount Evans Scenic Byway & Echo Lake
"The highest paved road in North America climbs 9,000 feet from Denver, passing through five life zones en route to the 14,264-foot high summit. This is one of Colorado's 54 fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet and above), and one of only two in the nation that you can drive up. Note: Driving the Scenic Byway is $10 per vehicle, but hiking to Echo Lake is free — as is all that magnificent fresh mountain air." Number 8: Clear Creek History Park
"See how Colorado's early settlers worked and played in the late 1800s at this two-acre living history park. Try your hand at gold panning in the river where a half-billion dollars of it was found."
Continue to keep counting down our top thirteen best free day trips from Denver.
Number 7: Denver bike trails
"Denver is home to a massive network of more than 850 miles of paved, off-road trails that crisscross throughout the seven county metro area, making it a two-wheeled paradise. Paved trails connect to hundreds of additional miles of dirt trails, offering mountain bike adventures."
Number 6: El Dorado Canyon State Park
"A hidden gem just outside of Boulder, El Dorado Canyon offers hiking amidst towering sandstone cliffs, picnicking along scenic South Boulder Creek and rock climbing on Eldo's sheer golden walls."
Number 5: Peak to Peak Scenic & Historic Byway
"Less than an hour from Denver, this 55-mile-long route provides matchless views of the Continental Divide. From Black Hawk to Estes Park, the pleasantly winding road - the oldest scenic byway in Colorado — meanders through valleys and ridges, with shimmering aspens visible throughout the entire route."Number 4: Boulder
"A recent study pegged Boulder as the "happiest" city in America. You'll find out why when you stroll past the shops, cafes and street performers on the Pearl Street Mall, or take a hike on the city's 200 miles of trails."
Number 3: Estes Park
"At the entrance to the legendary Rocky Mountain National, the historic resort village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining - as well as the hotel that inspired Stephen King'sThe Shining
Number 2: Denver Parks & Lakes
"Denver may not be anywhere near the ocean, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of places to kick back by a shimmering body of water. Confluence Park, located within walking distance of downtown, offers sandy shores for sunbathing and wading, a kayak practice route, and bike paths. Up in the Highlands neighborhood, explore Sloan's Lake Park, an urban oasis with the enormous Sloan's Lake taking center stage."
Continue to keep counting down our top thirteen best free day trips from Denver. Number 1: Lariat Loop
"Retrace the motoring adventures of the early 1920s and experience the thrill of foothills exploration at the dawn of the Age of Motorcars on this 40-mile scenic circle in the foothills west of Denver. The Lariat Loop takes motorists to several popular attractions, including Buffalo Bill's Grave & Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Mother Cabrini Shrine."
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