Denver's close proximity to some of the nation's best fishing (the South Platte), biking (Front Range), hiking (Red Rocks), and skiing (you name it!) make it one of the nation's most desirable places to live. But with 205 parks within city limits, you don't have to leave town to enjoy nature. And add Denver's weather to the list of natural assets: The Mile High City receives more than 300 days of sun each year. Though Denver is indeed a mile high (the 15th step on the west side of the State Capitol Building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level), the sunny skies benefit from the city's location in "the Foothills," thousands of feet below the nearby 14,000-foot peaks. While in town, be sure to stroll though Lower Downtown, or LoDo, where many of the homes and businesses have been refurbished to reflect the city during its Victorian boom.
Boulder is outdoor heaven. Known to some as "the little town nestled between the mountains and reality," this idealistic city won't steer you wrong in terms of outdoor recreation. Boulder boasts 200 miles of public hiking and biking trails, 30,000 acres of open space, 35 miles of bike lanes, countless on- and off-road running trails, and the 16-mile long Boulder Creek Path, which runs through the middle of town. The heart of the city is the Pearl Street pedestrian mall, where street theater and commerce run rampant. The University of Colorado at Boulder and Celestial Seasonings, the tea company, call the town home, and they both offer tours to the curious.
Estes Park, Colorado, is the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Though it is just 90 miles north of Denver, the serenity and beauty seem a world away from city life. The wildlife is captivating, the people are inviting, and the amenities are among the best you'll find this close to any national park.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication