Atop one of the highest cities in America (and yes, I do mean elevation levels), it's hard to look down and see anything other than gorgeous scenery, from its vast mountain ranges to its acres upon acres of beautiful parkland. However, if you take a deeper look, you'll also find that Denver has plenty of fun and exciting sports options right at your fingertips.
From spectacular sports venues to breathtaking golf courses and atypical sports bars, check out some of the best sports destinations the Mile High City has to offer.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
They don't call it the Mile High City for nothing! Home of the NFL's Denver Broncos, Sports Authority Field at Mile High stands at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level, making it one of the most unusual sports venues in the world. Its 5 levels allow for a capacity of more than 76,000 screaming fans, laying its claim as the sixth-largest professional football stadium in the US. While you're there, don't forget to stop by Gate 1 to peek inside the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which commemorates the state's best athletes. This year's inductees include former NBA star Chauncey Billups, who played his college ball at the University of Colorado, and Denver-born pitcher Roy Halladay, a winner of the Cy Young Award.
Although most of the best courses in Colorado are well maintained and vary in difficulty, the draw to golfing in Denver doesn't always have to do with how nice or challenging the course is. Simply put, it's pretty hard to be upset after a bad shot when you're staring at some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the country. Located in Littleton, just over 20 miles from downtown Denver, Arrowhead Golf Club is not an easy course by any means, but the views alone make it worth the greens fees.
Located just 1 block from Coors Field, Blake Street Tavern is the perfect place to take in a game while enjoying some amazing food. With 45 HDTVs and 1 massive 100-inch projector screen, there isn't a bad seat in the house. Need something to do during those typically boring 20 minutes of halftime? They've got you covered! From pool tables to shuffleboard, there's never a dull moment at Blake Street, one of Colorado's (not just Denver’s) best sports bars.
Located in the LoDo district of Denver (Lower Downtown), Coors Field is the home of MLB's Colorado Rockies. Just like Sports Authority Field, Coors Field is the highest park in its sport; that makes it one of the most home-run-friendly stadiums in the league, evident by the record-shattering 303 home runs hit there in 1999. My No. 1 suggestion when visiting Coors Field: Stop by The Rooftop, a completely redesigned seating and concessions destination in upper right field that offers spectacular views not only of the field, but of downtown Denver as well.
From Aspen to Beaver Creek, Colorado is known for providing ski enthusiasts with some of the best mountains in America, and there's no better resort near Denver than Winter Park. Because of its location, Winter Park Ski Resort is a favorite among Denver locals. Just over an hour outside the city, it produces its own snow every year in early November, guaranteeing skiers a little pre-holiday fun on the slopes.
Getty Images / Lonely Planet Images
Jackson's, located on 20th Street, just across the road from Coors Field, isn't your typical sports bar. In fact, it's actually more of an ultimate entertainment venue. Yes, the walls are lined with multiple flat-screen TVs so you can watch your favorite teams, and yes, it does have several high-quality beers on tap and serve typical bar food. However, the multilevel bar also includes several dance floors and pop-up concert stages, as well as a very impressive — and large — outdoor patio that offers up brilliant views of the stadium and the Denver skyline.
The Pepsi Center, also known as The Can, is a multipurpose indoor arena that provides home court/ice advantage to the NBA's Denver Nuggets and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. Opened in 1999 as part of a 6-year Colorado stadiums upgrade initiative — along with the aforementioned Coors Field and Sports Authority Field — the Pepsi Center boasts 5 restaurants, as well as a $75,000, 2,000-pound bronze sculpture in the Grand Atrium. The Pepsi Center has a maximum seating capacity of around 20,000, depending on whether a concert or sporting event is taking place.
Bear Creek Bike Trail (via Confluence Park)
Denver Post via Getty Images
Recently named the most bike-friendly city in America by REI, Denver has hundreds of off-road trails, both paved and dirt, at your disposal. With so many fantastic routes, it's difficult to narrow down a list of the best — however, it's not as difficult to pick my favorite. The Bear Creek trail runs from the South Platte River to Morrison, CO, providing several scenic views along its 20-mile stretch. The most exciting part? The trail leads you right to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, one of the premier outdoor music venues in the country. Enjoy a beautiful, laid-back ride to the park, take in a show, and then relax on a nice, easy bike ride back home.
Thought of by many as one of the top private baseball collections in the world, the National Ballpark Museum, although located in Denver and entrenched in the city's sporting history, also has in its collection some of the rarest collectibles from around the league. With a turnstile taken from the old Yankee Stadium, aisle seats from the Polo Grounds — the former home of the New York Giants and Mets — and a piece of the Boston Red Sox's "Green Monster," this museum is a must-see destination for any baseball fan visiting the Mile High City.