If you’re contemplating a campervan excursion around Denver, you may be wondering what to do. Of course, there’s no shortage of things to do in and around the Mile High City, so your biggest problem won’t be finding something, but sifting through the numerous options to find what sounds most appealing to you. It’s not always an easy thing to do, and you may just find yourself planning more than one trip!
One of the great things about camping is a van is that you can totally pack up and drive to a museum, concert, or geological attraction during the day. While we’ve already written extensively about some of the best places to camp, here we’re going to help you figure out what to add to your itinerary, we’ve created a list of some of our campers’ favorite “must-see” attractions near Denver. I hope it helps!
Georgetown is a historical village 42 miles West of Denver with maintained Victorian homes, and is a quaint way to spend an afternoon, visiting antique shops and enjoying the old-timey charm. In Summer, they even have an old steam-powered train that still operates near the village.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the fantastic skiing here, in Colorado. If you’re brave enough to go on a van camping adventure in the Winter, Summit County’s many ski resorts, and Colorado in general has some of the best snow and ski runs in the entire world. If you find the price of lift tickets a bit hefty, don’t forget to look around on places like Craigslist or Facebook market, for deals from people reselling tickets.
Royal Gorge and Cañon City
This is an excellent place for outdoors adventures, particularly in Summer, as the rafting on the Arkansas river is amazing, and it also boasts the world’s largest suspension bridge, which is suspended at a height of 956 ft.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
Of course, this is a bit of a no-brainer for music lovers of all kinds. The sheer quality and quantity of performers which pass through this unique amphitheater are remarkable, and the structure itself is worth a visit. Check the Red Rocks calendar to see who might be performing during your trip. It could easily be worth leaving your campsite for the evening, to jam out to some amazing live music.
If you’ve ever wanted to gander at prehistoric fossils still embedded in the rocks in their natural setting, then you may have to put this one on your list. Both dinosaur bones and footprints are a unique experience, and can be knocked out in the span of an hour or less, on your way between campsites, if need be.
For beer lovers, visiting the huge Coors factory can be an interesting experience, even for those who tend more towards the small-batch craft brews. Coors is the biggest single-site brewery in the world, and visitors can take a 30-minute, self-paced tour of the facilities, and of Coors (see what I did there?) you have the opportunity to sample their beer, halfway through the tour, and again at the end.
Wild Animal Sanctuary
Love to see exotic animals, but don’t like the cramped conditions of most zoos? Denver’s Wild Animal Sanctuary will be a great spot for you, as they have numerous large carnivores roam freely on the plains. It’s one of the only places in America that you can actually see these jumbo critters living more-or-less naturally, such as lions living in prides.
Central City and Blackhawk
If you’ve got a bit of a gambling streak, Colorado has something for you, too. Central City and Blackhawk are Colorado’s premier gambling destinations, with over 30 24-hour casinos, and some amazing Victorian architecture, to boot. It might seem a bit weird to go from the peace of camping in nature to the shining, dinging, glittery world of casinos, but we actually hear a lot of our customers enjoyed visiting for a day.
This list is by no means comprehensive, as there is so much to do around Denver, it could never be fit into a single blog post! Still, these are some of the things we’ve heard our van campers say they loved, and I hope it’s sparked some ideas for your own adventure plan.