Denver native Claudia Carbone is an award-winning ski and travel journalist who never drives her car downtown.
Take a romantic ride on a horse-drawn carriage through Downtown Denver.
The trendy train travels on 34.8 miles of tracks from the ‘burbs to the city, making stops at 36 stations along the way. From as far south as Lincoln Avenue and east from Parker Road, trains mostly follow I-25 into downtown and beyond, with stops at Sports Authority Field, Pepsi Center, Elitch Gardens Theme And Water Park and Union Station. West of Broadway, lines extend from Mineral Ave. in Littleton along Santa Fe to points north. The train is safe, affordable and on time. Cars are clean, cool and comfortable. Nineteen stations have free park-n-Ride lots, with many stations connecting to bus stops and call-n-Ride services. Bikes can ride too, with a free permit that you can download online. For information on fares, zones, schedules, special services and much more, visit www.rtd-denver.com or call 303-299-6000.
This is not Ralph Kramden’s bus. In addition to regular bus service around metro Denver, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus fleet offers a slew of special rides, services for people with limited mobility, fare reimbursements, pass programs, training for frequent travelers, and free rides for active duty military. A slick skyRide makes hourly runs to Denver International Airport from 18 free park-n-Rides around the city. Riders pay fares of $7, $9 or $11, depending on location, and drivers assist with luggage. All RTD services, maps, routes, park-n-Rides and fares are detailed on RTD’s excellent bi-lingual website—www.rtd-denver.com—or call 303-299-6000.
16th Street Shuttle
Called the MallRide, this free hybrid vehicle scoots up and down the 16-block tree-lined retail core of downtown Denver, also home to hotels, restaurants, office buildings, residences and public spaces. Hop on at any intersection on 16th St. between Civic Center Station at Broadway near the State Capitol and Union Station on the west end. A few short walks from the mall get you to the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center, Larimer Square, Coors Field and LoDo (lower downtown). You can also access Light Rail and make connections for buses throughout the metro area and to Boulder, Golden, Longmont and Denver International Airport. More at www.downtowndenver.com or 303-534-6161.
Denver is one of the country’s fittest cities, and this is especially true where the skinny rubber meets the road. A web of hundreds of miles of dedicated bike paths weaves through Denver and its edges. You can, for example, ride from Cherry Creek State Park in southeast Denver to Cuernavaca Park on the northwest side of downtown. The 15-mile paved path follows along Cherry Creek to where it collides with the South Platte River at Confluence Park. In Spring 2010, Denver introduced a pioneering bikesharing program called Denver B-Cycle. More than 700 new, shiny red Trek bicycles are now available for sharing at 83 stations around the Mile High City. Each of the sturdy, three-speed, bright red Trek bikes comes with a wire basket, built-in light and lock. Denver visitors can purchase an $8, 24-hour membership with a credit card at any B-cycle station. After becoming a member, riders can pick up a B-cycle from any station and drop it off at any other station. All rides of 30 minutes or less are free and rides up to one hour are only a dollar, with prices going up from there. Find bike maps at bike shops or online at www.denvergov.com. For more information, call 720-865-BIKE. For a detailed look at Denver's bike trails click here.
HORSE & CARRIAGE
It’s a fun adventure for the family, a classy way to arrive at the theatre or the quintessential romantic ride; in any case, it’s a delight to sit up high snuggled under a blanket in a Cinderella carriage drawn by magnificent draft horses. As you slowly clip-clop along the streets, you’ll get a different perspective of the sights and lights of downtown Denver. You can customize your tour with any number of carriage drivers you find along the 16th Street Mall. No need for reservations; just approach a driver who’s parked. Prices start around $50 per carriage.
Rickshaws, pedal-cabs, bike-taxis—no matter what you call them, these mountain-bike-style tricycles pulling passenger cabs are the slickest way to get around downtown and LoDo, especially on game days. The skilled cyclists can weave in and around pedestrian traffic to get you to the game on time or roll leisurely down Larimer Square while sharing a little history about Denver’s first street. Cushioned seats and waterproof canopies make riding the open-air cabs comfortable and fun. Mile High Pedicabs is the oldest fleet, starting in 1988. Drivers strive to give a good, safe ride, so most pedal for tips (or $2 per city block). Flag one down, or call 303.733.4222; www.milehighpedicabs.com.
Denver is a delightfully walkable place. Every important city venue can be reached on foot, from the historic Brown Palace Hotel to the new award-winning Denver Art Museum to the versatile Pepsi Center. City dwellers can hoof it over the Millennium Bridge connecting the bustling 16th St. Mall with the relaxing Riverfront Park in the Central Platte Valley neighborhood. Walkers can share the paths and parks that bikers use; just remember to stay to the right and listen for riders coming up behind you.
Get more info on getting around Denver here!