The Mile High City, with its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and abundant urban amenities, offers the ideal kickoff or finale to a Colorado winter experience. Colorado’s world-class ski resorts and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities have always made the state a top destination for adventure seekers of all levels. This year, as travelers consider socially distanced, outdoor activities for safe vacation options, Colorado remains at the top of the list, with ski resorts implementing a host of capacity limits and safety measures – and a stop in Denver is the perfect complement to a mountain trip. The Mile High City’s airport, award-winning dining and cultural scenes, boutique and top-brand hotels and other urban comforts make it the best place to gear up and get acclimated to the altitude before hitting the slopes; or the perfect way to unwind after the excitement of a Rocky Mountain adventure.

Of course, given current travel considerations and community mandates, cultural attractions, hotels and restaurants are taking significant precautions to remain as safe and accessible as possible, while maintaining a focus on the health and wellbeing of guests, staff and the community. Current safety information can be found on VISIT DENVER’s Clean & Safe Resource Guide; and full details about Denver’s mandates, recommendations and resources can be found on the City & County of Denver’s website.

“In a typical winter season, many of the visitors coming to Colorado land at Denver International Airport or drive through the city to get to the beautiful Rocky Mountains,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This year, we anticipate more road trippers and longer stays from those who fly in – creating the perfect opportunity to extend a few days in Denver and experience what the city has to offer.”

Denver International Airport (DEN) is one of the most accessible airports in the U.S. and has maintained much of its flight load through the pandemic, consistently ranking as the #1 or #2 airport in the country in terms of passenger throughput; and it is ranked the number two airport in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal, as well as the top airport in the country and number two airport in North America, according to Skytrax World Airport Awards. Once downtown, visitors can explore Denver’s laid-back, walkable city center, including its creative, diverse neighborhoods and hotel options.

Many of Denver’s hotels are offering seasonal packages and exceptional deals this winter – some even specifically geared toward avant and après ski activities. The more than 11,000 hotel rooms in downtown Denver alone – representing all major brands, boutique properties and all price points – making for a great night’s sleep before (or after) indulging in a ski resort stay, and a central home base for exploring the city. For more information on hotel deals, go to the VISIT DENVER website.

The Mile High City is the cultural epicenter of the Rocky Mountain region, and its thriving cultural scene offers a robust lineup of public art, world-class museums, unique art districts and blockbuster exhibitions and events, even during the pandemic. The city’s downtown cultural facilities create and host renowned exhibitions – including world exclusives, U.S. premieres of traveling shows and more.

As a result of various public art initiatives throughout the city, Denver has developed a concentrated and thriving street and public art scene, leading AFAR magazine to name it the “Street Art Capital of the Country.” Visitors can take self-guided walks and tours to check out murals and works of public art in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, from RiNo Art District to the Art District on Santa Fe and more. For a full list of neighborhoods, go to the VISIT DENVER website.

Denver’s culinary scene has been booming and gaining national recognition over the past several years; and, despite the safety restrictions restaurants are facing, the city is determined to keep the culinary momentum going. And, while plenty of restaurants are still offering to-go and delivery options, many of them are open for outdoor service, and taking full advantage of Denver’s 300 days of annual sunshine with creative patio options – including expanded patio space, heated setups, modern igloos and more.

There is plenty of shopping in Denver to help gear up for a trip to the mountains – from local outdoor gear shops like Topo Designs to upscale boutiques and shops in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood and at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Or, after coming down from the hills, visitors can take a souvenir shopping spree, finding unique items at local shops through the city’s neighborhoods to remind them of their trip.

All of this, coupled with Denver’s welcoming community and Mountain hospitality, make The Mile High City an ideal place to visit before or after a mountain vacation. For more information on what to see and do in Denver this winter, go to the VISIT DENVER website.