If you’re looking for a quiet spot to have a picnic, take in great views or experience a different side of the city, check out these lesser-known Denver parks.
Ninth Street Historic Park
Take a stroll right into the history books at this unique downtown park that’s lined with original Victorian-era homes. The street running between these homes has been converted into a lush greenway, with park benches on the perimeter. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic. And if you’d like a side of history to go with it, just check out this guide to the historic homes.
This park on the east side of town, in the Lowry neighborhood, is a bit out of the way, but that’s the beauty of it. Shaped like its name, this verdant, open space is bordered by a path, which, at one end, winds itself into a spiral around a row of massive stone benches (perfect for meditating). At the other end, claim one of the covered picnic tables. Kids can busy themselves on the play equipment while you relax.
Paco Sánchez Park
Named after a beloved local radio DJ, this park honors him with a microphone-inspired play tower and lots of other inventive features. It’s straight-up cool to look at, and kids go wild for all the unique ways to play. Located just southwest of Empower Field at Mile High, this one is easy to get to and fairly new, so it’s still being discovered.
Photo by Jeffrey Beall
Photo by Cheryl Patrick @olivejelly
Photo by Aaron D. Kelly @aaron_d_kelly
Photo by Taylor Burkholder @tayburkholder
Denver Rock Park
The Central Park area of Denver is dotted with great parks that cater to the family demographics of this neighborhood. One smaller gem is Denver Rock Park, which features a series of bouldering walls, fitted with handholds, and stacked rocks for scrambling. This parklet is perfect for climbers of all ages.
This huge park is in just the right spot in Chaffee Park to take in a sweeping and captivating view of the Denver skyline. Come to cartwheel across acres of green lawn or to toss a ball around on the softball field, and stay for the understated vibe and classic Denver panoramas.
A large terrazzo terrace featuring a huge stone sundial, installed in 1941, is the showpiece of this park. A new public art installation, called “BOWS” by Patrick Marold, was added recently, too. The art was inspired in part by the park’s 150-mile views from Longs Peak to Pikes Peak.
Huston Lake Park
There’s nothing as life-affirming as the Rocky Mountains reflected in a peaceful lake, and this off-the-radar park is a simple way to enjoy the experience. South of downtown, it enjoys great views, bird-watching, pretty flower beds in summer, tennis courts, fishing and plenty of grass to picnic on.
Inspiration Point Park
This 25-acre park off of Sheridan Boulevard in north Denver exemplifies a hidden gem. It has a quarter-mile-long loop path that overlooks the Clear Creek Valley and offers stunning views of the Front Range. There are flower beds and a variety of trees, making for the perfect place to have a picnic, take in the views and chill out.
Photo credits: Ninth Street Historic Park (header) and Zuni Park by Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons.