Denver may be a world-class metropolis with all the familiar urban sights and sounds, but no matter where you find yourself in the city, you’re likely to be only a few steps away from a lush and relaxing green space.
2250 15th St.
Where Cherry Creek and the South Platte River meet and mingle, you'll find the unique and scenic Confluence Park. Watch kayakers brave the rapids on custom-designed chutes, sunbathe on the sandy banks and enjoy panoramic views of downtown Denver. The park is close to the Downtown Aquarium, the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus and Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. Hop on the Denver Trolley and take a 30-minute scenic ride along the river, plus learn about the area's history. Love a party? Join thousands of revelers at the South Platte RiverFest each June for water sports and live music.
CENTENNIAL FLOWER GARDENS
1101 Little Raven St.
Just steps away from Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park and the South Platte River, the Centennial Flower Gardens are a must-see for anyone with interest in gardening. The gardens are patterned after the Gardens of Versailles, with paths and patterned flowerbeds showcasing native species along with other flowers that grow well in Colorado's arid climate. This is a great spot for a refreshing afternoon stroll.
15th and Little Raven Sts.
Commons Park can be found on the banks of the South Platte River in a spot that just happens to be the city's birthplace. It's a pleasing mix of natural and urban influences: Close to 40 percent of the park is covered by native plants, a piece of reconstructed lush "sand prairie" reminiscent of what would have existed in the area originally. Meanwhile, the promenade along Little Raven Street is a tree-lined walkway dotted with many seating areas and entries to connect the park to downtown Denver.
East of downtown on 17th Ave. and York St.
This expansive, multifaceted park is Denver's version of New York City's Central Park. In City Park's 330 lovely, landscaped acres, you'll find a public golf course, colorful flower gardens, ornate fountains, placid lakes and rolling green lawns perfect for picnics. City Park is home to some of Denver's most popular attractions, including the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Martin Luther King Memorial and much more. From June through August, the park plays host to City Park Jazz, with free concerts each Sunday. It's also got unbeatable views of The Mile High City skyline and the Rocky Mountains beyond.
SLOAN'S LAKE PARK
1700 Sheridan Blvd.
Located in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Sloan's Lake Park is an urban oasis, with the enormous Sloan Lake taking center stage. In the summer, keep an eye out for water skiers zooming across the lake, framed by a stunning view of the Denver skyline. Bring some food to grill and spread out a picnic blanket or two — there's plenty of room at this 177-acre park. Sloan's Lake Park hosts the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, a celebration of Asian American culture and tradition featuring a host of ornate dragon boats filling the lake.
BEAR CREEK LAKE PARK
15600 W. Morrison Rd., Lakewood
Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life at nearby Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood. With 2,600 acres of unspoiled natural beauty, Bear Creek provides hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails; a swim beach and marina with boat rentals; picnic, playground and recreational facilities; fishing and camping. You can also reserve a pet-friendly cabin or yurt for larger groups!