What To Do In Denver This Summer To Get The Most Out Of The Mile-High City

Ahh. Denver in the summertime. Some of my best childhood memories can be traced back to this lazy time of year, when I had nothing to do but eat Laffy Taffy and pretend to be the Little Mermaid at my neighborhood pool (you know you did it, too).

May through August is brimming with sunshine and 90 degree weather, giving us Coloradans a few precious months to thaw out after a long winter. The whole city peels off ski gear to flaunt jean shorts - pale legs be damned! - and enjoy our fair city’s many parks and outdoor activities. On the weekends, we barbeque in Wash Park, go for a hike in the mountains and attempt to drink our friend’s basement-brewed beer. On weeknights, we hit happy hour at our favorite neighborhood bar, and then walk home just to prove that we don’t need a jacket on such a gorgeous summer night.

Ski lovers may sneer, but summer is truly the Mile High City at its best. In partnership with Crocs, we've put together all the best ways to take advantage of its great outdoors:

Best Outdoor Dining

Linger

Denver is quickly catching up to Portland and San Francisco in becoming the foodie heaven of the West. For excellent food served with a view of the city’s skyline, head to the rooftop patio at Linger, a global street food restaurant in the trendy Highlands neighborhood.

Domo

Another perfect al-fresco spot is Domo, a lush outdoor garden, where you can sit under a tree and nosh on sushi.

Best Outdoor Performance Venue

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Musicians have traveled far and wide to perform at Red Rocks, an open-air amphitheater naturally formed out of sandstone. In the summer, the venue not only hosts musical events, but also its annual Film on the Rocks series of cult-classic movies. Each film is preceded by a live concert or comedian who will entertain until the sun goes down.

Best Place To Have Fun By Foot

Confluence Park

Confluence Park is a Denver attraction which marks the first gold discovery that led to the formation of the city. It offers a scenic and interesting walk if you're interested in the area's history. Follow the creek as it winds southwest and eventually, you’ll reach the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Four Mile Historic Park, an open-air museum with exhibits about the pioneers. With over 40-miles to cover, it's the most picturesque way to experience Denver.

Best Outdoor Nightlife

LoDo

As soon as the Rockies pitch their last inning at Coors Field, follow the rest of the city to LoDo (short for Lower Downtown Denver) for a rowdy post-ballgame beer (or, more accurately, beers). Though it tends to attract a bro-ier patronage, the rooftop patio of The Tavern is worth it for the view and party-til-dawn energy. For a more off-beat crowd, go to the Underground Music Showcase (July 23-26), a four-day indie music festival that features local talent.

Best Outdoor Festivals

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, in association with the University of Colorado, runs from June 5 to August 5 with five performances of Shakespeare's classics like Othello and Henry VI. Featuring accomplished actors from around the country and surrounded by Denver's natural beauty, this festival sets a stage that's uniquely Colorado.

Best Place To Cool Off

Water World

On those hot summer days when all you want to do is stick your head in the freezer, spend the day at Water World, Colorado’s most beloved waterpark instead. With over 49 water-soaked rides and slides, you will be happily cooled off and exhausted by the end of the day.

Best View

Peaks Lounge

Right before sunset, take your sweetie out for a drink at Peaks Lounge. On the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency, this glass-encased, romantic bar has the city’s best panoramic views, complete with the towering Rocky Mountains in the background. Sip. Snuggle. Repeat.

This post is sponsored by Crocs.