The inhabitants of the Mile High City love to spend their free time outdoors and relax in a natural setting. Especially in the hot summer days when the heat waves and the dry air contribute to the everyday stress of living in a major city, the residents of Denver seek refuge in one of the city’s many public parks and gardens. Denver has an extended network of parks and gardens within the limits of the city, as well as mountain parks situated on the slopes of the nearby Rockies.
The city has come a long way from the early days when Denver City was still a dusty miner town, with very scarce vegetation or places for recreation. The efforts of visionary administrators, such as Mayor Robert Speer, who pioneered the City Beautiful movement, have led to the development of an extensive system of recreational areas, throughout the city.
There are more than 360 parks in the Mile High City, stretched on over 4,000 acres of land and feature over 100 miles of parkways. Denver also acquired over 14,000 acres of mountain parks, including the Red Rocks Park, home of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a performances venue set in a spectacular landscape.
The largest and most impressive park located in Denver is the 314 acres City Park. Often compared to the Central Park of New York, the City Park is home to some of the most visited attractions in Denver, such as the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science. The park is placed in the heart of the city, making easily accessible to those looking for some relaxation in its gorgeous premises. Visitors can visit the Municipal Golf Course, part of the City Park, or take a boat trip on one of the beautiful two lakes, Ferril and Duck.
The Cheesman Park is located on the southeast of the city’s downtown, being bordered by residential areas, as well as by the Denver Botanic Gardens. A section of the Gardens is actually part of Cheesman Park, namely the Japanese Garden. Cheesman Park is loved by joggers who enjoy running on its winding alleys paved with crushed granite. Concerts and other artistic events are held within the premises of this park, which attract many people, especially in the summer months.
The Civic Center Park is located near the State Capitol and is a popular location for many fairs and festivals, which take place all through the year, the best known being the People’s Fair held every year at the beginning of the summer.
The Washington Park, affectionately nicknamed the Wash Park by the natives of Denver, is well suited for many sports activities, like jogging, tennis, biking and fitness. You can also rent a boat and cruise on the two beautiful lakes found in the Wash Park.
There are many other gorgeous settings in Denver to spend a pleasant afternoon relaxing and enjoying the rays of the sun.