Six Offbeat Things to Do in Denver this Summer

Visit the 16th Century. Drive 45 minutes south of Denver and drop in to the Colorado Renaissance Festivel. This eight-week extraganza features court jesters and jousters, a King and his Queen, fun acts,turkey legs, a petting zoo and even full suits of armor for sale. June 10 ? July 30.

Take the train to Glenwood Springs. You can jump on Amtrak's California Zephyr for a ride to Glenwood Springs through our spectacular mountains and valleys and beautiful Glenwood Canyon. The Cal Zephyr runs east and west on alternate days so you can take the train to Glenwood, spend the day soaking in the Glenwood Springs mineral pool and then catch the train back to Denver the next day. Amtrak ? or call1-800-872-7245.

Zip down a river This past winter's snowpack in the mountains was one of the deepest ever. This means whitewater rafting will be flat outstanding this year. The closest rafting to Denver (June ? July) is Clear Creek. Clear Creek is located in an old mining valley in the Colorado Rockies. Iit's a steep, technical river with sections appropriate for all ages. Its proximity to Denver and Summit County make this thrilling section of whitewater easily accessible.

Clear Creek Rafting, 800-353-9901.Saddle up. One of the best ways to visit our mountains is to visit our back country via a guided horseback ride. We have a number of "dude ranches" and stables where you can ride for half a day or a full day (if your fanny can take it) or even do a evening ride with a steak fry or bar-b-que incuded. Nearby Allenspark has horseback riding at the Allenspark Lodge (303-747-2552.

A bit further away is the Aspen Lodge in colorful Estes Park (303-332-6867).Walk on the wild side. If you're up for it, one of Colorado's top attractions is a simple (and free) as taking a hike.

One of the easiest trails (and closest to Denver) is the South Platte River Trail. It's located in Pike National Forest and is only four miles round-trip ? making it about a two-hour hike, including a break for lunch.Two-wheel it on the High Line Canal. One of Denver's real treasures is our High Line Canal. It's a neat slice of nature right in the heart of our metro area. The Canal wends throughout Denver and our suburbs for a total of 66 miles and is accessible from literally dozens of places.

So a great way to spend a day is to rent a bike and cruise the Canal. You'll see bikers, walkers, joggers, horseback riders, wildlife, flowers, and big, stately old trees.

.Just remember.

Denver is unique in that it offers the best of two worlds -- the fun things to do and see that you find only in a big, sophisticated city, plus the breathtaking scenery, unforgettable vistas and amazing wildlife you find in our nearby Rocky Mountains. To learn more about a great Denver vacation, just go to Just go to

com.Douglas Hanna has lived in the Denver area for nearly 35 years and is an expert on both Denver and Colorado. He is also the author of more than 120 articles on Denver, family finances, and Internet marketing.

By: Douglas Hanna

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