Recreation & Activities

The region’s mild climate and high emphasis on wellness combine to make it one of the most active and healthiest in the country. With the nation’s largest public parks system, 42 state parks, four national parks, and 11 world-class ski resorts in the metro area’s backyard, prime recreations opportunities abound.

Carving our Path Outdoors

Colorado State Parks, with support from many Metro Denver counties and communities, has an ambitious plan to create a continuous trail linking the Front Range's diverse communities with a multi-use trail running from New Mexico to Wyoming. The Colorado Front Range Trail (CFRT) will link existing and planned trail systems with new trail corridors to create an extensive pathway system that connects Colorado's population centers.

  • According to the list released in 2017 from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Rocky Mountain National Park is the fourth most-visited national park in the country.

  • More than 100 public and private golf courses are located in Metro Denver. In addition, 11 world-class ski resorts are within 100 miles.
  • The City and County of Denver maintains more than 200 city and mountain parks and eight state parks in or immediately outside of the seven-county Metro Denver region. 
  • One of the longest recreational trails in the Metro Denver area, the High Line Canal Trail, runs 66 miles connecting Douglas, Arapahoe, and Denver Counties.
  • State, federal, and local government entities in the Denver Regional Council of Governments' metropolitan planning area, which includes most of the seven-county region, have preserved more than 374,000 acres of open space for future generations to enjoy.
  • NoCoPLACES2050 is an organization that addresses growth and its impact on natural and cultural resource while providing equitable access and a quality recreation experience for current and future generations.
  • The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Amendment to the state constitution gives a portion of state lottery proceeds to projects that preserve, protect, and enhance Colorado's outdoors.
  • GOCO has invested in 3,400 projects throughout Colorado since its inception. GOCO announced in 2015 that it will commit $25 million to get children outside playing. Gov. John Hickenlooper also created the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, aimed at managing Colorado’s $4.2 billion recreation industry. 

Helpful links:

Metro Denver Open Space websites (by county):

Northern Colorado Open Space websites (by county):


Spectator Sports

Metro Denver is truly a “sports“ city—with the fans and facilities to prove it. In the past 20 years, four new venues have been constructed for the region's eight major sports franchises. More than six million fans attend sporting events in Metro Denver each year.

Fabulous facilities. Fanatical fans.

Metro Denver is no stranger to its venues being a national stage. Whether competing for championships or welcoming the nation's fans and stars like the 2020 MLB All Star Game, we know and appreciate all that sports bring to the city and region.

Metro Denver caters to the professional sports enthusiast as well, with winning teams and some of the newest venues in the nation.

Eight Professional Sports Teams:

  • Colorado Avalanche – Two-time Stanley Cup champions (Men's Hockey, NHL)
  • Denver Broncos – Three-time Super Bowl champions (Football, NFL)
  • Colorado Rockies – 2007 National League champions (Baseball, MLB)
  • Denver Nuggets – Men's Basketball (NBA) 
  • Colorado Mammoth – Men's Lacrosse (NLL)
  • Colorado Rapids – 2010 MLS Cup champions (Men's Soccer, MLS)
  • Denver Outlaws – Men's Lacrosse (MLL)
  • Denver Barbarians - Men'sRugby (PRO)

Recognizing that sporting events are a major economic engine, the Denver Sports Commission, an affiliate of VISIT DENVER, was formed in 1991 to attract the world's top sporting events to Metro Denver.



Large, modern retail and entertainment venues are easily accessible throughout the region. With 15 retail centers (700,000 square feet or larger) and numerous smaller shopping districts, diverse retail options are available.

Retail amenities abound

Downtown Denver's 16th Street Mall is among Denver's most popular tourist attractions. The 16-block pedestrian and transit way is downtown Denver's retail core, with offices, residential units, hotels, and transit stations. Cherry Creek, consistently one of the region's top tourist destinations, is located in central Denver.

Additional retail destinations located across the metro area such as Park Meadows in Lone Tree, FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield, RiNo north of downtown Denver, Tennyson Street in the Berkeley neighborhood of Denver and Outlets at Silverthorne, bring the best of retail to Coloradans.

Population growth in Metro Denver has spurred high demand for retail products and services – with several new shopping and lifestyle centers under construction or newly completed.

 Helpful links:

Related Files 2 Reports
NAICS Industry Sales
Quality of Life
Total Retail Sales