Tips + Trends

Rock Out at Red Rocks and Drive to the Sky: Beyond Denver’s Boundaries

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of music’s most epically stunning venues. (Photo: Alamy)

Downtown Denver lays claim to an assortment of fantastic museums, restaurants, and other attractions. But travelers willing to venture further afield are amply rewarded. Listen to a concert under the stars in one of the world’s most dramatic red rock settings, drive one of America’s most epic byways, or see — quite literally — where the buffalo roam on your next Denver vacation.

Watch Performers in Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is aptly named for its location, nestled between the giant red rocks that were once occupied by the Ute tribe prior to the arrival of Mexican settlers in 1849. This gorgeous amphitheater was designed by Denver architect Burnham Hoyt in the early 1900s and provides excellent acoustics due to its natural surroundings. For more than 100 years, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre has hosted public, private and organizational events and performances.

Famous acts have performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (and have frequently returned to the venue) including The Beatles, U2, The Grateful Dead, world-renowned opera singer Mary Garden, Jimi Hendrix, Phish, Neil Young and many more. On a gorgeous night, take advantage of this unique outdoor activity by seeing a live show or band after a quiet dinner among the hills and stars at the venue’s Ship Rock Grille.

Take the Highway to the Sky at Mt. Evans, CO

Highway to the Sky
Every turn is photo-worthy on the Highway to the Sky. (Photo: Alamy)

Pack up the car with a picnic and drive up the highest paved road in America, Trail Ridge Road — better-known as the Highway to the Sky. Drive from 8,700 feet at Idaho Spring and turn off Interstate 70 and reach up to 14,000 feet, where you will almost reach the summit for phenomenal views of Colorado. Every turn on this gorgeous adventure offers fantastic photo opportunities and even the chance to come across a native goat or bighorn sheep.

Roam the Prairies at the Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve

buffalo
See where the buffalo really roam. (Photo: Alamy)

Home to two dozen buffalo, Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve’s 2,400 acre piece of land is Denver’s oldest mountain park and is overlooked by Interstate 70. The first buffalo and elk herds were established in the Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve in 1914 and were acquired by the city of Denver from the herds at Yellowstone Park. The Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve has played a significant role in reestablishing buffalo and elk species in the United States. Pack up the kids and stop along the way down I-70 for a view of these majestic animals.