Many visitors coming to Denver are likely plagued with a common question – when is the best time to visit Denver?
I’m proud to call the bustling city of Denver my home! While I enjoy the thrill of discovering new parts of the world, there’s something comforting about coming back to the mountains and cityscape of this beloved city.
There are so many unforgettable things to do in Denver. As the capital city of Colorado, the city experiences a fair amount of tourism. There’s a variety of experiences to enjoy which means that you can visit the metropolis all year round. But when is the best time to go to Denver for you?
Here’s an introduction to Denver’s weather and climate, as well as a brief season overview.
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WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN DENVER, COLORADO
Nestled in the South Platte Valley, the climate is largely influenced by the Rocky Mountains. The city experiences a semi-arid climate which means very toasty summers and mild temperatures in winter – but not without roughly 60 inches of snow each year.
There’s very little rain throughout the year and while most cities experience a season of gray clouds, Denver boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
BEST TIME TO VISIT DENVER, COLORADO
The best time of year to visit Denver depends largely on what you want to get out of your vacation. Overall, springtime (April and May), as well as autumn (September and October), are most rewarding.
These shoulder season months are pleasant in temperature, the crowds aren’t too large and tourism prices are less inflated.
DENVER IN APRIL, MAY & JUNE (SPRING)
Springtime in Denver is both beautiful and comfortable. The temperature warms up from approximately 34°F during the day in April, to a significantly warmer 81°F in June. Many of Denver’s outdoor attractions begin to blossom from mid to late season.
Denver in May means plenty of birds, butterflies, and lush parks. There’s a new sense of life that is introduced in the city, and this is evident as the streets become busier. There is a bit of rain, but there are also plenty of city museums and indoor activities to enjoy during this time.
As the streets are less crowded than during peak season, spring is a great time to become familiar with the city at your own pace. With tourism picking up, but not yet overwhelming, these are great months to explore some of the hidden gems in Denver. Such as the best Denver speakeasies and other spots that only locals know about.
DENVER IN JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER (SUMMER)
Summer days in Denver are beautiful and sunny. With relatively low humidity, you can expect an average high of 88°F in July. But even when the temperatures push to a more uncomfortable 100°F, there’s always the rain to cool the city down. The summer months receive 70% of the annual rainfall.
Denver’s tourism industry hums during the summer. During this peak season, you’ll find that hotel prices are more expensive, the streets are busier, and the queues at various attractions are longer. This creates a lively atmosphere, but if you’re on a budget or get anxious in crowds then the shoulder seasons may be a better option.
Weather conditions in summer in Denver are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of options to keep your days full and your nights long. From kayaking in Confluence Park to the Lakeside Amusement Park, perusing the many farmer’s markets and sipping cocktails on the best rooftop bars in Denver.
If you have a bit more time in the city, then a day trip to the Rocky Mountains is a must-do for anyone who loves nature.
DENVER IN OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER (FALL)
I may be biased, but Denver (and surroundings) create the most breathtaking fall scene as the foliage turns to different shades of yellow and orange. The beginning of fall is a great time to visit the city as the temperatures reach a pleasant 65°F during the day (in October). Perfect for exploring the city without breaking a sweat.
The weather begins to get colder in Denver in November, with the days dropping to an average of 52°F. By then, the streets become significantly less busy. But while the city center may be quieter, the natural attractions remain busy.
Fall is a great time to visit Denver if you’re a fan of mountain biking and hiking. There are many well-known trails and parks that promise an unforgettable experience. Such as Cherry Creek State Park, South Platte River Bike Trail, and the Highland Canal.
If you plan on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park as a day trip then fall is also a top choice as the natural beauty is still thriving, but the crowds are still bearable.
DENVER IN JANUARY, FEBRUARY & MARCH (WINTER)
Winter is the least popular month to visit Denver. January is cold and snowy, with an average low of 17°F. These cold temperatures and snowy conditions can make the bike trails and hiking routes less inviting (but still enjoyable on warmer days).
March introduces snowstorms and wild temperature swings, allowing for the transition into spring. By then, the temperature averages a warmer high of 54°F, but the days can still be frosty. To make the most of the snow, you can take a short day trip to Colorado Adventure Park in Fraser. Winter is also ski season in the nearby Rocky Mountains.
While the weather may not be the most pleasant, it is still considered mild and there is a lot of fun to be had. The city has a big beer culture and there are several breweries that invite visitors for tours and tastings. There’s even the Winter Brew Fest that happens in January.
WHERE TO STAY IN DENVER
Almost as important as picking the right time to visit for your needs, picking the perfect place to stay can make or break your vacation. Luckily there are plenty of incredible options in Denver whether you prefer to stay in a hotel, or Airbnb.
Denver is lucky in that there are no shortage of amazing hotel options sprinkled throughout the city. No matter when you visit, or what area you want to stay in – you’re sure to find a killer hotel to match. And there are great options whether you want to lay in the lap of luxury, or just find a clean place to rest for the night.
Here are some of my favorites in Denver:
– Feel the magic of escapism at The Ramble, a boutique hotel (with New York ties) located in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood
– For a more luxurious retreat in Denver’s upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood, check out The Halcyon (and be sure to find the Denver speakeasy nearby!)
– Discover curated artwork and modern rooms at the ART, a hotel – it’s also located mere steps from the Denver Art Museum
– Stay at one of Denver’s most beloved downtown hotels, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, and enjoy stylish rooms with a vibrant atmosphere
– Another amazing Cherry Creek option, The Jacquard was voted a top hotel by Conde Nast Traveler and has an incredible rooftop pool
– Finally, a stay at The Source Hotel features modern rooms, a rooftop restaurant with views of the Rocky Mountains and a slew of independent retailers, bars, and more on the main level
For many modern travelers, hotels are a thing of the past. Turned away in favor of utilizing the home share market. So if you find yourself leaning more towards Airbnb when you travel – fear not! Denver has plenty of incredible Airbnb options throughout the city.
The options are truly plentiful, but here are some of my personal favorites:
– Bring a crowd (up to 8!) at this incredible Highlands townhouse that includes parking, a relaxing soaker tub, and an amazing rooftop deck
– It’s all about location at this stunning downtown apartment that is blocks from major attractions like Union Station and the 16th Street Mall
– Feel like city living in this RiNo industrial 2-story loft with lots of exposed brick and a private courtyard
– Live in color at this vibrant art-filled Capitol Hill condo that is very walkable to city attractions
– Shop ’til you drop in Cherry Creek with this luxury apartment that includes an incredible private deck
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO DENVER
Whether you choose to visit Denver in June, as the city transitions to summer or December as the Christmas markets add to the festive mood – you’re in for a treat.
Make sure that you choose a convenient area to stay so that you have easy access to all the main attractions, and experience the vibrant life of the locals.
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