Denver, Colorado

5 Best Parks in Denver for Your Sunny Sundays

Denver, Colorado, nicknamed “Mile High City” for being located one mile above sea level, may be known for its harsh winters, but you’ll find 300 days of sunshine in this beautiful western state. It’s no secret that if you find yourself in Denver in the winter, this urban, artsy city is packed with visitors and locals looking to hit the slopes in the Colorado Rockies every weekend. But that’s not the real secret to Denver.

What the secret is, is staying past ski season when the snow melts, the temperature rises, and the dogs and roller skates come out in full splendor. Don’t underestimate the fun you can have in a park.  You have picnics, skateboarding, birthday parties, flying kites, foodie events, and more.  The activities are endless! According to Denver’s Parks and Recreation, you’ll find over 250 regional parks in all of Denver! While the options are endless, these top five parks in Denver are some of the most quaint, scenic, and peaceful spots to make big city living feel not so big.

5 Parks in Denver

1.    Washington Park

2.    City Park

3.    Cheeseman Park

4.    Sloan’s Lake

5.    Berkeley Lake Park

1. Washington Park

Located in the heart of the city, Washington Park is one of the most popular parks in the Denver area (and my personal favorite!). “Wash Park” is home to two lakes, two botanical gardens, a large open meadow field with a perfect view of the mountain in the distance, and a 2.3-mile trail loop, perfect for afternoon strolls or morning runs. It’s been compared to Central Park in New York City and if you’ve been to both parks you will most likely agree with the assessment. When the weather gets warmer, you’ll find pick-up volleyball and tennis games around the recreation areas.  So, get some friends together one weekend and start your own game.

Washington Park

The Washington Park Recreation Center has a wide variety of sports options, including Pickleball courts and private lessons!  Take a short walk to Gaylord Street after your day at the park and enjoy happy hour at some of Denver’s local favorites!

2. City Park

At approximately 330 acres, City Park is the largest park in Denver. City Park’s most unique feature is the views of both the mountains AND the city. You can take the short trail around the park or find a seat on a bench to enjoy the sights and the wildlife. Around the park, you’ll find families celebrating birthday parties, and children flying kites, and if you’re lucky, you might catch some bridal party photos! You can rent a swan boat from Wheel Fun Rentals and see the park from the water. If you’re looking for an even more interesting way to spend your Saturday nightlife, they offer rides after sunset too!

If you’re an animal lover, you can also find the Denver Zoo in City Park!

City Park

3. Cheeseman Park

Located in Central Denver, Cheeseman Park is a city landmark known for its early history and unique paranormal activity. After the Sand Creek Massacre, Cheeseman Park was used as a cemetery. It’s estimated to be home to 2,000 graves. To no surprise, this has brought on the reputation of Cheeseman Park being a haunted historical site in Denver.

When the ghosts aren’t busy haunting, this park in Denver is known for its biking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds, making it an excellent spot for the whole family. The Denver Botanic Garden is located on the Cheeseman Park Property, where you’ll find a massive collection of cold-temperature plants from around the world.

4. Sloan’s Lake

If you are looking for good panoramic views in Denver, Sloan’s Lake has the views for you. Sloan’s is the largest lake and the second-largest park in Denver. It has unmatched breathtaking views of the mountains and the Denver skyline. This is great for your Instagram-worthy photos of your time spent in Denver.  The park’s many athletic courts, picnic areas, and bike trails make it a perfect spot to spend your day exercising or relaxing (or both!).

The city of Denver hosts Colorado’s Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake in July. If you’ve never been to a Dragon Boat Festival, it may not sound like much, but it is one of the most celebrated events in the summer! Over 50 teams from amateur and professional leagues come to compete, more than 100 performances of live music and fine arts & crafts take place, and multiple food vendors bring you tastes and novelties from Asia and the Pacific.

Sloan Lake

5. Berkeley Lake Park

It wouldn’t be fair to get through a list of top-notch parks without adding a park for your furry friends! If you’re looking for fun for the entire family, look no further. Berkeley Lake Park holds a golf course, dog park, tennis courts, softball fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

The 34-acre park located in Northwest Denver also offers a 1.1-mile walking loop, a boat ramp for your summer boating, and a recreation center for all your park activity necessities.

Bring your furry pals, friends, and visitors to enjoy this park and take in the views and activities it offers.

Grab your picnic blankets and head to the park!

All of the family-friendly environments and outdoor recreation areas are easily accessible and the facilities make the parks in Denver unique and perfect for all of Denver’s many welcoming residents. You’ll find easy access to parking near each location if you’re driving here but it’s just as easy to take a ride share or public transportation.  You’ll find it continuously filled with friendly locals and visitors from all over. The next time you’re in Denver and see the sun shining, add this to your list of things to do in Denver and don’t forget to stop by one of these beautiful parks to take advantage of everything the city offers.

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