Leave the city behind when you wander through these beautiful and fascinating gardens.
Denver Botanic Gardens are the result of a project developed over the past 60 years to promote conservation and provide a welcome green oasis in the city. From their original position in City Park in the early 1950s, the gardens have grown to occupy three separate sites, one in the city itself and two just a short distance outside Denver. Each of the sites has its own character and exhibits, so it is definitely worth making the trip.
At the York Street location in the city, you’ll discover gardens from all over the globe. The 42 separate plots include a Japanese garden called Shofu-en (Garden of the Wind) and the South African Plaza, as well as gardens that showcase how to manage increasing drought and climate change. You can also visit the city’s first green roof, which demonstrates how urban landscapes can still incorporate nature and horticulture.
This site is also home to the Mordecai Children’s Garden, which is full of fascinating activities that teach young visitors all about plants and insects. Stop for a well-earned break at the Offshoots Café, open throughout the year, or if visiting in the spring or summer, the Monet Deck Café.
With just a 30-minute drive from the city, you will reach the Chatfield gardens site. This working farm comprises a historic ranch, dairy barn and silo, as well as a restored schoolhouse dating back to 1874. There are over 4 kilometres of walking trails through beautiful grounds, with plenty of wildlife to spot. Children will love the Deer Creek Discovery play area, complete with tree house and climbing wall.
Set aside at least half a day to visit the gardens at Mount Goliath, 80 kilometres outside Denver. This mountain peak is located within the Arapaho National Forest, with stunning views across the nearby mountain range. Follow the paths to discover delicate alpine flowers, including moss campion, fairy primrose and chiming bells. If you visit between June and August, you can join one of the fascinating guided hikes.
There is a small charge for entry at each of the sites, but the cost includes parking.