Best Time to Visit Denver CO | Tourist Attractions | Festivals | Weather

Denver hosts the highest number of tourists in the months of June through August. It’s the summer holidays and the tourists flock in. So, if you don’t like crowds, summer is not the best time to visit Denver. The hotels, restaurants, and shops are full and accommodation costs a lot more.

Denver Colorado green trees cover landscape east of Downtown Denver aerial drone view of Colorado Summer - Best time to visit Denver

Denver Colorado green trees cover landscape east of Downtown Denver aerial drone view of Colorado Summer

I am not suggesting that you visit in winter unless you’re here to enjoy the great ski slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Visit in April and May or September and October and you’ll enjoy the benefit of lower prices and more choices.

Though at this time of the year, the weather is not as warm as it is in the summer months, it is still pleasant on either side of the summer. Just make sure that you bring along some warm clothes as November, in particular, can be quite chilly.

Denver Weather

Denver city and beautiful park in autumn day,Colorado,United States.

Denver city and beautiful park in autumn day, Colorado, United States.

Located in the South Platte Valley, Denver enjoys warm dry summers and moderate winters. Though the city has around 245 sunny days every year, it also experiences on average 60 inches of snow. Snow falls from late fall to early spring, but the heaviest snows usually happen in March.

Just 12 miles east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver’s climate is dominated by the Rocky Mountains. Temperatures can fluctuate substantially particularly in winter when snow brings freezing temperatures which alternate with milder weather thanks to the Chinook winds.


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April to May

Denver, Colorado, Pearl Street Mall during tulip bloom in early Spring - Denver average temperature by month

Pearl Street Mall during tulip bloom in early Spring. Denver, Colorado

Being spring, the temperatures in Denver start to rise at this time of the year. Still, it can rain a bit in April and May so you may have to find some indoor activities to keep you busy. There are plenty of art galleries, museums, restaurants, and pubs in Denver so you’re bound to find something to do on rainy days.

Expect temperatures of between 55° and 65° Fahrenheit. During spring, the parks are alive with birds and butterflies and blossoms scent the air.

In April and May, the locals come out to play and you will find parties in the pubs and restaurants throughout the period. There are several festivals in Denver in the month of May. These include the Downtown Denver Art Festival and the Five Point Jazz Festival.

June to August

Denver, Colorado, USA - Wall decorated with colorful kayaks and water skis in downtown Denver. As seen directly across the street from the Denver Aquarium.

Denver, Colorado, USA – Wall decorated with colorful kayaks and water skis in downtown Denver. As seen directly across the street from the Denver Aquarium.

June to August is peak season in Denver. Expect to pay more for accommodation and you’ll need to book well in advance of the season. July is the rainiest month of the year. Temperatures are high and may even exceed 90° Fahrenheit at times. Yet, there is relatively little humidity so on most days the warm weather is comfortable. Expect afternoon showers that cool down even the hottest day and ensure cool and pleasant evenings.

During the summer months, Denver buzzes with activity and there is plenty to do. This is, however, not the best time of year to visit Denver if you don’t enjoy crowds or if you have a limited vacation budget.

Summer months in Denver bring with them plenty of festivals and celebrations. Art fairs, musical festivals, and lively street markets beckon the crowds throughout the summer and make for a really festive holiday season.


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September to October

Empty bench by lake with Fall trees - Washington Park - Denver, Colorado - Best Time To Visit Denver

Empty bench by lake with Fall trees – Washington Park – Denver, Colorado

Visitors enjoy Denver in the autumn months. There is less rain, and most days are sunny. Daytime temperatures are generally warm. Still by October temperatures can drop down to the mid-’30s. If you’re doing Denver in autumn, it’s best to come prepared for changeable weather. So, make sure that you pack in some warm clothes.

This is a great time of year to check out the hiking and cycling trails. There are fewer people and you don’t have to worry too much about freezing temperatures and snowfalls.

Thanks to the fall colors and mostly dry weather this is the best time of year for hiking, horseback riding, and cycling. Denver has plenty of walking and cycling trails and this is the time to explore them. Take time to visit at least one of the many state parks and preserves in the Denver surrounds. There are more than 20 hikes within 30 minutes of the city. So, you’re spoiled for choice

This time in Denver Colorado is particularly popular because Denver hosts a number of festivals over the period. These include the Denver Food and Wine Festival and the Octoberfest.

November to March

Denver, Colorado, USA at the Colorado State Capitol during a winters night. weather in Denver in November

Denver, Colorado, USA at the Colorado State Capitol during a winters night.

Few people visit Denver from November to March. The weather is cold and dry. So, the only thing that draws any visitors to the city is its proximity to the ski slopes in Vail and Aspen. Expect snow from December to February. Though the daytime temperatures are not too cold, temperatures often drop below freezing at night.

Though there are fewer crowds in Denver’s colder months and prices are reasonable, not all attractions will open in the winter.  The cold weather can bring snow, wind, rain, and freezing cold. So, if you can’t cope with the cold, don’t plan a winter vacation in Denver.

Though still cold, Denver attracts a lot of visitors during the March holidays. So, this may not be the best time to visit if you don’t like crowds.


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Best Time to Visit Denver to Avoid Crowds

Colorful Morning Sunrise Over Downtown Denver Skyline in Colorado - Denver Average Temperature by Month

Colorful Morning Sunrise Over Downtown Denver Skyline in Colorado

Summer is the busiest time in Denver Colorado. The colder months from November through February are quiet with few visitors. Yet, the weather can become quite unpleasant with freezing temperatures, snow, and rain. So, if you don’t enjoy cold conditions you may have to opt for smaller crowds in Spring and Autumn.

If you choose to vacation in the winter months, be aware that many outdoor activities close over this time.

Denver Average Temperature by Month

Clouds Gather over Denver Skyline in the Evening - Grassy Field - Denver Average Temperature by Month

Clouds Gather over Denver Skyline in the Evening

  • Denver in January               16.2° to 43.2°
  • Denver in February             20.1° to 46.6°
  • Denver in March                   25.9° to 52.2°
  • Denver in April                      34.5° to 61.9°
  • Denver in May                      43.5° to 70.9°
  • Denver in June                     52.3° to 81.3°
  • Denver in July                      58.6° to 88.2°
  • Denver in August                 56.8° to 85.8°
  • Denver in September          47.7° to 76.8°
  • Denver in October                  36.3° to 66.4°
  • Denver in November              25.3° to 52.5°
  • Denver in December              17.4° to 44.4°

Best Time To Visit Denver | Things to Do in Denver Colorado

Colorful umbrellas street decoration on the narrow alley of RiNo art district in Denver, Colorado - Things to Do in Denver, Colorado | Denver Tourist Attractions

Colorful umbrellas street decoration on the narrow alley of Rino art district in Denver, Colorado

There are lots of tourist attractions in Denver and you should find plenty to do no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Here are a few suggestions on the best things to do in Denver at various times of the year.

Best Time for Museums and Other Activities

Things to Do in Denver, Colorado | Denver Tourist Attractions -The Denver Art Museum (DAM), located in the Civic Center, is famous for its collection of Native American art. The Hamilton Building was designed by Libeskind.

The Denver Art Museum (DAM), located in the Civic Center, is famous for its collection of Native American art. The Hamilton Building was designed by Libeskind.

In Denver, museums and art galleries open throughout the year. The entrance fee doesn’t change from one season to the next. Denver boasts a number of great museums and art galleries. Two of the best, the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum are open every day.

So, you can plan to spend a rainy day any time of the year exploring their worthwhile and interesting exhibitions.

If, on the other hand, you hope to visit the Botanical Gardens, or spend time in the city’s many parks, winter is not the best time to go to Denver. The gardens and parks are open throughout the year. Still, who wants to walk through the gardens in the snow? If you’re a theme park fan, your best bet is a summer vacation as the theme parks close in November.


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Best Time to Visit Denver Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden in Denver, Colorado. Best Time to Visit Denver Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden in Denver, Colorado.

If you love gardens and parks the 24-acre Denver Botanical Gardens should definitely make your itinerary. The gardens are open all year round. Here, gravel paths meander through seven diverse gardens that contain a vast assortment of plants from cacti to orchids.

In spring and summer, you’ll love the butterflies, birds, and colorful blossoms, and in the fall enjoy the changing golds and reds above and below.

Best Time to Shop in Denver

Rainy night at the 16th Street Mall. Shops closed at 9PM and the street became very quiet. Shopping in Denver

Rainy night at the 16th Street Mall. Shops closed at 9PM and the street became very quiet.

Shopping in Denver is good any time of year. The city has indoor malls where you can do your winter shopping. Even Larimer Square, though outside, retains its charm in winter with seasonal lights and decorations.

Larimer Square was built in the early 1800s. It was once home to the first post office, the first bank, the first book store, and the first theater so it’s well worth a visit even if you don’t plan to shop.

When it comes to shopping, you will find something a little different in the warmer months between April and November. This is when markets spring up all over the city and you can buy everything from snacks to produce and arts and crafts.

Best Time for Music Concerts in Denver

Places to visit in Denver - View of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an open-air amphitheater carved into the red rock located near Denver, Colorado.

View of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an open-air amphitheater carved into the red rock located near Denver, Colorado.

The citizens of Denver love their music, so you’ll always find live music here. The bars and concert halls host live shows throughout the year. That said, some of the best shows are outdoors and only take place when the weather is good.

The Red Rocks Amphitheater, for example, is one of the most beautiful outdoor amphitheaters in the US. The stage is surrounded by spectacular red sandstone cliffs. The view from the amphitheater is stunning and the acoustics are remarkable. The Red Rocks Amphitheater hosts live shows between April and October.

The Amphitheater also serves as an outdoor gym, with people taking to its many steps. The surrounding 868-acre garden also hosts runners enjoying the fresh air and the breathtaking views.

Best Time to Visit Denver City Parks

Best Time To Visit Denver -The Denver City Park Pavillion was built in 1929. The Spanish-style landmark is on the US National Register of Historic Places.

The Denver City Park Pavillion was built in 1929. The Spanish-style landmark is on the US National Register of Historic Places.

Denver has more than 200 parks and they cover more than 5,000 acres. No trip to the city would be complete without spending some time wandering through the parks. Parks are open year-round, but they are best enjoyed when the weather is warm.

Spring and summer bring colorful blossoms and verdant greenery. Yet it is the fall colors that draw many to the tranquil gardens.

City Park is the biggest of these parks. It is home to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science. It boasts 330 acres of recreational space. This includes two lakes and a Spanish pavilion. The Park offers grand views of the city skyline against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Located in the park, the Denver Zoo houses more than 3,000 animals. These include animals from the African grasslands and an extensive collection of marine animals.

Best Time to Visit Denver for Hiking

Success woman hiker hiking on sunrise mountain peak - Best time to visit Denver for hiking

Denver offers quick and easy access to the Rocky Mountains so it is a drawcard for hikers. This is, in fact, one of the most popular areas in the US for hiking. April to October is the best time of the year to enjoy outdoor adventures.

That said, melting snow contributes to water and mud accumulating in the countryside. The situation is worsened by the fact that April and May are the rainiest months of the year in Denver.

The best hiking months, weatherwise, happen from June to August, but local and international tourists stream into Denver from around mid-June. This ensures that the hiking trails are at their busiest, detracting from the experience.

In September and October, the temperatures drop a little, and the crowds thin out. This ensures a more pleasant hiking experience. You will also find it easier to book a camping site of your choice and at better prices.


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Denver Events by Month | Denver Tourist Attractions

Blooming Lights, Denver Botanic Gardens - Denver Events by Month

Blooming Lights, Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver has dozens of events throughout the year. So, we’ve listed just a few of the favorites by month

Denver Events in January

A glass of Beer, with snow and christmas.

Winter Brew Fest

Denver is known for its many craft breweries. Buy a ticket to the Winter Brew Fest in January and you will receive an unlimited number of tastings of local and national beers. There is also plenty of entertainment and food available.

National Western Stock Show and Rodeo

Honoring the old Western heritage of the area, this sixteen-day event hosts the biggest trade show in the west. It also showcases rodeos and livestock competitions.

Denver Events in February

Denver Restaurant Week

Mid-February some of Denver’s top restaurants offer top cuisine with menus that cover a number of courses at excellent prices. What better way to enjoy a cold winter’s night?

 

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Denver Events in March

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

The Denver pubs come alive on Saint Patrick’s Day with live entertainment and plenty of food and drink. The day starts off Downtown with a St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Denver Events in April

Not much happens in April but Denver certainly makes up for this in May!

Denver Events on May

Five Points Jazz Festival

The Five Points neighborhood was once known as the Harlem of the West because of its love of jazz. Today, it celebrates that history with an annual jazz festival each May.

 

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Cinco Da Mayo Festival

A great festival that celebrates local culture through music, dance, and delicious cuisine. There is also plenty of live entertainment, games, and competitions.

Denver Arts Festival

 

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Taking place over the Memorial weekend over the last 20 years, this festival showcases the works of local artists. It attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year.

Denver Events in June

Denver Chalk Art Festival

Denver’s Larimer Square comes alive as more than 200 artists ply their trade coloring the streets in colorful chalk works of art. This weekend of fun is accompanied by live music while the aroma of delicious local food fills the air.

Denver Events in July

The Cherry Creek Arts Festival

The Cherry Creek Performing Arts Festival takes place in July each year. It attracts more than 250 exhibitors. Live music, artists, and a busy beer garden make for a festive event that lasts the weekend.

 

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Denver Events in August

Red Rocks Summer Concert Series

A concert in this natural amphitheater is to amphitheater be missed. The beautiful venue also ensures near-perfect acoustics. Make sure to find out which local or nationally renowned musicians are playing during your vacation in Denver.

Denver Events in September

This is a great month for beer lovers. In September Denver hosts the Octoberfest, Denver Beer Week, and the Great American Beer Festival. If wine is your drink of choice, you’re in luck the Denver Food and Wine Fest also takes place in September.

 

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Denver Events in October

Corn Maze

The Denver Botanical Garden sets up a corn maze in October. It remains in place throughout the month. You can even try the maze after dark. Children will enjoy pony and hay rides also available during this time.

Farm Corn field featuring corn stalks and corn maze - places to visit in denver

Denver Events November

Denver Christkindl Market

Enjoy the German Holiday Market in an area reminiscent of a European town square. Homemade holiday treats and fine arts and crafts go up for sale from mid-November until just before Christmas Eve. Lively holiday music and German food and drink make this a truly authentic European experience.

Denver Events December

Blossoms of Light

Right through December, the Denver Botanic Gardens presents the three-decade-old holiday light show called the Blossoms of Light. Stock up with warm drinks and holiday treats and enjoy the winter wonderland.

 

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Final Thoughts on the Best Time to Visit Denver

Denver is a lot of fun all year round with plenty of festivals, restaurants, and pubs to keep you occupied. Unless you like cold and blustery whether it is best to plan your Denver vacation for the warmer months between April and November.

If you don’t like crowds, April and May or October and November are your months, you’ll also benefit from cheaper accommodation.