LABOR DAY WEEKEND I LOVE – 5 Ways to End Summer with a Wow!

Denver Ice Cream

Labor Day weekend in Denver is the perfect time to experience iconic Denver at its height! Here are 5 ways to end summer with a wow!

1. Have An Epic Red Rocks Experience

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Photo: Evan Dechtman

A Denver summer without Red Rocks is really no summer at all. You’ve still got time! The concert line up for Labor Day weekend has something for everyone. Friday night Canadian DJ Rezz will finish a three night run. Saturday night Said the Sky takes the stage with more electronic dance music, and Sunday features the Jonas Brothers. Monday’s show stars Griz, one of the top Dance/Electronica artists in the 2021 music scene.  You might just have to stick around Tuesday for a cheeseburger in paradise with Jimmy Buffet.

2. Make it to the Mountains

Photo: Jenn Dechtman

The mountains near Denver are nothing short of spectacular. If world travelers can cross continents and multiple seas to reach the iconic Rocky Mountains, surely you can find a weekend or even a few hours to take in the beauty.  Sometimes its nice not to have a big agenda.  Find a creek to sit by, a trail to hike, a road to ride or a picnic table to eat on.

Sydney Beckett summits Quandry Peak. Elevation: 14,265 Ft.

Maybe you’ve been waiting for that perfect 3-day weekend to finally climb a fourteener.  The Fourteeners closest to Denver are: Grays Peak , 14,270 feet high (1 hour 2o minutes from Denver), Torreys Peak, 14,275 feet high (1 hour and 10 minutes from Denver); Mountain Evans, 14,265 feet high (1 hour and 30 minutes from Denver) and Mount Bierstadt, 14,065 (1 hour and 15 minutes from Denver).

For some more fun mountain town suggestions, check out Denver I Love’s article, Hop Off the Highway Honey: Colorado Roadtrips and Fun Stops on I-70.

3. Find a Festival

Even with all the cancellations and postponements due to Covid 19, there seems to be no shortage of high quality music festivals, dance festivals, art shows and food festivals happening in and around Denver this weekend.  Festivals are a great way to support local artists, musicians, chefs and small business owners in Colorado.

Two of the greatest Denver festivals of all time are happening this weekend.

Taste of Colorado, September 4-6

Taste of Colorado
Photo: Courtesy of Taste of Colorado

The Downtown Denver Partnership is proud to host the return of Taste of Colorado. This year’s collection of experiences has been reimagined in a new format that will be a city-wide celebration of local culture, food, music, art, nature, and urban adventure.

We’re excited to bring Taste of Colorado back in new ways in 2021. Connection and community are more important now than ever, and Taste will be spread across our urban core as we celebrate the local creativity, passion, and diversity that are a critically important part of our region’s fabric and culture. – Sharon Alton, Senior Vice President of Downtown Experience at the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Highlights of Taste of Colorado 2021: include shopping from local artisans and free live music by.  You can see the list of performances, stage locations and times  here.  This year’s festival will also feature the Urban Art Adventure Walk highlighting an intersection of art and community.

Of course the main attraction is the food, the drinks, the “tastes of Colorado!”  Totally different this year. Instead of gathering a ton of people in Civic Center Park, the tasting is spread throughout downtown and even into the restaurants.  Restaurants with an existing physical location in Downtown Denver have a unique opportunity to join in the Taste celebration this year, as well as food trucks, booths, and more.

Stills in the City is a boozy bevy featuring dozens of local craft distilleries and hundreds of varieties of spirits. All Labor Day weekend, Skyline Park will transform into one big speakeasy, so grab some family and friends to sip, savor, and repeat.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival, September 4 -6

Another iconic Denver Festival is the annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Usually held over July 4th weekend, the Festival was rescheduled for Labor Day. The Cherry Creek Arts Festival will take place Sept. 4, 5 and 6, creekside at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, with a 30th Anniversary Kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 2 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the new Festival site.  This is one of the most celebrated arts festival in the country featuring the work of world renown artists. For the list of participating artists, click here.

This year, the Festival is teaming up with another great local festival, the Denver Chalk Festival. The Denver Chalk Art Festival started in 2003 and has historically occurred during June on the streets of Larimer Square. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chalk Festival took place in driveways and on sidewalks around Denver. This year, chalk festival artists will showcase their work at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. More than 100 artists will create temporary chalk artworks on Sunday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Sept. 6 at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (CCSC) in the northwest parking lot near University Boulevard and 1st Avenue.

4. Visit a National Park

Denver is centrally located within a day’s drive of some of the countries most spectacular national parks!  The wildlife and breathtaking views are unparalleled.

Set a goal to visit at least one before the weather turns icy.   Here’s the list for easy reference plus a few Denver I Love original pictures to get you excited!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo: Evan Dechtman

1 hour and 20 minutes by car from Denver

The Colorado Monument

Colorado Monument
Photo: Jenn Dechtman

4 hours by car from Denver

Arches National Park

Arches National Park
Photo: Jenn Dechtman

5 1/2  hours by car

Canyonlands National Park

Photo: Jenn Dechtman

5 1/2 hours by car

The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Photo: Jenn Dechtman

3 hours and 42 minutes by car

5. Dine on a Rooftop

Tamayo Larimer Square
Photo: Evan Dechtman

Not everything on this list will make your tired. How does just sitting back and having some chips ad salsa sound? The striking summer sunsets of Denver set the stage for some of the city’s best rooftop dining. We have a few favorites from the bougie restaurants of Cherry Creek, the historic buildings of Lower Downtown to the cool spaces of the Highlands and RiNO.

Here are some of the awesome rooftops in Denver:

We hope this inspires you a bit, and we wish you a great end of summer.  Follow along on Instagram @denverilove for more ideas and ways to maximize the Denver lifestyle.

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