NACA® Live - Experience Denver
Sculpture Garden Festival
The NACA® Live Team made sure to build time into the schedule for you to explore the amazing city of Denver. The following recreational options can be organized on your own time and schedule. Some are free and some have NACA discounts that you can book directly through the company. If you are interested in learning about the professional development pre-conference workshops for graduate students and professionals, please click here. 

Red Rocks Bus Tour

When: Saturday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. from Union Station

Company: Aspire

Length: Four hours

Cost: $69/person - Purchase directly through the company and mention NACA for a discount

Explore Colorado in its greatest beauty during a half-day tour to Red Rocks Amphitheater and the foothills of the Rockies. You’ll drive along the scenic Lariat Loop in an upscale vehicle that has panoramic views for miles. Stand high atop Lookout Mountain breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine.

Tour highlights:

  • Red Rocks Amphitheater
  • Scenic drive along Lariat Loop
  • Evergreen, CO for coffee or souvenir shopping
  • Views atop Lookout Mountain

  • Denver Graffiti Walking Tour

    When: Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.

    Company: Denver Graffiti Tour

    Length: Two hours / two miles

    Cost: $30/person

    This two-hour walking tour is a showcase of the best street art in the city. Learn the story behind the murals, graffiti and street art and how the rapidly changing River North Art District (RiNo) neighborhood has affected the art and its long-time residents. The tour ends at Denver Central Market in the heart of RiNo, from where you can enjoy great restaurants, breweries and galleries.

    LGBTQ History Walking Tour

    When: On-Your-Own

    Cost: Free

    Take a self-guided audio tour right on your smartphone to learn about Denver's LGBTQ history. Developed by AARP Colorado and the Center on Colfax, the GPS-led app will guide you through Denver’s LGBT landmarks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and along Colfax Avenue. The 10-point tour includes Cheesman Park; Charlie’s, home of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association; and Smiley’s Laundromat, a community landmark which generated intense debate about historic preservation and community identity. To access the tour, download the free Geotourist app. Learn more.

    Historical Walking Tour

    When: On-Your-Own

    Cost: Free

    This walking tour will take you to some of the best spots in Downtown Denver, where the city’s past and present come together in utterly unique ways. Many of the sites and buildings are listed as official Denver landmarks or included in the National Register of Historic Places. Many also have markers and plaques noting their original intended purpose and construction dates.

    Use the 16th Street Mall as your home base. Designed in 1982 by I.M. Pei, the 16th Street Mall is a mile-long pedestrian promenade lined with outdoor cafés, flower baskets and retail shops, making it the perfect starting point for an adventure-filled day. Free shuttles travel both directions the entire length of the Mall from early morning to late at night. They stop at every intersection, making it easy to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.

    Denver Walking Tour

    When: Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. departure (arrive 5-10 minutes early; no reservations needed unless your party is seven or more)

    Where: The front steps of the Colorado State Capitol; ends at Union Station

    Company: Denver Walking Tours

    Length: 2-2.5 hours; 1.7-mile flat, accessible tour

    Cost: Free (tips appreciated); groups 7 or more require private, pre-paid tour

    Things to See

    When: On-Your-Own

    Cost: Varies

    Wondering what else you can do while you’re in Denver? Check out this comprehensive list from and check out some of these facts:

    1. Denver really is exactly one mile high. There is a step on the State Capitol Building that is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
    2. Denver has one of the most walkable downtowns in the nation. Within a mile radius, downtown Denver has three major sports stadiums, the nation's second-largest performing arts center, three colleges with 30,000 students, an assortment of art and history museums, a mint that produces 10 bill coins a year, a river offering white water rafting and a $100 million aquarium.
    3. Denver's history is short but colorful. In 1858, there was not a single person living in the Denver metro area. Thirty years later, Colorado was a state with a population of almost 200,000, thanks to the Gold Rush.
    4. Denver has one of the most unique city park systems in the nation. There are 200 parks within the city – one of which includes a herd of buffalo – and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains.
    5. Denver has 300 days of sunshine a year. The city has a mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach. And in the winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees in February. 

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