Affordable Adventures in Denver

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Elevate your experience in the Mile High City without spending much money. In fact, you can start by seeing how money is made by taking a free 45-minute tour of the Denver U.S. Mint. Get up close to the production lines while learning the history of coinage.

Love to read? Journey through Tattered Cover Book Store, one of the top independent bookstores in the nation. While there are several locations, this not-to-be-missed branch is on Colfax Avenue, in the renovated Lowenstein Theater.

Wander the Golden Triangle Creative District, a neighborhood with more than 30 art galleries and artists' studios. Walk a few blocks to Denver Art Museum ($22 admission), with pieces from all over the world as well as the Rocky Mountain region. And while it boasts a renowned collection of books, you can include Denver Central Library in your art walk. Here, you'll admire murals by Edward Ruscha and other impressive artwork including Donald Lipski's The Yearling, a life-size horse sculpture perched atop an enormous red chair.

Nature lovers can explore Denver's many parks and trails, including Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, carved from towering red rock monuments. Visit Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge to see bison, deer, raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, prairie dogs, coyotes and other species. For awe-inspiring views of the city skyline against the Rocky Mountains, climb the 99-step spiral staircase at the Colorado State Capitol, which also offers complimentary tours on weekdays.

Admire Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street ($15.75 admission), spanning more than 24 acres. The diversity of plants celebrates the area's unique high-altitude climate and geography, and the grounds are designated birding hotspots.

Sip Denver's thriving brewery scene. Take the Coors Brewery Tour ($20 admission, reservations required), which walks you through the largest single-site brewery in the world. Or sample the many microbrews and nonalcoholic beers offered at tap rooms like Great Divide Brewing Company's Brewery and Tap Room or Wynkoop Brewing Co. For a guided experience, consider Mile High Bike Tours' Bike & Brew Tour through the RiNo (River North) District (starting at $84). Not a beer drinker? Look for locally fermented kombucha from proprietors including 3rd Bird Kombucha, MOR Kombucha or Symbiotik Kombucha.

Denver offers so many free and frugal experiences to delight your senses, reconnect you to nature or simply show you a good time. Enjoy as many moments as you can while you're on a break from NTI!