Denver International Airport is located 23 miles from downtown Denver and so, if you are stuck at the airport for one reason or another, a longer layover has its benefits. Given eight or ten hours between flights you could find plenty of attractions and activities to keep even the most contrary traveller happy.
The Denver Zoo
With enough time to spare you could spend the day at the Denver Zoo. A veritable African wildlife experience in the heart of an American city, Denver offers amazing attractions such as Predator Ridge where African predators can be seen in an exhibit as close to their natural habitat as possible, and Tropical Discovery where visitors can walk through acres of rain forest, mangrove swamps and along tropical riverbanks as far away from airport hum drum as you can get. This option would be a great way for a family to while away a 10 hour or so layover as the zoo is located about 20 miles from the airport and there is plenty to see.
The 16th Street Pedestrian Mall
This hub of shopping, dining and entertainment has something to offer for everyone. Even the harassed business executive will be happy as 16th Street Pedestrian Mall is a wireless internet hotspot with free internet access anywhere along the Mall or Skyline Park. From the Mall you also have easy access to many of Denver’s other downtown attractions such as the Pepsi Centre and Coors Field. About half an hour to an hour from the airport by taxi, depending on traffic, you need to allow plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds. This option would make for an entertaining and vibrant way to spend your long layover, but make sure you leave enough time to get back to the airport to catch your connecting flight.
If you are unlucky enough to be left with a five or six hour delay or layover, venturing away from the airport could be a little stressful as most things are a fair distance away. Denver International Airport does, however, have a few interesting attractions within the airport compound that could be worth a look.
The DIA Public Art Program
This attraction offers an eye catching experience that will certainly take your mind off waiting. The permanent art collection features 26 site-specific works of art by 39 artists. The pieces can be found in the airport landscape and in the architecture of Jeppesen Terminal and Concourses. The train tunnels and communication systems also have their fair share of inspiring visual attractions. These permanent displays include sculptures, murals and installations. Alongside the permanent collection the airport has a number of changing exhibits in different locations. These can be found by accessing the official airport website.
Something to Eat
Denver International Airport has over 50 restaurants, cafés and eateries to choose from so you could settle down and enjoy a lengthy meal to while away another hour or so before your onward connection.
So do not despair if you are stuck at Denver International Airport, a medium length layover will ensure you are well fed and culturally enriched and with a long enough layover you can see many of the sights and sounds of downtown Denver.