Those flying to Colorado will probably land at Denver International Airport or Colorado Springs Airport. Each airport is on the fringe of its respective city, so, depending on your itinerary, it can be a tossup as to which is best. Denver certainly has the better average airfares. Both offer car rentals and shuttle services to their city’s hotels.
Denver International Airport (DIA) is 23 miles northeast of downtown Denver, about a 35- to 45-minute drive. It is the sixth-busiest airport in the nation, with six runways and 93 gates. An information line (tel. 800/AIR-2-DEN [247-2336] or 303/342-2000; www.flydenver.com) provides data on flight schedules and connections, parking, ground transportation, current weather conditions, and local accommodations. The local airport information and paging number is tel. 303/342-2300. Most major airlines fly to DIA.
Colorado Springs Airport (COS; tel. 719/550-1900), located in the southeast corner of Colorado Springs, has nearly 100 flights each day, with connections to most major U.S. cities on many major airlines.
Getting into Town from the Airport -- Bus, taxi, and limousine services shuttle travelers between the airport and downtown, and most major car-rental companies have outlets at the airport. Many major hotels are some distance from the airport, so travelers should check on the availability and cost of hotel shuttle services when making reservations.
The cost of a city bus ride from the airport to downtown Denver is $10; from the airport to Boulder and suburban Park-n-Ride lots, it is about $12. The SuperShuttle (tel. 800/525-3177 or 303/370-1300; www.supershuttle.com) provides transportation to and from a number of hotels downtown and in the Denver Tech Center. The SuperShuttle has frequent scheduled service between the airport and downtown hotels for $19 each way; door-to-door service is also available. Taxi companies are another option, with fares generally in the $30-to-$50 range, and you can often share a cab and split the fare by calling the cab company ahead of time. For instance, Yellow Cab (tel. 303/777-7777) will take up to five people from DIA to most downtown hotels for a flat rate of $45. Metro Taxi (tel. 303/333-3333) and Union Taxi (tel. 303/321-9000) are the other services in Denver.
An excellent road system, connecting to interstate highways heading in all directions, makes driving a good and economical choice. This is especially true for those planning excursions out of the Denver, Boulder, or Colorado Springs city limits. Although these cities have good public transportation within their boundaries, a car (either your own or a rental) is practically mandatory for those intent on getting out into the country.
Most major car-rental companies have locations in all three cities; metro Denver has the lion’s share of them.
International visitors should note that insurance and taxes are almost never included in quoted rental car rates in the U.S. Be sure to ask your rental agency about additional fees for these. They can add a significant cost to your car rental.
Some 1,000 miles of interstate highways form a star on the map of Colorado, with its center at Denver. I-25 crosses the state from south to north, extending from New Mexico to Wyoming; over its 300 miles, it goes through nearly every major city of the Front Range, including Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins. I-70 crosses from west to east, extending from Utah to Baltimore, Maryland. It enters Colorado near Grand Junction, passes through Glenwood Springs, Vail, and Denver, and exits just east of Burlington, a distance of about 450 miles. I-76 is an additional 190-mile spur that begins in Denver and extends northeast to Nebraska, joining I-80 just beyond Julesburg.
Denver is about 1,025 miles from Los Angeles, 780 miles from Dallas, 600 miles from Kansas City, 510 miles from Salt Lake City, 440 miles from Albuquerque, 750 miles from Las Vegas, 820 miles from Phoenix, 1,010 miles from Chicago, and 1,800 miles from New York City.
Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com) has two routes through Colorado. The California Zephyr, which links San Francisco and Chicago, passes through Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Granby, Winter Park, Denver, and Fort Morgan en route to Omaha, Nebraska. The Southwest Chief, which runs between Los Angeles and Chicago, travels from Albuquerque, New Mexico, via Trinidad, La Junta, and Lamar before crossing the southeastern Colorado border into Kansas.
Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) is the sole nationwide bus line. International visitors can obtain information about the Greyhound North American Discovery Pass. The pass can be obtained from foreign travel agents or through their website (www.discoverypass.com) for unlimited travel and stopovers in the U.S. and Canada.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.