Those flying to Colorado will probably land at Denver International Airport or Colorado Springs Airport. Both airports are on the fringes of their respective city, so it can be a tossup depending on your route. Denver certainly has the best average prices. 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. Airlines serving Denver include Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.ca), Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/252-7524; www.alaskaair.com), American (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com), Continental (tel. 800/523-3273; www.continental.com), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com), Frontier (tel. 800/432-1359; www.frontierairlines.com), jetBlue Airways (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com), Mexicana (tel. 800/531-7921; www.mexicana.com), Midwest Airlines (tel. 800/452-2022; www.midwestairlines.com), Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525; www.nwa.com), Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com), United (tel. 800/241-6522; www.ual.com), and US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322; www.usair.com).
Colorado Springs Airport (COS), located in the southeast corner of Colorado Springs (tel. 719/550-1900), has nearly 100 flights each day, with connections to most major U.S. cities. Allegiant (tel. 702/505-8888; www.allegiantair.com), American, Continental, ExpressJet (tel. 888/958-9538; www.expressjet.com), Frontier, Northwest, United, and US Airways serve Colorado Springs.
Flights from the United Kingdom -- British Airways (tel. 800/247-9297 or 0845/773-3377 in London; www.british-airways.com) offers one daily nonstop flight between London and Denver. Travelers from the United Kingdom can also take British Airways to other U.S. cities and make connecting flights to Denver or Colorado Springs.
Arriving at the Airport -- International visitors arriving by air, no matter what the port of entry, should cultivate patience and resignation before setting foot on U.S. soil. U.S. airports have considerably beefed up security clearances in the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and clearing Customs and Immigration can take as long as 2 hours.
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 $9; from the airport to Boulder and suburban Park-n-Ride lots, it is about $11. 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 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) is the other service 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 Denver. 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.
Some 1,000 miles of interstate highways form a star on the map of Colorado, with its center at Denver. (See the state map on the inside back cover.) 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.
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.
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.