Making a Day of It in Denver

By Anne McDonough
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, September 2, 2007

Q. I have a nine-hour daytime layover in Denver. What can I do at the airport? Can I go into Denver?

Val Golovskoy, Arlington

A. Thanks to a 1991 local ordinance that ensured continued funding for art for public spaces, you can explore Colorado's second-largest public art collection without leaving the airport; only the Denver Art Museum's is bigger. Murals, mosaics, paintings and photography extend airportwide, and in Concourse C there's a hanging garden that, airport spokesman Chuck Cannon says, "looks like an Aztec ruin in the middle of a Mexican jungle." But save all that for when you're back in the airport two hours before your scheduled departure time; with nine hours, Cannon says, "there's a whole raft of things you can do."

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) skyRide bus service (303-299-6000, connects the airport to downtown ($8; about one hour); the Market Street station puts you right in the trendy LoDo neighborhood, where you'll find the Tattered Cover bookstore and the new home of the Museum of Contemporary Arts (, opening Oct. 28. The station is on the 16th Street Mall, a popular pedestrian area with restaurants and shops.

Keeping an eye on the time, you could hop on a bus near the mall to the Denver Zoo, in City Park, where two endangered golden lion tamarins were born this summer (303-376-4800,; $11 through September, $9 October through March), or explore the Denver Botanic Gardens on York Street (720-865-3500,; $13 through Sept. 15, $12 through February, $7.50 March and April). For more info: Denver International Airport ( or Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (800-233-6837,

Q. I want to travel to professional tennis tournaments to take in local attractions as well as the events; I'm looking at Monaco and Montreal, maybe combining the Italian Open and the French Open. Are there groups that organize such excursions?

Tom Copsey, Crofton

A. Tennis fans are a hardy bunch. "It takes a special person to go to a tennis tournament and sit for 10 hours," said Susan Rosauer of Vermont-based Grand Slam Tennis Tours (800-289-3333,, an official travel partner of the U.S. Tennis Association.

Tours include hotels, city orientations, tournament tickets and group social functions for most of the locations you're looking for, plus the Australian Open, Wimbledon and others. The six-night 2008 French Open package includes time to take your own swings on red clay courts (from $4,250 per person double). Clients can attend multiple tournaments on the same trip, such as your Italian/French double play.

Other reputable sports travel companies offering tennis trips include Sports Traveler (888-654-7755, and Roadtrips (800-465-1765,

Send queries by e-mail ( or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.

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