A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Centennial Airport Denver

Nestled in the vibrant heart of Colorado, Centennial Airport (APA) in Denver isn’t just a gateway for local and international travelers; it’s a destination unto itself, bustling with fascinating history, modern amenities, and its unique aviation allure. Whether you’re an avid aviation enthusiast, a Denver local exploring new turf, or a business traveler passing through, our comprehensive guide to Centennial Airport is sure to enrich your travel experience.

A Brief History of Centennial Airport

Centennial Airport, one of Denver’s proud landmarks, was established in 1967 during Colorado’s Centennial celebration. Its history is a rich tapestry of advancements in aviation technology, interwoven with threads of community development. The airport has seen a steady growth trajectory since its establishment, playing host to a series of important aviation milestones. Notably, it was the touchdown site for the ‘Round-the-World flight of the Voyager aircraft in 1988. A step into Centennial Airport is truly a step into a slice of Denver’s vibrant history.

Navigating Centennial Airport

With its three runways and 24-hour Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower, Centennial Airport is a bustling hub catering to a diverse range of air travel needs. The airport is home to numerous private jet companies and flight schools, making it a key destination for business and leisure travelers alike. The airport layout is traveler-friendly, with clear signage and information desks staffed with helpful personnel ready to guide you. Whether you’re jetting off for business or touching down for leisure, navigating Centennial Airport is a breeze.

Amenities at Centennial Airport

Centennial Airport isn’t just about the flight – it’s about the overall traveler experience. The airport offers a suite of amenities designed to make your journey as comfortable as possible. With a selection of restaurants offering a variety of culinary delights, waiting for your flight can be an experience in gastronomy. The airport also offers private lounges and essential facilities for business travelers, ensuring that you can continue to work or rest in comfort before your flight.

Aviation Enthusiast’s Corner

Aviation enthusiasts are in for a treat at Centennial Airport. The Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight, located on the airport grounds, is a must-visit. This unique facility offers aviation lovers an immersive experience in the world of flight and space travel. The airport also hosts the annual “Girls in Aviation Day,” aiming to inspire young girls to consider careers in aviation. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of some truly unique aircraft that frequent the airport’s runways.

Beyond the Runway-Attractions near Centennial Airport

Just beyond the airport, Denver awaits exploration. The city offers a mix of adventures right from scenic trails at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to the cultural troves of the Denver Art Museum. For the gastronomically adventurous, Denver’s food scene, punctuated by food markets like Denver Central Market, offers a delightful culinary journey. And let’s not forget Denver’s thriving craft beer scene, a must-try for any visitor.

Immersing in Nature at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

Start your Denver adventure with a visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. This 15,988-acre sanctuary is a haven for wildlife, with over 330 species calling it home. Here, you can walk along scenic trails under vast Colorado skies while catching glimpses of bison, deer, and bald eagles. Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center to learn about the refuge’s history and the conservation efforts that have made it a thriving natural habitat.

A Cultural Journey at the Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum, with its extensive collections spanning various eras and continents, is a must-see for art enthusiasts. The museum houses over 70,000 works of art, including impressive collections of Native American, contemporary, and Western American art. The building itself, an architectural marvel designed by Daniel Libeskind, is a work of art that captures Denver’s innovative spirit.

Denver’s Food Scene-A Gastronomic Adventure

Denver’s food scene is as diverse as it is delightful. A hub of this culinary extravaganza is the Denver Central Market, a gourmet marketplace featuring a variety of vendors serving everything from artisanal bread and locally sourced cheese to fresh seafood and handcrafted chocolates. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a full meal, the market’s communal dining space offers a cozy setting to savor Denver’s flavors.

Quenching Thirst-Denver’s Craft Beer Scene

Beer lovers will feel right at home in Denver, thanks to its thriving craft beer scene. With more than 70 breweries within city limits, Denver offers a beer for every palate. Take a brewery tour to learn about the beer-making process, or simply relax in a local brewpub to sample a flight of Denver’s finest ales and lagers.

Tips for Exploring Denver

To make the most of your Denver adventure, consider visiting during the summer months when the city is lively with festivals and outdoor activities. Using public transportation is a great way to navigate the city while soaking in its local charm. And when in Denver, do as the Denverites do – grab a craft beer, indulge in locally sourced cuisine, and always be prepared for a sudden weather change – it’s all part of the Mile-High City experience!

Exploring Denver

Timing Your Visit

Denver truly comes alive in the summer months, with a host of festivals, outdoor concerts, and sporting events filling the calendar. The weather is generally sunny and warm, perfect for exploring the city and the surrounding natural beauty.

Getting Around Denver

Denver’s public transportation system, including buses and light rail, is an efficient way to get around the city. It’s also a chance to travel like a local and soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Embrace the Denverite Way

When in Denver, embrace the local customs. Indulge in the city’s culinary scene by trying locally sourced dishes, join the locals in their love for craft beer, and always be ready for a sudden weather shift – unpredictable weather changes are a quintessential part of Denver’s charm! So, pack your spirit of adventure and let Denver’s unique mix of urban excitement and natural splendor leave you with unforgettable memories.

Planning Your Visit

Planning your visit to Centennial Airport is as easy as a Colorado breeze. The airport is conveniently located close to Denver’s business districts, making it a preferred choice for corporate travelers. For those driving, there are plenty of parking options available, and taxis, ride-hailing services, and public transit are readily available for airport access. Security is efficient, ensuring your travel experience is smooth while maintaining high safety standards.


Centennial Airport Denver offers far more than a starting point or conclusion to your journey. Its rich history, commitment to service, and passion for aviation make it a worthy destination for travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, allow the charm of Centennial to enhance your Denver experience. So next time you’re in Denver, take a moment to enjoy all that Centennial Airport has to offer – we’re sure you won’t regret it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which airlines operate from Centennial Airport Denver?

Although Centennial Airport does not support commercial airline traffic, it is a significant hub for general aviation and private jet traffic. A multitude of private charter companies operate from the airport, providing an array of services.

How far is Centennial Airport from downtown Denver?

Centennial Airport is located approximately 18 miles southeast of downtown Denver, depending on the route you take. The drive usually takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Does Centennial Airport have car rental services?

Yes, there are several car rental services available at Centennial Airport, offering a variety of vehicles to suit different travel needs. It’s advisable to book your rental in advance, especially during peak travel times.

Is the Denver Art Museum free?

The Denver Art Museum offers free admission to its permanent collection on the first Saturday of every month. However, special exhibitions usually have an admission fee. Children under 18 years old enjoy free general admission daily.

What unique dishes should I try in Denver?

When in Denver, be sure to try some Colorado classics like green chili, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and Colorado Lamb. For dessert, the Palisade Peaches are a local favorite.

Can I tour the breweries in Denver?

Yes, many of Denver’s breweries offer tours. These range from self-guided tours to expert-led experiences that provide a behind-the-scenes look into the brewing process. It’s always a good idea to check with individual breweries in advance for tour schedules and availability.

What wildlife can I see at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge?

The refuge is home to over 330 species of animals, including bison, deer, bald eagles, prairie dogs, and various bird species. Wildlife viewing is available year-round, but some animals are more active during certain seasons.

What hours is the Denver Central Market open?

Denver Central Market is open seven days a week, although hours can vary for different vendors. It’s recommended to check the official website for the most current hours and vendor information.

What are the typical weather conditions in Denver during the summer?

Denver summers are usually warm and dry, with average high temperatures in the 80s to low 90s (Fahrenheit). However, Denver is known for its sudden weather changes, and summer thunderstorms are common in the late afternoon. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your visit.

Are there hotels near Centennial Airport?

Yes, there are several hotels near Centennial Airport, catering to a range of budgets and preferences. Some offer shuttle services to and from the airport, and many are located conveniently close to popular attractions in Denver.