Located at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, the aptly-named Confluence Park is easily Denver's most well known outdoor settings. Noted on virtually every Top 10 list of places to visit in Denver, the small public park in LoDo* also happens to be the site where William Greeneberry Russell's exploration party began Colorado's Gold Rush** in 1858. Their South Platte River encampment would later evolve into the city of Denver.
Although quite small in terms of urban parks, Confluence Park's central location draws large crowds for those who want to sit by the river, splash in Cherry Creek, play in the sand, kayak or float down the South Platte, drink coffee at REI's outdoor patio, jump on or off of the Platte Valley Trolley that runs during the summer months and for all Bronco games, or simply stroll through on foot or on bike. The park's free summer concert series, hosted every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., is another seasonal draw.
* Known as "LoDo," Lower Downtown is Denver's oldest neighborhood. Flanking the South Platte River, the neighborhood is distinctly identified by its red brick warehouses (turned posh loft apartments/condos), vibrant night life, and riverside parks also including Crescent Park, Fishback Park, Centennial Park, Confluence Park, Commons Park, and City of Cuernavaca Park.
**While Russell's original findings along the South Platte never unearthed more "good diggings" than gold, this was enough to start a rush and create Colorado's largest city.