Bison and downtown Denver skyscrapers Photo Credit: milehightraveler (iStock).

Photo Credit: milehightraveler (iStock).

Long-known as a premiere travel and culture magazine world-wide, National Geographic recently showed some love to Colorado on one of their 2021 "Best of the World" lists, specifically the list centered around sustainable destinations.

Ranking among places like Copenhagen, Helsinki, and the country of Costa Rica, Denver was included on a list titled "Best of the World: eight sustainable destinations for 2021 and beyond" as the "green giant in the American West." The city was ranked fourth on a short list of eight.

The article mentioned several reasons for Denver's high ranking, including it's goal of being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2023, the number of new bike lanes that are in the works, and the city's plan for 'solar gardens' to be installed on rooftops, parking lots, and vacant space.

National Geographic's 'Global Travel Editors' published five lists of "Best of the World" spots, with a list dedicated to adventure, culture and history, nature, family, and sustainability.

See the full sustainable destinations list here.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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(6) comments


I thought those rooftop gardens got nowhere, considering such already tight water restrictions on everyone. Where is all the water going to come from when buildings are required to install rooftop gardens?


Best city if yr a far left criminal type who approves of violent rioters who destroy with impunity while the mayor orders the police to do nothing.

And yes the homeless camps are disgusting.


The bike lanes that are super dangerous with the way the cars drive downtown. On a Rockies game day, you're risking your life. The tent cities with trash and human excrement and pee jugs all over. The severe drought we've been in. People overcrowding and trashing trails. The nasty Platte and contaminated trickles of water we send downstream to the other states and Mexico. Real "green" alright. Denver really likes to paint itself as something other than it is to the outside. It's no green utopia.


I moved from Denver (reluctantly) in 1989. Was very sad to leave my home. How sad I am reading these comments. Ultra liberal places just can’t help but bring failure, I guess. A shame.


The comments here are wayyyyyy over blown.

99.9% of the city doesn't have to deal with homeless. It's not any worse than any other major metro area in the world, and it's far more contained.

The protests are confined to the area around the capitol. I lived less than a mile away and if you didn't read the news you could not even know what's going on.

Denver is an extremely desirable place to live. Good careers and relatively broad economic base. Easy access to the mountains, skiing, and outdoor recreation. Easy access to Utah/Wyoming and the rest of the Southwest. Fast and cheap flights to basically anywhere in the country except the east coast. Excellent light rail system that's slowly being expanded upon. Dining and breweries are top notch. The only cities in the country that come close to comparing are Salt Lake and Las Vegas - and those have their own quirks. Denver has a ton going for it.


Denver?? Really?? Must not've seen the tent cities of homeless or the rush hour congestion -- partially due to the amount of car lanes taken out for bike lanes. Also Denver hasn't expanded their roads to accommodate all the people moving there.

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