The 20 must see Denver attractions include everything from our world-famous museums to family-friendly stops. Highlights on my list are the Denver Art Museum, the colorful murals in the River North (RiNo) District, and our internationally recognized breweries.
Read on for tips on the best things to do as you explore the Mile High City.
The Denver Art Museum is one of the most visited Denver attractions. You will find it in the Golden Triangle, just to the south of Civic Center Park and downtown Denver. This museum features more than 350,000 feet of space for their art including photography, sculptures, historic artifacts, and so much more.
Their permanent collection includes pieces from The Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. The museum is open every day except Mondays.
The Denver Zoo is another popular Denver attraction. You will find it in the heart of City Park just a few minutes east of downtown.
The Zoo includes a large selection of animals from around the world. They have an amazing primates section with everything from Gorillas to Orangutans. Predator Ridge is another popular section and where you will find the lions, tigers, and African Wild Dogs.
One of my favorite free attractions in Denver is the Colorado State Capitol. This building is open to the public during the week. You can either explore the building on your own or join one of their guided tours.
Inside, you will find gorgeous murals, beautiful decor, and information about the history of the building. You can also peek inside their legislative rooms and find out more about the political system of Colorado.
This is the museum for you if you want to explore strange new places and seek out new information while staying in the Mile High City. You will find exhibits here that range from Prehistoric dinosaurs, to Vikings, to the human body, to North American Native cultures and many more.
If you want to "see" a little more beyond those, you can check out the IMAX theater and the planetarium. There is something for everyone in this magnificent museum. This is one of the few Denver attractions that is open basically all year except for Christmas Day.
The Downtown Aquarium has over 500 species of animals under its roof. Not only does it have many different displays for you to see, they also have an interactive Stingray Reef touch tank. There are exhibits from all over the world so you will feel as if you are crossing the globe and seeing unique marine life as you go!
If you want to take a break, there is also has a bar, restaurant and 4-D theater. The Aquarium is open from Tuesdays to Sundays and closed on Mondays.
If you are a plant lover, then this is one of the Denver attractions you will not want to miss. Denver's Botanic Gardens offers you two locations, one located in Denver and the other in Littleton, so you can have two distinct areas to visit.
Each offer many exhibits where you will see and learn about the local flora and fauna, but also about other parts of the world. The Botanic Gardens are also home to music concerts, art exhibits, and workshops. The gardens are open every day other than Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
If you've never been to Union Station, or haven't been there lately, you are in for a treat! This Denver attraction is over 100 years old, but it was recently revived with original touches and it's absolutely beautiful.
Union Station is the center of almost all transportation for Denver including Amtrak, trains and buses. It also houses restaurants, coffee houses and the amazing Crawford Hotel. If you want to hang out, there are comfy chairs and couches, and you can play shuffleboard, chess and other games during your time here. There is a private tour too if you want to learn more about the history, and grandeur, of Union Station.
If you like money, and who doesn't, then you are will love the Denver Mint. It is home to one of only 5 mints in the whole USA. This facility produces only new coins to be used as old coins are taken out of production or lost through time.
Something you'll have to keep in mind is that you can only pick up tickets the day of the tour. So, make sure to plan well in advance and show up as early as possible. Tours operate Monday through Thursday with some exceptions, so make sure to check the calendar and schedule when you plan your trip.
Not only is the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall a fun place to visit and enjoy, it is also a great starting point for many of the Denver attractions you'll find on this list. Along with that, you have lots of restaurants, stores, and places to shop to your hearts content.
The 16th Street Mall is also well known for the art displays in the median between the bus lanes. There are also pianos located here too which you can enjoy listening to or even play if you feel so inclined. Since you are close to many of the event centers, you can easily see shows, concerts and comedy events. The 16th Street Mall also has free buses running to help you get around downtown easily.
If you are looking for a great place to have fun, get wet, and ride some roller coasters, Elitch Gardens is a must visit during your trip to Denver. Elitch Gardens has been a Denver mainstay for over 130 years and gets better every year as they add new rides and ways to thrill their visitors. Not only are there more rides than you can imagine, there is also a water park, a concert venue, shopping areas, and many dining choices for your enjoyment.
Being that much of the park is outdoors, make sure to check the weather before you arrive. Elitch Gardens is open from May until the end of October.
Are you looking for more fun things to do in Denver? Click the links below for the best events each month.
The River North District, better known as the RiNo District, is home to some of the most gorgeous murals in the entire city. Even though this is one of the lesser know Denver attractions, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you visit this wonderful neighborhood. Not only are the murals magnificent, you can also visit some of the best breweries, restaurants and nightlife in the Mile High City.
I personally like to walk around the area and just take my time checking out all RiNo has to offer. There are huge murals, which are easy to see, but there are also very small, and harder to find murals, which I love to find. There are also many alleyways that have murals a block long. They are truly magnificent and remember to take as many photos as you like so you can continue to enjoy them after your stay.
You will find more than 100 breweries in the Denver metro area. The city also hosts one of the largest beer festivals in the county every October.
You will find a large concentration downtown as well as in the River North (RiNo District). They create everything from ciders, to sours, to both traditional and non-traditional IPAs, wheat beers (hefeweizens), and pilsners.
Many offer free tours of their breweries. You will also find several guided tours that will take you around to the best breweries all around town.
The Cherry Creek shopping district is another popular stop for visitors. You have two areas here that offer a variety of high-end shopping. The first is Cherry Creek North. This area offers outdoor shopping with a variety of boutique shops.
Once you are done there, you can head into the Cherry Creek Shopping Center where you will find dozens of shops. They include everything from large department stores such as Nordstrom's and Macy's to smaller shops such as Burberry and Kate Spade.
Named "One of the Great Public Spaces in America" by the American Planning Association in 2012, you will instantly feel relaxed and comfortable the second you step on the soft grass and soak up the sun. Remember, Denver has more than 300 days of sun a year so Wash Park, as the locals call it, is the perfect place to spend some time as you check out some Denver attractions.
Wash Park offers quite a few things to do including trails for running, walking or biking, a tennis court, a lawn bowling area, and so much more. There are also pieces of art and a lake to watch the wildlife as you lounge around and relax.
One of the things that makes Denver one of the most beautiful cities to visit is our colorful street art. All around town, you will find murals, sculptures, and other works from local and national artists. The city sets aside a portion of money each year to make the city even more gorgeous and interesting to explore.
Some of the most famous pieces include "I See What You Mean" at the Colorado Convention Center, the art work outside the Denver Museum of Art, and the 6-story tall white dancers near the Center for the Performing Arts.
City Park is one of the best all around of the Denver attractions as it's so much more than just a place to hang out. It's a 330 acre park that includes the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, two different lakes and a boat house! What more could you want in one park?
City Park is located in east-central Denver and has been updated several times during its more than 150 year history. This has kept is looking gorgeous and up to the newest standards and beauty. It is well worth your time to visit it, and all the other attractions that it encompasses, when you come to our Mile High City.
The Colorado Rockies are Denver's Major League Baseball. A visit to Coors Field is a must for anyone that is a baseball fan. The stadium is known as one the prettiest in the baseball and the team is always fun to watch. There isn't a bad view in the house and there is even a rooftop bar and restaurant above the outfield.
And, if you don't want to see a game, or you are here during the offseason, you can always try the Coors Field tour! This tour starts in the bleachers and takes you down to the clubhouse and onto the field where you can take some photos and feel like you are part of the game. Tours only take place when the Rockies are on the road so make sure to plan ahead to either see a game or take a tour.
Go back in time and check out the area that is know as Denver's First City Block. Larimer Square is actually a street with some of the most beautiful of Denver's brick buildings in a row. Many of these buildings have fantastic stories and are worth learning about on your trip.
All the buildings have been fully renovated and are absolutely gorgeous. Here you will also find a variety of great restaurants, shops to explore, and just about anything else you'd want to see along this street. Larimer Square is open all year long.
One of the most well known of the Denver attractions is the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This naturally formed amphitheatre has been the home to many rock concerts and theater events. There have been films shot here too. It is a can't miss when you visit Denver since there is no other area like it in the world.
As there are many events held at Red Rocks, you will want to plan ahead as tickets often sell out way in advance of the shows. If you can't make it to a show, you can always visit during the day and see the area for yourself for free. There is a visitor's center, the Trading Post and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame to explore. Check dates and hours so you can make sure to see everything that Red Rocks has to offer when you visit it.
Even though it is last on the list LoDo is definitely not least. It is a great area that includes Coors Field, Union Station and Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you are looking for some nightlife, you will enjoy everything LoDo has to offer as this area houses some of the cities best restaurants, bars and nightclubs. And, if you are looking for something a little more mellow, you will find many shopping opportunities, novelty shops, and spas.
Simply stated, if you want to find many different Denver attractions in one place, LoDo is a great location to start, or to end, your trip!
In addition to the top 20 Denver attractions mentioned above, you will find a variety of other fun things to do while you are here. These are just a few additional ideas to help you get started.