Free Denver Colorado Attractions


These 19 free Denver Colorado attractions will keep your costs low during your visit to the Mile High City. While you’re here, don’t miss your chance to get back to nature and see some beautiful scenery. Free parks include Red Rocks, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Garden of the Gods, and more.

Also outdoors are two historic cemeteries — Fairmount and Riverside — that date back to the 1800s and feature gravesites of some of Denver’s most prominent residents.

Read on for more suggestions of fun and free attractions in Denver.

19 Free Denver Attractions

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1. State Capitol

State Capitol

One of the best free Denver Colorado attractions is the State Capitol building. You can't miss this gold-domed building set among the historic structures in downtown's Civic Center Park.

Enter the beautiful capitol, built in 1901, and admire its murals and grand staircase. Onsite is Mr. Brown's Attic Museum, which covers the state of Colorado's history and makes it one of the great free Denver Colorado attractions. 

The star of the show, however, is the dome covered in gold leaf, which is a nod to Colorado's gold rush. If you want to see inside the dome, you'll need to take a guided tour. Otherwise, you can explore the capitol on your own.

The building is open on weekdays except major holidays.

>> Read more about visiting the capitol

2. Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Morrison is home to one of the world's most beautiful outdoor amphitheaters, Red Rocks Amphitheater. This concert venue surrounded by red rock formations was naturally formed and boasts perfect acoustics. Even though it is listed as one of the free Denver Colorado attractions, you will have to pay for if you want to see a concert here, so plan accordingly.

The amphitheater is set within Red Rocks Park, which includes a visitor center and trading post. There's also the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and displays on musicians who have played concerts at Red Rocks. You can also picnic, hike, view wildlife, and enjoy the gorgeous geology.

3. Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Mile High Stadium, home to the NFL's Broncos, houses the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Inside you'll find exhibits honoring the state's top athletes, including sportswomen and Special Olympians. Of course, there's a special section for the Super Bowl Champion Broncos.

Kids will love the interactive area where they can suit up in sports gear. Being that it encompasses the whole state, it truly is one of the best free Denver Colorado attractions.

The Hall of Fame is free, but if you want to get an up-close look at where the Broncos play, you can tour the stadium for a fee. The tour includes the executive suite, end zone, and locker room.

>> More about this free attraction

4. Free Denver Colorado Attractions: Denver Mint

Denver Mint

Denver is one of only four places in the United States where you can see coins being made, so don't miss out on the chance to visit the U.S Mint. You'll learn about the history of coin making and its craftsmanship. The mint makes billions of coins every year, and if you're lucky, you may get to see some in production while you're there.

Guided tours are free, but they're first-come, first-served. To get same-day tickets, go to the information window at the gift shop starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday. After this tour, head over to the Money Museum (aka Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Denver Branch), which is also free.

>> More about visiting the Denver Mint

5. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

More than 330 wildlife species call this 15,000-acre sanctuary home. During the 11-mile auto loop, you may see anything from eagles and coyote to bison and mules. 

After wildlife spotting, enjoy recreational activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. To learn more about this beautiful refuge, spend some time at the visitor center. If you really want to experience one of the amazing free Denver Colorado attractions, this is for you.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day from sunrise to sunset.

6. Genesee Park | Buffalo Herd Preserve

Genesee Park

Genesee Park is home to something special: a buffalo herd descended from America's last wild herd, which in 1914 was relocated here from Yellowstone National Park. That herd has grown from seven buffalo to about two dozen now and, if you are an animal lover, this is one of the best free Denver Colorado attractions.

The buffalo can be seen from I-70 about 20 miles west of Denver, but to see them up close, exit the highway and enter Genesee Park. While there, check out the Genesee Experiential Center or do some hiking around Denver's first and largest mountain park.

7. Union Station

Union Station Shuffle Board

If you're hitting up tourist attractions in downtown Denver, make sure to stop at Union Station. This historic train station was built in 1894. It now serves as Denver's "living room" and is a major gathering spot for locals and tourists.

Take a break in the Great Hall's open-seating space and have some drinks or snacks from one of the surrounding restaurants. One of Denver's top luxury hotels, The Crawford, is also located within Union Station. 

>> More details on visiting this historic gem

8. RiNo Murals

RiNo Murals

The River North District, also called the RiNo by the locals, is famous for its murals and graffiti art on the buildings all around the district. There are many different styles of murals here and you are sure to see something that delights and amazes you as you walk around the area. 

If you feel like taking pictures as you walk around, are you welcome to do so. That way you can enjoy these gorgeous murals when you return home after your trip to see these free Denver Colorado attractions. 

9. Fairmount Cemetery

Fairmount Cemetery

Ever thought about hanging out in a cemetery? If so, there's no better place than Fairmount Cemetery. On its 280 acres, you'll find tombstones from the 1890s, sculptures, wildlife, and a rose collection. 

There are private mausoleums as well as the Fairmount Mausoleum. It was built in 1930 and houses Denver's largest stained glass collection.

The cemetery is also the final resting spot for military personnel, governors, and even a dozen or so baseball players.

10. Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge Fossil

Being that there are dinosaur fossils all over the place, this is one of the top historic free Denver Colorado attractions. Dinosaur Ridge is famous for its fossils and there are free tours that allow you explore this ancient area. If you want guided tours, they also feature them, but you'll have to pay a small fee.

Dinosaur Ridge was discovered in 1877 by Arthur Lakes and started a "gold rush" of dinosaur research and information gathering in this area. It features many major dinosaur fossils but is probably most famous for having the state's dinosaur fossil of the Stegosaurus. 

11. Garden of the Gods

Garden of Gods Balancing Rock

No trip to see some of the best free Denver Colorado attractions would be complete without some time outdoors at the Garden of the Gods. It is a great place to take in some of the beautiful nature near Colorado Springs.

The garden is a National Natural Landmark where you can go hiking, rock climbing, cycling, and birding among the gorgeous red rock geology. Also plan to take advantage of the free nature walks given by a naturalist.

The free Visitor & Nature Center has more than 30 exhibits about the park, nature presentations, a cafe and gift shop, and a Geo-Trekker film. 

12. National Earthquake Information Center - Golden

National Earthquake Center

The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) serves as the national data center and archive for earthquake information. Part of the Department of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey, the NEIC determines the place and magnitude of all major earthquakes in the world. 

At the NEIC, you'll see a seismograph, touchscreen monitor showing earthquake statistics, and a video about the New Madrid seismic zone. 

The NEIC is located in Golden on the Colorado School of Mines campus. Tours are free and by appointment only on Mondays and Thursdays.

13. Flagstaff Mountain & Summit Nature Center - Boulder

Flagstaff Cabin

Located on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain, the Flagstaff Nature Center features exhibits about the Open Space and Mountain Parks and its history, plants, and wildlife. It features a log cabin structure built in 1981, interactive games, and stuffed animal mounts of animals that live in the area's grasslands and forests.

Visit the center for free on Fridays through Sundays from May to September.

14. Lookout Mountain - Golden

Mountain Lion at Lookout Mountain

The Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve Park in Golden is a mountain-top area that's home to elk, bears, bobcats, mountain lions, and Abert's squirrels. The 134-acres also feature wildflowers, ponderosa pines, and meadows where you can hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski.

At the nature center, you can take a free tour led by a naturalist, check out the flora and fauna exhibits, play in the kids' area, and admire the building's environmentally conscious design.

The preserve is open everyday from 8 a.m. to dusk. Check the website for the nature center's hours.

15. Dikeou Collection

Dikeou Collection in downtown Denver

This museum of contemporary art was established in 1998 by the Dikeou siblings. The collection contains works by contemporary artists from all over the world.

You can take a tour and attend music events, workshops, lectures, and readings during your visit. Being that there is so much to do, it is one of the best of the free Denver Colorado attractions.

The Dikeou Collection, in downtown off 16th Street, is open 11 a.m to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can also take a cell phone tour. 

16. The National Center for Atmospheric Research

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Head to Mesa to check out the laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research where you'll see what they are currently studying there. The center features climate displays, an educational film, and an art gallery. Be sure to visit the weather trail outside the center.  

The visitor center offers self-guided and tablet tours containing informative audio and video. Check the website for when tours are available.

17. U.S. Air Force Academy Visitor Center

US Air Force Visitor's Center

Learn about cadet life at the Air Force Academy Visitor Center, located on the academy's historic campus eight miles north of Colorado Springs. 

The 31,600-square foot facility features a film about attending the academy, history exhibits, a snack bar, and gift shop. You'll learn about the academy's four "pillars of excellence," which are academic, military, athletic, and character development. Also on campus are hiking trails and the Cadet Chapel, which has services open to the public. 

The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. other than some major holidays. If you visit around lunch time, you may see the cadets marching to lunch. Pick up a self-guided tour map at the information desk. Maps are also available through phone apps.

18. Clear Creek History Park - Golden

Clear Creek History Park

At Clear Creek History Park, you'll step back in time to the late 1800s when families homesteaded in Golden Gate Canyon. Located within walking distance from downtown Golden, the park is set up like a mountain ranch and features cabins, a barn, chicken coop, gardens, blacksmith shop, bee yard, and schoolhouse built in 1876. There's even a two-seater outhouse.

The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. Enjoy the nearby shops and restaurants in downtown Golden while you're there.

19. Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

One of the more interesting of the free Denver Colorado attractions is the Riverside Cemetery, which is the city's oldest operating cemetery. Founded in 1876 and located two miles north of downtown, the once rural cemetery is now surrounded by an industrial district. It's been designated as a National Historic District.

On its 77 acres, you'll see the grave sites of prominent Denver residents including mayors. It's an official military cemetery and is the final resting place of military members dating back to the Civil War.

A walking and driving tour map is available to download from the cemetery's website.

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