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Top 17 Best Things to Do in Denver this Vaycay!

Denver – a city that gained prominence with its gold rush is now one of the most popular cities on the globe with blue skies, beaming in 300 days of brightness, lots of greens and the mountains hugging the city, and its rich history is woven within a unique form of art and culture.

Standing because of the gold rush, fortunes turned for the mile-high city after the discovery of the gold in the Rocky Mountains region near Dry Creek. Within three decades, pages turned and a fascinating period of the city bloomed and is still going on.

The 164-year-old city of Denver, Colorado is one of the most serene places to visit and undoubtedly one of the most famous cities on the globe.

1. Amazing Things to Do in Denver

The mile-high city will stretch your itineraries miles with its natural gems to adore, bustling downtown complexes to experience, world-class museums and it’s art exhibits to gawk at, historical landmarks to wonder about, neighborhood park systems to keep you close to nature, and mountains that offer scenic views of the natural landscape in the surrounding region, visiting Denver will be a promising tour and not an ounce of it will disappoint you.

Let me put down for you a few of the many things to do in Denver.

1.1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre Truly Rocks!

Feel the magnificent scale of the rugged raw Red Rocks Amphitheater nestled in Morrison, Colorado.

Located 10 miles from downtown Denver, the Red rocks amphitheater is amongst the most beautiful music destinations in the country with a seating capacity for up to 9000 people.

The open-air amphitheater and the functions here will pose an awe-struck moment before you with its grandeur. Enjoy the performance sitting amidst huge sandstone jutting out on either side giving it an Amphitheatre look.

With the sun splashing colors at the horizon in the evenings and the lights of performances going up, the moment is worth one to live for. Being part of an amazing music show at Red rocks amphitheater should be a part of your things to do in Denver.

things to do in Denver
Photo by Benjamin Rascoe on Unsplash

1.2. Exotic Denver Botanic Gardens

No! Don’t be the one to skip the destination if you are looking for some amazing things to do in Denver.

In case you happen to see an image of Denver Botanic Gardens, all you can say is paradise. Its unique displays are the forte of this tropical conservatory.

The establishment is located in the neighborhood of Denver and is truly a man-made heaven on earth with a collection of exotic plants belonging to tropical and subtropical regions.

This location is set up on sprawling 23 acres of land and is a beautiful location that hosts several theme parks. The sunken amphitheater here hosts summer concerts for you to delight in.

1.3. Mount Evans is Calling!

If you happen to be a mountain person then the snowcapped mountains of Mount Evans are calling you on your visit to Denver.

Mount Evans boasts to offer some of the spell-bounding vistas of the region around being the highest peak in the Mount Evans Wilderness in the Front range.

With approximately 4000 meters of elevation gain, Mount Evans is also home to the highest road in North America and the once-highest road in the world. This road is called Mount Evans Scenic Byway, and is famously known as the “Road in the sky”.

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Photo by Emmanuel Appiah on Unsplash

Drive along the Mount Evans scenic byway and witness spectacular views from that altitude. Witness the unnatural scenic vistas of sky-piercing Rocky Mountains, bristlecone Pine trees, Continental Drive, distant mountainous landscapes, lakes, and glacier valleys.

The place is also rich in flora and fauna, and you can spot mountain goat and bighorn sheep herds, marmots, birds, and alpine wildflowers if you happen to be lucky.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway is more than just a road, it’s a journey of exploring the beautiful nature around.

1.4. Stroll the Historic Landmark- Larimer Square

Come take an evening stroll in one of the most dynamic and vibrant places in Denver- Larimer Square.

A historic landmark is must visit in your things to do in Denver to shop in the Victorian buildings. This iconic and lively space is like the beating heart of the city which unreveals its historic significance of being Denver’s oldest commercial block.

This heart of the city is a pedestrian-friendly space where you can spend your summers taking delight in weekly series of live music happening or eat at unique restaurants, or shop from fancy boutiques.

Being the first designated local historic district, Larimer Square will make you fall in love with its liveliness and dynamic nature.

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Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash

1.5. Dine-in At Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium is the ultimate destination to dine in along with your kids and watch the rich marine life swimming beside you.

The Downtown Aquarium is one of the major attractions in Denver City. The aquarium houses rich marine life with over 500 species.

Your visit would be promising at the aquarium owing to the amenities provided like a full bar, gift shop, lounge seating, and good children’s menu to make sure your kids enjoy along with you. So make sure you add the downtown Aquarium to your things to do in Denver.

1.6. Denver Art Museum – An Iconic Piece of Architecture

A sharp and dynamic piece of architecture right But Will you be surprised to know that the Denver Art Museum houses encyclopedic collections of over 70000 works from several countries making it rich in diversity?

Denver is popular for many things and one of them is its world-class museums. Denver art museum (DAM) is one of the largest art museums between the west coast and Chicago.

Denver Art Museum has 9 different departs which include African Art, Art of the Ancient American, Architecture and Design, and Asian art are a few to be named.

I hope knowing about the museum has already added a visit to the Denver Art Museum to your list of things to do in Denver.

Denver Art Museum Colorado || What To See

1.7. Visit Animals in their Natural Habitat At Denver Zoo

Spotting wildlife without fences and bars with them thriving in their natural habitats is like stepping into the wilderness without having to step into the forests.

The Denver Zoo is an exemplary location and the entire establishment is a non-profit organization that lets you explore the zoo spotting animals thereby amusing you and your kids. This is something one should add to their things to do in Denver. The zoo is spread over 80 acres of the parcel of land.

The Denver Zoo gained its popularity because the zoo pioneered being one in the United States to enclose an animal in its natural habitat rather than putting it behind a cage. Apart from animals the zoo also houses over 250 species of plants which you can spot at their exhibit.

Other fascinating parts of the zoo are the glass pyramids which are topped by tropical gardens, an aquarium, and a herbarium.

1.8. Experience Amusement At Elitch Gardens

Scream over a Rollercoaster ride and if one doesn’t engage you, then there are 5 more in this centuries-old in the heart of Denver.

Commonly known as the Elitch Gardens, this amusement park in Denver is a one-stop destination for fulfilling your bucket list of visiting a theme park while having fun at the water park.

The park is spread over a 67.7-acre pocket of land that encompasses Island Kingdom Family water park to have fun and joyous moment with kids making it a perfect vacation.

The park provides several options in rides so choose one that your heart can take or brace up for a new adventure. The rides mainly include rollercoasters, thrill rides, family rides, rides for kids, and water rides as well.

All Rides at Elitch Gardens Ranked | Top 6 Coasters

1.9. Hike the Sky Soaring Peaks of Rocky Mountain National park

Catch the breathtaking views after a good hike from the highest national parks in the nation. The Rocky Mountain National Park is one such gem of a location that will leave you speechless with its beautiful rock faces, pristine water lakes, extraordinary peaks, and spell-bounding vistas of the surroundings.

Located in northern Colorado, a visit to Rocky Mountain National park is one such thing amongst things to do in Denver that will surely make a place in a nature lover’s heart.

The national park houses around 60 peaks with elevation gain ranging from 7860 feet to 14259 feet. Additionally, it encompasses mountains, forests, and the alpine tundra. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, the national park puts forward an opportunity to explore the rich and incredible wildlife.

The park also puts forward other options like winter camping and make sure you carry essentials for it, overnight camping.

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Photo by alyssa teboda on Unsplash

1.10. Visit the Unreal Garden Of The Gods

The location undoubtedly feels like a still from a sci-fi movie hence no doubt the name “Garden of Gods”.

The park sprawls across 1341.3 acres of land and is a U.S. National natural landmark with impressive and sophisticated sandstone rock formations. The overhangs of the Rocky formations which are now one of the fascinating attractions in the park were once used as a shelter by people in old times.

There are several rock formations standing today like the steamboat rock, balanced rock, and three graces which are worth witnessing in person. With such geological features, the park is a popular recreational spot for enthusiasts.

The spot is home to thriving wildlife like mule deer, fox, and bighorn sheep along with 130 different species of birds like the swallow, canyon wrens, and white-throated Swifts.

1.11. Spend Evenings At the Pleasant City Park

One of the principal elements of city design and a theory is that public places define cities.

The City Park is a non-chaotic yet dynamic place in the city and one of the most renowned parks in Denver city. The Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature and Science are part of City Park Denver.

This urban park has all the facilities that take to enhance the quality of living of the people in the neighborhood like picnic spots for spending a good time with your loved ones, playgrounds to gang up with your childhood pals and play football games on weekends, and Ferril lake to have a romantic stroll with your partner.

Hence an evening stroll in the City Park is a must on the list of things to do in Denver to experience the spirit of the city

1.12. Visit the Home of Colorado Rockies – Coors Field

This magnificent Coors field is a 76-acre pocket of green land that sits on Blake Street in the heart of Denver city and is home to the famous Colorado Rockies.

You would be amazed to know that the field sitting amidst the urban scenario offers scenic views of the Rocky Mountains. Additionally, the stadium sits just 2 blocks from the popular Union Station.

With a seating capacity of more than 5000 people, Coors field is the ultimate location for group events, where you can relish a customized menu and watch a game of baseball and cheer for your favorite team.

So when you visit downtown Denver, add the Coors Field to your things to do in Denver without forgetting.

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Photo by Owen Lystrup on Unsplash

1.13. Witness the Alluring Aura of Washington Park

Nothing feels as pleasant as living in a neighborhood with a good park that keeps you close to nature.

Living near Washington Park is one of the most desirable places to stay in Colorado. The rectangular pocket amidst the city blocks is a good amenity as its features good sports facilities, flower gardens, playgrounds, tennis courts, lawns, and trails for jogging and cycling and also facilitates good city living by hosting community gatherings.

Washington Park encompasses two beautiful lakes, one of them being Lake Smith.

Overall Washington Park, is renowned among both tourists and residents. So have you added the park to your things to do in Denver already?

1.14. Be A Spectator at Denver Center for Performing Arts

Located in the bustling downtown Denver, the Performing Arts complex is the ultimate destination to experience entertainment and spectacular events.

Denver Performing Arts complex secures its place amongst one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States with a massive already of 12-acre enough to cater to a capacity of 10000 people, with more than 14 unique venues for performances.

The art complex hosts its visitors with chorales, symphony orchestras, contemporary dance and ballet, musical tours, and houses a theater company.

The arts complex also has the famous sculpture called the ‘Dancing aliens‘, assembled with steel and fiberglass of 60-foot height. Moreover, its iconic 80-foot glass canopy will catch your eye. To make your visit comfortable the complex also hosts public arts, and restaurants to cater to your growling tummy.

1.15. Endure A Luxurious Crawford Hotel Stay

The Crawford Hotel is one popular establishment located in Union Station, that is a one-stop destination to meet your friends, have fun over drinks, relish your taste buds with tasty food, or shop your heart out for that dopamine rush.

Enlist Crawford hotel in your things to do in Denver to experience world-class dining experience, pamper yourself with a stay at their suites that celebrate the historical significance of Union Station, and enjoy the luxurious escape with a Tesla transportation or sip quick free craft beers from their Terminal bar while visiting Denver.

With its unmatched hospitality and elegant services the Crawford hotel is famously renowned as Denver’s living room.

1.16. Hit Century-Old Structures At Civic Center Park

The Civic Center park is one of the most prominent locations in the city of Denver and the park’s structures are standing for 100 years to convey their historic significance.

Situated in downtown Denver this centerpiece has surrounding buildings like the iconic Denver Art Museum and Colorado State Capitol Building.

The Civic life of Denver is celebrated here with occasions of community gathering like cultural activities, parades, and festivals, protests, and also includes several institutions of arts. This prosperous location should be added to your things to do in Denver.

8 Things to Do Near Denver's Civic Center Park: Around Dtown

1.17. Visit The Resourceful Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The city of Denver offers you a wormhole in the form of the Museum of Nature and Science to travel into the past and experience it in numerous ways.

The century-old museum is around 3 miles inland from the main city and takes around 3 to 4 hours to explore on paper! But in reality, a day would feel incomplete to go through everything which the museum has to offer.

The museum will take you on a journey with its collection of artifacts and information from up above into the blues to the deep corners of our universe. The museum also has a beautiful collection of prehistoric animals in the form of real-life-size models with the prime attraction being the life-size model of a T-Rex!

2. Did You Know?

  1. Denver was named after James W. Denver, the governor of the Kansas Territory.
  2. Denver has taken the fact that “Every penny counts!” very seriously with Denver Mint being one of the largest producers of coins with an average production of more than 50 million coins per day!
  3. Louis Ballast invented the Cheeseburger in Denver, who owned the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.
  4. The dome of the Capitol Building is built with 24k real gold. Also one of the rare stones called the Rose Onyx, which has intricate swirls built into the marble is used for its construction.
  5. Denver hosted the first show of the legendary rock band, Led Zeppelin.
  6. Molly Brown House Museum in Denver was where Margaret Brown, posthumously known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, once lived. She was one of the survivors of the RMS Titanic which sank in 1912!

3. Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. How many museums are there in Denver?

Ans. Due to its rich history, one of the major Denver attractions includes some of the famous and world-class museums like the Denver Art Museum, Denver Firefighters Museum, Buffalo Bill museum, Kirkland Museum, Denver museum of nature and science, and Molly brown house museum.

Q. What are some of the fun things to do in Denver?

Ans. The mile-high city has a lot to offer and there are many things to do in Denver like visiting its prominent museums, natural gems like Mount Evans, Red rocks park, thrilling adventure parks, or strolling in neighborhood parks and gardens, Denver has it all to keep its residents and tourists delighted.

Q. What are things to do in Denver 16th street mall?

Ans. The 16th street mall is a pedestrian-friendly transit mall in downtown Denver with over 250 stores. Hence shopping your heart out at 16th street mall is one of the best things to do in Denver.

Q. Where is the city of Colorado Springs located?

Ans. Colorado Springs is a beautiful city located an hour’s drive from Denver.

Q. What are things to do in Denver Central Market?

Ans. The Denver Central Market is a food hall that houses several local vendors. So if you happen to visit here, then try their lip-smacking food from the bakeries, and ice-cream shops, enjoy the taste of wood-fired pizza, and salads, and sip on drinks like cocktails, beers, and wine.

4. Conclusion

To sum it up, Denver is a perfect collage having a lot of green smothered all over the canvas gifted with a stunning skyline with peaks covered in snow, rooted in history and culture and charming man-made structures covered in heritage, loads of museums, and a lot more things to do in Denver, but let’s leave it for you to experience when you explore through it!

Visit the city of Denver for a mile-high experience to last forever!

Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi