Blake Walsh

40 Best Things to Do in Denver, CO

  • Published 2023/01/30

See also: Where to Stay in Denver

Denver, Colorado, has been coined the “Mile High City” for its geographical location, which is a mile above sea level.

Here, you’ll see various attractions, including restaurants, parks, clubs, malls, and many more!

With so much to experience, the first-time visitors may be overwhelmed by choice.

Interested to know more about this stunning city?

Here are the 40 best things to do in Denver, Colorado:

Visit the Heart of Denver

Daytime view of Larimer Square Denver

Arina P Habich /

Where the original pioneers set up camp is now the bustling neighborhood of Larimer Square.

Development didn’t leave behind Denver’s forward-facing spirit; it is felt in the chattering crowds and rich selection of establishments, restaurants, shops, and nightly entertainments keeping the people happy and thriving.

Larimer Square is the perfect first-stop for urban explorers and one of the best things to do in Denver.

Buildings along Larimer Square

littlenySTOCK /

Listen to Different Performance at Colorado Symphony

The sole full-time professional orchestra in the area, Colorado Symphony Association, is dedicated to artistic greatness and securing the legacy of live, symphonic music.

The Colorado Symphony employs musicians full-time and presents more than 150 concerts yearly at Boettcher Concert Hall in the center of Denver and other venues across Colorado.

They showcase a wide range of top-notch artistic talent every season.

Classics, Symphony Pops, Spotlight, Movie at the Symphony, and more concert genres are available.

Several concerts are held at the storied Red Rocks Amphitheater throughout their summer performances.

From September through May, they host concerts and/or activities practically every weekend.

Wander around Denver Art Museum

Exterior of Denver Art Museum

Checubus /

A breathtaking art collection awaits at Denver Art Museum, the edgy façade concealing over 70,000 notable masterpieces by renowned painters, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Winslow Homer.

Alongside paintings and sculptures are historical artifacts that date back to pre-Columbian times, as well as other delicate works on paper.

Interactive activities also appeal to younger crowds, drawing constant flow of visitors to its two-building complex.

Interior of Denver Art Museum

Kit Leong /

Browse the Collections at the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Exterior of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Jose A Feliciano /

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in Denver, Colorado, enables people to journey through about 150 years of art history.

On April 2, 2003, the Museum was officially opened to the public.

It showcased the works of Kirkland, his Colorado, and local colleagues, as well as foreign decorative art.

The Museum motivates individuals by exhibiting the elegance of art and design in a distinctive and approachable manner.

Explore and enjoy over 30,000 pieces created by over 1,500 artists and designers in the collections.

Have a Picnic at Washington Park

Bench overlooking the waters of Washington Park Denver

Ryan DeBerardinis

Stay active by visiting the monumental Washington Park, a 165-acre recreational space.

Sporting facilities such as tennis courts and boat rentals are also available, as are fitness courses and a swimming pool.

Easily accessible, free entry and with plenty of space, Washington Park is a crowd favorite.

The grounds of Washington Park

Faina Gurevich /

Explore the City with Bikalope Tours

Confluence Kayak & Ski, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, launched Bikalope Tours in 2010.

They provide cycling adventures that are based on the history, culture, and beauty of The Mile High City.

All ages, skill sets, and athletic abilities are suitable for leisurely-paced trips.

Their excursions are great for newcomers seeking an introduction to the city and long-time locals who want to discover more.

Bikalope Tours provide top-notch Scott “hybrid” bicycles, ideal for leisurely city riding.

Helmets are provided with every bike rental, and every trip includes water and a friendly guide.

Make sure to bring your helmet if you are taking your bike!

Take Some Pictures of the Colorado State Capitol

Exterior of Colorado State Capitol

Irina Mos

Glimmering gold tops Colorado State Capitol, the gold leaf-pressed dome is a commemoration of Colorado’s Gold Rush.

An official historical landmark since 2012, the granite building has caught the public eye since its opening in 1894.

Climb quicklyquickly and surely into the dome for a unique vantage point – it’s worth a brief stop.

Interior of Colorado State Capitol

Nagel Photography /

Unwind and Enjoy a Drink at The Beer Spa

Forget the typical spas and salons that offer simple facials, pedicures, and massages.

The Beer Spa has raised the bar for the business with its innovative approach to health.

It is a distinctive Denver spa that blends a spa and a taproom as one, offering one-of-a-kind treatment packages.

Craft beer, wine, cider, and non-alcoholic drinks are offered at their on-site taproom.

Inside a private Beer Therapy Room, indulge in many opulent spa facilities while holding a cold craft beer.

Explore the Lower Downtown Historic District

Buildings at Denver Lower Downtown

Ryan DeBerardinis

Urban renewal has transformed warehouses into unique food and retail spaces.

The LoDo district is ample proof, brewpubs, sports bars, rooftop cafés, and innovative restaurants spilling out of the renovated brick-and-mortar in a mix of modern and nostalgic aplomb.

You can spend an afternoon choosing which establishment to try.

Union plaza at Lower Downtown Historic District

Page Light Studios /

Stroll around and Go Shopping at Modern Nomad

Signage of Modern Nomad

Kit Leong /

In the vibrant RiNo area of Denver, Colorado, Modern Nomad offers you an immersive shopping experience.

Ten small enterprises totaling 5,500 square feet are housed in the warehouse.

It comprises small businesses, all locally owned, self-funded, and run by first-time entrepreneurs.

Modern Nomad provides a wide range of home furnishings and accessories, including plants, pots, tableware, culinary utensils, jewelry, books, journals, furniture, fabrics, carpets, and pharmacy.

Watch out for their upcoming events, providing workshops and weekly pop-ups!

Watch Baseball at Coors Field

Aerial view of Coors Field Denver

Michael-John Wolfe /

Stomping in excitement amid tens of thousands of people may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but Coors Field’s interactive area will have your competitive spirit rearing to hit a fastball.

The consummate fans, however, will most likely opt for a tour of the stadium, available all year round.

Baseball player at Coors Field

Debby Wong /

See the Denver Botanic Gardens

Aerial view of Denver Botanic Gardens

Creative Family

Comprised of 50 smaller gardens over a whopping 24 acres is the Denver Botanic Gardens, a mesmerizing collection of worldly representations.

From the bonsai-lined traditional Japanese garden to earthier blossoms and ferns of the South African Plaza, visitors can spend hours plunging the depths of this nature reserve.

Pavilion and pond at Denver Botanic Gardens


If you have no idea where to start, a guided tour is recommended for its informative program.

Keep an eye out for sporadic art installments as well!

Pretty flowers at Denver Botanic Gardens

Des2916 /

Go Biking at Confluence Park

Waters at Confluence Park

Darryl Brooks /

The 1858 gold mining camp where Denver was founded, Confluence Park is now the focal point of an 85-mile biking network.

Near the Downtown Aquarium, the Children’s Museum of Denver, and LoHi and Highlands, bikers cut through its many trails in free exploration of the city.

Venture out of the park borders and explore Denver’s diverse sectors.

Aerial view of Confluence Park

Page Light Studios /

Revisit Coin’s History at United States Mint

Entrance to the United States Mint

Jim Lambert /

Unfortunately, there are no freebies to grow your coffers, but something is riveting about watching United States Mint produced coins in all their rattling glory.

Since its operation in 1879, the Denver branch has done mainstream coin production and commemorative coins.

Learn about the minting process, watch the machinery at work through an educational tour, and pick up a tiny trinket on your out.

Dollar bill stacks in the United States Mint

Eric Broder Van Dyke /

Pay a Visit to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Plane in Rockies Air & Space Museum

EQRoy /

There’s no better aviation exhibition space than Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.

Pick up a museum guide on the way in for background information on rare plane features, such as the B-18A Bolo and a not-so-real-life Star Wars X-Wing fighter.

Between the four dozen space, aircraft, and interactive apparatus for all ages, you’ll emerge with a newfound appreciation for these flying vehicles.

Interior of Rockies Air & Space Museum

Jim Lambert /

Explore Some Restaurants at the 16th Street Mall

Daytime view of 16th Street Mall

Albert Pego /

Condense all your shopping in Denver’s 16th Street Mal, perfect for those seeking retail therapy.

Bypassing Larimer Square to reach the Lower Downtown district, it presents a thorough variety of shops and restaurants, interspersed with other entertainments.

People at 16th Street Mall

quiggyt4 /

A pedestrian-heavy area, the mall does offer alternative means of transportation.

You can opt for a free MallRide shuttle bus to rest tired feet or upgrade fancy and ride a horse-pulled carriage instead.

If your wallet isn’t up for it, stroll around the area and bask in the ambiance.

Food stall along 16th Street Mall

Susan B Sheldon /

See the Animals at Denver Zoo

Signage of Denver Zoo

Mia2you /

Presenting the inhabitants with as natural a habitat as possible, the enclosures in Denver Zoo are modeled after Kenyan nature preserves and the savanna.

Tigers, rhinos, and orangutans are only a few of the 4,000 animals housed in this expansive complex.

Bears in Denver Zoo

Duttagupta M K /

You’ll also find hyenas and monkeys roaming wild while amphibians and their scaly counterparts hiss about the Tropical Discovery center.

Hop on the zoo train for a smooth trip around the grounds.

Flamingos in Denver Zoo

Dimara /

Play Detective at Adams Mystery Playhouse

It is all laughter and delicious buffet food until a mysterious murder – then everyone is scrambling for clues and racing to solve the crime.

After all, what fun is there without some friendly competition between teams to win the title ‘Best Detective’?

A playful mystery dinner and theatre, Adams Mystery Playhouse is a unique bonding experience for small travel parties.

Climb Your Way to the Top with Denver Climbing Company

Enroll in a climbing class with Denver Climbing Company to stretch your muscles.

You might not be challenging the Rockies anytime soon, but you’ll end your day well-worked and satisfied – maybe even with a new hobby.

The company’s professional guides inform all age groups and skill levels, arranging appropriate routes for every student.

Don’t worry; you’re in safe hands.

Travel Back to the Prehistoric Age at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Interior of Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Kit Leong /

History and science overlap at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to pay respect to the interdisciplinary fields of anthropology, zoology, paleontology and more.

Exhibits turn eyes towards the past with curated dinosaur bones and Egyptian mummies.

Exterior of Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Jay Yuan /

Botanical sciences also whip up crowd interest, thanks to the informative wildlife exhibit that draws from habitats all over the world.

The Space Odyssey, in contrast, propels us forward in time to explore the mystical scope of the galaxy.

Fossils in Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Kit Leong /

Learn all about Colorado at History Colorado Center

Carriage ride at History Colorado Center

Jim Lambert /

Pay attention to the more significant Colorado state with a short stint through History Colorado Center.

The high-tech and hands-on exhibits will make you a Colorado expert in no time.

There are programs for children and adults alike to keep you attentive and informed.

Exterior of History Colorado Center

Trueshow111, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Soak at Idaho Springs

There’s nothing like washing off a year’s worth of stress with a long soak at a small mountain hot spring.

Idaho Springs is exactly the mountain town retreat you need, a natural pool locked inside a jungle-like dome, with heated waters that sap away your worries and rejuvenate the body.

Watch a Football Game at Mile High Stadium

View of the packed Mile High Denver

Joseph Sohm /

The Sports Authority Field at Mile High will have you on the edge of your seat among a 76,000-strong crowd.

Originally intended to be a minor league baseball stadium, it is renovated to become Denver Broncos’ home turf.

As with most stadiums, a guided tour is available.

The field of Mile High Stadium

Chad Claeyssen /

Step Back in Time at Four Mile Historic Park

Four Mile House at Four Mile Historic Park

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Parked precisely four miles away from downtown Denver is the rustic, suburban Four Mile Historic Park.

Fenced-in farm animals and humble houses are what’s left of a sprawling farm from over a century ago.

Unpaved gravel and mulch paths add to its time-frozen charms, carving out 12 acres of unmovable Glendale.

If you’re hoping to experience the early days of the West, consider a brief stop in the area.

Read a Book or Two at Denver Zine Library

The small-budget, self-publishing trend may have quietened over the decade, but Denver Zine Library is determined to keep the DIY publishing movement going.

Built up by personal donations and currently running workshops to grow the zine-making community, this immense collection and preservation of zines is a volunteer-run effort.

If you fondly remember these small-circulating magazines, give them a call and visit.

Visit the Union Station

Far view of Union Station Denver

Jay Yuan /

Apart from its stately exterior and 1900s architectural redevelopment, you might wonder why a public transit station is worth visiting.

Not only is it a transportation hub, but Union Station has also grown into a multi-faceted complex to provide a dynamic dining and shopping experience.

The retail center also houses The Crawford Hotel, which offers tours detailing Union Station’s transformation into an artful retail space.

Interior of Union Station

Arina P Habich /

Explore the American Museum of Western Art

Exterior of American Museum of Western Art

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Immerse in American history and culture with a guided tour through the Museum of Western Art, a comprehensive picture of Western life from the early 1800s to the present emerges from the carefully curated galleries.

With over 200 pieces by Bierstadt, Russell, Moran, and Remington featured in the Anschutz Collection, the museum is truly a tribute to the American West.

Have a Thrilling Trip to Elitch Gardens

Aerial view of Elitch Gardens

Arina P Habich /

Amusement comes easy at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.

Boasting thrill rides, family rides, and water rides for summer relief, it is a sweeping entertainment park for all ages.

A ride at Elitch Gardens

Arina P Habich /

Scream and laugh at height-defying drops and stomach-swooping loops, then play some games for a souvenir to bring home.

Whether you spend a day or two here, you’ll never run out of rides to try.

Roller coaster at Elitch Gardens

Arina P Habich /

Tour the Molly Brown House Museum

Exterior of Molly Brown House Museum

Kara Math /

Margaret “Molly” Brown may be recognized as the classic Titanic love-lost character.

Still, her role in the women’s suffrage movement and ties to Colorado’s mining industry is what made her a household name within the state.

Now open to the public, the Molly Brown House Museum not only shares her personal history aboard and post-Titanic, but also exemplifies an extraordinary Victorian life reflected in the house’s renovations and preserved artifacts.

See the Aquatic Animals at Denver’s Downtown Aquarium

 Denver Aquarium

Nathan B Dappen

Showcasing over 500 species and aquatic life in deep tanks, Denver’s Downtown Aquarium notably features a Stingray Reef touch tank, where children and adults alike can wet their hands.

The live mermaid show will bring your Disney dreams to life, although do stand back during the flash flood exhibit or risk getting soaked.

Exterior of Downtown Aquarium

AlessandraRC /

Have Fun at the Children’s Museum of Denver

Exteiror of Children’s Museum of Denver

ZoeO, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who said traveling with kids couldn’t be fun?

Denver’s Children Museum is more than enough to keep your child excited and sated, conceived with the idea of “learning through fun.”

From wary babies to energetic eight-year-olds, the museum encourages independence through wood working and a grocery market station, while exploratory caves and a rocket launch sector prompt the children to think bravely and think big.

Teaching kitchen in Children’s Museum of Denver

ZoeO, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Cheesman Park

Aerial view of Cheesman Park


Add some creepy onto your itinerary by braving the allegedly haunted Cheesman Park.

Originally delegated as cemetery space for both wealthy and the criminal, it soon fell into disrepair, only to be cleaned up decades after.

Halfway through the body disposal, however, residents reported ghost sightings and skin-rippling moans.

Morbid but a beautifully landscaped space, you might be tempted by some spectral sighting.

Pavilion and bench at Cheesman Park

Page Light Studios /

Go Shopping at Cherry Creek North

The road of Cherry Creek North

Dough4872, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shopaholics will find their niche in Cherry Creek North, a square of 16 blocks offering high-tier boutiques and luxury shops.

Interspersed are art galleries for the inclined, but those passing through will similarly be hooked onto any of the neighborhood’s international cuisine.

Leafy and flower-strewn, it is the venue of the annual Cheery Creek Arts Festival, attracting national and international attention for the quality art vendors.

Shop for Food at The Source

Exterior of The Source

Epiglottis /

Repurposing abandoned buildings into hip, artistic hub is a new trend embraced by developers and urban explorers alike.

The Source is one such 1880s foundry turned epicurean market, with polished steel rafters and warm wood coaxing a friendly atmosphere.

Shops in The Source

Epiglottis /

It is the artisanal food and beer that gives the place an actual modern polish, alongside designer goods and concept taquerias.

You might visit the architectural space alone, but the inventive cuisine will bring you back for more.

Interior of The Source

Epiglottis /

See Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Goldbug” at Forney Museum of Transportation

Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel ‘Goldbug,’ an Indian motorcycle collection and a Stutz Fire Engine barely scrape the surface of Forney Museum’s transportation exhibit.

Rare cars and vintage models aside, the museum also showcases carriages, rail parts, steam locomotives, bicycles, and the random die-cast model.

Car lovers will have a blast combing through the many vehicles on-site and may even be lucky enough to sit in one of them.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Daytime view of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Radomir Rezny /

The geologically formed amphitheater of Red Rocks Park will have you rocking to any concert, amazing acoustics, and fiery surroundings ramping up the atmosphere.

Even when devoid of people, this nature-made stage is something to behold.

And beyond this exclusive performance venue are miles of parkland, burnished buttes, and sandstone cliffs, offering a majestic postcard shot.

Stage of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

EQRoy /

Drop by the visitor center for recommended hiking trails.

Beginners can easily conquer the Trading Post Trail and snap up spectacular scenery.

Steps of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

EQRoy /

Visit the Colorado Railroad Museum

Locomotives at Colorado Railroad Museum

Richard Semik

Locomotives played a big part in Denver’s historical growth, and the Colorado Railroad Museum demonstrates how so.

Age-old locomotives, cabooses and cars are carefully maintained by the museum, running at a total of 100 trains.

The main depot houses model railroads, photographs and artifacts, as well as a working Roundhouse exhibit, delineating the history of Denver’s trains back in the 1800s.

Visitors can also experience a train ride every Saturday (partial track), and other special events are held throughout the year.

Steam locomotive at Colorado Railroad Museum

Richard Semik /

Climb Mount Evans

The road of Mount Evans

Grossinger /

Take to the skies on your drive up to Mount Evans, rising 9,000 feet to peak at over 14,000 feet above sea level.

Breathe deep and take frequent stops along Mount Evans Scenic Byway for an arresting view of the Rocky Mountains; you’ll find numerous lookout points.

Crest house observatory at Mount Evans

John Couture /

A highly recommended pit stop is Echo Lake, where you can fish and picnic on the premises.

Hiking trails are also abundant in the area, enabling a deeper exploration of the valley’s lush topics.

Echo lake at Mount Evans

John De Bord /

Learn about Brewery with Coors Brewery Tour

Interior of Coors Brewery

Infinite_Eye /

Established in 1873, Coors Brewery Tour has made a name for itself in the beer industry.

Those interested in the production of their favorite post-work drink can take a free self-guided tour within its institution.

After a short history session on Coors’ growth and rounding off with a lesson on packaging, beer samples await in the tasting room.

It is also kid-friendly, offering soft drinks in lieu of the parents’ preferred cold brew, so definitely put it on your checklist!

Brew room in Coors Brewery

Infinite_Eye /

Final Thoughts

Denver, Colorado, is a fantastic city that expertly mixes sports, cuisine, fine art, and outdoor life.

Check out the exceptional museums, fine dining establishments, clubs, and other attractions included in this list of the top things to do in Denver to make the most of your visit.

Planning your trip now is a good idea due to the numerous options for exploring places and activities!

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