20 Things To Do In Denver

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Tucked in the Rocky Mountains, Denver, the capital city of Colorado, has a vibrant urban vibe surrounded by stunning scenery, making it an attractive destination for urban culture vultures and outdoorsy nature enthusiasts. Home to just over 700,000 people, Denver offers all the benefits of a bustling metropolis without feeling overcrowded and is ideal for a laid-back city break.

Founded in 1858 during the gold rush, the city is rich in Old West history and culture, while the surrounding landscape provides access to plenty of outdoor adventures. From hiking and biking in summer to skiing and snowboarding in winter, 300 days of sunshine a year makes Denver perfect for anyone who enjoys being out in the fresh air. From historic landmarks and quirky museums to family attractions and outdoor adventures, plan your adventure in the Mile High City, starting with these things to do in Denver.

Denver, Colorado

21 Things To Do In Denver

1- Get A Taste Of Denver On A Food, Wine, Beer or Whiskey Tour

Mile High City Of Denver in winter covered in snow
Visiting the “Mile High City” soon? You’ll find plenty of things to do in downtown Denver for ll seasons.

Dive in and sample a cornucopia of delights in Denver, from local whiskey and beer to delicious culinary delights. 

A great way to meet the locals and discover hidden bars is to join a tour. Here’s our pick of the top gastronomic pleasures: 

  • Brews & Views Denver – Love mountains? Love beer? This tour is for serious beer enthusiasts who want to enjoy majestic mountain scenery while discovering excellent brewpubs and sampling the best Colorado beer. As a bonus, you’ll learn brewing history in a Rocky Mountains mining town. 
  • Downtown Denver Food Tour – Taste the best of Denver on a food walking tour visiting five restaurants. From baked empanadas fresh from the oven to tasty pizza, you’ll treat your tastebuds to a taste of Denver as you discover its Wild West history. 
  • Craft Beer Tour in Lower Downtown Denver – Have you ever wondered why Denver is nicknamed the ‘Napa Valley of Craft Beer’? You’ll find out soon enough on this fun pub crawl through the historic Lower Downtown (LoDo) district while sampling 10 Colorado craft beers guided by an expert. 
  • RiNo Arts District Food Tour – A three-hour walking food tour through one of Denver’s coolest neighbourhoods. Taste the culinary delights paired with wine at five award-winning local restaurants, from fresh burrata to Mexican street tacos to Japanese-style fried chicken. Oh, and you’ll see lots of colourful street murals along the way. 
  • Small-Group Cocktail Tour in Denver – Visit historic bars and speakeasies to learn more about the city’s popular drinks and Prohibition-era cocktails. It’s a great way to meet new friends, let your hair down, and sip cocktails without worrying about getting lost in a new city. 
  • 3-Hour Whiskey and History Tour – explore two hip neighbourhoods to discover pubs, saloons and distilleries where you will sample genuine Colorado-made whiskey. On this small-group walking tour, you will sample Irish whiskies in an Irish pub, spirits in a modern saloon and visit a local distillery. 

2- Expand Your Mind At The International Church Of Cannabis

This former Lutheran church has been turned into a vibrant technicolour celebration of Colorado’s legalisation of marijuana.

In keeping with the historic building’s original function, the International Church of Cannabis focuses on using cannabis and psychedelics in spiritual practices.

Along with the striking murals and hourly light shows, visitors can join in with various mind-broadening activities, such as guided meditations and yoga classes.

Make the trip to 400 S Logan St, Denver, CO 80209, United States.

Top ticket: BEYOND Light Show & Meditation.

3- Cross The Denver Millennium Bridge

view of bridge from below
Crossing the Millennium Bridge is one of the iconic things to do in Denver Co.

Denver Millennium Bridge stretches for 130 feet (40 metres) across railroad tracks to connect the 16th Street Mall with the riverside Commons Park.

Opened in 2002 to celebrate the millennium, the bridge is also an architectural innovation, being the world’s first cable-stayed bridge.

The bridge’s 200-foot (61 m) tall mast has already been cemented as an icon of the city.

If you’re wandering the Lower Downtown riverfront area, you’ll spot the Millennium Bridge’s sweeping cables, so stroll across this slice of modern architectural history.

You’ll find it at 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202, United States. 

Top tours:

4- Discover The Beauty of The Rockies

Denver is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and if you have half a day or a full day to spare, you’ll want to get out and about in nature. 

Half-day tours
  • Scenic Photoshoot in Denver’s Foothills – Capture stunning photos of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain scenery (with you in it) with a professional photographer. 
  • Foothills Explorer Tour From Denver – Experience the mountain vibe while exploring the scenic Denver foothills. Discover jaw-dropping views, historic towns and attractions, including Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lookout Mountain, Lariat Loop and Evergreen.  
  • Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing near Denver, Colorado – Get into the mountain spirit by taking an introductory rock climbing experience in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where an experienced guide will show you the ropes. 
Full-day tours

5- Meet The Residents Of Denver Zoo

Flock Of Famingoes
One of the things to do in Denver with the kids is to visit the zoo.

Denver Zoo is home to over 450 species and is the perfect family day out for animal lovers.

Along with familiar creatures like lions and penguins, visitors can meet many rare and endangered animals, from African wild dogs to okapi.

The animals are housed in various elaborately themed habitats, so head out into the Tropical Discovery zone and dare to conquer Predator Ridge.

You can even experience up-close animal encounters or take a behind-the-scenes tour of areas like the onsite animal hospital.

Find them at 2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205, United States.

Best tour: Denver Scavenger Hunt: Hunt Through the Denver Zoo!

6- Learn Something New At Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science houses over a million artefacts.

With exhibits spanning topics from ancient societies and prehistoric creatures to the latest technological developments and space exploration, the museum has something to fascinate every visitor.

Plenty of hands-on exhibits, an immersive Infinity Theatre, and jaw-dropping shows in the planetarium mean there is tons to keep you busy.

A packed schedule of events and special exhibitions means even returning visitors will have something to enjoy.

Go to 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205, United States.

7- Let Your Mind Take Flight At Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Housed in a former Air Force hangar, the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is home to over fifty aircraft and space vehicles.

Admire rare aircraft, including a Rockwell B-1A Lancer and a 3/4-scale replica of a Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter.

Whether you’re interested in military aviation, space exploration, or just the general history and development of air travel, there are tons of informative exhibits to enjoy.

Find it at 7711 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO 80230, United States.

8- Walk Around the Downtown Aquarium

Denver Downtown Aquarium houses diverse aquatic life, with over 500 species, including sharks, rays and even tigers.

Along with the live animal shows and touch tanks, you can even glimpse a mermaid lurking in the waters around the onsite restaurant.

Feeling brave? Take the plunge into the shark cage and get up-close to five species of shark.

Head to 700 Water St, Denver, CO 80211, United States.

9- Wander Around The Denver Botanic Gardens

Perennials yellow and purple
Wandering around Denver Botanic Garden is one of the relaxing things to do in Denver.

Spanning 24 acres (9.7 ha) at the city’s heart, the Denver Botanic Gardens lets visitors appreciate the region’s natural splendour without leaving the downtown area.

You can explore gardens designed around regions from across the world, from South Africa and Japan to the nearby Rockies.

Along with the permanent gardens, there are various events and seasonal displays to enjoy throughout the year.

The summer brings a packed calendar of concerts to the garden’s amphitheatre, while winter ushers in the annual Blossoms Of Light holiday display.

Head into 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206, United States. Skip the line and book your Denver Botanic Gardens ticket here.

10- Visit The Molly Brown House

This immaculately restored Victorian house once belonged to socialite and activist Margaret Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, earning her the moniker The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Guided tours of the house provide a glimpse into the daily life of the time through her family’s art collection and personal artifacts and furnishings.

Well known for her philanthropy, exhibits around the house detail Molly’s work advocating for various social justice causes of the time.

Head into 1340 Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80203, United States. 

11- Look Around The Denver Firefighters Museum

Landmark Museum Building In Denver
Visiting the Firefighters Museum is one of the fun things to do in Denver.

Contained in an authentic 1909 firehouse, Denver Firefighters Museum showcases how firefighting techniques, technology, and procedure have advanced throughout the intervening century.

Visitors can browse various exhibits of artefacts ranging from old uniforms to a wide range of fire engines.

You can explore various areas of the historic firehouse, from the control room to the dorm. Kids can don the uniform and climb aboard a miniature fire-truck to try their hands at being heroes for a day.

Go to 1326 Tremont Pl, Denver, CO 80204, United States.

12- Take A Lap Of The National Ballpark Museum

Any baseball fan visiting Denver will want to swing by the National Ballpark Museum across the street from Coors Field, the home ground of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.

The little museum is known as one of the best collections of baseball memorabilia in the world.

Its various displayed artefacts range from vintage uniforms and equipment to collectibles like trading cards.

They even have a wall lined with original seats from each of the Fourteen Classic Ballparks.

Head over to 1940 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202, United States.

13- Experience The Art Of Meow Wolf Denver – Convergence Station

The Art of Meow Wolf Denver – Convergence Station is a uniquely immersive and interactive gallery with one of the quirkiest art experiences you’ll likely find.

Spanning four floors, visitors are encouraged to touch and engage with the exhibits.

The Art Of Meow Wolf leads you through a fantastical weaving of art and modern technology to create a surreal experience you won’t soon forget.

The whole installation is a vibrant celebration of creativity and imagination.

Go to 1338 1st St, Denver, CO 80204, United States.

Top tour: Denver in a Full Day- Meow Wolf, Red Rocks, Sites Downtown and RiNo Art District.

14- Meet The Big Blue Bear

Officially titled ‘I Know What You Mean’, the Big Blue Bear sculpture stands at 40 feet (12 metres) tall to peep through the windows of the upper floors of the Colorado Convention Centre.

The work of visual artist Lawrence Argent, the Big Blue Bear, is a beloved local community member.

Just round the corner from the 16th Street Mall, you won’t have to go far to see the friendly fella.

Snapping a pic with the charmingly playful installation is worth a short detour.

Find him at 750-776 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, United States.

15- Admire The Works At Denver Art Museum

Art Museum
Admiring creative works at the Denver Art Museum is one of the top things to do in Denver.

If you prefer your art to be more traditional and contained, head to the Denver Art Museum.

The striking building is a wonder in its own right, so architecture fans would also benefit from passing by.

The museum contains over 70,000 works by artists from across the world and time.

Visitors can see masterpieces of the Renaissance era to works by modern and emerging artists.

Various mediums are displayed throughout the museum, including sculptures in the grounds surrounding the building.

Go to 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204, United States.

Top tour: Best of Denver Tour – great for your first visit and includes attractions like the art museum.

16- Have A Blast At Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens is an action-packed theme park boasting enough rides, games, and attractions to amuse any family for a day.

Perched on the south bank of the South Platte River, right at the heart of downtown, the park is super convenient to get to.

It also offers some stunning views of the Denver skyline from the tops of the rollercoasters. It’s perfect for some summer fun. Cool off in the waterpark or take in the various concerts and shows.

Hop along to 2000 Elitch Cir, Denver, CO 80204, United States.

17- Take A Walk Through Time At Four Mile Historic Park

Denver The Capital Of Colorado
Looking for things to do in Denver? Check out our list of the top 20.

To delve into the history and heritage of Denver, you’ll want to visit Four Mile Historic Park. Visitors can wander around a complex of restored and maintained buildings from the city’s frontier days.

As well as the pioneers who founded the town, you can also learn about the native people who lived there prior.

There are also tons of events and workshops to get involved with.

Head to 715 S Forest St, Denver, CO 80246, United States.

Top tours:

18- Enjoy A Break In Confluence Park

Platte River And Bridge In Denver
Exploring Confluence Park is one of the things to do in Denver this weekend.

Head to Confluence Park when you need a break from the urban crush.

The riverside park lets you get back to nature without even having to leave the downtown area.

Spend an afternoon lazing by the waterside or take your lunch to the picnicking areas.

For something more exciting, the park also has facilities for paddleboarding and kayaking.

Alternatively, explore the riverside walking and cycling trails.

The park is along 2250 15th St, Denver, CO 80202, United States.

19- Get Back To Nature At Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in north Denver is super easy to get to from the city centre, so you can escape into the stunning natural landscape in no time.

The refuge is home to a wide array of wildlife.

Keep your eyes peeled for the resident bison and coyotes.

Look to the skies and you might spot an eagle. It’s an important conservation area and the visitor centre is worth visiting to learn more about the protected animals and habitats.

Head in at 6550 Gateway Rd, Commerce City, CO 80022, United States.

20- Take A Journey Of Discovery At Forney Museum of Transportation

Covering the development of how various modes of transport have progressed through the years, Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver is ideal for anyone from trainspotters to car enthusiasts.

Housing a collection of over eight hundred exhibits, there’s plenty to pique your interest. Admire vintage cars and steam engines and even antique bicycles.

You can even see Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel Gold Bug car.

Transport yourself to 4303 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216, United States.

21- Delve Into The Past At The Black American West Museum & Heritage Centre

The Black American West Museum & Heritage Centre provides insights into the often overlooked contributions of the black community to the development of the American West.

The museum houses exhibits on their various roles in Colorado’s history, from cowboys and miners to homesteaders.

Visitors can view photographs and personal artefacts displayed around the historic home to learn more about their daily lives.

Head to 3091 California St, Denver, CO 80205, United States.

22- Browse The Exhibits Of History Colorado Centre

Interior Of The Colorado State Capitol
Discovering the Colorado State Capitol is one of the things to do in Denver, Colorado.

The History Colorado Centre presents the region’s history through various fascinating and beautifully presented exhibits.

Visitors can dive into various topics by covering the region’s pre-colonial cultures to Colorado’s civil war history and mining heritage.

Find it at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, United States. 

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.