Nestled against the backdrop of the stunning Rocky Mountains, Denver stands as a city that seamlessly blends urban sophistication with outdoor splendor. Known as the Mile-High City due to its elevation, Denver captivates visitors with its vibrant arts scene, diverse culinary offerings, and easy access to the natural wonders of the Rockies. Join us on a journey through the best things to see and do in Denver, where each neighbourhood tells a unique story, and every mountain peak invites exploration.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Begin your Denver adventure at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a geological marvel and world-renowned concert venue. Surrounded by towering red sandstone formations, this outdoor amphitheater hosts concerts, fitness classes, and film screenings. Even if there’s no event, the park is open for visitors to hike the surrounding trails and soak in the breathtaking views of the city and mountains.
Denver Art Museum
Immerse yourself in artistic masterpieces at the Denver Art Museum, a cultural gem that showcases a diverse collection spanning centuries and continents. From ancient artifacts to contemporary installations, the museum provides a visual journey through human creativity. Don’t miss the iconic Frederic C. Hamilton Building, a stunning architectural masterpiece designed by Daniel Libeskind.
Discover the heart of downtown Denver at Union Station, a historic transportation hub that has been revitalized into a vibrant urban center. Explore the boutiques, restaurants, and bars within the station. Take a ride on the A-Line commuter train connecting Union Station to Denver International Airport, providing a convenient and scenic way to travel.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Escape to the serenity of the Denver Botanic Gardens, an oasis of beauty and biodiversity. Stroll through themed gardens, including the Japanese Garden and the Water-Smart Garden. The gardens also host seasonal events and concerts, providing a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city.
Embark on a wildlife adventure at the Denver Zoo, home to over 3,000 animals from around the world. Divided into thematic zones like Predator Ridge and Primate Panorama, the zoo provides an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Attend animal encounters, feed giraffes, and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Relax and unwind at City Park, a sprawling urban oasis that offers lakes, walking paths, and recreational spaces. The park is home to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, providing further opportunities for exploration. Enjoy a picnic, paddleboat on Ferril Lake, or simply bask in the beauty of this expansive green space.
RiNo Art District
Explore the vibrant and ever-evolving RiNo Art District, an industrial area transformed into a haven for street art, galleries, and creative spaces. Admire the colourful murals that adorn building facades, visit galleries showcasing local artists, and discover the eclectic atmosphere that defines this artsy neighbourhood.
Step back in time as you wander through Larimer Square, Denver’s oldest and most historic block. Lined with red-brick buildings dating back to the 19th century, Larimer Square offers a charming setting for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Explore boutiques, galleries, and sample culinary delights in this lively district.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Delve into the wonders of science and natural history at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, located within City Park. Explore exhibits on dinosaurs, space, and ancient civilizations. Attend planetarium shows, participate in hands-on activities, and engage with the interactive displays that make science come alive.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Embark on a scenic drive along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, one of the highest paved roads in North America. Witness breathtaking landscapes as you ascend to the summit, where the air becomes crisp and the panoramic views stretch across the Rockies. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep.
Denver’s Craft Beer Scene
Indulge in Denver’s vibrant craft beer scene, often hailed as the “Napa Valley of Beer”. Explore the numerous craft breweries scattered throughout the city, each offering unique brews and distinctive atmospheres. Join a brewery tour or create your own beer trail to savour the creativity of Denver’s local brewers.
Denver Culinary Delights
Savour the diverse culinary offerings of Denver, where farm-to-table freshness meets innovative flavours. From gourmet food trucks to upscale dining establishments, Denver’s culinary scene reflects the city’s diverse influences. Explore neighbourhoods like LoHi (Lower Highlands) and Capitol Hill for a taste of Denver’s gastronomic diversity.
Visit The Mile High City
Denver is a city of dynamic contrasts, where the urban landscape harmonizes with the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Whether you’re exploring cultural institutions, wandering through historic districts, or savouring the natural wonders that surround the city, Denver invites you to embrace the richness of the Mile-High City. As a gateway to outdoor adventures, cultural exploration, and culinary delights, Denver stands as a testament to the spirit of the Rockies—bold, diverse, and always ready for the next adventure.
Craig is a passionate and seasoned travel, food, and lifestyle writer, whose words paint vivid pictures of the world's most captivating destinations. His work not only inspires others to embark on their own adventures but also fosters a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our world. He captures the essence of each locale, offering readers a glimpse into the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and experiences that make travel so enriching. Craig is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).