Denver skylines on a sunny day, USA

Things to do in  Denver

Mile-high adventures await

An adventure-loving base camp at the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Denver adds a dose of urban cool to Colorado’s outdoorsy spirit. Whether browsing downtown art museums, hopping between Larimer Square craft breweries, or dancing along to the music at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, things to do in Denver highlight the city’s creative energy. And with more than 80 miles (129 kilometers) of trails within city limits, you can play outside without leaving city limits.

Top 15 attractions in Denver

Garden of the Gods

An urban park and designated national landmark in Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods encompasses 1,367 acres (553 hectares) of unique wilderness, Great Plains grassland, and juniper woodlands. Highlights include the red rock formations Balanced Rock, Gateway Rock, and the Three Graces, as well as petroglyphs from the original Native American occupants of the area, the Ute people.More

Larimer Square

Larimer Square is the oldest part of Denver, with Victorian-era buildings now home to many of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The foundation of Colorado’s capital, the 2-block district is popular with locals and tourists alike, strolling beneath strings of lights and state flags.More

Pikes Peak Highway

As you wind your way up Pikes Peak Highway prepare for stunning views and historic establishments on the way to the iconic 14,115-foot (4302-meter) peak known as “America’s Mountain.” The drive is lined with scenic vista points, lakes, picnic areas, trails, and high-altitude plants and wildlife. You can stop at the Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop and Historic Glen Cove Inn on your way to the Summit House—the restaurant atop the peak.More

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a music venue unlike any other—a sandstone stadium forged by the elements and blessed with natural acoustics. Many musicians have taken to this stage, and when shows are in town, Red Rocks can host over 9,500 concertgoers, all in for a treat beyond the music: stellar views of the natural Colorado landscape.More

Pikes Peak

Just outside of Colorado Springs, the towering Pikes Peak stands as an American icon. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America the Beautiful” after surveying the great western lands from atop this very mountain, and today, visitors can enjoy the same view that inspired Bates, looking down across the rolling plains and jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains.More

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo)

A lively district of restaurants, shops, and nightlife, Lower Downtown Denver (or LoDo) is a top destination for Denver culture. In addition to its vibrant scene, though, LoDo is also home to some of the city’s best-preserved historic architecture and more Victorian–era buildings than anywhere else in the United States.More

Colorado State Capitol Building

The Colorado State Capitol, built a mile above sea level with a bell-shaped gold dome, is a striking feature in Denver’s skyline. The historic structure is made from Colorado rose onyx, a rare marble that’s entire known stores were used on the building. On your way in, look for the step that marks the capitol’s “mile high” point.More

Denver Civic Center Park

Colorful flower beds bloom amid a lineup of historical monuments in Civic Center Park, a green space bordered by some of the city’s most important landmarks. Its tree-shaded paths lead to the Denver Art Museum, the State Capitol, and the City and County Building. A stop on many city tours, it’s a great place to start exploring downtown.More

Denver 16th Street Mall

The Denver 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colorado, is a tree-lined pedestrian corridor filled with outdoor cafés, restaurants, and shops. Along the popular downtown promenade, visitors can enjoy performances from local street performers or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage while searching for the perfect craft beer or dining spot.More

Lookout Mountain

It’s just a short drive from downtown Denver, but Lookout Mountain feels like another world. Once used as a lookout for the Native American Ute tribe that called the area home, the 7,300-foot (2,225-meter) mountain has miles of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout, from easy walking paths to strenuous switchbacks. From the summit, you can see the Denver skyline 12 miles (19 kilometers) away.More

Molly Brown House Museum

Visitors may know Margaret “Molly” Brown in association with theRMS Titanic, but there was much more to her life than the ill-fated voyage for which she became famous. An activist, suffragist, and philanthropist, Brown’s spirit lives on through educational tours, exhibits, and programming inside her restored historic Denver home.More

Denver Art Museum (DAM)

One of the largest museums between Chicago and California, Denver Art Museum showcases a wide range of art in its 70,000-piece collection. From Native American art to ultramodern contemporary pieces, interactive exhibits to works sparking profound cultural reflection, DAM (as locals call it) is a destination for art lovers of all ages.More

Mount Evans

With an elevation of 14,265 feet (4,348 meters), Mount Evans is the 12th-highest peak in Colorado and one of the state’s 58 “Fourteeners”—peaks above 14,000 feet (4,300 meters). Part of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it’s easily accessible from Denver via the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.More

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Spanning four city blocks and offering more than 10,000 total seats, this massive cultural complex anchors downtown Denver’s Theater District and diverse performing arts scene. From show-stopping musicals and storybook ballets to comedy cabaret and cutting-edge drama, it’s where Denver goes to be entertained.More

Denver Mint

The Denver Mint is a historic building renowned for its Renaissance-style architecture and its production of United States currency. Take a free tour of the early 20th-century building to learn about the history of money, and drop by the gift shop to buy freshly printed notes and commemorative coins. You can also admire the building’s exterior on a Denver sightseeing tour. Adults must bring a photo ID and all pass through security screenings before entering.More

Top activities in Denver

Denver, Red Rocks, and Beyond
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Denver, Red Rocks, and Beyond

Denver and Foothills Mountain Small-Group Tour
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Twilight Ghost Tour
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Twilight Ghost Tour

Private Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver and Boulder
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Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver
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Breckenridge Mountain Explorer
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Breckenridge Mountain Explorer

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RiNo Arts District Food Tour
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RiNo Arts District Food Tour

Shared Half-Day Mountain Tour in Red Rocks Evergreen and Echo Lake
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Rocky Mountain 6-Zipline Adventure on CO Longest and Fastest!
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All about Denver

When to visit

Life happens outdoors in the Denver summer when the warm months of June–August draw crowds for open-air concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, neighborhood farmers markets, and the weekly food truck event, Civic Center EATS. September and October’s cooler weather is ideal for hiking and biking trail networks within Denver’s City Park and Confluence Park. If you’re using Denver as a base camp for skiing and snowboarding, nearby resorts like Winter Park generally open in November or December.

Getting around

It’s easy to get around the city without a car, starting with the airport rail between the Denver International Airport and downtown’s Denver Union Station, a 23-mile (37-kilometer) ride that takes around 40 minutes. From there, the city’s light rail network, RTD, takes riders to destinations including Coors Field, Empower Field at Mile High, and the University of Denver. Renting a bike is another great option—there are miles of dedicated bike trails throughout the city.

Traveler tips

Catching an outdoor concert at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a classic Denver experience, but it can take some advance planning. Temperatures drop quickly after dark at this altitude, so bring layers (and maybe even a raincoat). If you’re driving, keep in mind that the lower parking lots are a 30-minute walk from the venue. Taxis and ride-hailing services tend to be scarce when shows end; some concertgoers opt to pre-book a shuttle bus from downtown Denver.

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People Also Ask

What is Denver known for?

Parts of the Mile-High City, situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, are at exactly 5,280 feet (1,609 meters). Denver’s population has exploded in recent years. It is known for outdoor adventures, a strong craft beer scene, and vibrant arts and culture sectors.

How can I spend 3 days in Denver?

Start in LoDo (Lower Downtown), Denver’s oldest neighborhood where you’ll find Union Station, ​​Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and Larimer Square—the city's oldest block known for chef-driven restaurants and nightlife. Catch a show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, wander 16th Street Mall, and expand your mind at Meow Wolf.

What part of Denver should I visit?

Book accommodations in LoDo (Lower Downtown) if possible. You’ll be near Union Station, countless restaurants and bars, and Larimer Square and McGregor Square. RiNo, or River North (aka Five Points), boasts nightlife, vibrant street art, and Denver Central Market. Chill LoHi (Lower Highlands) offers views of Denver’s skyline.

Where is the best view in Denver?

Head to the roof of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, aka the Anschutz Family Sky Terrace. From here, you’ll catch views of the downtown skyline, the capitol dome, and—on clear days— Mt. Evans and Longs Peak in the distance.

What should I not miss near Denver?

Make the drive up Mount Evans on the highest paved road on the continent—14,260 feet (4,346 meters). At the top, see Colorado's Front Range. For a different kind of Rocky Mountain view, catch a show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, one of the most famous outdoor US venues.

What is there to do in Denver in the winter?

Many Denverites hit the slopes—Colorado has 28 ski resorts. In the city, grab tea at historic Brown Palace or tour the Coors Brewery. Scope out Denver Art Museum or Denver Union Station, dip into Indian Hot Springs, or ice-skate at Skyline Park. The city’s bars, restaurants, and music venues attract crowds year-round.

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