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5 Must-See Museums in Denver and How to Visit

Discover the other side of Denver by visiting its top-notch museums.

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Hi, I'm Lydia!

Lydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

Denver’s best museums offer a wide variety of subject matters ranging from art and science to a colorful cast of historic characters. It’s worth setting aside a day—or three—to immerse yourself in the cultural riches of these institutions. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Denver Art Museum

The atrium of Denver Art Museum, covered in bright colors, in the heart of the city.
Denver Art Museum as seen from the outside.Photo Credit: Jay Yuan / Shutterstock

For thousands of pieces of art.

For art lovers, the Denver Art Museum is home to more than 70,000 pieces of artwork divided between 10 permanent collections—and the building itself is a work of art by architect Daniel Libeskind. See one of the largest art museums located between Chicago and the West Coast as part of a Denver city sightseeing tour or with the multi-attraction Mile High Culture Pass.

2. Molly Brown House Museum

The grand entry to historic Molly Brown House Museum in Denver, CO.
Molly Brown House in Denver, Colorado.Photo Credit: Adrian / Tripadvisor

For Titanic's history.

Anyone who’s seen Titanic will be familiar with one of Denver’s most famous hometown heroes, Margaret Brown—posthumously known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Learn more about the Titanic survivor, including her impact on modern-day cruise and flight safety, at the Molly Brown House Museum. The home is included on many Denver city tours.

3. Children’s Museum of Denver

Children explore the fun exhibits at the popular Children’s Museum of Denver in Colorado.
Inside the Children’s Museum of Denver.Photo Credit: CMDenver / Tripadvisor

For a hands-on experience.

Both the young and the young at heart will enjoy the hands-on collection at the Children’s Museum of Denver. Museumgoers are encouraged to interact with everything—climb aboard a real city fire truck, paint your own masterpiece, or climb three stories for spectacular views of the Colorado Rockies.

4. Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum

The entry to Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum in Denver, Colorado in the States.
Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum from the outside.Photo Credit: Dianne W / Tripadvisor

For tales of the American West.

Famous Wild West showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was laid to rest atop Lookout Mountain in nearby Golden, Colorado—an easy and worthwhile day trip from the Mile High City. The site now includes a museum with exhibits highlighting the life and times of this legendary figure of the American West, including one of his actual Stetson cowboy hats. See the museum on a tour of Denver’s picturesque Rocky Mountain foothills.

5. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The entrance to Museum of Nature & Science on a sunny day in Denver, CO.
A look at Denver Museum of Nature & Science.Photo Credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

For prehistoric Earth, space exploration, and more.

The comprehensive collection at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science includes more than a million objects, as well as a planetarium and an IMAX theater. Situated in City Park near the Denver Zoo, the museum comprises eight interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to explore themes like prehistoric Earth, ancient Egyptian history, and space exploration.

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