If you have limited time, make sure to hit these Denver highlights
Denver is a cosmopolitan town with a relaxed vibe that has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re looking for great music, great food, or great views, you’ll find some of the top Denver attractions below.
If you took the Amtrak in, you’ve probably seen what Union Station has to offer. If you came to Denver by another route, this transport hub is worth a visit. Why? Union Station, built in 1881, is the storied heart of a wide variety of unusual shops and eclectic restaurants. Special events and seasonal markets are also held here, making this a perfect place to score a gift for a special someone. There is a menagerie of shops and restaurants including Stoic and Genuine, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Snooze an A.M. Eatery, and one of our favorite places for a prohibition-style cocktail, The Cooper Lounge.
Fine or Modern Art? At the Denver Art Museum, you don’t have to choose! This spacious and striking building is home to 70,000 works ranging from Vincent Van Gogh’s moody oil paintings to Dior’s couture dresses. Try to visit on the weekends when local artists show off their best at the Hamilton Building. This museum is family-friendly, with opportunities for children to practice art and crafts. Kids under 18 get free admission.
3. Denver Zoo
Denver is proud home to a world-class zoo. Even if the weather’s nippy, this place is well worth a visit as it has extensive indoor and outdoor exhibits. The zoo schedules daily programs, Q and A sessions, live animal feedings, and more! This is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about exotic animals and raising awareness about the environment. Say “hi” to the elephants for us!
No matter the season, the spacious, 23-acre Denver Botanic Gardens offers plenty for both adults and kids. In addition to featuring a wide variety of plants, the main York Street site also offers a sculpture garden and a conservatory. At the Chatfield Farms location you’ll find beautiful, natural scenery that includes a meandering river, peaceful meadows, and gorgeous winter displays. Visit in the summertime during their ever popular concert on the lawn series or in the winter to see their spectacular light display.
Just a short drive outside of Denver is the Red Rocks Trail. This trail gives you a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. Pack your camera for this one; you’ll want to immortalize sweeping mountain vistas, prairies, bubbling streams, and of course the red rock formations. There are a range of trails here from one to six miles, suitable for most fitness levels.
The creative-minded entrepreneurs in Denver have produced some of the finest microbrews in the country. There’s more than can be listed in this article, but you can get your brew hunt started with:
Breckenridge Brewery – Try their famous Dark and Spicy Vanilla Porter.
Briar Common – Great brews paired with great food here including American and Belgian varieties.
TRVE Brewing Company – ‘Denver’s Heavy Metal Brewing Company’ pulls out all the stops with creative blends like their Cosmic Crypt.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has a lot to offer. This center has both wildlife exhibits and a Space Odyssey. Younger children will be enchanted by their current Gems and Minerals exhibit, which includes a stunning six foot wall of Rhodochrosite crystals. Meanwhile, adults can feel like a kid again in the VR arcade with simulations including mini golf, cooking, and even a space pirate trainer!
Denver has a non-stop music scene and you’re practically guaranteed to find a band you like if you look. The three best places to catch music are:
Red Rock Amphitheater – Catch world famous acts here like Nine Inch Nails and U2.
Fillmore Auditorium – Offers a smaller, more intimate vibe than the Red Rock where you can hear eclectic fare ranging from heavy metal tribute bands to the Manchester Orchestra.
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox – This former brothel turned bar and restaurant features a sampling of local bands.
Are you interested in high culture and a swanky shopping scene? Look no further than Larimer Square. This historic block is located right in downtown Denver, putting exclusive boutiques and big names at your fingertips. Once you’re done shopping at places like Element and Qinti, you can take in a great meal at one of the local high-end eateries including Rioja, Corridor 44, and Ocean Prime. Insider tip: Get discounted valet service when dining at one of the restaurants on Larimer Square!
10. Coors Field
Are you a big-time baseball fan? You can’t drop by Denver without a visit to Coors Field. Tours are available Monday through Saturday, and you can get an unforgettable look at one of the country’s most famous ball parks. These tours take about an hour and a half and include about a mile of walking, so make sure you pack comfortable shoes along with a camera.
Has Denver cast a spell over you, too? At Rocky Mountain Food Tours, we offer food tours and an insider’s insight into this state’s dynamic culture. Our packages include tours for both individuals and groups and can be tailored to different interests. Come by our website to see which dates are available.
Cheers, Your Rocky Mountain Food Tours Team