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Welcome to the heart of the Mile-High City, Downtown Denver, where modernity meets history, and adventure awaits at every corner. This vibrant urban center nestled against the majestic Rocky Mountains offers a plethora of activities and attractions to explore, making it a dream destination for both locals and tourists alike. In this blog, we present the 20 best things to do in Downtown Denver, curated to cater to all interests and age groups. From cultural landmarks and scenic parks to thrilling sports venues and delectable dining experiences, let's dive into Downtown Denver's vibrant and diverse tapestry.
No visit to Downtown Denver would be complete without a stroll down the iconic 16th Street Mall. This pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare is bustling with life, lined with shops, restaurants, and street performers. Hop on the free MallRide shuttle for a convenient ride along the mile-long promenade and take in the sights and sounds of the city.
The 16th Street Mall is the heart and soul of downtown, featuring a vibrant atmosphere that beckons visitors to explore. Whether you're a shopaholic looking for unique boutiques or a food enthusiast seeking a diverse culinary experience, the mall has something for everyone. As you walk along the bustling streets, keep an eye out for local street performers who add an artistic flair to the ambiance. Don't forget to snap a photo at the iconic "Big Sweep" sculpture, a whimsical symbol of Denver's creative spirit.
For art enthusiasts, the Denver Art Museum is an absolute must-see. With an extensive collection of over 70,000 artworks from around the world, including American Indian art and renowned contemporary pieces, the museum offers a captivating journey through various artistic movements and cultural expressions.
The Denver Art Museum boasts an impressive and diverse collection that spans centuries and continents. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum's exhibits showcase humanity's creativity and cultural heritage. One of its highlights is the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, an architectural gem designed by Daniel Libeskind, which itself is a work of art. Be sure to check the museum's calendar for special exhibitions and events that offer unique insights into specific artists or themes. Whether you're an art connoisseur or simply curious about the world of creativity, the Denver Art Museum promises a captivating experience.
Immerse yourself in Denver's thriving performing arts scene by attending a show at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. As the second-largest performing arts center in the nation, this cultural hub hosts various events, including Broadway shows, ballet performances, concerts, and more.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex is a haven for culture and entertainment, with its impressive lineup of performances spanning genres and styles. From classic theater productions to contemporary dance performances, the complex caters to all artistic preferences. Don't miss the opportunity to catch a Broadway touring production or revel in the brilliance of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Whether you're a seasoned arts aficionado or a newcomer to the world of performing arts, the Denver Performing Arts Complex promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.
Experience cutting-edge art and creativity at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). This architectural gem houses a diverse array of contemporary works, pushing the boundaries of art and challenging traditional norms.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Denver is a haven for art enthusiasts seeking to explore the forefront of creative expression. With its ever-changing exhibits featuring works by local, national, and international artists, MCA offers a glimpse into the current artistic trends and thought-provoking concepts. The museum's innovative and bold approach to showcasing contemporary art ensures that each visit is a unique and enriching experience. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations, MCA celebrates the diversity of modern art, inviting visitors to engage with and interpret the pieces in their own way.
Delve into the history of currency production at the Denver Mint, one of the United States Mint facilities. Take a guided tour to witness the coin-making process and learn about the significance of this institution in shaping the country's financial landscape.
The Denver Mint holds a significant place in American history, being one of the oldest operating mint facilities in the country. Guided tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the coin production process, providing visitors with a fascinating insight into the minting of currency. Witness the intricate machinery and precision involved in creating coins that end up in circulation across the nation. The experience also sheds light on the Mint's role in preserving the nation's economic stability and its historical significance in shaping the United States' financial system. Don't forget to pick up a unique souvenir from the gift shop, which offers a range of coins and memorabilia for collectors and history enthusiasts.
Step back in time at Union Station, a beautifully restored historic landmark and transportation hub. Enjoy the architectural marvel and explore the chic boutiques, restaurants, and bars that now inhabit this iconic building.
Union Station, a beloved Denver landmark, seamlessly blends the city's storied past with its vibrant present. The recently restored Beaux-Arts building exudes old-world charm while offering modern amenities and bustling businesses. Marvel at the stunning architecture, from the grand chandeliers to the intricately designed ceilings, as you step into this bustling transportation center. Grab a coffee or indulge in a delectable meal at one of the station's eateries, which exude a hip and contemporary vibe. In the evening, the terminal transforms into a lively social hub, with trendy bars and lounges inviting locals and visitors to unwind in style. Union Station's unique blend of history, hospitality, and elegance ensures an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
As the centerpiece of Civic Center Park, the Colorado State Capitol Building stands as a symbol of Colorado's rich history and political heritage. Join a free guided tour to admire the stunning dome and gain insight into the state's governance.
The Colorado State Capitol Building is an architectural masterpiece that exudes a sense of grandeur and pride. Modeled after the United States Capitol, the building features a stunning gold-plated dome that gleams under the Colorado sun. Step inside the rotunda to marvel at the exquisite stained glass windows and sculptures that pay homage to the state's pioneers and historical figures. The guided tours offer a comprehensive overview of Colorado's political history and legislative process, allowing visitors to witness the heart of democracy in action. Don't forget to take a walk around the surrounding Civic Center Park, where manicured lawns and statues create a serene and picturesque setting to relax and reflect.
Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the tranquil oasis of Confluence Park, where Cherry Creek and the South Platte River merge. Enjoy walking and biking trails, picnics by the river, and kayaking for a refreshing escape in the heart of the city.
Confluence Park and the Platte River offer a breath of fresh air and a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle of Downtown Denver. This urban oasis is a paradise for nature lovers, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. The park's trails, winding along the river's edge, are ideal for leisurely walks or invigorating bike rides, providing picturesque views of the water and the cityscape beyond. For a more adventurous experience, rent a kayak or paddleboard and glide along the gentle waters of the Platte River, taking in the sights and sounds of nature in the heart of the city.
Civic Center Park stands as a gathering place that epitomizes the vibrant spirit of Downtown Denver. Surrounded by architectural landmarks, including the Colorado State Capitol and the Denver City and County Building, the park serves as a focal point for civic engagement and community celebrations. Throughout the year, it plays host to an array of events, ranging from food festivals and art fairs to live concerts and cultural showcases.
As you stroll through the park, you'll encounter striking statues and memorials that pay tribute to the state's history and influential figures. The Greek Amphitheatre, an iconic structure within the park, often hosts outdoor concerts and performances, providing a memorable setting for artistic expression. Whether you're seeking a peaceful moment of reflection amidst the bustle of the city or looking to immerse yourself in the vibrant community spirit, Civic Center Park offers a perfect setting for both.
Coors Field, situated in the heart of Downtown Denver, is more than just a baseball stadium; it's a beloved institution for sports enthusiasts and a symbol of the city's unwavering passion for the game. The stadium's architecture, featuring a blend of modern design and nostalgic aesthetics, creates a sense of timelessness and reverence for America's favorite pastime.
Watching a baseball game at Coors Field is an unforgettable experience. The roar of the crowd, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, and the excitement of cheering on the home team create an atmosphere of camaraderie and shared joy. As you settle into your seat, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains that serve as a stunning backdrop to the stadium, adding a touch of Colorado's natural beauty to the electric energy of the game.
For football enthusiasts, Empower Field at Mile High is where the action unfolds. Cheer on the Denver Broncos and experience the thrill of game day surrounded by devoted fans.
Empower Field at Mile High, formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High, is more than just a sports arena; it's a place of pilgrimage for Denver Broncos fans and a symbol of the city's unwavering dedication to its football team. On game day, the stadium comes alive with an electric atmosphere as fans don the team's colors and unite in cheers and chants. The sense of camaraderie and shared passion for football create an unforgettable experience for both seasoned fans and first-time visitors. Whether you're watching a thrilling touchdown or enjoying the halftime show, the energy of Empower Field at Mile High is infectious, leaving you with memories that last a lifetime.
Indulge in the charm of Denver's oldest and most historic block, Larimer Square. Lined with unique boutiques, lively bars, and gourmet restaurants, this iconic destination is perfect for an evening of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Larimer Square is a true gem of Denver, a place where the city's rich history blends seamlessly with its vibrant contemporary scene. As you stroll down the charming cobblestone streets, you'll be captivated by the meticulously preserved Victorian architecture that transports you back in time. The square's quaint shops and boutiques are a paradise for those seeking unique and locally crafted treasures. From fashion boutiques and jewelry stores to art galleries and specialty shops, Larimer Square offers a delightful shopping experience that caters to a diverse range of tastes.
In the evening, the square transforms into a buzzing nightlife hub, with a plethora of lively bars, restaurants, and cafes filling the air with laughter and music. Whether you're in the mood for a romantic dinner, a casual brunch, or a night of dancing, the options are endless in this lively district. Larimer Square's undeniable charm and warm ambiance make it an ideal spot to create cherished memories with loved ones.
A treat for families with young ones, the Denver Children's Museum offers a hands-on, interactive experience that encourages learning through play. From exploring the wonders of science to unleashing creativity in the art studio, kids of all ages will have a blast here.
The Denver Children's Museum is a wonderland of learning and discovery, designed to spark the imagination and curiosity of young minds. Children are encouraged to explore, experiment, and engage in interactive exhibits that cover a wide range of subjects, from science and nature to art and culture. As they embark on adventures in the various play zones, kids can build structures, dig for fossils, create artistic masterpieces, and even role-play as doctors, firefighters, or astronauts. The Denver Children's Museum is not just a place to play; it's a space where young minds can learn, grow, and embrace the joy of discovery.
The Downtown Aquarium in Denver is a captivating world under the sea, transporting visitors to a realm of aquatic wonder. As you wander through the exhibits, you'll encounter vibrant marine life from around the globe, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sharks and playful sea otters. The highlight of the aquarium is the interactive touch tank, where visitors can get up close and personal with fascinating creatures such as starfish and horseshoe crabs.
For an unforgettable dining experience, head to the Aquarium Restaurant, where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by the stunning floor-to-ceiling aquarium windows. Witness the graceful movements of marine life as you savor delectable dishes, creating a truly immersive and unique dining atmosphere. The Downtown Aquarium is not just a place for kids; it's a mesmerizing destination that appeals to the inner child in everyone, leaving visitors with lasting memories of their underwater adventure.
For an adrenaline-packed day, head to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. This amusement park offers thrilling rides, water slides, live entertainment, and a splash-filled adventure for visitors of all ages.
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers and families alike, offering an exciting blend of heart-pounding rides and refreshing water attractions. Adrenaline junkies can challenge themselves on roller coasters that twist, turn, and loop through the sky, providing an exhilarating experience against the backdrop of the Denver skyline. For those seeking a respite from the heat, the water park offers a variety of water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers that promise a fun-filled and refreshing adventure.
The Colorado Convention Center is the beating heart of Denver's event and convention scene, attracting professionals, enthusiasts, and visitors from across the nation and beyond. With its sprawling exhibition halls and modern facilities, the center hosts an array of events that cater to various industries and interests. From business conferences and trade shows to cultural festivals and fan conventions, there's always something happening at this bustling venue.
The center's strategic location in the heart of Downtown Denver makes it easily accessible, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and attractions, ensuring attendees have a seamless and enjoyable experience during their visit. Whether you're networking with industry peers, exploring the latest innovations, or immersing yourself in the world of pop culture, the Colorado Convention Center promises a dynamic and engaging experience that will leave you inspired and informed.
Beer enthusiasts can explore the thriving craft beer scene in Downtown Denver with the Denver MicroBrew Tour. Sample a variety of local brews while learning about the brewing process and the city's rich beer history.
Denver is a haven for beer enthusiasts, known for its flourishing craft brewery scene and a rich history of brewing excellence. The Denver MicroBrew Tour offers a delightful journey through some of the city's finest breweries, where visitors can sample a diverse selection of locally crafted beers and ales. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the brewing process, sharing the passion and creativity that go into each unique brew.
From traditional IPAs to experimental and seasonal flavors, the craft breweries on the tour offer a diverse palette of tastes that cater to all beer preferences. Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or a curious newbie, the Denver MicroBrew Tour offers a delightful and educational experience that celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship of the local brewing community.
The Molly Brown House Museum is a cherished historical landmark that preserves the legacy of one of Denver's most notable figures, Margaret "Molly" Brown. Affectionately known as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" due to her heroic actions during the sinking of the Titanic, she was a prominent socialite, philanthropist, and advocate for women's rights. The meticulously restored Victorian home offers a fascinating glimpse into the early 20th-century lifestyle, providing visitors with a time-traveling experience.
Guided tours take visitors through the various rooms, each exquisitely decorated with period furnishings and personal belongings of the Brown family. The museum's exhibits shed light on Molly Brown's colorful life and her tireless efforts to make a positive impact on society. As you explore the house, you'll learn about her philanthropic work, her involvement in Denver's social scene, and her contributions to various causes. The Molly Brown House Museum is not only a tribute to one woman's remarkable journey but also a testament to the enduring spirit of the era in which she lived.
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox is an eccentric and vibrant space that fuses delectable dining with live music, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates both culinary artistry and the power of music. The venue's retro-chic decor and intimate ambiance provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying performances from local and touring bands spanning various musical genres. From soulful jazz and blues to upbeat rock and indie beats, the eclectic lineup ensures there's something for every musical taste.
The restaurant's menu features a delightful fusion of flavors, with a focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Savor creative dishes that marry global influences with classic comfort food, paired with craft cocktails and a curated selection of wines and beers. Ophelia's Electric Soapbox is not just a place to eat and listen to music; it's an immersive experience that ignites the senses and fosters a sense of community among music enthusiasts and food lovers alike.
Cap off your Downtown Denver experience with a gourmet dining affair by booking a private chef through INTUEAT. Whether it's a special occasion or you simply want to savor a bespoke meal in the comfort of your accommodation, INTUEAT's talented chefs will create a memorable culinary experience.
INTUEAT Private Chefs offers a tantalizing opportunity to elevate your dining experience to new heights, making your visit to Downtown Denver truly unforgettable. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion, hosting an intimate gathering, or simply seeking a unique and personalized dining affair, INTUEAT brings the magic of gourmet cuisine right to your doorstep.
The private chefs at INTUEAT curate customized menus tailored to your preferences and dietary requirements. From elegant multi-course meals to themed culinary adventures, each dining experience is a work of art, showcasing the chef's culinary expertise and creativity. Hosting an INTUEAT private chef not only guarantees an exceptional meal but also allows you to interact with the chef, learning about the culinary process and gaining insights into the dishes being prepared.
As you can see, Downtown Denver offers a remarkable blend of culture, entertainment, and natural beauty. From art enthusiasts to sports fans, families to solo travelers, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city center. Whether you're strolling along the iconic 16th Street Mall, exploring the fascinating world of art at the Denver Art Museum, or cheering on your favorite sports team at Coors Field, Downtown Denver promises an unforgettable experience.
So, the next time you find yourself in the Mile-High City, be sure to check out these top 20 things to do in Downtown Denver. Embrace the rich history, immerse yourself in the arts, and savor the diverse culinary delights. With its magnetic energy and endless attractions, Downtown Denver is a destination that will leave you captivated and longing to return.