Things to do in
Denver

Bustling bars, breweries, lively music, and a gateway to the rocky mountains await in Colorado's capital.

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Our most recommended things to do in Denver

Denver: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park Ticket

1. Denver: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park Ticket

Located in the heart of Denver, Elitch Gardens has something for everyone. With 54 rides and attractions, including exciting roller coasters and an entire water park. Experience adrenaline-pumping thrill rides, family attractions, water rides, and choose from various activities for kids.  Don’t miss the breathtaking views of Denver atop the 250-feet (76 meters) observation tower or while plummeting 200 feet (61 meters) down the Tower of Doom. The park honors its history as one of the oldest consecutive-operating amusement parks in the United States in 2020 when it turns 130 years old. The park will celebrate its past while embracing the future, providing quality family fun that has entertained Colorado for generations.

Denver: BEYOND Light Show and Meditation

2. Denver: BEYOND Light Show and Meditation

Enjoy a fully-immersive experience with BEYOND: A Guided Meditation & Laser Light Experience featuring a guided mediation, enchanting music, wondrous sound, and an awe-inspiring laser and projection light experience designed to elevate the soul. See custom audiovisual art installations created by world-famous artists that explore powerful themes. For those who enjoy thinking and meditating while immersing themselves in music and visuals, this planetarium-style, classic rock laser light show is designed to electrify your consciousness. Each Beyond Light Experience starts promptly at 20 minutes past the hour, every hour, during operating hours. This is a non-consumption, family-friendly experience.

Denver: 6-Zipline Rocky Mountains Adventure Tour

3. Denver: 6-Zipline Rocky Mountains Adventure Tour

If you are travelling in or near Denver, Colorado and you like a little thrill and adventure, then this Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure Tour is for you. And, at only 30 minutes from downtown, it's are the closest zip line course to Denver. Nestled in a Rocky Mountain pine forest, at an elevation of over 8,000 feet (about 2,500 meters), you will fly at speeds of up to 50mph (75kph) and 200ft (abou 75 meters) high on zip lines, which altogether total over 6,000 feet (2,000 meters) in length. You’ll soar through pine forests and over mountain meadows. It is a fantastic way to enjoy some fresh air, see some magnificent Rocky Mountain views, and have a whole lot of fun.

Denver: Haunted Walking Ghost Tour

4. Denver: Haunted Walking Ghost Tour

Like the looming Rockies, Denver’s dark history casts a long shadow over the Mile High City. Dive deep into the haunted history at the heart of the city’s oldest neighborhood, Capitol Hill, on a guided walking tour. Choose between a standard 1-hour tour or a 1.5-hour extended tour. Hear stories take you on a journey back to a time of wealth, luxury, and deceit. This collection of stories will unearth the dark secrets that are the foundation on which this iconic city was built. Follow your guide through 8-13 (standard or extended tour) different sites and historic houses around the state’s Capitol building. Find out where the unsinkable Molly Brown, one of the most famous survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, might still show her face. See a side of Denver not often seen by visitors. Take a walk through the beautiful neighborhood that is the heart of the Mile High City while listening to the chilling tales of its past. Have an informative, memorable, and slightly terrifying night on a tour is perfect for first-time visitors to Denver and seasoned locals alike.

Denver CityPASS®: Save up to 42% on Top Attractions

5. Denver CityPASS®: Save up to 42% on Top Attractions

Enjoy your choice of admission to 3, 4, or 5 of the most popular attractions in Denver at up to 42% off of regular combined admission. Marvel at the underwater worlds of the Downtown Aquarium, explore an urban oasis at the Denver Botanical gardens, and discover the wonders of nature at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Other attractions to choose from include The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, The Denver Art Museum, and The History Colorado Center.

Denver: Glacier Hike and Geothermal Cave Pools

6. Denver: Glacier Hike and Geothermal Cave Pools

Hike up to St. Mary's Glacier, ascending through the stunning Colorado Forest and ending with breathtaking panoramic lake views. With swimming and sledding included, this 1.5-mile hike is a popular hike in Colorado. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at Beau Jo's Mountain Pizza in Idaho Springs, which has been around since 1880 and is one of Colorado's hidden gems. Idaho Springs has a population of 1,717 people, and is a gold-mining town founded in 1859 during the Gold Rush. Following lunch, your tour visits another historic landmark where you can soak in the natural geothermal cave pools, perfect for sore muscles after hiking.

Colorado: Red Rocks, Dinosaur Tracks, & Gold Mine Tour

7. Colorado: Red Rocks, Dinosaur Tracks, & Gold Mine Tour

Discover some of the most iconic historical spots that Colorado has to offer. Experience what it's like being in Jurassic Park while exploring Dinosaur Ridge. Learn about the gold rush and pan for gold yourself. Taste Idaho Springs' delicious BBQ. Try new things with this hands-on tour. Stop 1: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre Start the tour exploring Red Rocks, an amphitheater ranked one of the best in the world, while learning about its history and geology. Be surrounded by two sections of red rocks and an outstanding view of Colorado. Get your photos taken for free by a professional photographer with a DSLR camera to remember your experience. Stop 2: Dinosaur Ridge Next, visit Dinosaur Ridge and travel back in time to over 200 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the great plains of Colorado. Learn about the ancient dinosaurs and why Dinosaur Ridge become famous. The world’s first known Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus fossils were found here during the late 19th century which started the “dinosaur rush.” Stop 3: Lunch in Idaho Springs Afterward, eat lunch at Smokin’ Yards BBQ in Idaho Springs, a small gold mining town founded in 1859 during the gold rush. Smokin’ Yards started in Idaho Springs and has some of the best BBQ in the state called "High Elevation BBQ." For alternative lunch options, choose from the various food options around Idaho Springs instead. Stop 4: Phoenix Gold Mine Tour Next, experience a family-friendly adventure at the Phoenix Gold Mine with an expert guide. This mine has been passed down for four generations and is family-owned and ran. Get a lesson in panning for gold and have the chance to test your skills and keep what you find. Stop 5: Miner St. Meander Finally, pass by Miner Street which is filled with historic buildings that date back to the 1800s. See small businesses, shops, art galleries, and more.

Denver: Downtown Small-Group Food Tasting Tour

8. Denver: Downtown Small-Group Food Tasting Tour

Come see why Zagat ranked Denver the 4th Hottest Food City in America. Taste unique and delicious dishes from award-winning local restaurants and learn fun history about the Mile High City on this signature downtown Denver walking food tour. You will taste authentic Neopolitan pizza from the only pizzeria in Colorado certified by the AVPN in Italy, award-winning from-scratch Colorado green chile, fluffy baked empanadas from a family-owned shop, Southwestern fusion cuisine on the brand new Dairy Block, and a sweet treat inside the historic Union Station. In between tastings, your local food tour guide will share stories about Denver's history and architecture. From secret tunnels to world-famous bordellos, learn just how wild the west was in the city's early days. You'll also visit historic sites and city landmarks like the iconic Union Station, the brand new Dairy Block, the baseball stadium, and Denver's oldest hotel.

Denver: City Discovery Guided Walking Tour with a Local

9. Denver: City Discovery Guided Walking Tour with a Local

Discover the historic city of Denver, Colorado on a guided walking tour. Start off at the State Capitol building and make your way to Carnegie Public Library and the Art Museum Complex. Stroll through the Civic Center and LoDo, viewing the Big Blue Bear. Kick things off at the Mile High Step of the Colorado State Capitol and hit the streets for a walking cultural and historical tour of Denver. Visit the Carnegie Public Library and the famous Art Museum Complex, home to many galleries. Then follow your guide to the Civic Center and into the LoDo area, admiring the architecture and art of this fascinating city. See the iconic Big Blue Bear statue, Denver Union Station, and Larimer Square, the city's first designated local historic district. Take loads of pictures along the way and get great recommendations from your guide for what to do next in Colorado.

Denver: 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour

10. Denver: 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour

Walkthrough North Denver's popular Sunnyside and Lohi neighborhoods and visit three local microbreweries. Spend approximately one hour in each brewery and try their specialty craft beers. Your first stop will be at a brewery with French-inspired craft beers. Afterward, head to a brewhouse with rotating taps of a wide variety of beers from the United States and abroad. At both the first and second stops enjoy trying four different tasters. Your last stop is a visit to a brewery that serves traditional German-style beers. While here, try a full pour of beer.  During your short walks between each brewery, have the chance to hear about Denver and its craft beer scene. Learn about different styles of beer and how they are made, from grain to glass during a tour of the brewhouse. Ask the guide any questions you may have on any of the beers you taste or about the overall brewing process.

Frequently asked questions about Denver

What top attractions are a must-see in Denver?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Denver

Known as the Mile High City thanks to its elevation that is exactly one mile (5,280 feet or 1,609.344 meters) above sea level, Denver is the capital city of Colorado and the eastern entrance to the foothills of the soaring Rocky Mountains. There is so much to do in Denver that we enlisted the travel experts at TravelingMom, a leading family travel website, to share their favorite things to do and tips for making the most of a visit, even if you only have a few days. You can read more surprising facts about Denver here.

What should I do on my first trip to Denver?

With its stunning Rocky Mountain views and its downtown skyline, Denver, the capital city of Colorado, is a great place to visit. Take a stroll on the 16th Street Mall, a mile-long pedestrian walkway, lined with trees, shops, restaurants, and brightly painted pianos, courtesy of local artists. Downtown Denver offers so many kid-friendly experiences, most within walking distance, or short drive away. Our favorites are the Denver U.S. Mint, Downtown Aquarium, and the Denver Firefighters Museum.

What are some hidden gems to see in Denver?

If you're a sports fan, take in a Colorado Rockies home baseball game at Coors Field (April-September season), grab a ballpark hot dog, visit the Dinger's Playground and swing the bat at Kidszone -- it's free. Add a "Behind the Scenes" tour of this classic ballpark in the heart of downtown. Baseball not your thing? Denver has plenty of other options. depending on the season: American football's Denver Broncos, basketball's Denver Nuggets, hockey's Colorado Avalanche, and soccer's Colorado Rapids all call the city home. And of course, include a visit to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum.

How much time should I spend in Denver?

When planning a trip to Denver, we suggest spending at least two nights to see all the top atrractions in downtown. Add another day or two to your stay to explore Denver neighborhoods or the Front Range's top cities, like Golden, Boulder or Colorado Springs. If you plan to explore the nearby Rocky Mountains to play in the snow or enjoy our mountain towns (and you should!) I'd suggest adding at least two more nights.

What food is Denver known for?

Denver's roots are deeply seated in western culture, so many associate Denver's foodie scene with Rocky Mountain Oysters (breaded and deep fried bull testicles) and cuts of prime bison and beef steak. But Denver is much more than that! The Mile High City was named one of 2021’s Best Foodie Cities in America by Wallet Hub -- and there are a lot of reasons why. As a melting pot of cultures, local neighborhoods dish their family recipes, including cuisine from Mexico, India, Thailand, Italy, and more.

What is the best way to get around Denver?

Transportation in Denver is dependent on where you're based and where you want to go. If you stay in or near downtown Denver, the most affordable and convenient option is walking. Taxis, Uber and Lyft are also convenient options. Fortunately, Denver also offers a public Light Rail system, which is the easiest and cheapest way to get to downtown Denver from Denver International Airport, as well as many of the city's neighborhoods. However, if you want to include a visit into the foothills or Rocky Mountains -- and you should! -- renting a car is your best option.

What are the best months to visit Denver?

Denver basks in the sunshine 245 days a year, so pick a season and chances are good you'll enjoy that Mile High sunshine. During winter, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains are stunning and there are loads of ski and snowboarding options. But the absolute best times to visit Denver are April and May. Our spring is colorful and the mountain air is crisp. The fall, September to October, offers the chance for leaf-peeping and still-warm weather. Denver is a city that likes to celebrate with cool events year-round starting in January with the National Western Rodeo and Stockshow, St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, Colorado Rockies basebal opening day in April, Denver Beer Fest in October, and the Parade of Lights in December.

What is Washington Park known for?

Whether your visit is family-centric or couples, you'll want to include a visit to Washington Park, running north to south from around Speer Boulevard to I-25. This continues to be named as one of the best places to live. Its namesake, Wash Park, highlights what the Mile High City is known for -- its amazing outdoors. This urban oasis features lush grass, colorful flower grandens, and multiple lakes for kayaking, paddleboating, and yes even fishing. Check out the surrounding track for running, walking or biking. Bring a picnic, let the kids romp in a nearby playground, and people watch from its expansive lawns.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Downtown's historic Larimer Square is the perfect setting to experience Denver's food scene. Start with Rioja, the Spanish- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine by Chef-owner Jennifer Jasinski, of James Beard Foundation fame. The nearby south-of-the-border themed cuisine (and tequila!) of Tamaya, restaurant of chef celeb Richard Sandoval and the roof-top patio is worth the wait. The Uptown neighborhood features a wider variety of restaurants, sure to please all palates, ranging from American diners to farm-to-table chefs.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Known as the ultimate shopping mecca, if you think it, the Cherry Creek neighborhood will fulfill your shopping wish list. Browse its more than 160 shops, boutiques and restaurants (for when you need to rest your wearing shopping feet). For those with a luxury budget, check out the 40 exclusive stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Denver?

The Union Station neighborhood is a bustling hub of activity, with a prime location next to RTD's Light Rail, Denver's public train transportation. Located in the heart of downtown Denver is the recently renovated train station. Inside Union Station, discover 10 chef-owned restaurants and bars, boutiques and the 112-room Crawford Hotel. Steps away is the new Dairy Block and McGregor Square neighborhoods, featuring even more hotels, restaurants, shops, and Coors Field.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Denver?

Discover the Mile High City's largest outdoor space, the tree-lined City Park neighborhood, with miles of jogging and biking trails – and the best sunset over downtown Denver with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop! This is also home to two of the the city’s most popular family-friendly attractions: Denver Zoo, home to more than 4,000 animals, and Denver Museum of Nature & Science with its T-Rex life-size displays, IMAX and planetarium shows.

Other Sightseeing Options in Denver

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What people are saying about Denver

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 384 reviews

Omg the guys were awesome and very professional.. They made everybody super comfortable and safe … They even made the hike up fun and gave you time to stop and rest .. Will definitely be back

Our guide was excellent and made the tour very interesting. Her stories of Molly Brown were very interested and she had a way of keeping our attention through the entire tour!

Guide was friendly and had lots of fun and interesting ghost stories plus history of the area! Fun tour!

The guided tour by a local was very informative and entertaining

It was an amazing tour! Breanne is the best guide !!!