When people think of the United States (US), the first places that spring to mind are usually the likes of Los Angeles, New York City, or even sunny Honolulu. But the city of Denver, Colorado has a multitude of exciting activities, must-see tourist attractions, and some of the best vacation spots in the US. There are so many things to see and do in this pulsating metropolis that you’ll need a good plan to get about.
As a starting point for a trip to the Rockies, Denver is a great option for people looking for a mountain adventure. In addition to sampling local cuisine and drink, Larimer Square is a fun place to spend some time. The best Denver tours will help you navigate the city’s must-dos and give you some insider advice.
But if you don’t have time to go on a scenic tour to figure out what you’d like to experience individually, then this last is just what you need. Here are nine things you can’t miss out on while in town:
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Sightseeing in Colorado is made easy by the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which can be found on Colorado Highway 5. If you don’t feel like hiking, this is a great way to see the sights without putting in any effort.
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a two-lane road with a 9,000-foot elevation that allows you to take in Denver’s history from an enormous height; it’s the best way to reach Mount Evans. It’s also the highest paved road in North America. You can hire a Denver limo service to reach here and make your journey more memorable. Alternatively, you can check out the best RV rentals in Denver, Colorado to make your road-tripping adventure a little more interesting.
This urban space has a shopping and dining vibe unlike any other. Considered the beating heart and creative soul of downtown Denver, Larimer Square is a pedestrian-friendly locale is a favourite amongst locals and even a protected bit of local history. Do take note that it’s recommended you come here at night — when it really comes to life!
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is easily one of the most majestic concert venues in the world. Naturally, with its towering red sandstone formations beautifully illuminated in the night and magnificent rocky construction, it’s among Colorado’s top places to experience live music and entertainment. Music aside, a visit here will allow you to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment from art performances to cinema screenings.
Dine, shop, and stay at Denver’s Union Station to truly immerse yourself in the city’s grand history. Often referred to as Denver’s living room, it’s a space for locals and visitors alike, where you’ll find that cultures meet in an eclectic array of some of the top local restaurants, bars, and kitschy retail spaces. There’s also a farmers market nearby where you can indulge in a mercantile dinner and afterwards enjoy grabbing a cocktail drink at the terminal.
Colorado State Capitol
If our last entry tickled your fancy, then you history buffs are going to love this too! A mere 30 minutes walk from Union Station is the Colorado State Capitol, a building teeming with local history and definitely a must on your list of must-visits in Denver.
Built in the 1890s, this architectural marvel was designed by architect Elijah E Myers, and the inside of its iconic dome is adorned with what’s believed to be the entire known supply of Colorado Rose Onyx — a rare rose marble from the quarries of Beulah, Colorado. Meanwhile, its floors are awash with White Yule Marble from the quarries of a place called — ahem — Marble, Colorado. It’s something you’ve got to see for yourself.
Denver Art Museum
Set in a modern building that looks like a work of art in itself, the Denver Art Museum in the city’s famed Golden Triangle Creative District houses more than 70,000 magnificent works of art from a diverse range of artists from just about everywhere on the planet. The museum has a great combination of year-round and seasonal exhibits too, both permanent and temporary.
Among the two main activities at this underwater oasis is diving with the sharks and swimming with the fishes, along with a 4D Theater. The name of the game at Downtown Aquarium is to mix family-friendly fun with upscale dining options and stunning aquarium exhibits totalling over 1 million gallons!
You’ll learn heaps about the natural marine surroundings of Denver, mainly the water’s trip along the Colorado River as it goes toward the Pacific Ocean. But keep in mind that this river doesn’t normally reach ocean water since it dries up just before it reaches the Gulf of California. Interesting stuff.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has something for everyone, whether you’re fans of musicals, cabaret, or new plays. What’s best about this art space is that it’s a non-profit organisation that brings in Broadway tours and local theatre productions, so whenever you choose to visit, there’s surely going to be something to look forward to.
Denver Botanic Garden
When you want to be engulfed in a rejuvenating oasis of calm and beauty, then the Denver Botanic Gardens is where to be. You’ll surely find that a two- to three-hour stroll will whizz by. you may even end up staying for much longer than you’d originally intended, as the gardens boast a long list of things to do — from watercolour workshops to special exhibitions to plant shows to special walking tours. If you’re around for the long haul, you could even consider staying for their Artist Residency Program.