Majestic mountains, unmatched greenery, and spectacular museums make Denver one of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S. The Colorado state capital homes plenty of historic sites and classical buildings of the Civil War era. Since the city is settled accurately at 1 mile above sea level, it is often called The Mile High City.
While Red Rocks Park is undeniably the city’s top-rated landmark, there are dozens of worth-seeing attractions in Denver that will guarantee you an extraordinary vacationing experience. The Coors Field and Empower Field are the perfect destinations for sports and outdoor lovers. In addition, people who like exploring the city’s cultural heritage will find themselves heading to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science Kirkland Museum.
The mansion of one of the most eminent American philanthropists and the survivor of the unfortunate Titanic incident, Margaret Brown, serves hundreds of visitors daily. Besides the fascinating museums, you can also visit the Denver Center for performing arts to enjoy some light-hearted shows and musicals.
10 top-rated attractions in Denver, Colorado
If you are also planning a visit to this wholesome city and are confused about where to start, below we have listed the ten top-rated attractions in Denver, Colorado. Go through the complete guide and tick the places which excite you the most!
1. Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
Just a half-hour drive from downtown Denver will take you to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. Red Rocks stands first in our list of top 10 attractions in The Mile High City, offering enthralling views of the Rocky Mountains and delightful acoustics. The gigantic rust-colored rock formations reach a height of 300 feet and span over 650 acres of land across the west of Denver.
Get lost in the mystical beauty of the Red Rocks Park and hike along the Trading post-trail to observe some incredible scenery. One of the must-do’s in the park includes visiting the Colorado Music Hall of fame, a grand amphitheater, which has the honor of hosting some of the greatest bands and artists like The Beatles, The Roots, and John Denver.
The place also entertains its visitors with some heart-stirring live music scenes. While you might have attended numerous live concerts, the ones at Amphitheater are unbeatable due to their outstanding location. A massive stage is set up between colossal rocks, and the setting sun adds a stunning background to the scene.
If you have plenty of time on your hand, you can head to the Visitor Center to learn about the park’s history. Other activities that might interest you include drive-in films and Yoga on the Rocks. Make sure to grab your tickets to secure your spot in these activities.
The Amphitheater is open for public tours from early sunrise to an hour after sunset. However, the closing timings differ on Event days, so you might have to ring them to learn about the accurate closing times. Similarly, the Visitor Center and Colorado Music Hall have varying opening and closing timings depending upon the season. Both places are closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving.
2. Colorado State Capitol
Located just 17 miles East of Red Rocks Park is the Colorado State Capitol, known for its scenic visuals of the snowcapped mountains. The gray granite building, opened in 1894, houses the state legislature and is open for public access from Mondays to Fridays.
A golden-colored dome tops the classical building making it a prominent part of its skyline. The crown initially featured a bright copper cover, but the color faded on oxidation. Hence, it was layered with 6 kilograms of gold to restore its historical significance.
The main entrance features the famous Mile High Staircase with three benchmarks on the 13th, 15th, and 18th steps. Although you can enjoy the same breathtaking view of the Red Rocks Mountains from all three steps, the 13th step accurately measures a mile high above sea level.
Get inside the building for some more photogenic sights. The interiors are marbled with precious Colorado Rose Onyx limestones, while the white striped marbles make the floor of the building.
Have a look through the stained glass windows and explore the colorful history of Colorado State. You will also find portraits of some U.S. presidents on the third floor. Since it is a busy attraction, we highly recommend reaching there early to get some uncrowded space for pictures.
3. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to explore well-preserved dinosaur skeletons, mummies, fossils, and a vast collection of rare minerals. The museum presents an excellent learning opportunity to both young and adult visitors.
After observing the historical remains, you can sit and relax at the T-Rex Café and enjoy your favorite drinks and snacks there. Moreover, the museum also houses a futuristic planetarium featuring shows related to different fields of science.
Space Odyssey is another famous exhibit that attracts plenty of visitors every day. Jump onto the imaginary spaceship and experience an outer world full of galaxies, planets, and asteroids. The attraction mainly interests inquisitive minds.
There is no limit to fun at this incredible place, and you can discover new programs and fun activities on its official page. So, make sure to scroll through it and book tickets to your favorite events in advance.
4. Coors Field
What could be more exciting than watching a live baseball match at one of the largest stadiums in Denver? Occupying a massive 70+ acres, the expansive Coors Field can fit up to 50,000 spectators.
Not just football, the stadium also hosts other fun sports like football and rodeos. You might be surprised to know that Denver is the home ground of six remarkable sports team names, including MLB Colorado Rockies and NBA Denver Nuggets.
Coors Field entertains its visitors with live matches and provides numerous opportunities for private gatherings. Book a space in the Coors Field Ballpark to experience a homely ambiance and treat yourself and your loved ones to some mouthwatering cuisine.
Ticketed visitors can also head up to the Rooftop to witness some spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and Downtown Denver. If you are not accompanying kids, take it as a chance to taste their signature brew.
While you can tour the facility independently, guided tours are also available throughout the year. Tours typically start at 10 a.m. or 12 p.m., but the timings may vary depending upon the match schedule and unforeseen events.
5. Larimer Square
Located hardly a mile from downtown Denver, this is a must-see place in Denver, Colorado. From classy shops and ambitious restaurants to art galleries and dance clubs, Larimer Square provides all sorts of entertainment in one place. The forty-year-old attraction started as a pioneer camp in 1858, underwent serious developments, and morphed into one of the most pleasing sites in Denver.
After the Civil War era, the place became e a hub of run-down hotels and cheap distilleries. Fortunately, the place was rescued in the mid-’70s, resulting in the restoration of many historical buildings.
Today, an evening at Larimer Square will give you pleasure some insights into the nightlife of Denver. You can either attend a comedy club with family or experience a lit dining scene at an outdoor café with phenomenal views of the city. To top it all, you can visit it in the day and shop from some affordable stores.
6. Denver Botanic Gardens
It would be an absolute sin not to include the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens in this list of top-rated attractions in Denver. With 50 separate gardens and more than 30,000 plant species, the gardens occupy 24 acres of space.
More than forty are maintained in their natural habitat among the fifty gardens, while the rest are kept in a controlled environment. If you have a strong penchant for native plants, you may be tempted to the Gardens of the West, which houses exceptional gardens like Conservation and Crossroad Gardens.
Enthusiastic flower-lovers adore the delightful fragrance and eye-pleasing sights of the Ornamental Gardens. Moreover, the Internationally Inspired Gardens like Marnie’s Pavilion and Japanese Garden interest locals and tourists alike.
Not only do the gardens exhibit a wide variety of miraculous plants, but it also highlights the importance of preserving the threatened plants with improved technological practices. The Botanic Gardens also organize funded events like Science Pyramid Exhibition to depict the magical bond between people and plants.
7. 16th Street Mall
Perhaps one of the most well-known pedestrian pathways in Denver, the 16th Street Mall presents visitors with an opportunity to make new friends around the globe. The bustling mall boasts tall trees, small shops, aesthetic cafes, and thousands of colorful flowers.
Either wander around the street to discover new entertainment venues and eateries or ride a free bus and silently observe the buzzing streets. Many people display their artworks on the streets or gather around the street performers to appreciate their musical voices and magical tricks.
Since the Street Mall is only five minutes away from Larimer Square, it has become a go-to place for tourists visiting the historic district.
8. Denver Zoo
The zoological garden, built in the 1890s, is a massive property providing a sanctuary to more than 4,100 animals. Along with delightful and informative animal exhibits, the zoo also supports wildlife conservation programs to preserve nearly extinct animal species.
Some jaw-dropping shows include the Pinnacle African Penguin Point, Animal Hospital, Toyota Elephant Passage, and the EDGE that lets you have a closer look at the Amur Tigers. Gazing into the fierce eyes of the tigers from only a six inches distance will surely give you goosebumps.
You will find several facilities built inside the zoo. However, few facilities are more popular among the visitors. Predator Ridge, which is inhabited by the three African predator species: Wild dogs, lions, and Hyenas, can be found in the distinct terrains of the African savanna. Here, you will also see a separate maternity space for young animals and an animal care facility for wounded and sick animals.
Stingray Cove experience is another fun show to enjoy at Denver Zoo. The interactive exhibit lets visitors touch and feed their favorite sea creatures. Unfortunately, tickets to the show are only available upon arrival.
9. Cherry Creek North
While Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall are ideal places for affordable shopping, Cherry Creek North is an excellent attraction to find luxurious and high-end shops. It also offers some fine dining restaurants to eat out with families. Apart from these, you will also see many modern art galleries displaying eclectic artworks and sculptures.
Cherry Creek organizes several events to celebrate and support local businesses and thriving artists. Families can also enjoy the Saturday Night events held from 5 to 7 p.m., including live concerts, exotic food, and ample entertainment opportunities.
10. Denver3333 Center for the Performing Arts
Just a 3-minutes walk from Larimer Square sits the elegant Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The cultural hub consists of many theatres, including the Buell Theatre (Broadway musical), The Kilstrom Theatre, and The Singleton Theatre (comedy and dramas).
Some upcoming Broadway musicals to enjoy at DCPA are Hip Hop Nutcrackers and The Lion King. Nonetheless, fiction lovers can sign up for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “In the Upper Room.”
The center is more attractive at night due to its bright lights, brilliant effects, and late-night performances. Luckily, the attraction also offers resources and classes to people willing to master their crafts.
The unbeatable sights, lively music, and numerous entertainment venues make Denver a perfect travel destination for national and international visitors.
Although the list features only the top 10 attractions in Denver, the charming city hosts countless other worth-seeing sites like U.S. Mint, City Park, and Denver Art Museum. The stunning splendor of these places and the endearing vivacity of the locals will win your heart.