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Things to do in

Denver

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

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: 6-Zipline Rocky Mountains Adventure Tour

2. 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.

From Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park Day Trip and Lunch

3. From Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park Day Trip and Lunch

Explore the Rocky Mountain National Park on this day trip from Denver. See nature at its finest as you take in unspoiled views and magnificent peaks. Cruise down Trail Edge Road and through Estes Park in a comfortable and airconditioned van. Stop for a nice picnic in a stunning natural setting. Meet your local guide at the Denver Union Station and climb aboard a spacious van with plenty of legroom. Sit back and relax on the drive to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Take in views of the city of Boulder on the drive. Stop to see the iconic Flatirons red-rock formation. Admire views of this 300-million-year-old wonder that lies in the Rocky Mountain foothills. Feel as though you are on top of the world as you cruise down Trail Edge Road which offers plenty of opportunities for capturing breathtaking photos. Indulge in delicious picnic lunch as you enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains in the background. Visit the Stanley Hotel which was made famous as the shooting location for Stephen King's film 'The Shining.' Encounter marvelous views of the Rocky Mountains as you drive through Estes Park. Return to your meeting point in Denver at the end of your Rocky Mountain adventure.

Denver: Mile High Ghouls Haunted Walking Tour

4. Denver: Mile High Ghouls Haunted Walking 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: Downtown Cocktail Tour

5. Denver: Downtown Cocktail Tour

Get off the beaten path on this tour of the city’s fascinating drinking establishments and enjoy three delicious cocktails. Listen to the stories behind some of the city’s most popular drinks and how they fit in with the history of Denver and Colorado. Delve into the intriguing background of Prohibition-era cocktails at Denver’s modern-day speakeasies, historic bars, and popular hangouts, and try out local twists on cocktail classics. Sit back, soak up the stories from your local guide and entertaining bartenders.

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

6. 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.

From Denver: Red Rocks and Mount Evans Guided Day-Trip

7. From Denver: Red Rocks and Mount Evans Guided Day-Trip

Embark on a memorable trip outside of Denver to the wilderness of Mount Evans on this day-trip. See the world from the top of the mountain and enjoy scenic stops at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Echo Lake, and Idaho Springs. See the Red Rocks Amphitheater, built in a red sandstone rock formation and one of the most beautiful music venues in the United States. Next, head to Echo Lake, filled with its crisp mountain waters and surrounded by evergreen trees. Continue all the way to the summit, along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Take some spectacular pictures from the top of one of the tallest mountains in the Rockies and be on the lookout for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats making their way around. On your way back to Denver, check out some local history in the city of Idaho Springs. In 1859, prospectors discovered gold at this location where the Chicago Creek meets Clear Creek.

From Estes Park/Denver/Boulder: Rocky Mountains Day Trip

8. From Estes Park/Denver/Boulder: Rocky Mountains Day Trip

Discover the magic of the Rocky Mountain National Park on this day trip with hotel pickup in Estes Park, Denver, or Boulder. See sights like the Stanley Hotel as you drive thorugh Estes Park. Hear about local culture and history from your guide.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at your accommodation. Hop aboard a spacious and climate controlled van and take in the scenic countryside on the way to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Look for elk, bears, and bighorn sheep as you pass by snowy mountain peaks, alpine lakes, raging rivers, and two national forests. Make your way through four life zones that support a biodiverse environment. Stop at the Rocky Mountain National Park's Alpine Visitor Center perched above a valley on the Fall River Pass. Have some free time to explore or purchase lunch. Capture pictures of stunning views of the park at the Black Canyon Overlook. Return to your accommodation at the end of your tour. 

Rocky Mountain National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

9. Rocky Mountain National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

On this 30-minute private flight, you’ll experience the Front Range of Colorado from a bird’s-eye view, with your pilot acting as your guide. Enjoy your window seat as you soar over landmarks such as the Big Thompson River Canyon and savor incredible views of the Rocky Mountain National Park.   Departing from Longmont, your pilot will provide headsets for you to don as you glide over the beautiful nature of Colorado. Experience the view over the expansive Carter Lake and Big Thompson Canyon before glimpsing Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Gain perspective on the Cameron Peak burn scar and learn other interesting facts about the land as your pilot narrates along the flight route. Be sure to bring a camera to relive this unique and unforgettable perspective of charming northern Colorado. 

From Denver: Red Rocks and Foothills Half-Day Guided Tour

10. From Denver: Red Rocks and Foothills Half-Day Guided Tour

Enjoy a scenic guided tour of the landscape surrounding Denver, including the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Evergreen Lake, and more. Depart from the historic Denver Union Station and head out for a day of incredible scenery. Stop first at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. This truly unique venue is built into a giant red sandstone formation. Next, stop at Lookout Mountain and take in views of mountains and the Denver cityscape. Take the scenic route on the way back to Denver via the Lariat Loop which connects the towns of Golden, Evergreen, and Morrison. Pass by the largest single-site brewery in the United States, Coors Brewery. Get a taste of history and geography as you admire the sites and enjoy the views on this essential tour of the Colorado landscape.

Frequently asked questions about Denver

What top attractions are a must-see in Denver?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Denver?

The best day trips and excursions from Denver are:

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

What are the best outdoor activities to do 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

Want to discover all there is to do in Denver? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Denver

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 474 reviews

My partner and I had an OUTSTANDING time! Rob Friedman was frickin AWESOME! He remembered everyones name and catered to each individual goal list! For example, we were staying in Cherry Creek, not only did he write down places for us to go and experience he wrote down the best places in areas we wanted and planned to go also. The food was just as... well the food was GREAT! dont get me wrong but the guide made the entire experience better. So on to the food, WOW, it was great! We were able to sample multiple locations and paired our food with drinks! When it comes to the sampling we, as a group, were all talking about how mouth watering the food was. Being able to relate to people from different areas made the experience that much better and wholesome. We (the group) were chatting back and forth comparing the current tasting with the previous tastings and asking which "tastes the best". This was a great time, would highly recommend and it's worth every minute, hour, and dollar.

My daughter and I really enjoyed this tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. We went up to 12,300 feet and the views were amazing. We got to see a lot of elk and other wildlife. I'm glad I booked this tour It was a lot fun.

Our tour guide was fun and described the creepy ghost stories of Denver's past. I had theories as well and asked additional questions that she entertained. It was worth my time and money. Thx

Was only able to go for about 4 hours with just myself and my son. We had a blast! Parking and extra 25 or 30 and some rides you have to pay more. Food and proce of merchandise was high

It covered the cost of admission for the Botanical Gardens. That alone was worth the cost of the Denver CityPASS.