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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.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Hike with Picnic Lunch

2. Rocky Mountain National Park: Hike with Picnic Lunch

Immerse yourself in the spectacular sights of Rocky Mountain National Park with a guided day trip from Denver. Hike the park trails while watching for local wildlife such as elk, eagles, and marmots. Savor a picnic lunch and discover alpine lakes and waterfalls. Begin your tour by meeting your guide at the designated pickup point and drive into Rocky Mountain National Park in an air-conditioned van. Admire incredible mountain views as you head deeper into the park, stopping at the scenic panoramic overlook at Many Parks Curve, a hairpin turn on Trail Ridge Road. Proceed to Horseshoe Park to discover a staggering alluvial fan, a naturally made deposit of water-transported material. Explore several short trails, watch for native wildlife such as elk and deer, traverse wide meadows, and wander by waterfalls, alpine lakes, and fragile alpine tundra. Take a break from hiking for a picnic lunch. Enjoy one last glance at the expansive forests, sprawling meadows, and towering mountains before driving back to your pickup location. Visit the village's art galleries and The Stanley Hotel, best known for inspiring the novel "The Shining" by Steven King.

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

3. 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: Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods Guided Tour

4. From Denver: Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods Guided Tour

Check out some of Colorado's most beautiful scenery on this full-day tour departing from Denver. See the stunning sandstone rock formations at the Garden of the Gods and head to the Pikes Peak Summit and take in views of Colorado Springs and the rest of the Rocky Mountain ranges Admire the variety of red, pink, and white sandstone formations as you explore the Garden of the Gods. Make the most of the scenic photo opportunities as you wonder at the beauty of these ancient geological formations. Be sure to check out the Balanced Rock and the Kissing Camels formations. Head to the Pikes Peak, the tallest mountain in the southern front range of the Rocky Mountains. As you stand at the summit, admire views of Colorado Springs and the rest of the Rocky Mountain range. With the right conditions, you can see for miles into the distance. Descend the mountain and continue the tour with a drive through Manitou Springs, a small resort town located to the west of Colorado Springs. Finally, finish up back in central Denver.

From Denver: Red Rocks, Evergreen, and Echo Lake Tour

5. From Denver: Red Rocks, Evergreen, and Echo Lake Tour

Discover the magic of Colorado's natural scenery on a guided tour through mountains, canyons, rock formations, and lakes. Take a break from the big city and dive into the wonders of the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, the quaint town of Evergreen, and the pristine Echo Lake. Just a short drive out of the city, you'll come across an outstanding variety of untouched landscapes. Visit Red Rocks Park and see the famous amphitheater carved into the rocks. Then, drive into the mountains via Bear Creek Canyon and see many of the Denver Mountain Parks. Browse the shops or enjoy a quick drink in the small mountainous town of Evergreen. Witness beautiful hilltop views by climbing up a mountain pass to Echo Lake. Stroll around this incredible glacial lake sitting at 10,600 feet high and observe the local wildlife.

Denver: Mile High Ghouls Haunted Walking Tour

6. 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.

From Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park Day Trip and Lunch

7. 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. 

From Denver: Hike the Rockies Tour

8. From Denver: Hike the Rockies Tour

Treat yourself to something special and go on a guided walk in the Rockies. Embark on a 4-mile hike through the forest and take in spectacular views, while being surrounded by nature at its finest. Reconnect with nature during this stress-free, 4-mile hike in the Rocky Mountains. Follow a forest trail where you’ll discover beautiful mountain meadows, meandering creeks, and a picturesque lake. Get ready for wildflowers in the summer, changing colors of aspen trees in the fall, deer and elk, snow-covered trees and meadows in the winter, and afterward, a drink at your guide’s favorite watering hole.

Denver: Downtown Cocktail Tour

9. 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.

Breckenridge: Ultimate Mountain Tour from Denver

10. Breckenridge: Ultimate Mountain Tour from Denver

Discover Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater and Clear Creek Canyon, get 360-degree views, check out an old western town, get lunch and go shopping, and then return to Denver through the Eisenhower Tunnel – the longest and highest passenger car tunnel in the world Explore Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. Travel up a rugged Canyon on your way up and over the Continental Divide while reaching an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet. Take a short walk on a beautiful trail for breathtaking views of 3 mountain ranges and the Dillon Reservoir. Visit Breckenridge, a historic mining town and ski resort. Stroll down Main Street and enjoy shopping and lunch on your own and/or take a gondola to the base of the ski area. Return to Denver full of wonderful new impressions.

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

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 487 reviews

Our tour guide, Marc, was exceptional. Throughout the journey he spoke about the state of Colorado. Providing detailed information on it's history, certain places to visit, querky things to do. He also provided detailed information on the Rocky Mountains, it's surrounding towns and cities, and where the best spots were. He also told us of interesting stories from accidents on the mountains to films shot here. We visited all places on the itinery with suitable time spent in each. Marc also made sure everyone was suitably comfortable, had enough supplies and generally checked on our well-being and was happy to help if needed. Personally, Marc has been the best tour guide I have come across during my time in North America and the feeling amongst fellow travellers was also the same. 10/10 for sure!

The guides were very informative and helpful if you get stuck or feel scared. If you scream it makes the adrinalin flow. Zip lining was a blast .

Very friendly, engaging, & spooky! We really enjoyed the erie history of the capital hill area! ☠️ Would recommend Sheila's Tour for all ages.

Exceeded expectations! Roman was an excellent guide.

I had a great time and it was well worth the money!