Things to do in Denver, Colorado

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: BEYOND Light Show and Meditation

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

2. 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 Estes Park/Denver/Boulder: Rocky Mountains Day Trip

3. 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. 

Breckenridge: Ultimate Mountain Tour from Denver

4. 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.

Denver: Mile High Ghouls Haunted Walking Tour

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

6. 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 have a great chance to observe local wildlife.

Rocky Mountain National Park Fall/Winter Tour

7. Rocky Mountain National Park Fall/Winter Tour

Get to know the wild side of Denver, with a tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Take the day to walk through the stunning mountain and valley scenes, spotting wildlife and touring around a glacier lake. Delight in a meal and shopping in Estes Park, then catchup on local history at the Stanley Hotel. Arrive at the Rocky Mountain National Park and allow yourself to explore the diverse natural beauty of Colorado. Walk the snowy paths, and catch sight of elk grazing on rich grasses in Moraine Park. Then, gaze at the mountains and park views at Many Parks Curve. Explore the nature-made Alluvial Fan in Horseshoe Park, and meander through the mountain village of Estes Park, admiring artwork, shops, and the leisurely pace of discovery. Grab some lunch in the village, and continue through the day to learn more about the power of Mother Nature. Make a visit to the Historic Stanley Hotel, and experience this manor-style hotel. Who knows, maybe you'll find it so inviting, you'll book a night or two in the glacial mountains.

From Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park Day Trip and Lunch

8. 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: History and Highlights Guided Tour

9. Denver: History and Highlights Guided Tour

Explore the highlights of Denver on this guided walking tour. Visit some of the city's major landmarks, including the State Capitol Building, Union Station, and Larimer Square. Start your tour at the Colorado Veterans Monument in Lincoln Memorial Park. See several of the city’s most iconic and significant institutions, including the Denver Art Museum and its eye-catching avant-garde extension and outdoor sculptures. From here, make your way to the stately grounds of Civic Center Park, featuring fountains, formal gardens, and a Greek amphitheater often used for summertime concerts. Hear the stories of civic improvement in the early 1900s, spearheaded by a former mayor. Enjoy impressive views of the Colorado State Capitol before making your way into the lower downtown area. Admire the architecture and stop in at a late 19th-century hotel to have a look at its interior. Check out the outdoor art at the performing arts center. Visit historic Larimer Square, the place where Denver began, now home to boutique stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. Learn about the city's beginnings as a frontier mining post and the history behind the unique Larimer St. houses. Finally, end your walking tour at the hub of downtown Denver, Union Station. This historic beaux arts train station has welcomed travelers to Colorado for over a century.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

10. 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. 

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, Colorado

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

What people are saying about Denver

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 487 reviews

The birding man adventures with Dr. Ryan Dibala was an incredible experience. Yes he has a PhD! Imagine taking an 8 hour jeep tour of the Rocky Mountains with an encyclopedia of the forest. Dr. Ryan has an incredible amount of knowledge of the area, the wildlife and its history. He picked us up from our hotel and we had the best experience on a mountain excursion we ever had. We have been to the mountains many times before but not like this. He is very friendly and caring. He even stopped at Estes Park and the Stanley hotel for a quick tour. He truly wants to teach you on your trip. he goes out of his way to make sure you see the wildlife. We saw, elk, sheep and lots of birds. His wife Angie also prepared a picnic lunch for us that was amazing. Dr. Ryan led us on an easy hike up some trails where we had a lunch overlooking majestic views of the mountains and wildlife. This would definitely be on my bucket list! We are planning on booking a camping trip with him this summer!

This was an amazing experience! I'm new to the mountains and didn't really know where to go. This tour was excellent at showing us the incredible beauty of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Ryan's vast knowledge of the area and wildlife taught us many things. I highly recommend this tour if you're not sure where to go to get your nature fix or if you want to learn more about Colorado wildlife!

Execelente atención, un ser humano muy valioso, profesional muy puntual. Un viaje fuera de lo común. Pocas veces disfrutamos del paraíso donde nos encontramos , pero haya arriba en el aire todo es más que una fantasía . Super recomendado el tour. No se arrepentirán .

LAURA was very knowledgeable and personable. I would recommend the tour as a means of becoming familiar with all the area around Union Station has to offer as well as the history of prohibition in Denver, and being introduced to new cocktails.

Will is an excellent guide, he has so much information to share I had a wonderful hike with a small group Lunch sandwich was excellent as well!