Located exactly in a stunning position the state of Colorado, Denver is amazing and a fun American city explore! With cool counties, centuries of history and world-class art, Denver has a bunch of the best things you can do for any type of traveler!
Best of all, Denver is a city you can easily join on a larger journey to explore all the epicness that is Colorado. That way, you’ll be able to spend some quality time in an excellent open space, while at the same time taking a fair few days to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.
That’s what I love most about cities like Denver; there are a lot of things to do in the city, but also a bunch to see just outside!
To help you get the most out of your stay, I wanted to discover a few gems and places you really shouldn’t miss when visiting Denver.
Check out the best things you can do in Denver below. Have fun!
1.) Larimer Square
Larimer Square, once known as Auraria, was first developed back in the 1800s. It was apparently used as a settlement for settlement after the discovery of gold at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
As more and more people heard about these little lumps, a lot of raised sticks and moving west to get rich. Over the years, the small pioneer settlement thrived and eventually transformed into today’s Larimer Square.
Today, Larimer Square retains its historic charm and is a great place to visit, especially if you want to take a look at some of the boutique shops, catch a tip or go for an evening meal – we love Rioja, a place that evokes delicious Spanish-fusion dishes that are too good to miss.
Plus, the nearby you have is amazing Museum of Contemporary Arts (MCA) which preserves some world-class arts in its seasonal exhibitions.
2.) Red Rocks Park
One of the most beautiful places in Denver, Red Rocks Park is absolutely stunning to visit.
Overlooking the Rocky Mountains that dominate the view and numerous hiking trails, Red Rocks Park is perfect if you want some time outdoors without venturing too far from the city itself.
Hiking beginners can try hiking Trace of merchant mail to look at the stunning scenery. It is absolutely stunning and beautiful on a sunny day!
Oh, and don’t forget that Red Rocks is home to them too Red Rocks Amphitheater which in itself is completely iconic. With seasonal concerts and outdoor events, is a great place to visit an evening treat. Be sure to book tickets in advance for certain events, as they can sell out quickly.
After a day spent in the mountains, head to the nearby one Willy’s Wings. This completely informal and chilled place has the best wings in all of Colorado, especially when dripping with their signature sauces.
Want a longer visit outside of Denver? See Indian Hot Springs.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing mineral soak or hot springs, this is a completely wonderful place to relax.
Plus, they have Geothermally heated caves and springs where you will be able to cool off and relax. Just remember caves are usually first come-first-serve, so come early if you’re dead when you enter the caves. They can be charged at peak.
3.) Denver Museum of Art
Not far from the state capital building, Denver Art Museum is one of the best things in Denver if you love art. Honestly, this place is cult!
With thousands of pieces inside, the exhibits are absolutely amazing to see and change forever. Just afford enough time to wander, you can spend centuries inside.
4.) Colorado State Capital Building
About a 30-minute walk from Union Station, a tour of the state capital of Colorado is one of the best things to do in Denver if you’re a history buff.
With completely free tours (hours, weekdays), you can explore the history of the building and Denver within the walls themselves.
Be sure to come earlier (maybe 30 minutes before) to secure a place on the tour.
You also have nearby Molly Brown House which is a museum filled with all the Victorian treasures that the surviving Titanic has collected over the years.
If that’s not your thing, hop to the Cathedral of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception which is a short walk away. Here you will be able to walk around a century-old ship and stained glass.
5.) RiNo District of Art
RiNo reminds me in so many ways Shoreditch in London.
With unusual street art, a cool atmosphere and completely amazing restaurants and shops, it is a place where you can spend a late afternoon exploring.
Over the years, the streets of RiNo have become much more vibrant thanks to the work of international (and local) artists. To make things easier, you can even book on a graffiti tour neighborhoods. The gader pays off and the whole neighborhood has such a cool atmosphere.
6.) Denver Central Market
Speaking of RiNo, Denver Central Market is one of the best things about Denver if you like some cool place to hang out for a few hours around lunch.
Located in a refurbished warehouse, it is home to a diverse mix of local and independent vendors that make Denver so great. When you get inside, stop by Temper for their eclectic chocolate creations and grab a tip at the Curio bar – both are so good.
Oh, and make sure to explore some of the local artist tables located in the market itself. They are all so unique and great to see them.
7.) Roxborough State Park
About a 30-minute drive south of Denver is Roxborough State Park – a place you can’t miss when visiting Colorado.
With relatively easy trails to follow (like the Fountain Valley trail), it is one of the most affordable hiking spots in Denver for the whole family. And not only that, it is typically a fairly quiet and completely beautiful area where the iconic red rocks in the region can be seen.
Be sure to take some sunscreen, as you can easily get sunburned by walking these trails because there is little shade.
After returning to Denver, head to Broadway and stop at Voodoo Donut for their deliciously fluffy creations. Also, you have Satellite which is great socializing for tips in the early evening; a jalapeno tequila cocktail (called Thor) is everything!
8.) Mount Evans
Although it is about a 140 minute drive from downtown Denver, Mount Evans is amazing to visit and perfect if you are marking a longer wider trip around Colorado. Having said that, you can easily visit one day too!
Now, to get to Mount Evans, you’ll have to descend the Scenic Byway Mount Evans, which is actually just as beautiful as Mount Evans. You see, it’s known as the “way to heaven” and you’ll see why as you go on.
Rising more than 14,000+ feet (above sea level), the type of ride makes you realize how dramatic and stunning Colorado is!
Once you reach the top with the summit, be sure to visit Lake Summit, park near the Meyer-Womble Observatory and enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains. It’s amazing.
Just remember, this is really only feasible in the summer months when the roads are clean and safe from snow.
9.) Union Station & LoDo
Many American cities have some sort of Union Station, but Denver’s Union Station is something very special!
Recently renovated, it is home to a bunch of restaurants and is located in the heart of the Lower Downtown neighborhood, called LoDo.
Once you head to Denver’s iconic station, be sure to enter Denver Milk Market for a delicious lunch. They serve a bunch of different dishes in such a cool setting.
Oh, and don’t forget Little man ice cream, which is just across the South Platte River. They serve the best ice cream in all of Colorado here. Their sun with a hot pod is everything!
Want some excitement? Go close Elitch Gardens, a fantasy country rollercoaster, Ferris wheel and boomerang!
10.) Daniels & Fisher
Built more than 100 years ago, the Daniels & Fisher clock tower is a cult part of Denver and is easily spotted as it wanders downtown.
It’s totally nice to see and worth taking tour inside to visit the historic observatory.
You can then continue walking through din downtown Denver, across 16th Street Mall. With shops, restaurants and bars that stretch to the mile-long shopping mall.