Denver Bucket List

10 Best Things To Do in Denver

The Mile High City is the urban gateway to the Rocky Mountains, offering visitors an outrageous number of outdoor activities within minutes of a modern city with museums, galleries, and restaurants galore.

1 Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The 10,000 seat music venue known as “Red Rocks”, tucked between the majestic rocky cliffs of Red Rocks Park, is absolutely breathtaking and belongs on every music lover’s bucket list.

Although it was first used as a music venue in 1906, Red Rocks’ history goes much deeper: the Ute tribe once roamed the lands and dinosaur tracks have been found nearby dating back 160 million years. It quickly became a global favorite for concert tours and has hosted legendary acts such as Mary Garden (1911), The Beatles (1964), Jimi Hendrix (1968), The Blues Brothers (1980), U2 (1983) and many, many more. Red Rocks has been owned and operated by the City of Denver since 1927, when it purchased the land from the founder of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

2 Red Rocks Mountain Park

It’s best known for having the world’s most epic amphitheatre, but the other 640 acres of Red Rocks Park are well worth exploring.

You’ll find several great pedestrian-only trails here, like the Funicular Trail, Geologic Overlook Trail, Mt. Vernon Creek Trail, Red Rocks Trail, and the Trading Post Trail. Others allow you to traverse the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains by mountain bike or horseback. No matter your mode of transportation, the 300-foot tall sandstone rocks and 200-mile panoramic views of Denver are something you have to see at least once.

3 Larimer Square

Denver’s oldest block, Larimer Square, was laid out by General William Larimer in 1858. It first served gold miners that had traveled west looking for treasure, quickly becoming the spot for many more city’s firsts: the first block, first commercial district, first residence, first city hall, and first designated historic district.

Larimer Square is still the beating heart of Denver. It’s well-preserved architecture hearkens back to the old times, with dozens of shops and restaurants buzzing with activity throughout the day and night. Larimer Square would make the city’s pioneers proud… and it’s sure to make visitors happy.

4 Denver Zoo

The Mayor of Denver was gifted a black bear cub in 1896, who passed it along to City Park, marking the start of the Denver Zoo.

The zoo’s claim to fame came in 1906 when Mayor Robert W. Speer declared “the prison bars can be done away with”, pioneering a new era of zoological architecture. First up: the Bear Mountain Exhibit- by using concrete walls and moats, the Denver zoo was able to create a natural, cageless enclosure. This approach has been adopted and used across the world, providing a better lifestyle for the animals and better views for guests.

The Denver Zoo is now an 80-acre sanctuary for 550+ species, showcasing 3,500+ animals to millions of people each year. Whether it’s the 15,000 gallon stingray tank, Monkey Island full of primates, Predator Ridge with ferocious cats, 10-acre Elephant habitat, or one of the other dozens of exhibits, everyone will find something to love at Denver Zoo.

5 Mount Evans Scenic Byway

The highest paved road in North America is on the 28-mile scenic byway t the top of Mount Evans where you’ll climb 7,000 feet to its 14,130-foot peak.

Drive slow, stop at the scenic overlooks, and be on the lookout for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots, birds, and other wildlife. Notice alpine lakes and glacier valleys between the distant mountain peaks. Stop at Mount Goliath Nature Center and Summit Lake Park before trekking to the top for a glimpse of historic ruins. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a breathtaking experience that you simply cannot miss if you’re visiting Denver (weather permitting).

6 Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Since 1908, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has been inspired to research, understand, and explain the world around us to curious visitors of all ages. Kids and kids-at-heart will find fascinating exhibits to explore, from dinosaur skeletons and ancient mummies to a planetarium and IMAX theater taking you on journeys through space.

7 Denver Botanic Gardens

Built atop the old Prospect Hill cemetery in Denver’s Cheesman Park neighborhood is the 23-acre Denver Botanic Gardens. The cemetery opened in 1858, fell into disrepair, and in 1890 it was converted into a park. Most of the bodies were relocated, but not all- former graves have been discovered here as recently as 2010.

The park has a diverse collection of attractions including a conservatory, sunken amphitheater with seasonal events, and variety of plants from around the world including native “Gardens of the West”, a bonsai pavilion, tea garden, fragrance garden, herb garden, Victorian secret garden, birds and bees walk, and much more!

8 Coors Field

Two blocks from Union Station in Denver’s Lower Downtown District is the home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team: Coors Field.

As an expansion team in 1993, the Rockies played at Mile High stadium until 1995, when Coors Field was ready. Dinosaur fossils were found during construction, serving as inspiration for the team’s triceratops mascot, Dinger. Had Coors Brewing not purchased naming rights that now last through 2047, the stadium was fittingly slated to be named “Jurassic Park”.

Its mile-high elevation, marked by a purple row of seats in the upper deck, makes for thin air that helps baseballs fly through this home run-friendly stadium. Dingers aren’t the only thing Coors Field is good for: a world class brewery, local takes on ballpark food (Denver dogs), and fun visual features like the waterfall, fountains, and pine trees in center field make the Rockies’ stadium well-worth visiting.

9 Empower Field at Mile High

It’s been called many names, but Empower Field at Mile High is the “new Mile High”- the original opened in 1948. In 2001 they demolished “Old Mile High” and built its successor in the parking lot nextdoor.

Continuing the “Mile High” moniker in honor of Denver’s elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level, Empower Field poses a challenge for visiting teams: the fans are notoriously noisy and the altitude makes it harder for athletes to breath. Meanwhile, fans are treated to an electric atmosphere, right in downtown Denver.

Known best as the home of the Denver Broncos, Empower’s new Mile High also plays host to other events, and in 2008 it made history as the site of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech as the first black Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

10 Coors Brewery

In 1873, a German immigrant named Adolph Coors invested $2,000 to co-found a brewing company in Golden, Colorado. Little did he know, 150+ years later, it would be the single largest brewing facility in the entire world.

Whether or not you indulge in adult beverages, touring the Coors Brewery is well worth a couple hours of your time on a trip to Denver. You’ll learn the history, watch the brewing process, and see the high-powered packaging equipment in action before tasting the delicious, ice-cold results (if you’re 21 or older).

Mark as Favorite

0/10 Checked Off

Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
1Red Rocks Venue
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
2Red Rocks Mountain Park
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
3Larimer Square
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
4Denver Zoo
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
5Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
6Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
7Denver Botanic Gardens
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
8Coors Field
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
9Empower Field at Mile High
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
10Coors Brewery
Mark as Favorite

0/10 Checked Off

Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
1Red Rocks Venue
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
2Red Rocks Mountain Park
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
3Larimer Square
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
4Denver Zoo
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
5Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
6Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
7Denver Botanic Gardens
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
8Coors Field
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
9Empower Field at Mile High
Mark as Complete
Mark as Incomplete
10Coors Brewery
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Pinterest