Denver may not be as popular a tourist destination as New York or LA, but it is filled with exciting and interesting attractions that you and your family will surely enjoy. If you are planning to have a family vacation soon, consider Denver, the capital and largest city of the state of Colorado. Whether it’s your first visit or your 50th, the city will not disappoint.
Known for its rocky mountains and stunning natural surroundings, Denver welcomes visitors with varying interests. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, the “Mile High City” has something to offer. Especially if you have a rental car or your own vehicle.
10 Great Things to Do in Denver
1. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Known for its stunning natural amphitheater and red sandstone rock formations, this iconic venue is a popular tourist destination in Denver that hosts concerts, yoga sessions, and other exciting events. I remember as a kid visiting family, we drove by Red Rocks as a Grateful Dead concert was going on. It was quite a sight!
Aside from events, if you are fond of hiking or you simply want to enjoy the panoramic views of the city, this is a must-visit during your Colorado trip.
2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
If you and your family are science enthusiasts, this family-friendly attraction should be part of your Denver itinerary. It features fascinating exhibits on natural history, space science, and anthropology.
The museum showcases both educational and entertaining topics that you and your kids will surely benefit from.
3. Denver Art Museum
With an extensive collection of art from around the world, the Denver Art Museum is a cultural gem. Its unique architecture, featuring the Frederic C. Hamilton Building’s distinctive design, is a sight in itself.
Bring out your artistic side and satisfy your curiosity for art and creativity by stopping by this cultural destination.
4. Denver Union Station
Fancy a trip back in history? This ancient train station has been revitalized and now serves as a transportation hub that many locals and tourists visit. It features restaurants, bars, shops, and a luxurious hotel.
Situated on 17th and Wynkoop Streets in today’s LoDo district, the train station serves as a central meeting point and a great place to experience Denver’s architectural charm.
5. Denver Botanic Gardens
If you want to immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the beauty of Denver’s natural richness, the botanic gardens are a must-visit sightseeing spot for you and your family.
Located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood, the Denver Botanic Gardens offer a serene escape with beautiful plant collections, themed gardens, and seasonal events. Don’t forget to bring your camera, because everything is Instagram-worthy.
6. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
What’s a trip to Colorado without visiting the mountains? A short drive from Denver, this scenic byway takes you to the summit of Mount Evans, one of Colorado’s 14ers (which is what the locals call mountains that stand over 14,000 feet).
This is an excursion well worth renting a car for so you can experience a drive that offers breathtaking views and opportunities to spot wildlife.
7. Denver Zoo
Speaking of wildlife, another destination worth visiting is the Denver Zoo. Home to over 3,500 animals representing various species from around the world, the Denver Zoo is a fantastic place for families who wish to connect with and learn more about the different animals in the world.
It also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs for the children, making it a definite hit for everyone.
8. 16th Street Mall
If you’re in the mood for shopping and dining, the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver is a must-visit. This pedestrian-friendly mall is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, giving you tons of options to choose from.
It’s a great place for buying personal items or souvenir products that you will take home with you. Plus, if you love to people-watch, don’t miss this modern Denver mall.
9. Molly Brown House Museum
Remember Titanic survivor Margaret “Molly” Brown? If you’d like to know more about her, then a visit to her former home can be an interesting stop. This museum offers insight into the life of this prominent Denverite and the history of the early 20th century.
10. City Park
Whether you’re planning a picnic lunch with your family or want to take a leisurely stroll on your own, this spacious urban park features beautiful gardens and walking paths that will leave you amazed. It houses the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so you may want to visit it while you’re in the park. It’s a great place for relaxing and simply enjoying the vibrancy of Denver.
You will never run out of places to visit in Denver, Colorado. With a solid itinerary, a comfortable rental vehicle, and wonderful people to make memories with, it will be an unforgettable trip.
Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.