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Travel Like a Local With This Denver Travel Guide
June 30, 2022 By CityPASS
If you’ve never been to Denver, there’s no better time to go than now. The Mile High City offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and boasts more than 300 days of sunshine each year.
Nature lovers will find no shortage of things to do in Denver, but you might not know that the city also has a buzzing cultural scene. This handy Denver travel guide covers all of the bases, no matter your preferred vacation style.
Denver Travel Guide: Things To Do in the Mile High City
There are so many things to do in Denver that you might not even know where to begin. Here are some of the top Denver destinations to work into your travel itinerary during your stay.
1. View the Stunning Rocky Mountains From Cherry Creek State Park
One of the top things to do on any trip to Denver, Colorado, is to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. A great place to get a breath of fresh air is Cherry Creek State Park, which is just 20 minutes outside of Denver.
With 12 miles of paved paths, bikers, hikers, and even horseback riders can enjoy views of the mountains paired with prairies and wetlands. Cherry Creek State Park offers an impressive array of activities including fishing, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, and swimming.
If you want to travel a little further outside of the city, check out Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s one of the most visited national parks and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. With more than 300 miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty to explore and discover here.
2. Try Local Beers From a Colorado Craft Brewery
After exploring the great outdoors, your next stop should be for a pick-me-up at one of Denver’s many craft breweries. The city boasts tons of top-notch breweries creating delicious, popular beers, earning Denver a reputation as one of the best American cities for beer. Many of these breweries also have things like restaurants, tours, or beer tastings so that you can sample some of the best barrels of beer they have on tap.
For a truly unique experience, take a Coors Brewery Tour in Golden, just west of Denver. You’ll get a deep dive into the brewing process while learning more about the history of the world’s largest single-site brewery. You’ll also sample beers in branded cups that you can take home with you as a fun souvenir of your time in Denver.
3. Take a Stroll Through the Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens is a green oasis in the city that has lots to offer. The gardens cover 23 acres and have several different themes, including ones with local plants and others featuring greenery from around the world.
Additionally, Denver Botanic Gardens has an amphitheater that hosts a summer concert series, a children’s garden with hands-on educational experiences, and a conservatory filled with lush, tropical plants. Check out the Denver Botanic Gardens’ calendar of events for special exhibitions, traveling collections, and free entrance days.
4. Channel Your Inner Artist at the Denver Art Museum
Next up on your Denver travel guide is the Denver Art Museum, one of the largest art museums west of the Mississippi River. Here, art lovers can discover more than 70,000 works from around the globe, including its prized collection of American Indian Art. The Denver Art Museum is family-friendly, as there are exhibits and activities created just for little ones, along with special events and exhibitions.
After a day of exploring the museum, you can hop over to Civic Center Park. This historical spot is another of Denver’s green spaces blooming with flowers, fountains, and government buildings, including the Colorado State Capitol building. The surrounding area, known as Capitol Hill, is a vibrant neighborhood full of galleries, museums, restaurants, stores, and nightclubs.
5. Step Back in Time at the History Colorado Center
Just a five-minute walk from the Denver Art Museum is the History Colorado Center, a museum that explores the history of the Centennial State. Six permanent collections take a close look at the history of the people and cultures that have lived in Colorado, along with the events and natural environment that helped shape the state's development.
The History Colorado Center is another great option for families because of its hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that make learning come to life. In addition to its permanent collections, the History Colorado Center also has special events, a speaker series, and tours and treks.
6. Explore Downtown Denver and Stop at the Downtown Aquarium
Downtown Denver, also known as LoDo, is packed with bars, restaurants, gift shops, and street vendors. At its heart sits Denver Union Station, a historic Beaux-Arts building built in 1914. Besides being a transportation hub, Union Station also houses 10 restaurants, bars, boutiques, and the historic Crawford Hotel.
This area of the city is also home to the Downtown Aquarium. Popular with both locals and visitors, this aquarium houses more than 500 species of marine animals, in addition to an area where you can touch stingrays.
Besides exploring the depths of the sea, the Downtown Aquarium also has rainforest and desert exhibits featuring all kinds of animals. Something truly unique is the aquarium’s group of mermaids, performers who put on an interactive show to teach families about the importance of conservation and caring for the environment.
As the aquarium is part of a complex, you’ll also find the Dive Lounge, Aquarium Restaurant, and the Nautilus Ballroom, which hosts special events.
How To Save Money Experiencing All of Denver's Most Beautiful Spots
Because there are so many things to do in Denver, one of the best ways to experience them is to buy Denver CityPASS® tickets. By purchasing a bundled ticket, you can save up to when compared to buying individual tickets for the city’s top attractions.
There are three ticket options: C3® tickets, C4® tickets, or C5® tickets. Depending on which Denver CityPASS® ticket you buy, you can visit three, four, or five of Denver’s best attractions, many of which are on this list. Just purchase the ticket that works best for you, and then all you have to do is choose from seven great options, like museums, gardens, and the aquarium.
To get the most out of your stay in Denver, we recommend finding lodging near Denver's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you: