Droves of people are relocating to Denver every year to enjoy over 300 days of sunshine, endless outdoor activities, a fantastic culinary scene, and a booming economy. The state’s capital offers abundant activities and entertainment for residents and visitors alike. There is something for all age groups in the Mile High City with over five hundred restaurants, fifty museums, one of the largest public art collections, five major sports teams, and proximity to one of the best concert venues in the world.
Below is an in-depth look at our opinion on the top things to do in Denver. At Kentwood Real Estate, we are proud to support numerous civic and community endeavors and serve as a proud member of Colorado’s growing community. Please contact us today to get in touch with one of our expert Realtors for your next home purchase or sale.
Hands down the best park in Denver, Washington Park is 160 acres smack in the heart of the city. Along the 2.3-mile loop trail are several playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, two lakes, and a boathouse. During the summer months, volleyball courts litter the grassy areas, and fishermen serenely cast lines along the banks of the lakes. The park is nestled in the Washington Park neighborhood. It has a long history of being an esteemed district because of its proximity to the University of Denver, culture, and prestige. Historic Old South Gaylord Street is a short walk east of the park and worth exploring for casual shopping at high-end boutiques, elegant dining, and local bars.
Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo
Located adjacent to each other in City Park, the Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo are iconic Denver establishments that have been around for decades. The Denver Zoo’s “Light Festival” is one of the most breathtaking Christmas light displays in the city, so if you are in Denver during December, it’s a must-see! The Natural History Museum is a cut-above educational experience for children. They have an IMAX with daily short films, as well as planetarium shows on the hour. Depending on your children’s age, we recommend seeing the Natural History Museum and Denver Zoo on the same day. It might be too much for kids under the age of five, but those a little older will love the full-day experience. Both the museum and zoo offer a variety of food and beverages to keep your children well-nourished all day long.
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Cherry Creek Reservoir
Cherry Creek Reservoir is home to the largest body of water in the Denver Metro area, with the entire park spanning over 11,500 acres. The reservoir includes countless recreational areas such as water sports, biking, walking trails, scenic views, and camping sites. You can also take advantage of family fun options, such as picnic areas and boat docks. The reservoir is technically located in Aurora but only a short drive away from central Denver and Greenwood Village. Since you will be in that part of town anyway, we recommend checking out YaYa’s European Bistro for a bite to eat, making our list of the best rooftop decks in the Denver metro area.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Red Rocks Amphitheater is a natural, open-air theater located just west of Denver in Morrison. The rock formation surrounding the theater creates a natural acoustic sound perfect for live music. Red Rocks is one of the most famous music venues in the United States and the world. Many of the world’s top artists historically have called it their favorite place to play. You can also hike the arena and surrounding areas during the day, with numerous subsidiary trails, geological overlooks, and stunning red sandstone monoliths. In addition to a full concert lineup, the park offers “Yoga on the Rocks” on the weekends and “Film on Rock”s on non-concert nights.
Denver boasts some of the best weather in the world. Due to the frequent sunshine, outdoor activities are possible year-round, even in the winter months. If you are a parent looking for fun activities for your little ones, Denver is a city designed to emphasize children’s health and well-being. Specifically, the Mile High City has a plethora of fantastic playgrounds for kids. The options range from large parks to more intimate spaces for families to choose from. One of our favorite playgrounds is located in the infamous City Park, centrally located in Park Hill. Whether you are a resident or visiting from out of state, City Park provides a full day of activity to keep your kiddos smiling and active, including easy access to the Denver Zoo and Natural History Museum. For more information on playgrounds in Denver, here is a list of our top choices.
Coors Brewery Tour
Located in Golden Colorado (20 minutes from Downtown Denver), the Coors Brewery is home to one of the world’s most famous international beer brands. The brewery tour is approximately 30 minutes long and provides a wealth of information on malting, brewing, packaging, and Coors’ rich history in Colorado. The brewery is the largest single-site brewery in the world, occupying 1,500 acres. The tour is available daily. Following the tour, we suggest taking a short drive to downtown Golden – a quaint town resting along the banks of Clear Creek, with a history dating back to the 1850s.
Local Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are embedded in the local Denver culture. They are a respite and peaceful escape from everyday Colorado life, a place where people go to catch up with friends, work on their laptops, or just take a break. Denver is notorious for being a big city divided into cute, unique neighborhoods with personalities of their own. For the perfect cup of Joe, we recommend Wash Perk, only several blocks west of Washington Park (our favorite Denver park). We also recommend Mutiny Information Cafe on South Broadway, among Denver’s oldest and most extraordinary neighborhoods. Here is a wonderful article we recently published on the best local coffee shops in Denver.
Colorado’s history is rich with western settlers, gold miners, cowboys, and ranchers. The Buckhorn Exchange is Denver’s most historic eating and drinking establishment, dating back to 1893. More than just a restaurant, there are hundreds of memorabilia on display showcasing Colorado’s history. You can also order eclectic culinary dishes such as rattlesnake marinated in red chile, fried alligator tail, and rocky mountain oysters. We advocate for the t-bone steak, Colorado lamb, or barbequed baby back pork ribs for a more traditional meal. The Buckhorn Exchange is an excellent opportunity to fill your tummy with sustenance and soak in a bit of the Old Wild West.
Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park is a once Native American cemetery now completely revamped and bustling with people. The park features a small amphitheater, walking and biking trail, and loads of green space for picnicking and sporting activities. With panoramic views of downtown and the Rocky Mountains, Cheeseman Park is our favorite place in Denver to watch the breathtaking Colorado orange, red, and blue sunsets. Located on the eastern side of the park is the Denver Botanic Gardens, and just north is historic Colfax Avenue.
Denver Botanic Gardens
For those horticulturists and just plain individuals who love nature, the Denver Botanic Gardens will fill all of your photosynthesizing needs. The 23-acre park contains a conservatory, science pyramid, several lily ponds, and a plethora of themed gardens. The sunken amphitheater hosts regular concerts throughout the summer, where you can bring a picnic blanket and a bottle of wine. During the winter, Blossom of Lights is a can’t miss showcase of color display. There are also pop-up exhibits sprinkled throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule.
Denver residents are passionate about organic food, healthy living, and supporting local farmers and ranchers. Littered throughout the summer months are numerous farmers’ markets offered at various times throughout the week. The South Pearl and Cherry Creek farmers’ market are two local favorites. Here is a list of farmers’ markets throughout Denver, with times and dates included. A couple of packets of organically grown raspberries can jolt you with the energy needed to conquer the day!
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Denver Art Museum
The largest art museum in the Rocky Mountain region is centrally located in the Civic Center, just several blocks south of downtown. Home to an average of 10 permanent collections and 70,000 works of art, the Denver Art Museum is an impressive display of the world’s mastery and skill. Some of our favorite galleries include 19th Century European Art, Indigenous Arts of North America, and Gio Ponti.
Coors Field exudes ballpark vibes in a gorgeous, red brick, open-aired stadium. Home to the Colorado Rockies, the stadium was built in 1995 and is centrally located in Lower Downtown Denver (LODO) – a hub of bars, eateries, and fine dining. While enjoying an evening game, spectators are blessed with an elevated view of magical sunsets overlooking sweeping vistas, perhaps the best vantage point in the city. If you are bringing the little ones, don’t miss snapping a photo with Dinger – a massive purple mascot. If it is an adult outing, make sure to check out the rooftop bar.
It’s not often a hundred-year landmark is refurbished yet still keeps its authentic look and feel. This is precisely what you get when stepping foot into Union Station, located in downtown Denver. Cooper Lounge, located on the second floor, has a classic early 20th-century vibe and overlooks the first-floor terminal. There is also an array of shopping and dining on the main floor, including Snooze AM Eatery and Stoic and Genuine. If you are coming from Omaha, Chicago, Salt Lake, or Oakland, you can take the train directly to the station and stay at the hotel located on the top floors.
Fiddlers Green is an outdoor venue located in Greenwood Village. Originally constructed in 1988, the largest open-air amphitheater in the Denver metro caters to many well-known artists, including Garth Brooks, Neil Young, Dave Matthews Band, and Willie Nelson. With over 7,500 seats and a general admission section for standing only, there is plenty of space to relax while sipping on a cold beer or wine,; dance, and enjoy the live music.
With stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, a vibrant culinary and nightlife scene, dozens of local breweries, and a fantastic park system, it’s no wonder Denver is consistently ranked one of the best cities for tourists and residents alike. Kentwood Real Estate is built on the foundation of broker excellence. We are passionate about real estate and inspiring people to imagine the next steps in their life journey. Whether you are thinking about listing a house, beginning your search for a new home, or have a question about the area, please feel free to contact us today.