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Denver has several exciting neighborhoods, each with its own personality and must-see attractions to offer – from the Golden Triangle Museum District to the hip River North (RiNo) neighborhood. Take time to get to know the city through its fun and unique neighborhoods. Below are some must-see attractions throughout the city; for a full guide to Denver’s neighborhoods, please visit our neighborhood guide.
Denver’s hip, historic district with a huge independent bookstore, brewpubs, Western wear, Coors Field and dozens of dining and nightlife options, all housed within turn-of-the century warehouses and buildings
- 16th Street Mall – Designed by I.M. Pei and built in 1982, this mile-long, pedestrian-friendly mall is packed with shopping, restaurants and attractions. Free buses stop for passengers at every intersection, no ticket needed.
- Big Blue Bear – Formally named “I See What You Mean,” the 40-foot bear peeking into the Colorado Convention Center symbolizes the natural Colorado surroundings and curiosity of its residents and visitors alike. It’s a can’t-miss photo opp.
- Confluence Park – Denver was founded as a gold mining camp in 1858 with people panning for gold in the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Today, the park at the confluence of these rivers is the heart of Denver's 850-mile bike trail network, and, with its central location in downtown Denver, a popular recreation spot for kayaking, tubing and more.
- Coors Field – Home to Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, Coors Field is a Denver landmark for the iconic American sport, and – more recently – major headliner concerts.
- McGregor Square – Adjacent to Coors Field, McGregor Square ushers in a new chapter of entertainment, food, and business travel in Colorado's historic city. Spanning an entire block, the complex includes The Rally Hotel, residences, restaurants and retail outlets, a food hall, an expansive outdoor plaza and the newest outpost of beloved independent bookstore, Tattered Cover.
- Denver Performing Arts Complex – The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the largest performing arts complex under one roof in the U.S. DPAC houses ten performance spaces with 10,000 total seats on its four-block, 12-acre site.
- Denver Union Station – Renovated and reopened for its 100th anniversary in 2014, Union Station is now a large part of Denver’s energy. With numerous local restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as plenty of public space and one of the hippest boutique hotels in the city, there’s plenty to do and see.
- Dairy Block – This historic block was once home to Windsor Dairy and is now a vibrant micro-district that boasts 15 shops, 19 restaurants, seven bars, a luxury co-working space and a 172-room boutique hotel.
- Larimer Square – Denver’s most historic block is also the heart of its urban shopping and dining district. Victorian buildings house upscale specialty boutiques and unique, chef-driven restaurants.
- Museum of Contemporary Art – MCA Denver is an innovative forum for contemporary art that inspires and challenges all audiences. The museum is housed in an environmentally sustainable facility designed by David Adjaye.
- Rockmount Ranch Wear – Home to the original snap front western shirts, this is a third-generation, family-owned business since 1946 – started by “Papa” Jack Weil, who, at age 107 when he passed in 2008, was the oldest working CEO in America. A true Western icon, Rockmount helped popularize Western wear as legitimate American fashion throughout the U.S. and abroad. Be sure to check out the museum in the upper loft and the celebrity gallery around the store.
Explore the spectacular Denver Art Museum and a neighborhood brimming with galleries, restaurants, music venues, theatres and remarkable architecture.
- Clyfford Still Museum – Clyfford Still is considered an originator of the Abstract Expressionism movement. With more than 3,000 pieces, the award-winning Clyfford Still Museum is home to his life’s work.
- Colorado State Capitol – Find the three Mile High Markers (where the elevation is exactly one mile above sea level, and where Denver gets its nickname, “The Mile High City”), including one on the 13th step in front of the building. Free tours are offered hourly on weekdays. Be sure to get a look at the dome made of real gold, one of only a few in the country, and check out the view from the dome of more than 200 named mountain peaks.
- Denver Art Museum – The Denver Art Museum's Frederic C. Hamilton Building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, and the adjoining fortress-like Martin Building designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti, will change the way you experience art and architecture. Explore the Museum's galleries, renowned traveling exhibits, children’s exhibits and more.
- History Colorado Center – The History Colorado Center's hands-on and high-tech exhibits take you back in time. Be sure to walk through the Denver A to Z exhibit for some background on the places you’re visiting.
- Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art – Colorado artist Vance Kirkland’s original studio serves as part of this unique museum. Featuring more than 4,400 works spanning from the 1840s to the present, the museum displays the works of Kirkland, his Colorado and regional colleagues and one of the world’s largest collections of international decorative art.
- Molly Brown House Museum – Visit the home of Titanic heroine, the unsinkable Margaret "Molly" Brown, a woman of extraordinary courage. Tours are currently on hold, but previously all tours were guided and 45 minutes long.
Cherry Creek/City Park/Uptown
Denver’s premier shopping and dining neighborhood, approximately a 15-minute drive from downtown, is also just south of the city’s largest park. Cherry Creek Shopping Center is home to Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Louis Vuitton and the RH (Restoration Hardware) flagship store, among other high-end stores. One block north, Cherry Creek North features several blocks of local boutiques and designer brand storefronts.
- Cherry Creek Bike Path – This paved trail begins where Denver was first founded and runs along the creek all the way through the city. It is one of the most popular trails in Denver, and one of the prettiest.
- City Park – Adjacent to Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, City Park features several large green spaces and one of the most spectacular city skyline views with the Rocky Mountain background. It also features a hiking/jogging trail that is one mile high.
- Denver Botanic Gardens – Just north of Cherry Creek, the Denver Botanic Gardens entertains and delights with beautiful displays of flora and fauna from all over the world.
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science – For more than 100 years, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has been at the heart of cultural experience in Denver. Explore the cosmos in its planetarium, uncover dazzling gems and minerals, watch a showing at the IMAX theater and see various traveling exhibitions at the fourth largest museum in the U.S.
- Denver Zoo – Denver Zoo spans more than 75 acres and is home to more than 4,000 animals including rare Amur leopards, okapi, elephants, orangutans, Komodo dragons and more.
River North (RiNo) Art District
RiNo is “where art is made” – a hotspot for creative types, with several uniquely renovated spaces that provide room for culinary and industrial creativity. The neighborhood is home to local boutique hotels, some of the city’s top dining options, artisan market halls, numerous art galleries and more.
- Denver Beer Trail – Denver is home to one of the largest concentrations of craft breweries in the country, and RiNo is the best place to have a sample or two.
- Street Art – Throughout the District you will find murals, created by local, national and international artists and sanctioned by the neighborhood and city. As a result of various public art initiatives around the city, Denver has developed a concentrated and thriving street and public art scene, leading AFAR magazine to name it the “Street Art Capital of the Country.”
Other Must-See Attractions
- Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre – Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. The only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world, Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster and ambience, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails. The free Visitor Center features the Colorado Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, interactive educational displays and a short film on the geologic and musical history of Red Rocks.
- Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado's No. 1 attraction is just 90 minutes from Denver and offers an unforgettable trip into the heart of the Rocky Mountains. More than 350 square miles of parkland feature trails that meander to valleys of wildflowers, thundering waterfalls, high alpine lakes and craggy, snowcapped peaks. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in the world with panoramic views in all directions. See elk, moose and big horn sheep, while hawks and eagles circle overhead. At the entrance to the park, the historic resort village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining.
- Coors Brewery – The world's largest brewing site still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Tours show every step in the brewing process and end with samples for those over 21.
- Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave – Buffalo Bill Cody's exciting story as Pony Express rider, army scout, buffalo hunter and showman comes to life at this fun museum, high atop Lookout Mountain. Enjoy views of the snowcapped Rockies in one direction, the Great Plains in the other. For those with strong nerves, drive to the museum on the hairpin Lariat Loop Drive, then continue to I-70, exit 250, to see a live herd of buffalo.