Top 10 Things to See and Do in Downtown Denver

Top Things to See and Do in Downtown DenverColorado - Downtown Denver is an exciting destination to explore, boasting a diverse mix of historic buildings, nightclubs, and museums alongside shopping malls and sports fields. There's something for everyone here! For shoppers, 16th Street is the ideal destination. This mile-and-a-quarter pedestrianized promenade offers window shopping opportunities, cocktail lounges, eateries, and more all day. At night it is illuminated by thousands of lights strung across streets on strings for an enchanting atmosphere.

Top Things to See and Do in Downtown Denver
Photo: Acton Crawford

1. 16th Street

16th Street Mall is one of Denver's premier shopping and dining spots, boasting miles worth of designer clothing, gift shops, and the latest Western apparel. No matter your style or taste in fashion - 16th Street Mall has it all here for everyone. This is not the kind of strip mall where you just walk up to a door and buy something. You can wander around, shop, dine, and explore the different stores while enjoying Denver's best people-watching. The center has a great mix of national and local boutiques and eateries.

2. Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park has been one of Denver's favorite playgrounds for over 130 years. It has evolved from its beginnings as a botanic garden and zoo into an internationally-acclaimed combination theme and water park. Every October, the park hosts Fright Fest - an unforgettable Halloween-themed event for the whole family to enjoy. Dress up and join in on trick-or-treating along the Trick-or-Treat Trail or participate in interactive challenges at night for some added thrills!

3. Colorado Convention Center

The Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver hosts several renowned conventions and events throughout the year, such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Democratic National Convention, and Outdoor Retailers. Around the Convention Center, there are plenty of restaurants and shops to discover. Some have earned a reputation for their delicious food and excellent service, so be sure not to miss out! If you're visiting the convention center for a business gathering, you can also check out Henry's Tavern. This restaurant is known for its great burgers and fascinating history, so be sure to tell your fellow attendees about it!

4. Denver Microbrew Tour

If you're a beer connoisseur and want to explore Denver's microbrew scene, taking a guided brewery tour is the ideal way to do it. These tours allow guests to sample local craft beers while learning about the brewing process from an expert. Experience five local breweries on this walking tour through the historic LoDo neighborhood. Sample beers while learning about the city's role as a center of craft beer culture in the West. This tour offers the benefit of an engaging and knowledgeable guide who can answer any queries you might have. It's an ideal opportunity to discover and share new beers with friends!

5. Denver Pedicab

If you're looking for something new and exciting to do in Denver, you should consider booking a pedicab tour. There are many different pedicab tours available, from historic to ghost tours and more. Choosing the right one for you is a decision that should be made before your trip begins, but don't let that stop you from taking advantage of this fun and informative experience!

6. Larimer Square

Larimer Square, Denver's downtown entertainment district, is a dynamic stretch of streets lined with restaurants and shops. It's the perfect place to enjoy live music or catch a show. When it comes to food, there's something for everyone - from French fayre and Italian social dishes to Italian and Continental social dishes. Additionally, there are numerous bars serving beer and wine. Plus, don't miss the tiki-themed dance club Disco Pig, which promises an unforgettable evening!

7. Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is a must-visit when in Denver. Situated in the Golden Triangle Creative District, its permanent collection includes masterpieces by Claude Monet and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as cutting-edge contemporary exhibits that rotate regularly. The DAM is a must-visit destination for families, offering plenty of activities and features tailored to kids. From climbing walls to hands-on engineering stations, its multitude of interactive elements will keep visitors enthralled for hours.

8. Skyline Beer Garden

Skyline Beer Garden celebrates Colorado's vibrant craft beer culture, emphasizing handcrafted brews. Spread across 40,000 square feet at 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe Street; this family-friendly attraction has picnic table seating for 350 guests plus 12 Colorado beers on tap plus casual fare like locally made street tacos. As part of the Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District's commitment to providing enjoyable family-friendly activities in parks and public spaces year-round, the beer garden will remain open through mid-October.

9. Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

If you’re a music fanatic, you can’t miss the chance to watch a concert at one of Colorado’s most iconic music venues, the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. Known for its natural red rock formations that frame the stage and the spectacular views from around 6,450 feet above sea level, it’s easy to see why this venue has been a popular destination for over 75 years.

10. Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens has 24 acres of botanical beauty located on York Street. You’ll find a range of botanical displays, including the Japanese garden and the Boettcher Memorial Conservatory. There’s also a collection of native, aquatic, and alpine plants, plus the Monet Pool, a water garden with 450 species of aquatic plants.