Photographers flock to the Mile High City for images of the spectacular skyline framed by the magnificently enticing Rocky Mountains in the distance. They also spend hours exploring the surrounding state and national parks for perfectly composed shots of panoramic scenes, indigenous wildlife, towering trees, and geological wonders. But what about the infinite number of photo opportunities right here in the metro area? These 17 picture-taking paradises are just waiting for you to strap on your shooting devices and go out and snap exquisite photos in Denver.
1. Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is visually stimulating both inside and out. The stunning building (designed by Daniel Libeskind), the oddly huge sculptures lurking around the exterior, and of course, all of the contents held within, make DAM a shutterbug's dream. Do it, DAMit!
2. Highland Bridge
With its triple-rib arch rising 70 feet above the ground, this picturesque pedestrian bridge crossing the Valley Highway to connect the Highlands neighborhood with Downtown Denver, is an amazing spot to play around with angles, lines, and composition.
3. LoDo & Union Station
Speaking of angles and lines, Lower Downtown (LoDo) and Union Station provide the perfect opportunity to capture some spectacular urban architecture and geometry. From looming skyscrapers to historic buildings, LoDo has unique structures that will inspire any photographer.
4. Streets & Alleyways
Denver proudly supports the brilliant local street artists who continue to spruce up our city with magnificent murals, some in plain sight and others hidden in the unseen nooks and crannies. (Some spots you're guaranteed to see spectacular street art are on Sante Fe Drive, the Navajo Street Art District, the Cherry Creek Bike Path, RiNo, and Berkeley.) Put on your comfy shoes and rove the streets for custom creations that you won't believe!
5. Millenium Bridge
More lines and angles and bridges, oh my! The Denver Millennium Bridge, using state of the art construction and engineering techniques, is the first of its kind IN THE WORLD! And its dramatic 200-foot mast with post-tensioned steel cables connecting the deck and foundation make for plenty of prime photo ops.
6. Denver International Airport
At 33,531 acres, DIA is considered the largest airport in the United States (by total land area), which means the possibilities for capturing stunning images are endless. Of special interest are its signature roof line and the amazing amount of one-of-a-kind art work, including the infamous (and allegedly cursed) "Blue Mustang" with its shining red eyes. Spooky!
7. Red Rocks
It wouldn't be a list of photo-taking paradises in Denver without Red Rocks. From the magnificent geological formations to the legendary amphitheater, you'll find plenty to snap your shutter at at this Mile High icon.
8. Civic Center Park
In the heart of the city lies this photogenic treasure surrounded by some of Denver's most notable landmarks, including the Colorado State Capitol, the City and County Building, and DAM. It's a great spot to capture images of the Denver skyline and perhaps sneak some stealth portraits of loitering Mile Highers.
9. The Denver Botanic Gardens
With over 30,000 plants in 45 gardens on 23 acres, you could easily spend days wandering around this urban oasis without capturing all the possible still images. No matter which way you turn, there's something splendid to photograph at the Botanic Gardens!
10. The Pavilion at Cheesman Park
The Cheesman Park Pavilion is a happening haunt that affords a plethora of stunning photo opportunities. Between the lines, light, and shadows and the hula hoopers, yogis, and hacky sackers, you'll have no shortage of shooting material at this popular pavilion.
11. Did I mention the Denver Botanic Gardens?
It's a Dr. Seuss-inspired, Willy Wonka-esque wonderland!
12. Elitch Gardens
Another, slightly different type of garden in Denver that's just begging to be photographed, is Elitch Gardens in West Highland. With 70 acres of amusement and activity, you'll have plenty to keep your eye and your camera busy.
13. Coors Field
Not only can you get stunning shots of the Colorado Rockies and the Rocky Mountains at Coors Field, but there are also 76 acres to explore with surprising and striking images just waiting to be unearthed. Time to play shutterbug ball!
14. The Denver Public Library
The Denver Central Library located in the Golden Triangle downtown, with its post-modern architecture and traditional interior, is the perfect setting for a (quiet) photo shoot in the heart of the bustling downtown.
15. City Park
Photo opportunities abound at Denver's roughly 300 acre, sprawling City Park! Lakes, landmarks, fountains, foliage, waterfowl...you name it, you can shoot it at City Park.
16. The 16th Street Mall
This mile long pedestrian strip downtown is always brimming with vibrancy and excitement, especially now that the "Your Keys to the City" public art pianos have returned. You really never know what you're going to get (or see) at the 16th Street Mall!
17. The Big Blue Bear
The 40-foot tall iconic "Big Blue Bear" who peers curiously into the Colorado Convention Center is certainly a one-of-a-kind Mile High photo op. There are an unlimited number of vantage points from which to shoot the old bear, so take your time, set the stage (and your shutter speed), and fire away.
Where are YOUR favorite places to take photos in Denver? Let us know in the comments!