Denver ranks as the top visitor destination in the state of Colorado, and in 2015 we set a tourism record for the 10th year in a row, with an astounding 16.4 million tourists who spent $5 billion in our fair city. But you don’t have to be a flatlander to appreciate the Mile High City’s abundance of attractions and activities. We’ve done all the leg work for you and come up with the 23 best places to go in Denver in 2017, and we challenge you to tackle them all!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. National Western Stock Show
Get in touch with your Western spirit and celebrate the history and culture of the West at the 111th National Western Stock Show in Denver, January 7-22, 2017. The Kick-Off Parade takes place Downtown at high noon on January 5th, followed by two fun-filled weeks of rodeo performances, bull-riding competitions, barrel racing, and much, much more!
Get details here
2. Mile High Stadium
Have you cheered on the Broncos at Mile High Stadium? The venue encompasses a total of 1.8 million square feet, seats 76,125 fans, and stands at an elevation of 5,280 feet. Giddy up!
3. Coors Field
Located in Denver's popular LoDo neighborhood, Coors Field has been the home of the Colorado Rockies since 1995, holds roughly 50,000 fans, and has a row of purple seats on the upper deck situated exactly one mile high. Get a behind-the-scenes look at Coors Field on one of their public or private tours, which are offered Monday through Saturday during the season and Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during offseason.
4. Larimer Square
Larimer Square is Denver's oldest and most historic city block and a prime location for strolling, sipping, and shopping. Larimer Street became the city's main street in 1861, shortly after General Larimer founded Denver City on November 22, 1858, and today it boasts a bounty of restaurants, shops, and bars that cater to visitors and locals alike.
5. Confluence Park
Confluence Park is a popular spot for picnickers, kayakers, loungers, and pretty much anyone looking for a bit of adventure or relaxation in Downtown Denver. It's also the spot where our fabulous city originated back in 1858, when William Greeneberry Russell and his party began their search for gold at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River.
6. Denver's Union Station
Since 1881, this timeless icon has been a hub of Denver's bustling LoDo neighborhood, welcoming visitors, shuttling locals, and providing a place of respite for weary travelers. Today you'll enjoy a wonderfully unique assortment of restaurants, bars, and shops where tourists and locals alike can while away the hours.
7. The Source
The Source Market Hall in RiNo is another fantastic one stop shop containing eateries, bars, stores, and even a brewery. Next time you're looking for a hip spot to meet friends, try out the Source, and we guarantee you'll be satisfied.
8. The Denver Central Market
One of Denver's newest and brightest community hubs is the Central Market, located in the historic 1928 H.H. Tammen building on the corner of 27th and Larimer in RiNo. Denver's Central Market is a "one-stop culinary shop," which houses a local butcher, fish market, bakery, bodega, chocolatier, pizzeria, and more!
9. Tattered Cover Book Store
The incomparable Tattered Cover is an independently owned book store and cafe that's been "Bringing People and Books Together Since 1971 and is most certainly a tried and true Mile High landmark. Their locations on Colfax and in LoDo have been community hubs for decades and provide a perfect place to gather with friends for coffee and conversation or to simply find a cozy nook for reading and relaxation.
10. Denver Art Museum
What was founded as the Denver Artist's Club in 1893, has since grown into a monumental exhibition of art and architecture, with over 70,000 works on permanent display for your viewing pleasure.
11. Clyfford Still Museum
Just a stone's throw away from DAM, the Clyfford Still Museum boasts a once-in-a-lifetime Denver experience that you won't find anywhere else in the nation - or the world for that matter. The jaw-dropping 28,500-square-foot building was designed specifically to showcase Still's work, 95% of which is in the museum's possession - an unprecedented phenomenon in the art world. The sleek, smooth architecture and the quality of natural light afforded by the structure's perforated concrete ceiling is subtle yet powerful and creates an air of tranquility throughout the space that is nearly as lovely as Still's work itself. (Pro Tip: The museum is FREE every Friday from 5-8pm, as well as all day on the last Friday of every month.)
12. Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
The new and improved Kirkland Museum is slated to open in their new digs at 12th and Bannock in Denver's Golden Triangle Neighborhood in the Fall of 2017, and you won't want to miss it! Stay abreast of their progress and
find out detailed information here
13. Colorado State Capitol
There is much to explore in and around the Colorado State Capitol and adjacent Civic Center Park. The eye-catching dome contains gold leaf that was mined in Colorado and added to the building in 1908 in honor of the Colorado Gold Rush, while the interior boasts White Yule Marble from state quarries and is believed to be the entire supply of Colorado Rose Onyx. Also of note is that the 13th step leading to the west entrance is exactly one mile high.
14. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science was conceived in 1868, founded in 1900, and now boasts over 1,000,000 objects and artifacts on display at their 716,000-square-foot complex at City Park. And don't dare miss out on visiting the 5,000-square-foot Anschutz Family Sky Terrace located on the 4th level of the West Atrium of the museum with phenomenal views of City Park, the Denver skyline, and the magnificent Rocky Mountains.
15. Denver Botanic Gardens
With 23 acres containing 45 gardens and over 30,000 plants, the Denver Botanic Gardens has something splendid to experience no matter what time of year you visit!
16. Lakeside Amusement Park
Lakeside opened its doors in 1908 and is the oldest amusement park in the state. With its nostalgic adventure rides, affordable prices, and family atmosphere, it's one of Denver's true hidden gems - and who doesn't love stuffing their face with cotton candy, churros, and fried candy bars?!?!
17. Casa Bonita
Everybody knows you go to this rowdy roadside attraction for the experience, not the food (although their soft, fluffy honey-drenched sopaipillas are heaven on a plate). But this 52,000-square-foot restaurant boasts endless entertainment, including cliff divers, puppet shows, Mariachi bands, secret hideouts, and men in gorilla suits, and that's really all you need to know. Don't ask - just go!
18. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
From awe-inspiring geological wonders to the legendary amphitheatre, Red Rocks Park offers 868 acres of nature trails, local wildlife, sweeping vistas, shopping, dining, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and more. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is "the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world," and the first documented performance took place in 1906. See a show, watch a film on the rocks, do yoga, and more at this legendary Denver haunt that is a definite must-see!
19. Rocker Spirits
This microdistillery and bar located in Littleton will wet your whistle with craft cocktails and small-batch spirits guaranteed to warm your heart and ease your mind. Try a classic or seasonal cocktail made with Rocker's whiskey, rum, or vodka, combined with fresh ingredients and mixed with tender loving care.
20. The Infinite Monkey Theorem
Denver's most hip, urban winery is the perfect spot to take a date or group of friends interested in learning more about the wine-making process through tours, tastings, and food pairings. They also host all sorts of booze and fun-filled events, including live music, outdoor yoga, and food trucks extravaganzas.
Infinite Monkey Theorem
is, "back alley winemaking at its finest!"
21. Mount Evans
Driving on the highest paved road in North America to the summit of a fourteener is undoubtedly an experience unique to the Mile High City! There are many picturesque spots along the way to stop and breathe in inspiration from the surrounding mountains, but when you reach the top of Mt. Evans at 14,260 feet, the view will leave you speechless. (Note: The road opens Memorial Day Weekend.)
22. Rocky Mountain National Park
There's a rumor that locals "hate" Rocky Mountain National Park (perhaps because a record-breaking 4 million visitors descended upon it last year), but that allegation is not entirely true and there are a few ways to at least attempt to avoid the masses. You can increase your chances of solitude by arriving at sunrise or sunset, exploring the less popular west side of the park, or acquiring a backcountry permit and venturing deep into the wilds. (Note: Colorado is also home to three other national parks that you won't want to miss- Mesa Verde, Black Canyon, and the Great Sand Dunes.)
23. Colorado State Parks
The glorious state of Colorado boasts 42 state parks, many of which are easily accessible from the metro area. Golden Gate Canyon, Roxborough, Castlewood Canyon, and Stauton State Park are just a few highlights, and you can find more information and the full list at
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
. We challenge you to conquer them all!