Do you ever just want to get out and explore the city, but the thought of fighting the crowds at some of the popular Denver attractions makes you cringe? It’s time to discover a few of the hidden gems of the Mile High City that offer an equally memorable experience, but simply don’t get as much traffic. Next time you’re in search of something fun to do, don’t miss these 10 local attractions that just might surprise you.
1. The Source
To get a true taste of the Region, you'll want to visit The Source. This new generation urban market occupies a former 1880s brick foundry building in Denver's RiNo district and offers guests a one-stop-shop to check out some of the best artisans in the area. Offering everything from freshly baked breads to craft cocktails and contemporary flower arrangements, this is a marketplace you don't want to miss. Added Bonus: Pop-up markets featuring products from both national and local artisans and makers are regularly scheduled at The Source as well. You'll find it at 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO 80216.
2. The Mercury Cafe
You may walk into this eccentric restaurant/dance hall and ask yourself, "What is this place?" You will soon discover a wonderful combination of dining, music, dance, and theatrical performances all wrapped up into The Mercury Cafe. You can eat in the Rose Dining Room with quiet, beautiful jazz and classical musicians playing in the background. Or, if you're looking for a little more lively entertainment, try The Jungle Dining Room which offers concerts, community theater, poetry slams, and film showings. Upstairs in the dance hall, you can can put on your dancing shoes and try a lesson (swing, salsa, tango, blues, and samba classes are offered). The Mercury Cafe is located at 2199 California St., Denver, CO 80205.
3. Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, & Toys
This small, charming museum is located in a historic home which sets the tone as you step back in time to relive your childhood. You will discover numerous treasures at The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys with their impressive collection of toys dating back to the 19th century, unique doll collection, and more miniatures than you've probably ever seen in one place before! Kids will love the "scavenger hunt" activity that keeps them engaged as they wander around this memorable museum, which is located at 1880 N Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80206.
4. Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey
Denver is known for its breweries, of course, but don't overlook this whiskey lovers promised land when in search of a tasting room and a little history behind a drink. Stranahan's has been making their smooth and flavorful Colorado-crafted single malt whiskey in Denver for over a decade. You are invited to come see where the magic happens with a tour and a tasting, or maybe you'd rather just sip on a cocktail in their new lounge. Stop by Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey at 200 S Kalamath St., Denver, CO 80223.
5. Infinite Monkey Theorem
Again, we don't usually associate Denver with wine, but you'll want to check out this industrial-chic urban winery in Denver's RiNo district. The Infinite Monkey Theorem primarily sources its grapes from Colorado's western slope and offers their wine bottled, kegged, or in a can. Their tasting room is open daily and you can join a guided tour, tasting five wines along the way. The Infinite Monkey Theorem also hosts food trucks and other social gatherings regularly. It is located at 3200 Larimer St., Denver CO 80205.
6. Clyfford Still Museum
You won't want to miss this breathtaking art museum that features the mysterious life and revolutionary art of Clyfford Still. With over 3,000 of his artworks in the museum's collection, you will be surrounded in a showcase of one of the most important American artists who was an originator of the Abstract Expressionist movement. The Clyfford Still Museum can found at 1250 Bannock St., Denver CO 80204.
7. Sloan's Lake Park
Often when looking for an unforgettable park to stroll around in Denver, our mind immediately jumps to Wash Park or City Park. But, Sloan's Lake Park, with it's spectacular views of both the city skyline and Rocky Mountains to the west is also a beautiful option. Found in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood, this 177 acre area is Denver's second largest park and offers jogging paths, grassy spots for a picnic, and a boat-friendly lake. It is located at 1700 N. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80212.
8. Punch Bowl Social
This is a true all-in-one attraction where you can devour Southern inspired, made-from-scratch food, grab a drink or two at the bar, and have a blast with old school entertainment (bowling, karaoke, shuffle board, etc.) all under one roof. Punch Bowl Social will have two locations in Denver where you can eat, drink, and be merry. One of which is a brand new spot at the old Stapleton Airport air traffic control tower that will be opening soon. It will be located at 3120 N. Uinta St., Denver, CO 80238.
9. The Wizard's Chest
This magical castle in the heart of Denver is a whimsical, colorful escape in the city that many associate as the place to shop for amazing Halloween costumes. This is true, of course, but what you might not realize is that this one-of-a-kind, family owned store is filled with many other wonderful delights as well. At The Wizard's Chest, you will feel like a kid again in the hands-on environment where you are encouraged to play throughout the entire store. Try your hand at juggling, or spinning a diablo. In-house magicians will astound you while performing tricks right before your eyes. Or, bring a friend and check out their demo board games, jigsaw puzzles, or science kits. The Wizard's Chest is located at 451 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.
10. Adams Mystery Playhouse
Become a part of the entertainment at Adams Mystery Playhouse where the suspense begins the moment you walk through the door as you mingle with the characters. This interactive dinner theater will allow you to help solve a humorous murder mystery as you dine on a buffet dinner in a unique mansion that used to serve as a mortuary. You'll find Adams Mystery Playhouse at 2406 Federal Blvd., Denver CO 80211.
What are some less-traveled Denver attractions that you enjoy? Please share in the comments below.
All of that exploring in the city can sure work up an appetite. Try one of these
unique Denver restaurants to fuel up and get back out there to discover more of what Denver has to offer!