Denver is a mecca of things to do, see and experience for the whole family. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a country music fan or a card-carrying foodie, there’s something for you to do in Denver!
Here are our top ten vacation ideas for things to do in Denver, Colorado.
Things to Do in Denver If You’re a Foodie
Food tourism is huge, and Denver has some serious chops when it comes to unique bars, restaurants and concept cafes. A quick scan of Yelp reviews will tell you that the oak-roasted mussels at Acorn are worth raving over, and the Mexican / Syrian/ Ethiopian lunch spot at Cobal is a must-try. Every day there are new flavors appearing on the Denver food scene, led by world-famous chefs and sommeliers.
If you love to eat your way through new destinations, research some of Denver’s top restaurants and cafes for culinary inspiration. Or, if you’re not sure where to begin, check out The 38 Essential Denver Restaurants from Winter 2019.
Denver is very famous for the food of our Southern neighbors. You can find virtually any type of Mexican taco in Colorado’s capital and some consider Denver to have some of the best Mexican food in the country. We guarantee that your vacation to Denver will be delicious, and the hardest thing to do will be picking out the entree on your menu!
Things to Do in Denver if You Love Music
Denver has a long and storied history of music and culture, making it a great city to vacation in.
The Grizzly Rose (hey, that’s us!) has been around since 1989 and is one of the greatest honky tonks you’ll find in Denver and dare we say the world! Country music stars have played our stage regularly, including Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith, and Jason Aldean, among many more. We have a 2,500-foot hardwood dance floor, private banquet rooms and dance rooms, and a stage that lets you see country greats from just feet away. We also host live country music bands six nights a week! If you’re a country music fan in Denver, the Grizzly Rose is where you want to be.
Most of the time when you picture the Denver music scene, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and its many famous performers come to mind. This amphitheater is naturally formed and bordered by long walking trails through a national park. Catching a show here is out of this world, and a crowd favorite!
The Bluebird Theater is another must-see concert venue. The Bluebird hosts more than 250 shows a year, with a solid mix of big names and new faces to entertain Denver’s music scene. It was built in 1913 and has seen many incarnations, including a movie house, before becoming the musical pillar it is today in 1994.
If you are looking for live music during your Denver vacation, check out our upcoming shows.
Things to Do in Denver if You’re With Kids
Denver is blessed with tons of kid-friendly activities available all year long. From the city zoo and ice skating to jungle adventures…you’re guaranteed to find something for kids of all ages to enjoy.
While Denver is landlocked, it’s still home to the largest aquarium between Chicago and California. The Downtown Aquarium is home to thousands of ocean species including sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, sea otters, and more. For animals of a different nature, a visit to the City Park Zoo is also a treat. In fact, Denver’s City Park is home to the zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science Discovery Zone, two ponds, a golf course and tons of walking trails.
For a thrilling escape just outside of downtown, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park makes a fun-filled day for the whole family. The summer concert series alone is worth considering for your list of Denver vacation ideas. Just be sure that everyone is 48 inches or taller!
For more Denver vacation ideas, read our article on family-friendly Denver winter activities.
Things to Do in Denver If You’re a History Buff
If you love learning about your travel destination through landmarks, museums and points of historical interest, Denver has a lot to offer. To make the most of your Denver vacation, here are some of our favorite sights to see in the Mile High City:
- Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum: This aviation museum is housed in the old Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. The mission of the museum is to inspire, educate, and entertain the public where it concerns aviation and space endeavors. With some 50 aircraft and a few flight simulator experiences, we think it definitely does just that! It also has an attached event space for weddings, banquets and parties.
- Forney Museum of Transportation: This museum is a fast favorite of car buffs and anyone with a passing interest in transportation. One display that usually shocks first-time goers is the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 steam train locomotive housed indoors. Nicked-named “Big Boy,” it is the largest steam train in existence. You’re able to see and touch this behemoth of a train, as well as examine the many controls inside. As you walk around the vintage Ford Model-T’s and Plymouths and admire the 50’s Chevelle’s and caddies, you’ll spend a few hours admiring the progress of transportation in our country and the world.
- The Molly Brown Museum: The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, famed survivor of the Titanic is a loved historical figure in Denver history and a must-see for history buffs on vacation here. Those who take the tour of her stately Victorian mansion-turned-museum will learn a lot about this woman ahead of her time. You’ll also get to tour a beautiful Victorian home filled with artifacts of the time period and hear stories and facts about Margaret and her life. The hour-long tour flies by and is immensely popular, so make sure to snag your tickets in advance.