Want to see Denver’s best in just half a day? Say you’re in Denver on business or heading up to a mountain resort, and you only have a few hours or half-day to explore. You’re in luck. We’ve got you covered with an art district just five minutes from downtown, and quiet foothill walks, brewery tours and lively pedestrian malls. You can reach all of them via public transportation, Uber, Lyft or cab. Many are family friendly.
Denver Art Museum
The Hamilton Building, designed by Daniel Lebiskind, attracts visitors from around the world because of its modern architecture. The North Building is currently closed for a major renovation and will reopen in 2020. All exhibits and programs are presented in the Hamilton Building. The child-friendly art museum is filled with displays kids can touch and places where they can play.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
One of Denver’s most popular attractions, the 500,000 sq ft. museum contains more than a million objects. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science includes permanent exhibits on North American Indian Cultures, dinosaurs, gems and minerals and a Space Odyssey exhibit.
A roomful of gold bullion and watching coins being made? A Denver Mint tour is one of the most popular attractions in Mile High City. The Denver Mint was established in 1863, and today, all circulating coins are struck here. Book the free tour as far in advance as possible.
The Art District on Santa Fe stretches between Alameda and 12th Street, but the majority of art galleries and studios lie between 6th and 10th streets. Find a walking map on the Art District of Santa Fe website.
The Denver Zoo has almost 4,000 animals and uses natural settings instead of barred cages. Favorite exhibits include Bear Mountain, Predator (felines) Ridge and Monkey Island. Check the web site for feeding schedules and shows.
The CELL, a small museum across from the Denver Art Museum, is a non-profit institution dedicated to educating citizens about the realities of global terrorism threats. The experience is electric.
Walking, Biking and Jogging Trails
Denver has more than 80 miles of walking, jogging and biking trails within the city limits, and many more choices in city-owned parks in the foothills outside of Denver. Find a good list, along with starting points and trail lengths, at walking, bicycling and jogging trails.
Visit LoDo in Downtown Denver
If you’re south of Denver at the Tech Center and want to walk along downtown Denver’s 16th Street Pedestrian Mall or shop in LoDo (as Denverites call lower downtown), hop aboard the Light Rail at Belleview, Orchard, Arapahoe or Dry Creek.
Do you have time to take in a baseball, hockey or football game?
Coors Field is the home of the Colorado Rockies. Little known fact: the 20th row in the upper deck is painted purple to designate a mile above sea level. Check the web site for game days, single tickets and promotions.
The Pepsi Center, home to the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth (lacrosse), is a great sports venue. Come early and eat here.
You’ll have a tough time getting tickets to our Bronco games, especially since they won Super Bowl 50. Games have been sold out for years but many season ticket holders sell their tickets through the NFL Ticket Exchange online.
A complete list of sporting events and links for buying tickets is at Denver Sports.
Quick Escapes Near Denver
Prowl the Boulder Pearl Street Mall. Catch an express RTD bus to Boulder from Denver’s downtown Union Station.
Gambling in Blackhawk or Central City
To reach Blackhawk or Central City, hop on a casino shuttle.