Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Denver is an outdoorsy kind of city. Many of the best things to do in town are outside, so you’ll fit in lots of fresh air and walking each time you step outside your vacation rental. If you’re visiting in the winter or just need an air-conditioned break, you can also find plenty of excellent museums to occupy your time.
- View Masterpieces at Denver Art Museum
This stunning building houses an extensive collection, including classics like Van Gogh, Monet and Degas, and you can expand your knowledge as you wander through exhibits of Native American art, textile art and photography. Even if you’re not an art fan, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
- Make Learning Fun at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
This museum packs a wealth of scientific topics into a single building. Whether you’re into paleontology, zoology, astronomy, anthropology or geology, you’re sure to learn something new. Come for the dinosaur bones and stay for the mummies.
- Wander Around Downtown Denver
Don’t be fooled by all the skyscrapers – Denver’s core has a wealth of historic buildings for you to explore. As you wander through the streets, be sure to work your way through the LoDo (Lower Downtown) area. This historic warehouse district is packed with sightseeing attractions, stores and breweries.
- Take a Drive to the Mount Evans Scenic Byway
If you miss out on the natural beauty surrounding Denver, you’ve only experienced half of what the city has to offer. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway offers easy access to the majesty of the Rockies, so even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you can still get ample photo opportunities. If you’re lucky, you might even see some mountain goats.
- Get a Feel for the Wild West at the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Celebrate the life of the wild west icon at this informative museum. This site is also Buffalo Bill’s burial place; it was his dying wish to be buried on this mountainside. Pack a picnic before you leave your vacation rental, as you’ll find plenty of trails and picnic tables to occupy the rest of your time.
- Shop Till You Drop at the 16th Street Mall
If you prefer fresh air, rest assured that the 16th Street Mall isn’t a stuffy indoor space. This outdoor shopping area boasts a mile of stores, making it a great place to pick up souvenirs or try out a new look.
- Take in a Show at Red Rocks Amphitheater
The Red Rocks Amphitheater hosts concerts, films and shows, but it’s worth going just to see the space. This outdoor theater is carved right into the red rock of the mountain. If you don’t want to see a show, you can also enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the area or take a tour.
- See the Trains Off at Denver Union Station
This historic landmark is still a working train station, so you can watch trains come and go as you admire the early 20th-century architecture. While you’re there, you can work in some shopping and grab a bite to eat, as this hub is also home to a shopping center.
- Try for a Hole in One or Listen to Jazz at City Park
Denver’s City Park is massive, offering a natural oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking for things to do in Denver, you can find lots to occupy your time here. The park contains a public golf course, soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and lakes. In the summer, you can also enjoy jazz concerts and other events.
- Chill Out With the Polar Bears at the Denver Zoo
Along with polar bears, you can catch glimpses of hyenas, kangaroos, tigers, monkeys and rhinos. This activity is great for all ages and is a wonderful way to spend a day outdoors. As the zoo is located in City Park, you can combine the two for lots of fun in the fresh air.