Top 30 Denver Attractions & Things To Do You Won't Want To Miss

Last Updated on January 03, 2024 by Nikki Jain

Sitting at 5,280 feet in the sky is the city of Denver. This Colorado destination is commonly referred to as the Mile High City. A travel hotspot that is infamous for its endless outdoor activities and breathtaking mountain views. Denver is more than just an outdoor destination; it is a place filled with museums, art, dining and more. All of these Denver attractions draw over thirty million visitors to this area each year.

Don’t know where to start? There are plenty of things to do in Denver, whether you want to take a day trip to the mountains or explore the downtown attractions. Live music, local artists and Colorado history are just some of the reasons to visit here. Keep reading to learn all about the top tourist attractions in Denver, Colorado.

Things To Do in Denver

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1: Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Flickr/Barry Dale Gilfry

Get Rocky Mountain high by driving on the highest paved road in North America. You will drive nearly 9000 feet until you reach the top of Mt Evans, which is a Colorado 14er that sits at 14,264 feet in the sky.

Mt Evans is one of the 54 infamous Colorado 14ers, a mountain that peaks above 14,000 feet. As some trained adventurers climb this peak, the majority of visitors drive to it.

The drive begins by entering the Mt Evans booth. You will drive up windy mountain roads with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and towns below you. The drive has beautiful stop-offs, including Echo Lake & Summit Lake.

Did you know that Mt Evans is infamous for its mountain goats? It is common for them to walk right up to people at the summit.

Mountain goats are generally nice, but they are still wild animals. So it is always important to provide them some space while you snap some memorable photos.

As of 2021, there is a reservation system in place; buy your tickets in advance here. Mount Evans is a must-see during a trip to Denver, only a short 1 hour and 30 minute drive from the city.

Address: Mt Evans Rd, Evergreen, CO 80439

Also Read: 20 Best Hikes in Colorado You Don't Want to Miss

2: LoDo Historic District

LoDo Historic District
Flickr/Harshil Shah

The Lower Downtown District of Denver is commonly known as LoDo to Denver locals.

LoDo is Denver's oldest and liveliest neighborhood and sits in the heart of downtown. It stretches from Commons Park all the way to 16th Street Mall.

This area is home to some of the top-rated restaurants in the city. A fun drinking & dining experience is the Denver Milk Market.

A one-stop shop with bars, dine-in restaurants and coworking spaces. Afterward, shop till you drop in Lodo with tons of local boutiques and stores. LoDo is packed with things to do and attracts travelers from all over the world!

Address: Lower Downtown, Denver, CO 80202

3: Larimer Square

Larimer Square

One of the hottest tourist attractions in Denver, Colorado, is Larimer Square. A historic block that is filled with dining and shopping. This is the oldest block in the city and was established in the early 1400s.

Today, Larimer Square has over fifteen cafes and restaurants. Enjoy delicious food and wine at Cru Food & Wine Bar. A local favorite with cheese from around the world and an extensive wine menu.

Larimer Square is a fun area to explore Denver's nightlife scene. From Jazz Bars to Comedy Shows, this square has something for everyone.

After dinner, shop till you drop at one of their twenty local stores. During the holidays, the square is dressed up in holiday lights. Take a horse and carriage ride down the street or take a winter walk under the twinkling lights.

Address: Larimer St, Denver, CO

4: Colorado Convention Center

Colorado Convention Center
Flickr/Steven Gerner

Although there are plenty of things to do in the Convention Center itself, one of the biggest attractions is actually the giant blue bear outside of the building, which appears to be peeking into the center's interior. This 40-feet tall bear is a great photo opportunity while being a great representation of Colorado's artistic minds, as it was created by Colorado-based artist Lawrence Argent.

Address: 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202

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5: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

Located in the City Park area of Denver is the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This quirky museum is filled with tons of learning opportunities.

Visit their special exhibitions, such as the Space Odyssey and Egyptian Mummies. Catch a film at their three-story high Imax Theatre in Phipps Auditorium.

Films range from movies about ocean reefs to exotic African animals. Afterward, lounge back in the Gates Planetarium. Here, you can learn about black holes, volcanoes and the cosmic journey of the stars and constellations. 

Their science collections include Earth Sciences and Health Sciences. Ask the museum's guides about Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Paleontology.

The museum also offers Virtual Experiences for those looking to learn from home. If you are planning to visit the museum, be sure to check out their events page.

Some of their events offer live music or hands-on educational experience. This Denver attraction is an interactive and fun way to learn in the Mile High City.

Address: 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205

6: Adam's Mystery Playhouse

Adam's Mystery Playhouse

Normally you would not want to witness a murder when visiting Denver, Colorado. Adams Mystery Playhouse is the only exception!

A local hidden gem that hosts Murder Mystery Dinners at their theatre. The shows are performed Friday and Saturday nights year-round with select Thursdays. Over the past few years, it has become one of the fun attractions in Denver.

The shows include a delicious dinner, including season menus. Dishes range from Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken to homemade bread and butter.

Adams Mystery Playhouse is rated a funny and great time to enjoy with friends and family. They do fun themes such as Murder at the Tiki Bar and Murder in Hollywood. Get tickets to these unique shows on their website here.

Address: 2406 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80211

7: Molly Brown House Museum

Molly Brown House Museum
Flickr/Ken Lund

Margaret Tobin Browns was a Titanic survivor who was a philanthropist and activist. Margaret, also known as Molly, lived in this house with her husband in the late 1800s.

They renovated the house when they bought it and rented it out to wealthy people, while Molly and her husband traveled the world.

When Molly passed away in 1932, the house was altered into Jane Addams Hull Home for Girls. In 1970 the city wanted to demolish the home, but the citizens of Denver would not let that happen. They saved the historic house from its demise, and it is now protected under Historic Denver Inc.

Now it is known as the Molly Brown House Museum. You can do a private tour for only $22 per adult to learn about the home.

The House Museum brings you through the three floors and sixteen rooms. Stunning floor to ceiling bookcases lines the spectacular library.

Come visit the "Unsinkable Molly Brown"'s home and learn all about the history that comes along with it. Molly's infamous quote, "I am a daughter of adventure", is a quote we should all live by and follow at this Denver attraction.

Address: 1340 Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80203

8: Confluence Park

Confluence Park
Flickr/Simon Foot

You can find this stunning river park in the center of the city's 850 miles of bike trails. From here, you're just minutes away from a number of Denver attractions, including the Platte River Trolley, which can take you to the Downtown Aquarium, the Children's Museum, and the neighborhoods of LoHi, Riverfront, and Highlands.

Address: 2250 15th St, Denver, CO 80202

9: Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

A preferred stop on the Broadway touring circuit is the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. A special place that provides live theatre, plays and even acting classes.

Located in Downtown Denver is this four block, twelve-acre area of art and performance. This non-profit organization provides Broadway tours, local theatre productions and intimate shows.

With eight theatres in the area, your options are endless. Visit the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, a world-class hall that is designed for acoustics. Popular plays are showcased here, including the famous To Kill a Mockingbird.

The largest theatre in Denver Center for the Performing Arts is The Buell Theatre. This spot is known for producing large scale-musicals with special effects.

Whether you want to see a play or musical, the Denver Center for Performing Arts has you covered. Check out their schedule and buy tickets on their website here. Denver Center for the Performing Arts is one of the most artistic things to do in Denver.

Address: 1101 13th St, Denver, CO 80204

10: Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens

Located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood is the Denver Botanical Gardens. A public botanical garden that has a conservatory as well as themed gardens.

Explore the 24 acres of remarkable plants and flowers. They offer five different gardens that are separated by region.

The plants showcased in their Gardens of the West collection are made for Colorado weather and are typically offered year-long. Examples include cactuses and dwarf conifer.

Their Internationally Inspired Gardens will teach you about plants from Japan, China, South Africa and the Tropics.

For the brutal heat wave days, check out the Shady Gardens. A garden specifically designed to keep you cool while enjoying colorful flowers.

The botanical gardens are a beautiful place to take a break, grab a coffee and walk around the gorgeous floral paths.

Address: 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206

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11: Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

Calling all art enthusiasts! The Denver Art Museum is located near Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver.

The museum is filled with both temporary and permanent art exhibitions. This includes the 19th Century Art Exhibition for European and American Art. Opening in October 2021 is the new and expanded Lanny & Sharon Martin Building.

There are eight levels of art, including Oceanic Art, Contemporary Art, Asian Art and more. There is even a Rooftop Terrace that showcases Western American Art.

After marveling at the beautiful artwork, indulge in some delicious dining. There are two new dining options located on level one of the museum.

The Ponti restaurant offers locally sourced dishes. If you are looking to relax at a Cafe, visit Cafe Gio. Both options include indoor or outdoor seating. Grab a bite and learn all about these famous artists at this Denver attraction.

Address: 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204

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Also Read: 20 Best Art Museums in the USA

12: Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo
Dreamstime/Carey Samford

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! These are just some of the animals you will get to see at the Denver Zoo.

This zoo was founded in 1896 and is owned by the city of Denver. It is the most paid attraction in the metro Denver area.

This 80-acre zoo is filled with exotic animals and mammals. Penguins, African lions, Flamingos, Elephants and Rhinoceros are just a few to name.

Join one of their Zoo Tales classes! Learn from animal keepers and vets as they tell you stories about the animals in the zoo.

The classes include history on the animals as well as a day in the life of a zookeeper. Denver Zoo offers tons of events throughout the year, making it one of the best things to do in Denver.

Check out their event schedule here to have a truly unique experience. The Denver Zoo is rated one of the top-rated zoos in the country and one of the best places to visit in Denver.

Address: 2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205

Also Read: 30 Best Zoos in the USA

13: Colorado State Capitol

Colorado State Capitol

Located next to Civic Center Park is the Colorado State Capitol building. This building was built in the 1890s and is located on the busy street of Colfax in Denver.

Most of the windows are stained glass which displays people and events about Colorado. The building is even made of the only known supply of Rose Onyx, which is a rare rose marble from Beulah, Colorado.

Visitors can either tour the building at their own leisure or explore with their own official tour guide. Afterward, spend some time outdoors at Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park. Layout a blanket and relax on the Capitol's lawn.

In the summer months, Civic Center Park, which is located across the street, has local food trucks. Civic Center Park is one of the best attractions in Denver.

Concerts and shopping bazaars are located here seasonally. Make sure to check the event calendar here to make a day out of it!

Address: 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203

Also Read: Most Beautiful State Capitol Buildings in the USA

14: Coors Field

Coors Field

When Baseball is in season, Coors Field opens its doors to its fans. Home to the Colorado Rockies, this Major League Baseball Stadium opened in 1995.

It is located in the Lower Downtown neighborhood of Denver, also known as LoDo to locals. Coors Field is conventionally located only two blocks from Union Station, which is Denver's train station that goes to and from Denver International Airport.

Get a ticket to a home game! The stadium holds over 50,000 guests and even provides firework shows on select games. Before or after the game, grab a bite.

The brand new McGregor Square is a new food area that opened in 2021. This plaza is home to seven local dining options and even has a hotel on site, The Rally Hotel.

A perfect spot for those looking to attend a Rockies Game, just across the street from Coors Field. Check out the Rockies schedule here.

Address: 2001 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205

15: Denver Mint

Denver Mint

Show me the money! The Denver Mint is a part of the United States Mint that made its first coins in 1906. To this day, the mint is still producing coins.

What makes this place so special? The Denver Mint is the single largest producer of coins in the world. It was also featured in the movie Cliffhanger, featuring Sylvester Stallone in 1993.

You can tour the Denver Mint for free in person. The tour showcases the process of coinmaking as well as the history of the building.

Take a piece of history home with you by purchasing a genuine mint coin at the gift shop on your way out.

Address: 320 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204

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16: Denver Public Library

Denver Public Library

Located next to the Denver Art Museum is a bookworm's dream, the Denver Public Library.

The library is home to a collection of two million items. This includes books, movies, music, photographs and more.

The library was created in 1878 with the donation of books from city teachers and locals. In 1910 the library building was built. Prior to being built, the librarians would use a trunk to carry the books around town.

Today, the library has a very large collection of Western History books and photographs. It is now an exhibit that is located on the fifth floor of the library.

Events are hosted at the library, depending on the time of year. Story Telling sessions and book readings are just a few to name.

Visit the library and cozy up with one of their many books during your time in Denver, Colorado.

Address: 10 W 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80204

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17: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Nestled on the outskirts of downtown Denver is Elitch Gardens. A theme and water park that opened back in the 1800s. It was the first amusement park to be built in an urban area within the United States.

This famous park was purchased by Six Flags back in 1998 but was resold back in 2007 to Herschend Family Entertainment. There is a lot of history packed into this park.

Even though it is not as big as some other theme parks, Elitch Gardens has tons of options! Get terrified with over six roller coasters and endless thrill rides.

In the summer months, their water park is open for those hot Colorado days. The water park is free with theme park admission, making it a fantastic deal! Grab a tube and float in the lazy river at this vacation spot in Denver.

Recommended: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park Ticket

Address: 2000 Elitch Cir, Denver, CO 80204

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Also Read: 25 Best Amusement Parks in the USA

18: Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium is one of the best tourist spots in Denver. It hosts over 500 species of animals and even an interactive Stingray Reef that you can touch.

You can even visit the Mystic Mermaids! This interactive and family-fun show allows you to watch the mermaids swimming alongside sea creatures with lively music.

You will work up an appetite after walking through this 107,000 square foot destination. Grab a much-needed meal at their Aquarium Restaurant. They offer seafood specials, pasta, chicken and more, all while being surrounded by their 50,000-gallon aquarium.

Laugh and drink with friends and family while over a hundred species of vibrant, colorful fish surround you. They even have a happy hour menu available Monday through Friday.

Address: 700 Water St, Denver, CO 80211

Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the USA

19: Clyfford Still Museum

Clyfford Still Museum
Flickr/Tom Byrne

Clyfford Still is an artist who uses abstract shapes and vibrant colors in his paintings. He was unwilling to sell his art for money or recognition. He simply just paints to express an idea or intense feeling he has.

His paintings are filled with unique stores and life. Despite not wanting recognition, he most certainly earned it, which is why the Clyfford Still Museum is one of the hidden gems in Denver.

Explore nine galleries of Clyfford Still's artwork and learn about the stories behind the paintings. The museum offers a hands-on art creation studio and entertainment events.

You can take a tour or talk about the artwork on their outdoor terrace. Be sure to follow the event page, as they have indoor and outdoor concerts throughout the year.

Address: 1250 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

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20: Forney Museum of Transportation

Forney Museum of Transportation
Flickr/Purple Bullet

Located in northwest Denver is a unique museum that features vintage cards and transportation.

The Forney Museum of Transportation features over 600 artifacts relating to the history of transportation. Vehicles include motorcycles, steam locomotives, aircraft, rail equipment and more.

The museum is a non-profit organization that collects historical exhibit items. It is named after J.D. Forney, the founder of the museum who lived in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Today they offer events and group tours. Tour guides will explain how motors and steam locomotives work while showing you real life artifacts. You can even adopt an artifact to help donate to the upkeep and growth of the museum.

Address: 4303 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216

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21: American Museum of Western Art

American Museum of Western Art

Located off of Broadway is a historic structure that showcases Western Art. The American Museum of Western Art displays paintings from the present day all the way back to the 1800s. The gallery has three floors and ranges from historic to modern.

The museum is self-guided, which allows you to take your time and explore the artwork. It is only $5 to visit the museum, making it an affordable option in the city.

They are proudly a Blue Star Museum, which means a free admission is offered to all active-duty military personnel and their families.

Address: 1727 Tremont Pl, Denver, CO 80202

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22: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Looking to time travel? Then this Denver museum is for you! The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art allows you to view over 150 years of art. Displaying collections that have over 30,000 works of art by 1,500 artists.

The new building, which sits in the Golden Triangle neighborhood of Denver, just opened in 2019. The magnificent museum was designed by Jim Olson, a Seattle architect.

There are three different exhibits offered at this special gallery.

The first exhibit is from the 1870s and reveals international decorative art. The second exhibit shows Colorado and regional art from 1845 until today. Perfect for those wanting to learn about Colorado history and culture.

The last exhibit focuses on Vance Kirkland, who the museum was named after. He lived in Colorado and provided local art in the 1900s. Plan your visit here and take a historical journey through the art of Colorado.

Address: 1201 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

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23: Children's Museum of Denver

Children's Museum of Denver

A 46,902 square-foot building located on the Marsico Campus in Denver is a children's playground.

The Children's Museum is a fun activity and should be on your list of things to see in Denver. Their target audience ranges from newborns to eight years old, but everyone is welcome at this interesting museum.

There are four different exhibits named: investigate, imagine, explore and crate.

The Investigate exhibit offers hands-on activities for children to learn about water, kinetics, bubbles and energy.

The Imagine exhibit allows them to pretend they are firefighters, vets, market owners and librarians. This interactive exhibit provides real-life situations that let the children "save the day".

Learn all about canyons, adventure, forests and more at the Explore exhibit. Most importantly, the Create exhibit allows the future leaders of the country to create their own art.

Address: 2121 Children's Museum Dr, Denver, CO 80211

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24: Denver Firefighters Museum

Denver Firefighters Museum

Located in the heart of downtown is the Denver Firefighters Museum. This museum is an actual firehouse that was built and used in the early 1900s.

Today, the space is used to teach visitors about fire safety and the history of firefighters in Denver.

Walk around this historic firehouse and learn about the daily life of a Denver Firefighter. The museum has collections of artifacts and photographs that were donated over the years. An educational Denver destination to add to your list!

Address: 1326 Tremont Pl, Denver, CO 80204

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25: Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Spend your day in the sun at this 3,346 acre State Park. Cherry Creek State Park, located in south Denver, is a natural prairie and wetland.

The park is home to an 880-acre reservoir, a fun place to have a beach day! Dock your boat at the boathouse or rent jet skis in the summer months. You can even go fishing or relax on the sandy beach.

For those looking to get some exercise outdoors, there are 12 miles of paved roads and thirty miles of trails. Ideal for running, cycling and horseback riding.

Wildlife is common in this protected area. Rabbit, coyote, beaver, raccoon and deer are just a few animals you may spot during your time at Cherry Creek State Park.

Keep in mind; there is a fee of $11 per vehicle to enter. This unique park is one of the top tourist spots in Denver.

Address: 4201 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014

26: Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Dream, Innovate, Fly. That is the slogan at the Wings Over The Rockies Museum. The museum's mission is to educate people of all ages about space and aviation.

It is located in the former Lowry Air Force Base that was built in 1937. This base was the original site of the United States Air Force Academy. The museum became official in 1994 and has opened its doors ever since.

Currently, they draw over 160,000 visitors a year. So it is no wonder they were named one of the Top 20 Aviation Museums in the World by CNN.

Come tour their extensive list of aircraft exhibits and space and rocky exhibits. If you are feeling adventurous, indulge in their Simulator Experience. A five-minute hands-on activity that shows you what it is like to fly a plane! Visit this special museum during your visit to Denver.

Address: 7711 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO 80230

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27: Washington Park

Washington Park
Flickr/Jeffrey Beall

Washington Park, frequently referred to as Wash Park, is a suburb in southern Denver. This area is a local's hot spot for exercise and events.

The park offers two lakes, which you can kayak or paddleboard in. Yoga paddle boarding events are a popular activity in the summer.

Grab a coffee from Wash Perk, a local coffee shop, before walking the 2.3-mile loop. The park is a very active area. You will almost always spot people walking their dogs or going for a run here.

If relaxing is more your style, then lay out a blanket on the lawn and dive into a book for the day. Whatever your hobby may be, Wash Park is the place to do it! This place is one of the favorite things to do in Denver for both locals and tourists alike.

Address: S. Downing St. & E. Louisiana Ave, Denver, CO 80209

28: 16th Street Mall

16th Street Mall

16th Street Mall is a staple in Denver, Colorado. The mall is 1.25 miles long and is located outdoors.

This area is so big it even offers a free shuttle that takes you from one side of the mall to another. There is no driving on this street since the hop on and off shuttle is the primary source of transportation.

The Denver Pavilions are an accessible shopping area on 16th street. Popular stores such as H&M, Bath & Body Works, Express and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are just some to name.

Walk around the mall, which is located outside and get some much needed shopping done. Famous restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe and Mellow Mushroom line the street.

Grab a drink on one of the restaurant patios and enjoy the local street musicians. 16th Street Mall is a must-see and needs to be added to every visitor's explore list for Denver.

Address: 1001 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80265

29: Lakeside Amusement Park

Lakeside Amusement Park
Flickr/Jesse James

This family-owned amusement park is located in Lakeside, Colorado, which is northwest of the downtown area.

Lakeside Amusement Park opened in 1908 and is one of only thirteen trolley parks still operating. This amusement park is very old school, which makes it a fun day trip!

Ride the Ferris Wheel or Merry-Go-Round. Enjoy their Cyclone Coaster or get competitive on Bumper Cars. They have eighteen big rides and twelve little rides.

There is an entrance fee and ride coupons can be purchased at the park. "It's Time To Have Fun Again" is Lakeside Amusement Park's quote, so grab a ride coupon and have some fun yourself!

Address: 4601 Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80212

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30: Great Divide Brewing Co

Great Divide Brewing Co

Only a half of a mile walk from Coors Field is the Great Divide Brewing Co. In 1994, their journey started when they began to brew an extensive list of beers.

The brewery building was built in 2001, right in the heart of Denver. They now have sixteen beers on tap, some that are seasonally rotated.

Great Divide Brewing Co has earned many awards over the years including 18 Great American Beer Festival medals and named Top Brewers In The World by RateBeer.

Taste it for yourself! Stop by for a cold one when visiting their Ball Park location. Their Tap Room has a patio to be enjoyed in the warmer months.

Be sure to take a tour of the brewery and learn about how they brew their beers. Food trucks are on-site daily and you can check which ones are stopping by on their website.

If you are in a rush, you can get a six pack to go from their Beer To-Go list. Great Divide Brewing Co. is on the list of things to do in Denver for all beer lovers!

Address: 2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205

Plan your trip to Denver soon!

You'd be surprised to find so many things to do in Denver! Watch live music outdoors at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Marvel at paintings in a historic museum. Whatever your preference may be, these top Denver attractions are for you. You can take in the views of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains while walking the lively city streets. Most importantly, make sure to spend your trip exploring the Mile High City, a great addition to every traveler’s bucket list.

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