When you’re traveling to a new place, it’s essential to step out of your comfort zone and seek out experiences that let you truly immerse yourself in the local culture. While traditional museums can be great for learning about history, they might not always capture the essence of a place. However, if you’re looking to discover the unique and awe-inspiring side of Denver, Colorado, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will take you on a journey through the city’s stunning natural landscapes, dynamic cultural scene, and buzzing craft beer culture, giving you a taste of what makes Denver such an extraordinary destination. So whether you’re a nature lover, culture vulture, or simply looking for some great beer, read on to discover the best and most unforgettable experiences that await you in Denver.
1. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a must-do activity when visiting Denver, as the city is surrounded by some of the most incredible rock formations in the United States. With the Rocky Mountains on its doorstep, Denver offers a plethora of opportunities for climbers of all levels to experience the thrill of scaling steep cliffs and boulders. From beginner-friendly indoor climbing gyms to world-class outdoor climbing destinations like Eldorado Canyon and Boulder Canyon, Denver has something to offer for everyone. Not only does rock climbing provide a unique and exhilarating way to explore the natural beauty of the region, but it also offers a great workout and the chance to challenge oneself mentally and physically. So, whether you’re an experienced climber or just starting out, rock climbing in Denver is an adventure that you won’t want to miss. Denver Climbing Company offers beginner friendly classes and adventures. All equipment is included and they even take pictures for free! Plus, this is one of the few outdoor activities that can be experienced all year.
2. White Water Rafting
White water rafting is a thrilling and adventurous activity that should be on every visitor’s bucket list when visiting Denver. With its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers numerous opportunities for white water rafting trips on the Arkansas River, Clear Creek, and the Colorado River. This exhilarating experience provides an adrenaline rush as you navigate through the rapids and soak up the stunning scenery of the surrounding wilderness. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rafter, there are plenty of guided tours available that cater to all skill levels. So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Denver, white water rafting is a must-do activity that should not be missed! Check out AVA Rafting to book a trip near Denver.
3. The Georgetown Loop Railroad
Visiting the Georgetown Loop Railroad is a must-do activity when visiting Denver. This historic train journey takes you on a scenic ride through the Rocky Mountains, showcasing stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The train journey covers 3 miles of track and crosses over the famous Devil’s Gate Bridge, which is a marvel of engineering and architecture. The train ride also provides a glimpse into the mining history of Colorado, with stops at the Lebanon Silver Mine and the historic town of Georgetown. In addition to the train ride, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, museums, and shopping in the area. The Georgetown Loop Train is a perfect activity for families, couples, and anyone looking for a unique and memorable experience in Denver. Learn more here.
4. The Great Divide Brewing Company
When visiting Denver, a visit to the Great Divide Brewing Company is a must for beer lovers. This award-winning brewery has been crafting delicious and innovative beers since 1994 and has become a local institution. Visitors can experience the brewery’s creations by visiting their tasting room, where they offer a variety of beers on tap, including exclusive and seasonal brews. Additionally, the brewery offers behind-the-scenes tours where visitors can witness the brewing process up close and learn about the history of the company. The knowledgeable staff is happy to share their passion for brewing and answer any questions visitors may have. The Great Divide Brewing Company is a perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Denver’s craft beer scene.
5. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a unique destination that offers visitors an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This scenic drive is the highest paved road in North America, reaching an elevation of 14,130 feet above sea level. The breathtaking views along the way showcase the stunning alpine landscape, from towering granite peaks to verdant forests and pristine lakes. The byway also passes through a diverse range of ecosystems, from the subalpine and alpine tundra to the montane forests, providing a unique opportunity to witness the region’s natural beauty. Visitors can also stop at the Mount Evans Summit, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and is home to a variety of alpine wildlife, including bighorn sheep and mountain goats. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to experience the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. It is only opened seasonally and requires a reservation. You can check out these details here.
6. Hiking Red Rocks Amphitheater
Hiking at Red Rocks Amphitheater is a unique experience that combines breathtaking scenery, outdoor recreation, and Denver’s rich cultural history. This iconic venue, known for its natural acoustics and stunning red sandstone formations, has hosted legendary performances from some of the biggest names in music. Beyond the amphitheater, the park offers a variety of hiking trails that wind through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area. The park’s unique geology and flora make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Additionally, the park’s history with the city of Denver dates back over a century, when city officials recognized the potential of the red rocks formations as a natural amphitheater. Today, Red Rocks is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike and continues to be a cultural icon and a natural wonder of Denver. The main venue is closed when hosting events but there are plenty of trails around the mountainsides to explore the beautiful red rock.
7. Day Trip to Golden
A day trip to the town of Golden from Denver is a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore a charming Colorado town. The town’s Main Street offers a picturesque stroll, with an array of shops, restaurants, and galleries to explore. Visitors can also take a tour of the original Coors Brewery, which has been operating in Golden since 1873 and is one of the largest breweries in the world. For those seeking outdoor adventure, tubing down Clear Creek is a popular activity during the summer months, providing a refreshing way to beat the heat. Additionally, Golden is known for its excellent rock climbing, with local cliffs offering a range of routes for climbers of all levels. Whether you’re looking to explore the town’s cultural and historical offerings or seeking outdoor adventure, a day trip to Golden is a great way to experience the best of Colorado.
8. The Argo Gold Mine and Tunnels
The Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel is a unique destination that offers visitors a glimpse into Colorado’s rich mining history. This historic mill and tunnel, which dates back to the late 1800s, is located in the heart of Idaho Springs, a short drive from Denver. Visitors can take a tour of the mill, where they can see the original equipment used to process ore and extract gold from the surrounding mountains. The highlight of the tour is a ride on a mining tram that takes visitors deep into the tunnel, providing an immersive experience into the mining process. In addition to the historical significance of the site, the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is located in a picturesque area that offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and fishing. Whether you’re a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, a visit to the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel is a unique and memorable experience that should not be missed.
9. Exploring Meow Wolf Denver
Meow Wolf Convergence Station in Denver is a must-see attraction that offers a mind-bending and immersive experience that defies description. This unique art exhibit, which is located in the heart of Denver, features a surreal and fantastical world filled with interactive installations, mind-bending technology, and otherworldly environments. Visitors can explore the exhibit’s many rooms and passages, which are designed to transport them to a different dimension, where reality and imagination blend seamlessly. The exhibit features a variety of artistic styles, including sculpture, painting, and multimedia, and offers something for everyone, from children to adults. The experience is truly one-of-a-kind and offers a unique opportunity to escape reality and explore the limits of creativity and imagination. Meow Wolf Denver is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Denver’s art scene and an unforgettable adventure that will leave you mesmerized and inspired.