Denver County, Colorado: What To See and Do


Denver County, Colorado, is a thriving urban center that attracts millions of visitors each year with its unique blend of city amenities and natural wonders. As the most populous county in the state, Denver offers a diverse array of experiences for travelers, from world-class museums and cultural events to outdoor adventures in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun-filled getaway, Denver County has something to offer.


  • Denver County is home to a wide range of attractions, including museums, parks, and cultural events.
  • The county's proximity to the Rocky Mountains provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.
  • Denver's vibrant food scene, diverse neighborhoods, and friendly locals make it a welcoming destination for all types of travelers.

Local Experiences and Culture

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Denver’s local culture is by exploring its diverse neighborhoods. From the trendy RiNo (River North) Art District, known for its street art and craft breweries, to the historic LoDo (Lower Downtown) area, with its Victorian buildings and lively nightlife, each neighborhood has its own unique character.

Denver’s thriving food scene is another highlight, offering everything from farm-to-table restaurants to international cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the city’s famous green chile, a spicy stew that’s a staple of Denver’s culinary landscape.

Iconic Routes and Scenic Drives

While metro Denver itself offers plenty to see and do, the surrounding areas are equally impressive. Embark on a scenic drive along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which takes you to the summit of one of Colorado’s famous “fourteeners” (peaks over 14,000 feet). Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning Rocky Mountain views and opportunities to spot wildlife like bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

Another popular route is the Lariat Loop, a 40-mile scenic byway that connects several charming mountain towns and parks, including Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, a unique concert venue set among towering red rock formations.

Outdoor Adventure and Recreation

With the Rocky Mountains right in its backyard, Denver County is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. In the summer, you can hike or bike along hundreds of miles of trails, ranging from easy nature walks to challenging mountain treks. Some popular hiking spots include the Denver Mountain Parks system and the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

In the winter, Denver’s proximity to world-class ski resorts like Breckenridge and Vail makes it an ideal base for a ski or snowboarding trip. Even if you don’t hit the slopes, you can enjoy other winter activities like snowshoeing, ice skating, and sledding.

Seasonal Events and Festivities

No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something happening in Denver County. In the fall, don’t miss the Great American Beer Festival, which brings together hundreds of breweries from across the country for a three-day celebration of craft beer.

During the winter months, the Denver Christkindl Market transforms Civic Center Park into a festive German-style holiday market, complete with twinkling lights, handmade crafts, and delicious food and drink.

In the summer, the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre hosts a series of concerts featuring top musical acts from around the world, set against the stunning backdrop of the park’s natural rock formations.

Family and Kid-Friendly Attractions

Denver County offers plenty of attractions that cater to families and children. The Denver Zoo, located in City Park, is home to over 3,000 animals from around the world, including elephants, lions, and gorillas. The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus features hands-on exhibits and interactive playscapes that encourage learning through play.

For a unique educational experience, visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which offers a wide range of exhibits on topics like dinosaurs, space exploration, and the human body. The museum also houses an IMAX theater and a planetarium, providing immersive learning opportunities for all ages.

Historical Sites and Educational Opportunities

History buffs will find plenty to explore in Denver County, from the Colorado State Capitol building, which offers free tours showcasing the state’s political history, to the Molly Brown House Museum, which tells the story of the famous Titanic survivor and her life in Denver.

The Denver Art Museum is another must-see, with its collection of over 70,000 works of art from around the world, including a renowned collection of Native American art. The museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, featuring everything from contemporary installations to classic masterpieces.

Accommodations and Travel Tips

When it comes to accommodations, Denver County offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. Downtown Denver is home to several luxury hotels, including the historic Brown Palace Hotel and Spa and the modern Four Seasons Hotel Denver. For a more affordable option, consider staying in one of the city’s many boutique hotels or vacation rentals.

To get around Denver, you have several options. The city’s public transportation system, known as the RTD (Regional Transportation District), includes buses and light rail trains that connect the city’s major attractions and neighborhoods. If you prefer to drive, be aware that parking can be limited and expensive in downtown areas, so it may be more convenient to use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.


What is the best time of year to visit Denver County?

The best time to visit depends on your interests. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities, while winter is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Fall and spring offer mild weather and fewer crowds.

Is Denver a walkable city?

Downtown Denver is very walkable, with many attractions and restaurants within easy walking distance. However, to explore the surrounding areas, you may need to use public transportation or a car.

What is the altitude of Denver, and how can I adjust to it?

Denver sits at an altitude of 5,280 feet (1,609 meters) above sea level. To avoid altitude sickness, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and heavy meals, and give yourself time to acclimate before engaging in strenuous activities.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.