Whether you are coming alone or bringing your family, Denver has much to offer – even if you only have a few hours free. Here’s a handy reference to ten more popular attractions in Denver arranged by location.
USA Today ranks Denver as the second most walkable downtown in the nation. You can save on shoe-leather by riding the free shuttle bus on the 16th Street Mall – it makes everything downtown easy to reach.
Colorado State Capitol www.state.co.us
Stand exactly 5,280 feet above sea level (one mile high!) on the 13th stair of the west steps, then climb to the rotunda for a panorama of snowcapped peaks. It is against state law to block the view of the 200 named mountains visible from the dome. Offering free tours on weekdays.
Denver Art Museum www.denverartmuseum.org
There are two buildings – one a fortress-like structure from Italian architect Gio Ponti, the other, a structure that resembles a titanium crystal with peaks and shards designed by Daniel Libeskind. Inside, find the world’s greatest collection of Native American art and 68,000 other art objects, including works from European masters and Old West classics.
Learn how to make money! The Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little “D” for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change.
16th Street Mall – Pedestrian Mall
Lined with 200 trees and 50,000 flowers, this festive, mile-long pedestrian promenade has 28 outdoor cafes and offers Denver’s best people-watching. I.M. Pei designed the gray and pink granite pathway to resemble the pattern of a diamondback rattlesnake. Hop on the bus – they’re free and stop on every corner. After dark, horse-drawn carriages clatter up and down the Mall.
Larimer Square www.larimersquare.com
This trendy block of Victorian buildings is home to chic shopping, a jazz club, a comedy club, outdoor cafes and a dozen of Denver’s best restaurants. For 50 years in downtown Denver, it’s hip to be at the “Square.”
LoDo Historic District www.lodo.org
Denver’s happening historic district is filled with turn-of-the-century warehouses, now home to 90 brewpubs, sports bars, restaurants and rooftop cafes. Stop by Rockmount Ranch Wear for a snap button Western shirt at the store where they were invented; browse from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Bookstore; listen to jazz at El Chapultepec, one of Esquire Magazine’s 50 best bars; or sip a handcrafted beer at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver’s first brewpub opened by former Denver Mayor (now Colorado Governor), John Hickenlooper.
Denver Union Station http://unionstationindenver.com/
Recently renovated and reopened for its 100th anniversary in 2014, Union Station is now a large part of Denver’s energy. With numerous local restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as plenty of public space and one of the most hip new hotels in the city – The Crawford – there’s plenty to do and see.
Rockmount Ranch Wear Mfg. Co. http://www.rockmount.com/
A true Western icon, Rockmount introduced the first western shirts with snaps and helped popularize Western wear as legitimate American fashion throughout the US and abroad. Invented by Papa Jack Weil, who, at 107, was the oldest working CEO in America until he passed in 2008, the snapbutton western shirts have been worn by everyone from Ronald Reagan to Elvis to Eric Clapton, the latter of whom is a frequent shopper. Visit the flagship store and museum in LoDo – the last of the early mercantile companies.
Tattered Cover Book Store http://www.tatteredcover.com/
One of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, Tattered Cover is unique all around and housed in a restored mercantile building on 16th St in historic LoDo. Still offering the intimacy and comfort of smaller bookshops, there is an ample supply of sofas, antique tables and overstuffed chairs along with free-wifi and a world-class newstand. Browse the extensive supply of books, magazines and gifts, explore the nooks and crannies of the historic building or simply curl up with a book and cup of coffee from the instore café. Don’t forget to check the Tattered Cover calendar to see what big-name authors are appearing for book signings and readings.