1 Day in Denver (Things to Do)

Welcome to Denver, the vibrant capital city of Colorado! If you find yourself with just one day to explore this lively destination, fear not – there’s plenty to see and do. From fascinating museums and iconic landmarks to outdoor adventures and mouthwatering cuisine, Denver has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you through a carefully curated itinerary that will help you make the most of your 24 hours in the Mile High City.

Before we dive into the details, it’s worth mentioning the Denver CityPASS or Mile High Culture Pass, which offer great deals on admission to popular attractions. These passes can save you time and money, allowing you to experience even more during your visit.

1 Day in Denver (Things to Do)

Key Takeaways:

  • Denver offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for a memorable 1-day visit.
  • Consider purchasing the Denver CityPASS or Mile High Culture Pass to maximize your experience and savings.
  • From museums and landmarks to outdoor adventures and culinary delights, Denver has something for every interest.
  • Follow our carefully curated itinerary to make the most of your 24 hours in the Mile High City.
  • Don’t forget to explore Denver’s unique neighborhoods and consider taking day trips to nearby cities and attractions.

Morning in Denver: Exploring the City’s Highlights

Start your day in Denver with a morning full of exciting activities and exploration. With a variety of options available, you can make the most of your time and experience the highlights of the city.

1. Union Station

Begin your morning at the beautifully restored Union Station. This historic transportation hub has been transformed into a vibrant gathering place with shops, restaurants, and a bustling atmosphere. Grab a delicious breakfast or a freshly brewed coffee and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance.

2. Denver Trails

After fueling up, take advantage of Denver’s extensive trail system. Rent a scooter or bike through popular apps like Lyft and Lime to easily navigate the city’s trails. Explore the scenic routes and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, there’s a trail for everyone.

3. 16th Street Mall

Next, take a leisurely stroll along the iconic 16th Street Mall. This pedestrian-friendly stretch is lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through unique stores or stop for a quick snack. The 16th Street Mall is a perfect spot for people-watching and soaking up the energy of the city.

As you explore Denver’s highlights in the morning, you’ll be treated to a blend of history, outdoor adventures, and vibrant city life. Union Station, Denver trails, and the 16th Street Mall are just a few of the exciting attractions that await you.

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of Denver’s morning activities, it’s time to delve deeper into the city’s history and art scene. In the next section, we’ll guide you through some of the top cultural attractions and landmarks.

Immerse Yourself in History and Art

When exploring Denver, a visit to its historical and artistic treasures is a must. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the city and appreciate its vibrant art scene.

History Colorado Center

The History Colorado Center is a captivating museum that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Denver and the entire state of Colorado. Through interactive exhibits and engaging displays, you’ll discover the stories of the people, events, and landscapes that have shaped this remarkable region. Uncover the essence of Denver’s past as you delve into the exhibits that showcase its significant milestones and diverse communities.

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is a renowned institution that houses an impressive collection of artwork from around the world. With a focus on both traditional and contemporary pieces, the museum offers a diverse range of exhibitions that cater to various artistic interests. From striking Old West art to thought-provoking contemporary masterworks, the Denver Art Museum is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts. Spend time perusing the galleries and getting lost in the beauty and creativity on display.

Colorado State Capitol

Marvel at the grandeur of the Colorado State Capitol, an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the state’s government. As you stand before this majestic building, take a moment to appreciate its neoclassical design, characterized by its imposing dome. The interior of the Capitol building is equally impressive, with striking murals, stained glass, and historical artifacts that tell the story of Colorado’s government and its place in the nation’s history. Enjoy a free tour of the Capitol to gain insight into the state’s legislative processes and admire its splendid interior.

Immerse yourself in history and art by visiting the History Colorado Center, Denver Art Museum, and the Colorado State Capitol. These cultural landmarks offer a captivating journey through Denver’s past and present, ensuring a memorable experience for all.

Experience Civic Center Park and Cherry Creek

When exploring Denver, make sure to include a visit to Civic Center Park and the vibrant Cherry Creek neighborhood in your itinerary. These two locations offer unique experiences and are renowned for their lively atmosphere and attractions.

Civic Center Park: Where Food and Music Collide

If you happen to be in Denver on a summer Wednesday or Thursday, don’t miss the Civic Center Eats event at Civic Center Park. This popular gathering brings together a variety of food trucks, offering a delectable array of cuisines to satisfy every palate. As you indulge in delicious food, you’ll also be serenaded by live music performances, creating a delightful ambiance that’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon or evening.

In addition to the food and music, Civic Center Park itself is a beautiful and historic space. It is home to iconic landmarks such as the Greek Amphitheatre and the Capitol Building, which provide a stunning backdrop for your leisurely stroll or picnic amidst the urban oasis.

Cherry Creek: Upscale Shopping and Neighborhood Charm

Venture a little further east of downtown Denver, and you’ll find yourself in the upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood. Known for its elegant Cherry Creek North district and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, this area boasts a wealth of high-end shops, boutiques, and luxury brands.

Indulge in a retail therapy session as you peruse the latest fashion trends, discover unique treasures, or pamper yourself with luxury goods and services. The Cherry Creek Shopping Center alone offers more than 160 stores, including renowned brands like Neiman Marcus, Burberry, and Tiffany & Co.

But Cherry Creek is not just about shopping. It’s a neighborhood that exudes charm and sophistication, with tree-lined streets, beautiful parks, and a vibrant dining scene. You’ll find a diverse range of restaurants and cafes, offering a variety of cuisines to suit every taste.

Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy brunch, a leisurely afternoon tea, or an elegant dinner, Cherry Creek has options that will satisfy any craving. The neighborhood’s culinary offerings are as varied as its shopping experience.

As you explore Cherry Creek, take the time to enjoy the picturesque Cherry Creek bike path, which winds its way through the neighborhood and offers a scenic route for walking, jogging, or cycling.

Attractions Highlights
Civic Center Park Civic Center Eats event
– Live music performances
– Greek Amphitheatre
Cherry Creek Neighborhood – Upscale Cherry Creek North district
Cherry Creek Shopping Center
– Diverse dining options
Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Over 160 stores
– Luxury brands
– Variety of dining choices

Embrace Denver’s Sports and Beer Culture

Denver is not only a city known for its breathtaking mountain views and outdoor adventures but also a hub for sports and craft beer enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the lively Denver sports scene and explore the city’s vibrant craft beer culture.

Cheer on the Denver Sports Teams

Denver is home to several professional sports teams, offering thrilling games and passionate fans. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a live game at these iconic venues:

Mile High Stadium: Root for the Denver Broncos as they take the field in this legendary football stadium.

Ball Arena: Experience the excitement of a basketball game with the Denver Nuggets or witness the power and grace of the Colorado Avalanche on the ice.

Coors Field: If baseball is your sport of choice, head to Coors Field and cheer on the Colorado Rockies.

At these stadiums, you’ll be swept up in the electric atmosphere and share unforgettable moments with fellow sports enthusiasts.

Indulge in Denver’s Craft Beer Scene

After cheering on your favorite team, quench your thirst with a visit to Denver’s renowned breweries. The city is home to a diverse range of craft breweries, each offering unique flavors and experiences. Here are a few must-visit breweries:

  1. Wynkoop Brewing Company: Located in the heart of downtown, Wynkoop Brewing Company is Denver’s oldest brewpub, serving up delicious beers in a historic setting.
  2. Great Divide Brewing Company: Known for its award-winning beers, Great Divide Brewing Company offers a wide selection of craft brews, including seasonal and limited-release options.

Immerse yourself in the art of craft beer brewing, sample a variety of flavors, and learn about the brewing process from knowledgeable staff.

Explore Denver’s sports and beer culture by attending a thrilling game and indulging in the city’s craft beer scene. Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or a beer connoisseur, Denver has something to offer for everyone.

Sports Venue Teams
Mile High Stadium Denver Broncos (NFL)
Ball Arena Denver Nuggets (NBA)
Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Coors Field Colorado Rockies (MLB)

Here are two popular breweries in Denver:

  1. Wynkoop Brewing Company
  2. Great Divide Brewing Company

Explore Denver’s Distinct Neighborhoods

When visiting Denver, take the time to explore its unique neighborhoods and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and culinary scene. From LoHi to the River North Art District (RiNo), each neighborhood offers something special to discover.

LoHi: Innovative Restaurants and Bars

LoHi, short for Lower Highland, is a trendy neighborhood known for its innovative restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for farm-to-table cuisine, craft cocktails, or local brews, LoHi has it all. Don’t miss the chance to dine at Foraged Restaurant, a local favorite that offers a seasonal menu showcasing the best of Colorado’s ingredients.

River North Art District (RiNo): Galleries, Breweries, and Trendy Eateries

Located just north of downtown Denver, the River North Art District (RiNo) is a thriving hub for art, culture, and culinary delights. Explore the district’s numerous art galleries and be inspired by the vibrant street art that adorns the buildings. RiNo is also home to a variety of breweries, where you can sample local craft beers and enjoy the lively atmosphere. When hunger strikes, indulge in the trendy eateries that offer diverse cuisines, from global street food to modern American fare. A must-visit spot is the Denver Central Market, a food hall featuring local vendors offering delicious bites and specialty ingredients.

Make sure to stroll through the streets of LoHi and RiNo, as each neighborhood provides a unique experience and a glimpse into the creative and culinary spirit of Denver.

“LoHi and RiNo offer a fusion of art, food, and culture that exemplify the essence of Denver’s neighborhoods.”

Day Trips from Denver

If you have more time to spare during your visit to Denver, taking a day trip to nearby cities can offer a refreshing change of scenery and new experiences. Here are some fantastic options for day trips to explore the surroundings of Denver:


Located just west of Denver, Lakewood is a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of cultural attractions and outdoor activities. Visit the Lakewood Cultural Center for art exhibits, theater performances, and live music. Take a walk or bike ride along the scenic paths of Bear Creek Lake Park, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.


Known as the “Gateway to the Rockies,” Golden is a charming historic town situated at the base of the foothills. Explore the quaint downtown area and visit the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum to learn about rocks, minerals, and fossils. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike or bike in Clear Creek Canyon and enjoy the natural beauty of Golden’s mountain parks.


If you’re seeking a peaceful mountain escape, Evergreen is the ideal destination. Nestled in the picturesque foothills, Evergreen offers beautiful mountain scenery and outdoor activities. Explore Evergreen Lake, where you can go fishing, paddleboarding, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk along the shoreline. For a more adventurous experience, hike the trails at Three Sisters Park and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the surrounding nature.


Located east of Denver, Aurora is a diverse and dynamic city with a variety of attractions. Golf enthusiasts can hit the links at one of Aurora’s many award-winning golf courses. Visit the Aurora History Museum to learn about the city’s past, or explore the Morrison Nature Center to discover the local wildlife. For a fun family outing, head to the Aurora Farms, where you can enjoy farm activities and pick your own produce during the harvest season.

Castle Rock

Situated between Denver and Colorado Springs, Castle Rock is a charming town with a unique blend of natural beauty and urban amenities. Stroll through the historic downtown area and explore boutique shops and delicious restaurants. For an adrenaline rush, visit Castle Rock Zip Line Tours and soar through the treetops. End your day with breathtaking panoramic views from the top of Castle Rock itself.

Each of these day trip destinations offers its own distinct charm and attractions, allowing you to explore beyond the boundaries of Denver and discover more of what Colorado has to offer.

Day Trip Destinations Highlights
Lakewood Cultural center, outdoor activities
Golden Historic town, mountain parks
Evergreen Scenic mountain experience, outdoor activities
Aurora Golf courses, museums, farm activities
Castle Rock Shopping, ziplining, scenic views

Discover Boulder’s Charm

Take a short drive to Boulder and experience the charm of this outdoor-oriented city. Boulder, located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and exciting activities.

Stroll Along the Pearl Street Mall

One of Boulder’s main attractions is the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the mall, explore boutique stores, grab a bite to eat at one of the many outdoor cafes, and soak in the lively atmosphere.

Outdoor Activities in Boulder

Boulder is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a multitude of activities surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. Here are some outdoor activities you can enjoy in and around Boulder:

  • Hiking: Explore the numerous trails and hiking spots in the Boulder area, including the iconic Flatirons, Chautauqua Park, and Mount Sanitas.
  • Biking: Rent a bike and ride along the scenic Boulder Creek Path or challenge yourself with mountain biking trails in nearby mountains.
  • Rock Climbing: Test your skills on the famous rock formations in the Boulder area, such as the Eldorado Canyon State Park, a paradise for rock climbers.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned adventurer, Boulder offers outdoor activities for every skill level.

Boulder Attractions

Attraction Description
Pearl Street Mall A vibrant pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
Chautauqua Park A beautiful park at the base of the Flatirons, offering hiking trails and stunning views.
Eldorado Canyon State Park A rock climber’s paradise with towering cliffs and challenging routes.
Boulder Creek Path A scenic trail following the Boulder Creek, perfect for biking, walking, or picnicking.

Boulder’s unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and exciting outdoor activities make it a must-visit destination for those seeking adventure and tranquility.

Try Your Luck in Central City & Black Hawk

Looking for some excitement? Make your way to Central City and Black Hawk, two charming towns nestled in the mountains of Colorado. These destinations are renowned for their 24-hour casinos, offering endless entertainment and the chance to strike it rich.

Central City and Black Hawk are known as the “Gambling Gulch,” with a rich history dating back to the gold and silver mining era. Today, they feature a variety of casinos where you can try your luck at slot machines, poker tables, and other thrilling games of chance.

But the entertainment doesn’t stop at the casinos. Central City is also home to the Central City Opera, a world-class venue where you can indulge in breathtaking performances. Lose yourself in the enchanting operatic melodies while surrounded by the captivating beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Speaking of mountain views, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the scenic surroundings of Central City and Black Hawk. Take a leisurely drive through the winding mountain roads and soak in the majestic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a nature enthusiast, the charm of Central City and Black Hawk will leave you enchanted.

“Central City and Black Hawk offer a unique blend of high-stakes gaming and natural beauty. It’s the perfect destination for those seeking thrilling experiences and breathtaking mountain views.” – Casino Enthusiast Magazine

The Casinos of Central City and Black Hawk

Casino Location Highlights
The Lodge Casino Black Hawk Over 1,000 slot machines, live poker, dining options
Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk Luxury hotel, multiple dining venues, spa
Century Casino Central City Table games, slots, free live music events
Grand Z Casino Hotel Central City Old West ambiance, slot machines, table games

No matter which casino you choose to visit, you’ll find a thrilling atmosphere filled with anticipation and the possibility of hitting the jackpot. Plan your trip to Central City and Black Hawk and experience the thrill of the game amidst the beauty of the mountains.

Visit Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak

When it comes to breathtaking natural beauty in Colorado, Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak are a must-visit destination. Offering an array of attractions and stunning landscapes, this region is bound to leave you awe-inspired.

Explore the Iconic Pikes Peak

Standing at an impressive elevation of 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak is one of the most iconic mountains in the United States. Immerse yourself in its majestic beauty as you drive or hike to the summit. Enjoy panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Marvel at the Garden of the Gods

Located in Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a geological wonder. This park is home to towering sandstone rock formations that create a stunning backdrop against the clear blue sky. Take a leisurely stroll or challenge yourself with some of the park’s hiking trails. Don’t forget your camera – the photo opportunities are endless.

Attraction Description
Pikes Peak Cog Railway Take a ride on the world’s highest cog railway and enjoy the scenic journey to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Old Colorado City Step back in time as you explore Old Colorado City, filled with charming shops, art galleries, and historic buildings.
Seven Falls Witness the power and beauty of Seven Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls nestled in a secluded canyon.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, natural wonders, or just a peaceful escape, Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak offer it all. Don’t miss the chance to experience the breathtaking beauty of this incredible region.

Experience Summit County and Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re seeking outdoor adventure, look no further than Summit County. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Summit County is a haven for both winter and summer activities. In the winter, it’s a popular skiing destination with world-class resorts like Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain.

During the summer months, Summit County transforms into a paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, and nature enthusiasts. Explore the vast trail network that winds through breathtaking alpine meadows and dense pine forests. Don’t forget to take in the stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes along the way.

Summit County Highlights Attractions
Breckenridge Breckenridge Ski Resort, Main Street, Breckenridge Brewery
Keystone Keystone Resort, Keystone Bike Park, Keystone Lake
Copper Mountain Copper Mountain Resort, Woodward Copper, Copper Creek Golf Course

After exploring Summit County, make your way to Rocky Mountain National Park. This natural wonderland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With over 355 miles of hiking trails, you’ll have ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the park’s stunning landscapes.

One of the must-see attractions in Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world. As you drive along this scenic route, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and alpine tundra. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife that call this park home.


Whether you’re hitting the slopes in Summit County or exploring the natural wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park, this part of Colorado offers endless opportunities for adventure and awe-inspiring beauty.


In just one day, Denver offers a wide array of highlights that showcase the city’s vibrant culture, outdoor beauty, and delicious cuisine. Exploring the diverse neighborhoods, such as LoHi and RiNo, allows you to indulge in innovative food and drink options, while immersing yourself in the local scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit iconic landmarks like Union Station and the Colorado State Capitol, which provide a glimpse into Denver’s rich history.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Denver’s extensive trail system, including the famous 16th Street Mall, offers endless opportunities for biking, scootering, and leisurely strolls. Admire the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and take in the fresh air as you explore the city’s natural beauty. The charming towns of Boulder and Golden, just a short drive away, provide additional attractions and outdoor activities, making them worth a visit during your trip.

To make the most of your day in Denver, consider purchasing the Denver CityPASS or Mile High Culture Pass, which provide access to top attractions at a discounted price. Planning your itinerary ahead of time will help maximize your time and ensure you don’t miss any of the city’s highlights. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Denver has something to offer everyone, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of culture and adventure.


Are there any passes available that provide access to multiple attractions in Denver?

Yes, before you begin your exploration, you can check out the Denver CityPASS or Mile High Culture Pass, which offer discounted access to multiple attractions in the city.

What are some popular morning activities in Denver?

Some popular morning activities in Denver include visiting the beautifully restored Union Station, which offers shops and dining options, and exploring the city’s extensive trail system by renting a scooter or bike through apps like Lyft and Lime.

What are some must-visit attractions for history and art enthusiasts?

History buffs and art enthusiasts should visit the History Colorado Center to learn about the city and state’s history, explore the diverse collection of art at the Denver Art Museum, and take a moment to marvel at the Colorado State Capitol.

What can I expect to find at Civic Center Park and Cherry Creek?

If you visit Civic Center Park on a summer Wednesday or Thursday, you can enjoy the Civic Center Eats event featuring food trucks and live music. The upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood is home to a wide array of specialty shops and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, which offers upscale stores.

Are there any major sports stadiums in Denver?

Yes, Denver is home to several major sports stadiums, including Mile High Stadium, where you can cheer on the Denver Broncos, Ball Arena, where you can catch a game with the Denver Nuggets or Colorado Avalanche, and Coors Field, where you can watch the Colorado Rockies play baseball.

Which neighborhoods should I explore in Denver to experience the local food and drink scene?

To experience Denver’s vibrant food and drink scene, consider exploring neighborhoods like LoHi, known for its innovative restaurants and bars, and the River North Art District (RiNo), which is home to art galleries, breweries, and trendy eateries.

Are there any recommended day trips from Denver?

Yes, if you have more time, you can take day trips from Denver to nearby cities like Lakewood, which offers cultural centers and outdoor activities, Golden, known for its historic downtown area and mountain parks, and Evergreen, where you can enjoy a scenic mountain experience.

What should I do if I want to experience the charm of Boulder?

To experience the charm of Boulder, you can stroll along the Pearl Street Mall, filled with shops, restaurants, and vibrant street performers. You can also enjoy outdoor activities in the surrounding area, such as hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

Where can I find top-notch casinos near Denver?

If you’re looking for some excitement, you can visit Central City and Black Hawk, known for their 24-hour casinos. Additionally, Central City is famous for its opera performances, and both cities offer stunning mountain views and scenic surroundings.

What are some recommended attractions to visit in Colorado Springs?

In Colorado Springs, don’t miss the iconic Pikes Peak and the stunning Garden of the Gods. These attractions allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area and take in breathtaking views.

Where can I find a popular skiing destination near Denver?

Summit County, located near Denver, is a popular skiing destination in the winter. You can explore the charming mountain towns in the area and enjoy scenic vistas. Also, consider taking a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, known for its extensive trail system and stunning landscapes, including the highest continuous highway in the world, Trail Ridge Road.

What is a summary of Denver’s highlights and any travel tips?

Denver offers a vibrant mix of attractions, including outdoor activities, cultural landmarks, and delicious cuisine. With proper planning and utilizing passes like Denver CityPASS or Mile High Culture Pass, you can make the most of your day in the city. Don’t forget to check out the unique neighborhoods, explore the local food and drink scene, and consider day trips to nearby cities. Additionally, take advantage of the outdoor activities and scenic beauty surrounding Denver.

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