If you guys didn’t know already, I’ve been living in Colorado since 2015. I even met my husband just a week after I moved here. And even though we’re moving out of CO soon, this state will always have a special place in my heart.
I live on the opposite side of Colorado, no where near Denver, but I have visited Denver and have a great list of free things you can do in the city.
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Below is a list of 10 free things to do in Denver, Colorado.
1. Denver Union Station
Denver Union Station is a 100 year old historic landmark that offers places to eat and shop. You can even stay at the hotel inside the Denver Union Station if you wish.
The Union Station has impressive architecture and art displayed throughout. Grab a coffee or grab lunch here and enjoy people watching. During the holiday season (including Halloween!) the Denver Union Station is decorated with some pretty incredible decorations. You don’t want to miss out!
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2. City Park
Denver’s City Park is a huge regional park that holds the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, IMAX, tennis courts, baseball, football and soccer fields, two lakes, and historical monuments. Of course, the park also has playgrounds and picnic areas, so it’s perfect place to visit for the whole family.
I recommend visiting City Park if you’re looking to take a nice stroll outside. There are plenty of places to eat nearby and enjoy a fresh cup of warm coffee.
3. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
You’ve probably heard of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater because it’s one of the most unique concert venues in the United States.
Though Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is known for being a concert venue, it’s also a park, which means it’s free to visit. The park has access to amazing hiking and mountain biking trails, so make sure you leave time to explore.
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4. Castle Rock Trail
Castle Rock trail is about a 35 minute drive from Denver but it’s totally worth it. This area is known for its beautiful wildflowers but most importantly, Castle Rock. Upon arriving at the trailhead, you’ll find out why it’s called Castle Rock trail.
The hike takes about 1 hour and is rated as moderate.
5. Free Museums
Just like most cities, Denver offers free museum days. This means you get free entry to museums that usually charge a small fee.
Dates and times always change, so I recommend looking up the museum’s website to see when their free museum day is.
Museums that offer free museum days are:
- Children’s Museum of Denver
- Clifford Still Museum
- Colorado Railroad Museum
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Botanical Gardens
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Denver Zoo
- For Mile Historic Park
- Plains Conservation Center
6. Cherry Creek Regional Trail
If you’re looking to ride a bike or go rollerblading, the Cherry Creek Regional Trail is a great place to visit.
This trail is 40 miles long that begins in downtown Denver and goes out into the suburbs. The trail is well-maintained and even has rest areas.
Even if you’re traveling from out of state, I highly recommend renting a bike for a day and exploring the city this way.
Get the Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide and explore the state.
7. Rocky Mountain Arsenal
Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a National Wildlife Refuge and is known as one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the nation.
With more than 15,000 acres of land, it’s an area where wildlife thrives. This is a great place to reconnect with nature and enjoy the peace and quiet.
The Refuge has over 20 miles of trails and several hiking trails to choose from. You can even take a wildlife drive that takes about 1 hour to complete.
8. Art Walk
When I visited Denver, my favorite memory was spending the day on a bike exploring all of the outdoor art. I’m not a huge art person by any means, but it was still a ton of fun.
This is a city decorated with vibrant color and creativity. I highly recommend renting a bike and exploring Denver’s artwork.
9. Denver’s 16th Street Mall
Denver’s 16th Street Mall offers something for everyone. There are over 42 cafes along the mall making it an awesome spot to grab lunch or coffee. At the south end of the mall, there’s a shopping and dining complex with 12 movie theaters and over 24 shops and restaurants.
This is a great spot to explore on foot and enjoy the outdoors.
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10. Colorado State Capitol
The architecture and history in State Capitol’s is something you need to see. You can even go on a guided tour to learn about the work of the General Assembly, the building, and the unique Colorado heritage.
Even if you don’t want to go on a tour, you must stop by for a visit if you’ve never visited a State Capitol before. It’s absolutely stunning in person!
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What to read next: 10 Budget Travel Tips That Can Save You Thousands
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Have you ever been to Denver? What would you add to this list?
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