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What To Do In Denver: 17 Landmarks and Historical Places To Visit

Denver City (originally named after Kansas Governor James W. Denver), became the capital of the Colorado Territory in 1867. Not long after, Colorado was admitted to the Union and Denver City shortened its name to the Denver that we know and love today.

Now, Denver is among the top 20 most populous U.S. cities, with over 682,000 residents in 2017. It’s now bubbling with craft beer, winter sports, brunch, hiking, and more.

Since its inception, Denver has become home to over 300 individual landmarks and over 50 designated historical districts. Whether you’re moving to Denver, considering a visit, or have lived here for years and are finally getting around to seeing some history, let this list be your guide.

16th Street Mall

This pedestrian-only 1.25-mile mall runs from Union Station to Civic Center and is home to over 300 locally owned stores as well as quite a few notable chains. It also boasts over 50 restaurants, entertaining street performers, and even a free shuttle to get from one end to the other. The mall opened for the first time in 1982 and now makes a great place to spend a sunny afternoon or a warm summer evening.

16th street mall denver
Img: Flickr

Denver Botanic Gardens

Catch a concert in the amphitheater or just wander around this 23-acre Park featuring a conservatory, multiple theme gardens, and various other outdoor exhibits. In the gardens, you’ll see everything from America’s largest collection of cold temperate plants from around the world to local greenery grown in Colorado and neighboring states. There’s also a Japanese Garden and a publicly accessible green roof!

denver botannical garden
Img: Flickr

Brown Palace Hotel

The Brown Palace is the second oldest operating hotel in the city. It has welcomed guests such as The Beatles, and the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley (he even said that it was “The best hotel in the world!”). Today, you can head over for a killer brunch, including everything from omelette stations to freshly sliced prime rib to a series of chocolate fondue fountains.

brown palace hotel
Img: Flickr

Civic Center Park

Take a stroll through this mid-city oasis of a park and absorb some of Denver’s most prominent culture, art, and government buildings. Between admiring the fountains, statues, and gardens, you just might find yourself in the middle of a festival, parade, or even a protest.

civic center denver
Img: Flickr

Denver Zoo

Way back in 1896, a single American black bear cub named after William Jennings Bryan was given to Denver’s Mayor Thomas S. McMurry. When McMurry felt the cub was too difficult to manage on his own, he gave it to Alexander J. Graham, the keeper of City Park, and the man who would end up using the bear cub to start the Denver Zoo. Throughout the 1900s, the zoo was expanded upon and became the first zoo in the US to use natural enclosures (like trees, moats, and rock walls) rather than bars to contain its animals.

The Denver zoo has since been home to a large variety of creatures, including elephants, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, polar bears, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, birds, and jaguars.

denver zoo bears
Img: Flickr

Confluence Park

One of the most convenient parks to visit, Confluence park is located right downtown and features a beautiful flowing river with a beachlike shore, as well as numerous bike paths and dog runs. In the late 1800s, this area was the scene of the first search for cold in the Colorado area. Although nothing was found here, it eventually led miners to a site a few miles north that began the Colorado Gold Rush.

confluence park denver
Img: Flickr

My Brother’s Bar

Legend has it that My Brother’s Bar is the oldest bar in the city of Denver, and a must-visit if you’re into history and beer. Fun fact: the original owners never put up a sign for financial reasons, and to this day, the front of the bar still remains signless. Talk about tradition!

my brother's bar denver
Img: Yelp

Denver Art Museum

The DAM was founded in 1893 and was originally known as the Denver Artist’s Club. It lived in a few different temporary locations until opening its own permanent gallery in 1949. The DAM has since expanded to multiple buildings and is well known as the largest art museum between Chicago and San Francisco.

denver art museum
Img: Flickr

Red Rocks

If you’re anything of a music fan, you’ve likely visited or at least heard about Red Rocks Amphitheater. It’s technically located about 10 miles outside of Denver, but it’s owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, and is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system. The amphitheater is unique in that it’s 100% naturally formed, and took over 200 million years to get to how it is today. If you have the time, a show at Red Rocks will be one of your most memorable experiences for years to come.

red rocks denver
Img: Flickr


Let loose and go on a ride or two at this historic amusement park that’s been up and running since 1908. Throughout the park, between the trains, carousels, bumper cars, and more, you’ll find remnants of days past — whether it be in the form of a marble mirror from Union Station, a picnic table made out of an old ride, or a manual telephone switchboard that is actually still in use in the main office.

If you’re looking for activities to do with kids in Denver, Lakeside should be at the top of your list. There’s a whole section for little ones, and it’s fairly inexpensive to get in and ride the rides.

lakeside amusement park
Img: Flickr

Mayan Theater

One of the three remaining theaters in the US designed in the Art Deco Mayan Revival style, the Mayan theater has been around since 1930. The movie selection typically includes independent and foreign films, and there’s even a full bar for movie patrons to enjoy.

mayan theatre denver
Img: Flickr

Tattered Cover

Calling all bookworms! Tattered Cover is one of the largest independent bookstores in the US with 3 different locations throughout the city. Housing over half a million books across these three locations, the Tattered Cover is most famously known for hosting events and readings with prominent authors, including past appearances from the Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady.

tattered cover books denver
Img: Flickr

Denver Mint

A facility that started out in the mid 1800s as a place where miners could have gold dust and nuggets melted into bars, the Denver Mint has since become the largest producer of coins in the entire world. Today, it makes over 50 million coins every single day.

denver mint
Img: Flickr

Coors Field

Even if you’re not a baseball fanatic, you’ll love catching a game at Coors Field. The stadium opened in 1995, and in the 1999 season was named “the most prolific offensive ballpark ever created,”  Join the bleacher section, known as the Rockpile, for less than $10 per ticket, and enjoy some local beers, gorgeous views, and good baseball.

coors field
Img: Flickr

Union Station

The original and most trafficked transportation hub and railway station of Denver, Union Station has been around since 1881. Today, it has become one of the hottest places to explore in the city, allowing for tourists and locals alike to lose themselves among the many restaurants, shops, and even bars.

union station denver

Molly Brown House

You might recognize Molly Brown’s name more easily when paired with its qualifier: “The Unsinkable.” That’s right, built in the 1880s, this home belonged to one of the famous Titanic survivors. Now, it’s a museum dedicated to her life as well as the architecture of Denver’s Victorian Era.

molly brown house denver
Img: Flickr

The Buckhorn Exchange

You won’t be disappointed when you choose to visit the oldest restaurant in Denver. Opening as a steakhouse in 1893, The Buckhorn Exchange was the very first restaurant and bar to receive a liquor license after Prohibition was repealed. It stands strong in the city’s oldest neighborhood to this very day — go there and enjoy prime grade beef steaks, prime rib, elk, salmon, quail, and baby-back ribs, drinks, and more.

the buckhorn exchange
Img: Flickr

You’ll also find an impressive collection of artifacts from the restaurant’s history, including a 125-piece gun collection and a 575-piece taxidermy collection (yes, you read that right).

Whether you live in Denver or are visiting from afar, get acquainted with the city’s history and enjoy the modern touches that have been added to it over the years. Did we forget anything? Tweet us and let us know.

The post What To Do In Denver: 17 Landmarks and Historical Places To Visit appeared first on The Zumper Blog.

This post first appeared on The Zumper Blog | Rental Market Trends, Real Estat, please read the originial post: here

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What To Do In Denver: 17 Landmarks and Historical Places To Visit


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