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51 Fun + Unique Things to do in Denver | USA

Some people swear by the West Coast. Others would never leave the East. But anyone who’s lived in Colorado will tell you that a state doesn’t really need an ocean to be great. We have 54 mountains towering 14,000 ft instead.

Colorado (or Colo-RAD-o according to some gift shop t-shirts) is the state where I grew up. To this day, Denver is still one of my favorite cities in the US. It’s really beautiful with industrial architecture and panoramic mountain views spanning some 140 miles. There are seven professional sports teams, 300 days of sunshine, and at least 72 breweries. It’s cool without being overly trendy. It’s a little bit international and always down-to-earth. There are unique things to do in Denver that you can’t really find anywhere else in the country. And if you dig the outdoors, you’re unlikely to find another American city that offers better access.

Looking to explore the Mile High City? It’s definitely worth the time. Here are 51 of my favorite unique things to do in Denver and beyond. 

51 fun+ unique things to do in Denver

Very Denver Experiences

1. Catch a show at one of the world’s best music venues – Red Rocks Amphitheater

View from the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Photo by Ryan Loughlin on Unsplash

2. Head to the 1UP Arcade Bar on LoDo for a night of classic arcade games and beer.

3. No rental car? There are more than 85 miles of paths, so explore the city by B-Cycle instead

4. Pick up some park snacks and bring your picnic to Wash Park or Cheeseman Park

5. Escape the city and hike a Colorado 14er like Grays or Mt. Bierstadt. Note: These are tough and require preparation and gear! Plan ahead if you want to take on a 14er.

6. Check out public art like the Lao Tzu sculpture, the Big Blue Bear, or The Big Sweep

Photo by Miranda Joondeph on Unsplash

7. Boarders & bladers, take on the 60,000 ft2 Denver Skatepark

8. Catch up on your reading at the Tattered Cover, one of Denver’s best independent book stores 

9. Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack’s and catch a Rockies game at Coor’s Field

10. See live music at the very cute and century’s old Bluebird Theater

Photo by Mark Hessling on Unsplash

11. Grab tickets for an off-Broadway show at the Buell Theater

12. Scan through the massive vinyl collection at Wax Trax in Capitol Hill

Shop for records at Wax Trax Records in DenverPhoto by Natalie Cardona on Unsplash

13. Take an urban run on one of Denver’s scenic running paths

14. Get a mile high at one of Denver’s 350+ legal weed dispensaries or take a cannabis tour ($66)

15. Shop for Palisade Peaches, artisan meats, or local honey at the newly opened RiNo Fresh Market

USA-Denver-Produce-at-the-Farmers-Market

Eating Denver

16. Seek out the giant milk jug and get a scoop of ice cream at Little Man Ice Cream

17. Go vegan for the day at Capitol Hill’s most delicious vegetarian restaurant, City O City 

18. Experience the best sushi you’ll ever have in a landlocked state at Sushi Den

19. Have a completely strange and very experimental dessert at The Inventing Room Dessert Shop

20. Find out what green chili is all about at Santiago’s drive-thru

Drinking Denver

21. Swing by Prohibition for some damn good cocktails and Monday Night Trivia

22. Sip Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout at Wynkoop (hint: drinking it takes balls)

23. Sneak into a speakeasy at Williams & Graham in Lo-Hi

24. Drink to the 3 margarita limit at The Rio Grande 

25. Go on a Coor’s Brewery Tour. Even if their beer isn’t your thing, it’s a fun way to kill an afternoon

Events + Festivals in Denver

26. Watch Denver get covered in chalk art at the Denver Chalk Art Festival

27. Eat the best of the city at Denver Restaurant Week

28. Head to the Arts District on Santa Fe for the First Friday Art Walk

29. Summertime? You can also head to Red Rocks for the ultimate unique thing to do in Denver – an outdoor film screening at Film on the Rocks 

30. Fill your cup again and again at the Great American Beer Fest

Pour at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver

Photos from the Brewers Association

31. Sharpen up your backcountry skills in an REI Workshop

32. Head to Telluride for some blues rock at the RIDE Festival 

Keeping Denver Weird

33. Brush up on your circus skills and try out aerial silks at the Aerial Cirque Over Denver

34. Embrace the absolute kitsch of Casa Bonita in nearby Lakewood

35. Lace-up your running shoes for the charitable Denver Gorilla Run (it’s exactly like it sounds)

36. Make yourself look as dead as possible and join in on the annual Zombie Crawl

Denver + Beyond

38. Getaway to the crunchy university town of Boulder for the day

Statue on Pearl Street in Boulder

40. Get a car and make the trip into Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park (from $129)

41. Head to Breckenridge for a skiing or snowboarding trip

42. Check out some of the world’s weirdest rock formations in Garden of the Gods

43. Drive 6 hours down to Mesa Verde, one of the best-preserved Puebloan archeological sites in North America

Things to do in Mesa Verde - An Outlandish Guide

44. Venture to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of the wonders of Colorado

45. Go sandboarding at Sand Dunes National Park

46. Plan a whitewater rafting trip on the Arkansas or Colorado River

47. Drive-up the 14-mile Mt Evans Scenic Byway to the summit of Mt Evans, the highest navigable auto road in the country.

48. Hop on the steam train in historic Georgetown

Train in Georgetown, Colorado

Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

Just Because

49. Support independent publishing and explore a collection of more than 15,000 zines at the Denver Zine Library

50. Join a swing dance class at the Mercury Café

51. Check out the free things to do in Denver this weekend at MileHighontheCheap.com

Denver is an often overlooked and completely underrated city. If you want to get the best from your trip, learn more about cannabis culture, take to the outdoors, and visit some of the cultural institutions that have been selling vinyls and hosting indie shows for decades. Here are 51 fun and unique things to do in Denver.

Ever been to Denver? What are some of your favorite fun or unique things to do?

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