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Denver Travel Guide

Denver’s 12 Best Sports and Culture Destinations

A city that boasts six major league sports teams, plus museums and music.

Denver is a surprising destination for sports, museums, live music, and entertainment. There are thousands of events, big and small, throughout the year, including award-winning exhibitions, sports matchups, and the city’s iconic National Western Stock Show. There are free museum days, free live entertainment, and affordable access to many of Denver’s attractions. The city is the largest city for over 500 miles in any direction; therefore, it’s an ideal location for concerts, tournaments, and conventions.

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Denver Nuggets and Denver Avalanche

Ball Arena, formerly known as the Pepsi Center, is the home court for the Denver Nuggets and the home ice rink for the Denver Avalanche. The center, which opened in 1999 to a sold-out Celine Dion performance, is now a mecca for 250 events a year, including the State’s lacrosse team, Colorado Mammoth. The basketball team and hockey team typically play 40 games each at Ball Arena, and that doesn’t even include playoff games that often bring extra attraction to the Center in spring. The Denver Nuggets’ first franchise win came in 2023 at Ball Arena and the Denver Avalanche have won three Stanley Cups while playing throughout the years at Ball Arena.

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Coors Field

The Colorado Rockies home field was opened in 1995 in lower downtown Denver (LoDo). The stadium’s capacity is slightly over 50,000 attendees, and when home summer games are in action, the Ballpark Neighborhood is alive with entertainment, eateries, bars, and more. Coors Field is the highest altitude baseball park in that nation, a purple line encircling the 5,280-foot mark above sea level in the stands. Known as a homerun park, because balls can go further at higher altitudes, bring a glove to catch a major league ball.

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Meow Wolf

Convergence Station is Meow Wolf’s third art-based experiential installation in America and the largest thus far. This permanent exhibition has four floors where visitors commute through a bustling city created by a rare cosmic event that joins four alien worlds. This art display is truly out of this world, with two-story high neon forests, interactive exhibits, and creative staff. The art immersion experience is Convergence, a bustling city created by a rare cosmic event that joined four alien worlds. It’s an exceptionally unique art experience; leave at least two hours to explore all the niche rooms and spaces.

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The Denver Mint

The Denver Mint opened in 1906 and continues to manufacture coins over a century later. Coins that are produced in Colorado’s Capital have a D mint to mark their origination. The Denver Mint is the single largest producer of coins anywhere in the world. The Denver Mint offers up to six tours a day with a maximum of 50 people on each tour. Tours are offered Monday through Thursday (excluding observed federal holidays) at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. They last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA)

The DCPA is one of America’s largest non-profit theatre organizations. Located in the heart of downtown, with the light trail whizzing just a block from the doors, the DCPA brings Broadway tours, locally produced Theatre Company productions, immersive experiences, intimate cabaret shows, statewide education programs, galas, and more to the Denver community. The Buell Theatre, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Garner Galleria Theatre, Jones Theatre, Kilstrom Theatre, Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre, Singleton Theatre, Wolf Theatre, a restaurant, café and bar make up the complex.

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Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The naturally-formed ochre sandstone amphitheater is 15 miles from downtown Denver and is part of the City’s Park System. The Park is open to visitors one hour before sunrise through one hour after sunset and offers hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding on the Red Rocks Trail. However, it’s the music that’s the draw. Designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and Department of the Interior, the amphitheater is world-renowned as a concert venue due to natural acoustics and location overlooking Denver’s city skyline. There’s a blockbuster music lineup every summer, as well as [JB1]  Film on the Rocks and Yoga on the Rocks.

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Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in the nation and a top visitor destination in Colorado. Located in Denver’s City Park, along with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is the sprawling, 80+ acre zoological garden with over 3,000 animals. The Zoo hosts numerous community events such as Boo at the Zoo, Zoo free days, and Boo at the Zoo. There are numerous snack shacks and beverage locations throughout the park. There is a children’s train that runs through the park and also Denver Zoo’s Conservation Carousel.

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Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Built in 2007, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park became the home of the Colorado Rapids, Denver’s MLS team. The stadium is in Commerce City and can hold over 18,000 soccer fans and 27,000 people for concerts. As with many locations in the Denver area, this soccer stadium has the highest elevation of any other MLS stadium. The stadium has hosted rugby and lacrosse and even a World Cup qualifying match in 2013, a game riddled with controversy due to a spring blizzard.

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Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum (DAM), founded in 1893, is one of the largest art museums in the region. Sprawling across two blocks, the newer Frederic C. Hamilton Building opened to the public in 2006 and was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry. There is a glass walkway that connects the two buildings. DAM holds 70,000 works of art in 12 collections along with visiting exhibitions including fashion, sculpture, interactive, and more.

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Denver’s Art Districts

The City of Denver has designated eight neighborhoods as art districts. These areas typically celebrate ‘First Fridays’ with extended hours at galleries, eateries, and stores. Art District on Santa Fe has 30 galleries open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tennyson Street Cultural District in the Berkeley neighborhood between 38th and 44th Avenues celebrates 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. for First Friday with shops, galleries, studios, and eateries. The Golden Triangle Creative District houses 15 galleries, DAM, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, and the legendary Molly Brown House Museum devoted to the Titanic survivor.

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National Western Stock Show

Every January since 1906, Denver has welcomed the world’s largest stock show. The National Western Stock Show is a two-week extravaganza of agricultural events, animal demonstrations and sales, 4H, and a rodeo each evening held at the National Western Stock Show Complex. The festivities kick off as 30 longhorn cattle trek through downtown Denver amidst the large buildings and modern-day landscape. There are dozens of events and activities for all ages, and food and beverages are onsite. It’s an urban gathering of the rural parts of the region that helps the community thrive.

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Denver Union Station

Originally opened in 1881 as Denver Union Depot, then the tallest building in the West, it is now reinvented as a food, beverage, and transportation hub for both locals and visitors. The landmark station, which was rebuilt in 1894 after the central part of the depot burned down, is now going through another iteration of life. Denver Union Station houses the boutique Crawford Hotel and numerous eateries, including Snooze, Mercantile Dining + Provision, Ultreia, Milkbox Ice Creamery, Pig Train Coffee, Stoic & Genuine, and more. The enormous central Great Hall has lounge furniture and niche seating areas with pop-up vendors. There are also a handful of stores to explore.