Things to do in Denver

Exploring Denver: A Guide to the City's Most Stunning Views

Take your vacation to new heights as you gaze at the best views in Denver. The urban jungle and glorious Rocky Mountains await.

Whether you’re drawn to the majestic beauty of nature or find yourself mesmerized by the dazzling lights of the cityscape, Denver has a lot to offer travelers.

Dominating the horizon, the Rocky Mountains are a formidable sight, but the Mile High City is also home to fascinating rock formations, picturesque lakes, and breathtaking gardens. So, let your eyes be your guide as we tell you about the best views in Denver and some activities you can do while there.

Cityscape Views

Taking in a bird’s eye view of the skyline is one of the best things to do in Denver. There’s a stark difference between nature’s soft, balanced shapes and the jagged, edgy architecture of modern buildings.

However, this contrast can be almost surreal, especially during sunrise and sunset when the reflection of light off glass and metallic structures creates a captivating spectacle.

1. Denver City Park

If you’ve never visited the Mile High City before, a trip to Denver City Park should be part of your itinerary. The park, with its two lakes and lush green grounds, is like an oasis in an urban setting.

It’s the perfect place for a Denver hike to free yourself from the daily grind. However, Denver City Park’s most unforgettable quality is how it lets you see the city skyline juxtaposed against the Rocky Mountains.

Wide, open spaces and clear sightlines make it an ideal place to watch the sun drift over the horizon while shadows creep across the landscape, almost like a dance.

Of course, we know the impact lighting can have and how it can make people feel since it’s central to our shows. Whether manmade or natural, the symphony of colors and the interplay of lights and shadows evoke powerful emotions.

Photographer: 12019

2. Peaks Lounge at Hyatt Regency

Denver’s mountain views are a comforting sight for any weary traveler, but what if you could soar high into the air like our awe-inspiring performers?

Being up high is the only way to experience a panoramic view of the Denver scenery and take in its magnificence. Now, many places offer rooftop views in Denver, but Peaks Lounge stands out as one of the best options because of its altitude.

The lounge sits 27 floors above the ground and features huge window panels that provide an unimpeded view of the urban skyline.

Arrive in the afternoon right at its opening for the most spectacular experience, as the sunset isn't to be missed from this height. Watch as the city is bathed in warm golden hues and street lights flicker on to welcome the evening.

3. Millennium Bridge

Fans of architecture and professional engineers alike travel from across the country to see Denver’s Millennium Bridge because of its groundbreaking post-tensioned design.

All it takes is a quick glance upward to see what makes it so special.

Picture a tall, white mast extending up into the sky — an obelisk that commands attention. From this, cables stretch outward elegantly to suspend the bridge in place. The structure is absolutely one of a kind.

The view from the bridge is also spectacular. Gaze out at the beautiful South Platte River and Commons Park. Although the urban skyline sits overhead, wetlands and greenery also stand ready to greet your eyes.

Mountain Views

Mountains are the ultimate expression of nature’s grandeur. Overlooking the city, the Rocky Mountains lend a particular majesty to Denver’s scenery, and there are several places you can go to get a good view of these silent city guardians.

4. Lookout Mountain Park

Although there are places you can go within the city to get a clear view of the mountains, climbing up higher lets you reach the best vantage point.

Positioned just outside Denver, Lookout Mountain Park offers sweeping views of the Mile High City, sprawled out below. But it's the unbeatable sightline of the Rocky Mountain’s rolling hills and rugged peaks off in the distance, clashing fiercely against the clouds, that make this spot special.

Nature lovers will also adore the amount of wildlife that flocks to this vantage point. Watch as red-tailed hawks soar above and elk graze out in the meadows. There are also plenty of cute squirrels and chipmunks.

5. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Nature and human engineering both played a role in the creation of the otherworldly Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. This natural rock formation offers one of the most unique spots to see live music in Denver.

However, it’s also worth the trip just for the view. The rocks themselves feature a striking red coloration that might make you feel like you’re walking on Mars.

From various vantage points, you can get a clear view of the Denver skyline and the plains that expand out from the city’s limits.

Visit at night for a truly magnificent view. You’ll be dazzled by how visible the stars are compared to within the city.

Photographer: Benjamin R.

6. Sloan’s Lake Park

Sloan’s Lake is the largest lake in Denver. While it might sound astounding, the lake didn’t even exist before the 1860s.

It was at this point that Thomas Sloan accidentally dug into an underground aquifer, flooding the area and creating one of Denver’s most beautiful locations.

Sloan’s Lake Park is itself a magnificent sight, but you can also see the Rocky Mountains in the distance. When the sun sets, light cascades over the mountains and bounces off the surface of the lake, giving the whole area an enchanting ambiance.

This kind of natural purity has always inspired us and has even given rise to some of our most spectacular shows, such as “O.”

Nature and Parks

Views of nature are plentiful throughout Denver in the city’s many parks. However, each offers a distinct experience, whether it be through incredible plant arrangements or the presence of unique architecture.

7. Denver Botanic Gardens

Beginning in 1951 as the brainchild of just a few of Denver’s citizens, the Denver Botanic Gardens now takes up 24 acres. If you love plants, there’s no better place in the Mile High City to see specimens from all over the world.

Take a peaceful stroll through the Japanese Garden, and then sit down for a warm cup of green tea to welcome the afternoon.

As you step into the Alpine Collection, you’ll be greeted by a dreamy landscape of rocks and shrubs that resembles the scenery within children’s fairy tales.

With its ponds, beautiful topography, and wildlife, Denver Botanic Gardens offers a grand retreat away from the noise of the city.

8. Confluence Park

A confluence is the point where two rivers meet — in this case, Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. However, Denver’s Confluence Park is more than this clash of rivers because it’s also a place where nature converges with the urban landscape.

Cycle along the edge of the park, and you’ll experience shifting viewpoints with natural vistas, the city skyline, and lush lawns all darting in and out of sight.

Confluence Park is also a grand spot to sit and watch the hours pass by as you get lost in the captivating sunset with that special someone.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not take a kayak or paddleboard out for a spin? The view changes completely when you’re out on the river.

9. Cheesman Park

Spanning over 80 acres, Cheesman Park is easily one of Denver’s most impressive landmarks. It’s also one of the most distinctive, thanks to its Greek-styled neoclassical memorial building.

Beautiful as the park is, another quality adds to its uniqueness — a rather spooky quality. Cheesman Park was once a mass graveyard that contained over 5,000 bodies from the Gold Rush era.

Photographer: Pixabay

Historical and Cultural Views

Gazing out at the city and mountains is a relaxing way to spend the afternoon, but Denver has a vibrant history and culture. There’s so much to see within the city that showcases the region’s dynamic past.

10. Colorado State Capitol Building

A marvel of Neoclassical architecture, the Colorado State Capitol building is an incredible sight. Walking toward the structure, you’ll be astounded by its sheer scale and the intricate details that bring the building to life.

However, you don’t need to be a fan of architecture to appreciate the Capitol building, because views from the structure’s massive dome are enough to delight anyone.

There are few places quite as grand where you can experience panoramic Denver views encompassing the entire urban landscape.

The Mile High Step — the 15th step on the west side of the Capitol Building — is also one of the few places in the city that’s exactly 1 mile above sea level.

Photographer: Paul Moody

11. The Denver Art Museum

Perhaps the most striking building in the Mile High City, the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building pierces through the sky like the bow of a ship.

The triangular, almost porcupine-like shape is sure to inspire architecture students, but the views — both inside and surrounding the museum — are also rather special.

Inside the Denver Art Museum, large windows and spacious galleries allow the many paintings, sculptures, and installations to be bathed in natural light so every detail pops.

But outside, you get outstanding views of downtown Denver and the city’s busy streets.

Depending on where you stand, you can even see the Rocky Mountains looming over the museum’s angular facade, constantly reminding you of nature’s might.

Unique and Offbeat Views

Do you like to march to the beat of your own drum? Creativity and individualism are part of our ethos, and we love to see our fans seek out new experiences. Luckily, Denver has some truly unorthodox views that don't disappoint.

12. The Source Hotel’s Rooftop

The industrial aesthetic is in. Regardless of whether you like the idea of your living spaces looking like a cemented factory or not, there’s a certain splendor to the sharp lines, tall ceilings, and rugged configuration of warehouses.

So, if you’d rather see it than live in it, visit Denver’s River North Art District.

Overlooking the area’s rich industrial heritage — many buildings of which have been repurposed into trendy art spaces — the Source Hotel’s rooftop dining area wraps around the hotel’s exterior, giving you an unobstructed view of the district below.

Better yet, you can pair this scenic vista with shared plates and cocktails.

13. Larimer Square

As Denver’s most historic neighborhood block, walking into Larimer Square is like stepping into the past. Stroll beneath the old-fashioned string lights, and you’ll feel like you’re really in the 19th century, surrounded by picturesque Victorian buildings.

But Larimer Square is more than a beautiful time capsule where you can glimpse bygone architecture. With its bustling nightlife and many shops and restaurants, it’s a great place to dine outdoors and enjoy people watching. Seasonal decorations also add a special touch throughout the year.

Photographer: Delaney Van

14. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Step inside the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and you’ll be taken on an intellectual journey from the time of dinosaurs to the age of space exploration.

While the views of the exhibits inside the museum are certainly impressive, those available from the building’s terraces and balconies are also unforgettable.

This is because the museum is situated in City Park, which lets you see the Colorado State Capitol building and the Denver skyline with ease.

But what if you want something a little more offbeat? Well, this is where the museum’s solar telescopes come in handy by letting you view solar flares, sunspots, and other normally inaccessible stellar sights.

Planning Your Scenic Adventure

Any adventure in Denver is set to become a remarkable memory, and you can definitely play the experience by ear if you prefer spontaneity.

Still, if you want to pack in as many sights as possible and still have time to wine and dine between landmarks, you’ll want to at least plan a loose itinerary.

Best Times to Visit

As the seasons change, the Mile High City also transforms. Summer offers clear skies and mild weather, perfect for exploring Red Rocks Park and other outdoor attractions, but spring is when the city’s many parks really bloom to life.

Visit during winter, and you might enjoy holiday lights and skiing. However, fall is a great time to see the city’s greenery change color.

Special Events and Tours

Museums and other attractions in Denver have rotating event schedules, and exhibits can also change. Before your trip, it’s never a bad idea to see what’s available.

Of course, even if nothing piques your interest, you’ll still have some of the best mountain views in Denver during your stay.

Dining and Accommodation

Getting from point A to point B is always one of the trickiest parts of planning a vacation. One way to make things easier is to plan where you’d like to dine and sleep based on the locations you intend to visit.

There are also many shops located between spots on this list, so you can pick up souvenirs as you move to your next destination.

More Tips for Planning the Perfect Itinerary

If you already have the basics out of the way, such as having an idea of what you’d like to see, when you’ll visit, and where each attraction is, now’s the time to finalize your vacation schedule. Here are a few tips:

  • Check travel times on Google Maps.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
  • Book tickets to museums in advance.
  • Familiarize yourself with public transport options.
  • Leave some time between destinations for free exploration.
  • Visit tourist information centers if you need directions or travel advice.

The Best Views and Beauty of Denver Awaits

Denver’s natural beauty gives rise to some of the best views in the country, but if you’re tired from your travels, a change of pace might be just what you need. Rather than juggling a packed itinerary, visit one of our shows in Denver.

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