Denver Visitor's Guide Part Two: The Best Free Attractions in Denver, Colorado

Updated: Sep 28

Denver Colorado has some amazing attractions in the city and just a short distance in the mountain parks and it also offers a host of free attractions that are just as fun!

If you missed Part One of our Denver Colorado Visitor's Guide just back up and read about finding the best and cheapest accommodations and what attractions are available within Denver. And as always, we will show you how to save up to 50% off these attractions, museums and tours!

But if you are on a budget or just looking for a cheap adventure here is our list of the best free attractions in Denver, Colorado:

Larimer Square

Larimer Square is the block where Denver began. Explore downtown history while also sampling some of the best dining, shopping and nightlife in the city. Stroll the neighborhood and take in a top-notch restaurant. Daily events take place in this hub so be sure to check out the calendar of events.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Stand where The Beatles, U2 and the Grateful Dead entertained audiences in a one of kind natural red-rock amphitheatre. There are two pedestrian trails are offered at the surrounding Red Rocks Park, with sections available for use by mountain bikers and horseback riders. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame, which honors the state's notable musicians, and the Red Rocks Visitor Center, which details the amphitheatre's history through interactive exhibits are also free to visit and enjoy.

The U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research

The U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research research and development center with facilities for meteorological, environmental, and climate science studies, featuring a broad spectrum of laboratories and equipment used for studying Earth's atmosphere. Exhibits are open daily for free.

Mount Evans Scenic Biway & Echo Lake

Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in North America. A day trip to the top is a journey that snakes and climbs through nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain, from the high plains of Denver through five climate zones to the 14,264-foot summit of Mount Evans, one of 54 peaks in Colorado that soar to 14,000 feet and above. If you continue south on State Highway 103 for 14 miles, you reach lovely Echo Lake. There are picnic tables, hiking trails and fishing opportunities at this pretty alpine lake.

Echo Lake is part of Denver's unique mountain park system. More than one hundred years ago, city officials realized development was threatening the scenic Rocky Mountains. To save them, the city purchased land, creating a mountain park division that ultimately included treasures such as Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and Buffalo Bill's grave, which sits high atop Lookout Mountain.

Today, Denver's Mountain Parks protect more than 14,000 acres of natural beauty. Stop in at Echo Lake Lodge, an authentic 1926 log building with a charming four-sided stone fireplace. The lodge has a restaurant, bar, and gift shop and is known for their pan-fried trout. The Mount Evans Byway starts at Echo Lake and climbs 14 miles to the summit. In just three miles, the road breaks above timberline. An excellent stop here is at the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden, where you can view 1,700-year-old Bristlecone pines. These are the oldest living things on earth; in California and Nevada, they achieve ages of 4,000 years.

Coors Brewery

The legendary Coors Brewery, established in 1873, offer a unique opportunity to explore and experience an American icon. Free half-hour tours of the brewery's operations are offered daily, detailing the company's malting, brewing, and packaging operations. All participants over the age of 21 also have the opportunity to sample the company's beers following tours. Tour reservations are secured with free tickets, which may be obtained on the shuttle bus into the brewery, embarking from the free visitor parking lot's southeast corner.

Union Station

Opened in 1880, Union Station is Denver's main transportation hub and national railway station, located within the Denver's LoDo district. Renovations completed in 2014 to transformed the building into the 112-room Crawford Hotel. Tours of the station are offered by the Crawford Hotel on certain days, lasting approximately one hour and showcasing the station's rich history and architecture. Unique attractions here include an urban beekeeping program, a seasonal weekly farmer's market and eccentric shops like the Tattered Cover bookstore. For travel nomads there is free wifi and shuffleboard!

United States Mint

The United States Mint of Denver offer a unique opportunity to explore the workings of the Mint, showcasing the history and manufacturing techniques behind the production of American currency. The mint was originally established in 1860 as a private mint facility in response to the 1858 Colorado Gold Rush and became a United States Mint facility in 1895.

Free 45-minute guided tours of the facility are available during the morning and afternoon hours Mondays through Thursdays

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park located around the 880-acre Cherry Creek Reservoir offering an array of outdoor recreational opportunities for year-round visitors. There are 35 miles of multi-use trails for jogging and bike riding. Boating is available on the reservoir and ice skating is a fun activity in the winter. There is a seasonal restaurant and campground available within Cherry Creek State Park.

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