While several downtown Denver attractions generate a great deal of buzz (think Union Station and the 16th Street Mall), the Mile-High City has a lot to offer that flies under the radar as well. Here’s a handful of attractions we think are especially worthy of a visit.
You don’t need to be an art critic to enjoy the Denver Art Museum, located just a mile from the Uptown Denver apartments at AMLI Park Avenue. Well-endowed and expertly curated, the collection is far-reaching enough to appeal to visitors of all ages and levels of artistic knowledge and interest.
The downtown Denver museum’s collection of American Indian art is renowned for being one of the best in the country, and the museum’s temporary exhibits are diverse and compelling. If you want to check out the collection without paying for admission, visit the museum on the first Saturday of each month.
Another exceptional art museum in downtown Denver, the Clyfford Still Museum houses some of the finest examples of abstract expressionist art around. In contrast with many art museums, the Still Museum’s collection can be covered in a single visit. The art showcased is impressive, but so are its galleries. Designed in the minimalist style, they provide an ideal framework for analyzing and appreciating art. If you have any degree of affinity for Clyfford Still, the museum is a must-visit. It houses more than 95 percent of the work he produced throughout his career.
Tattered Cover doesn’t have the national name recognition of Portland’s Powell’s or New York’s Strand, but it probably deserves to. The large, independent bookstore has a phenomenal collection of new and used books, hosts high-profile book signings and other events, and houses a cozy cafe. If you appreciate literature and you haven’t spent much time in this historic downtown Denver bookstore, plan to change that in the near future. Tattered Cover is a 15-minute walk from AMLI Riverfront Park.
The Big Wonderful is so much more than just a farmer’s market. Featuring some of the finest locally sourced produce and handcrafted jams and jellies around, it’s also a thriving flea market and a center for high-caliber free entertainment. Events, held on Saturdays from noon to 7:30 pm, have sand volleyball courts, a craft beer garden, and a full stage. Check out the list of performances scheduled between now and October 31, 2015, and hit up The Big Wonderful on a day when a performer you like will be playing.
The Rocky Mountain region is one of the most abundant and biodiverse in the United States. Those who want to get a grasp on the history and nature of the region would do well to invest a few hours at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The museum’s permanent exhibits provide an understanding of the region’s geologic and cultural histories, as well as the evolution of the environment, humanity, and the universe. Traveling exhibitions to look forward to include the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes and Chocolate: The Exhibition.
For a city of its size, Denver more than pulls its weight where arts, culture, and civic engagement are concerned. Once you’ve checked out attractions you’ve heard of that interest you, look beneath the surface and discover less-publicized treasures. You may end up finding a favorite boutique, gallery, museum, or restaurant within walking distance of your downtown Denver apartment.
What do you think is the most underrated attraction in downtown Denver? Don’t limit yourself–restaurants, bars, museums, and parks are all fair game.
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