Downtown Denver Spotlight

Downtown Denver Spotlight

Our list of the top 9 best Downtown Denver Spotlights you can visit with family or friends for a fun day outside within the city of Denver, Colorado. Please check out the details below for more information.

Top Destinations in Denver

Denver is a metropolis popularly known as the Mile High City. This capital of Colorado has been so-called by the latter because it sits 5,280 feet or a mile above sea level. This city is located in the South Platte River Valley, just east of the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range. Since the discovery of gold in the region during the late 1850s, Denver has grown into a colorful and bright city that enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year.

There is a variety of attractions available for locals and tourists to visit. Denver’s notable leisure and recreational centers include the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Art Museum, and Denver Zoo. Denver residents can also opt to enjoy shopping in the sunny state by visiting Larimer Square, 16th Street Mall, and Denver Pavilion. Foodies can savor local dishes and specialties from different restaurants such as Rioja, The Capital Grille, and Guard and Grace.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Featured Downtown Denver Spotlights #1
Image of the Denver Botanical Gardens by Kimon Berlin

First launched in the late 1950s, the Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the United States. This lush garden spans on 23 acres situated at 1007 York Street next to Cheesman Park. The botanical garden features native plants of Denver and are grown through sustainable and environmentally responsible practices. Exotic fauna species from all over the world are also presently displayed in the gardens.

The Denver Botanic Gardens showcases 43 individual gardens which are laid out in natural landscapes, and some are presented in a more formal manner wherein viewing can be enjoyed by visitors. Highlights of the garden include the Shofu-en Japanese Garden, Marnie’s Pavilion featuring orchids, ferns, and waterfalls, along with Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory that proudly shows exotic tropical and subtropical species. In addition to this Denver Botanic Gardens also hosts special events throughout the year that include concerts by nationally recognized talents.

Denver Art Museum

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Denver Art Museum

One of the best spots to relish in art and culture is the massive Denver Art Museum along 100 west 14th Avenue Parkway in Denver, Colorado. This fortress-like museum is a beautiful building designed by Italian Architect, Gio Ponti displays American, Indian, African, European, Asian, and Oceanic arts.

The Denver Art Museum boasts collections that include Spanish Colonial, pre-Columbian works, and many more. Its recently remodeled Native American galleries impressively cover a broad range of cultures and tribes from the United States and Canada. Some 2,000-year-old pieces highlight its extensive growing collection. Their notable modern and contemporary art collection features the well-known and emerging artists of mixed media. A separate gallery is also dedicated to photography. The Denver Art Museum will surely tickle the visual senses of its guests.

3. Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo

On an 80-acre land along 2900 east of 23rd Avenue in Denver, Colorado lies the majestic Denver Zoo. This zoological garden in City Park began in the late 1800s and had been continually undergoing upgrades and reworks since the 90s. The Denver Zoo is beautifully laid out, with enclosures adapted to different species. With its commitment to serve the public and its resident animals for a long time, Denver Zoo aims to modernize exhibits to accommodate visitors looking to have a fun day at the zoo.

Denver Zoo’s enclosures are home to different species of faunas. Kids and adults can both enjoy attractions such as the polar bears’ den and the monkeys’ island. Some of the newer exhibits at the Denver Zoo include Primate Panorama, Tropical Discovery, and Predator Ridge. Today, the zoo is one of Denver’s most popular attractions.

Shopping Malls

Larimer Square

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Image of Larimer Square by Geoff Livingston in Downtown Denver, CO

One of Denver, Colorado’s popular shopping centers located in Larimer Street is similarly named, Larimer Square. The historic block of Larimer Square used to be filled with the Civil War period landmarks and memorabilia. However, today the old district of Larimer square has been refurbished and restored into retail stores, restaurants, and other commercial establishments.

With varied eccentric shops and lively restaurants, Larimer Square is home to colorful local art displays and delicious dining establishments. Continually evolving with its selection of attractions, the mall has attracted locals and tourists alike. During the day, people come to Larimer to shop, and have coffee and breakfast meals. While in the evening, Larimer offers a distinct entertainment scene that features live talents such as comedians and bands. Indeed, the historical Larimer will make anyone feel at home in Denver, Colorado.

16th Street Mall

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16th Street Mall in Denver, CO

Stretching through the city center is the European style, pedestrian friendly place in 16th Street Mall. With shady trees, flowerbeds, and park benches, 16th Street Mall offers a relaxing shopping experience to its customers. The hip 16th Street Mall is lined with famous stores, small local boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants, 42 outdoor coffee shops, and street traders. At the south end of this shopping mall, the haven is a sky-rise shopping and dining complex which houses 12 movie theaters and two dozen dining options. Customers can navigate through this shopping center through a free shuttle bus that goes around the complex. At the north end of the mall is a pedestrian path that leads to three bridges connecting Downtown Denver to trendy neighborhoods brimming with restaurants and pubs such as  Commons Park and Lohi.

Denver Pavilions

Featured Downtown Denver Spotlights #6
Image of Denver Pavilions by Ken Lund

One of Denver’s best shopping centers is Denver Pavilions. This mall features everything from international brands to locally owned boutiques. The mall is a convenient shopping destination perfect for your day to day grocery essentials or a fun day shopping spree with friends or family. Denver Pavilions offers an estimated 800 underground parking services accessible through Welton Street and another 200 upper ground parking spaces to be accessed from Glenarm Street. For commuters, Denver Pavilions is close to shuttle stops, light rail service, and bicycle stations.



Featured Downtown Denver Spotlights #7

Rioja is an international cuisine restaurant located along Larimer Street in downtown Denver, Colorado. The restaurant features a menu inspired by Mediterranean ingredients infused with seasonal and local produce. Rioja also features an elegant yet straightforward exteriors with hand-blown glass fixtures, a copper-topped bar, and an exhibition kitchen that allows its savory food to shine. The simple selection of meals adds to the overall value of its delicious flavors and textures. Among Rioja’s favorite dishes are scallops, artichoke tortellini, lavender sourdough, and fresh bacon pork belly.

The Capital Grille

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Interior Image of The Capital Grille Restaurant in Downtown Denver by Krista

Just steps from the Center for the Performing Arts on Larimer Square is the fine dining steakhouse, The Capital Grille. This upscale steakhouse chain offers classic American dishes paired with world class wines. Operating seven days a week, The Capital Grille is famously known for its delicious steaks prepared and dry-aged in house. Expertly dry-aged for 18 to 24 days, The Capital Grille steaks hand-cut them with the restaurant’s on-premise butcher. The Capital Grille boasts an extensive wine list featuring more than 350 selections of local and imported spirits. Its floor-to-ceiling wine kiosk has an impressive 3,500-5,000 bottles displayed. With such immense craftsmanship to its menu, events and parties are indeed best celebrated in The Capital Grille.

Guard and Grace

Featured Downtown Denver Spotlights #9

Another steakhouse located in Downtown Denver, Colorado is the Guard and Grace restaurant. This lovely steakhouse sits on the busy corner of 1801 California Street and boasts 9,000 square feet of floor space, offering elegant meals and quality service. Guard and Grace proudly serves its customers with locally sourced meats, cheese, and produce. Its creative menu includes a variety of small plates perfect for sharing. The restaurant also highlights some well loved new dishes for its menu of the day. Some additional services and products of Guard and Grace include a fresh raw bar and local grass-fed beef that provide world class flavors to satisfy your cravings.

Downtown Denver Spotlight