Both are rated very highly by travel writers. On balance, Denver Zoo scores marginally higher than Downtown Aquarium. Denver Zoo has a TripExpert Score of 85 with recommendations from 6 reviewers including Where, Lonely Planet and Afar Magazine.
What is the Denver Zoo known for?Modeled after a Kenyan nature preserve, the Denver Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals, including tigers, black rhinos, kangaroos and orangutans. Sprawling across 80 acres of City Park, this impressive facility boasts a number of ways to view our furry, feathered and reptilian friends.
Is Denver Zoo big?32 ha Denver Zoo/Area
Does the Denver Zoo have snakes?Youll meet an assortment of Denver Zoos most fascinating reptilian representatives—including snakes, large lizards, turtles, tortoises and more. Youll also get to learn from our knowledgeable animal care experts as they provide our reptiles with food and enrichment.
Nicknamed Mile High City, Denver is located in the foothills of the iconic Rocky Mountains at approximately 1 mile above sea level. Not only does this make it one of the highest cities in the United States, but also gives it one of the most stunning mountainous backdrops in the world! But for those who prefer to exert less energy while on holiday there is also a fantastic array of art galleries, museums and interesting architecture to enjoy too.
There are just so many things on offer, it can be hard to decide on what to do in Denver. The peak dominates the western skyline of the Great Plains along with Pikes Peak, Longs Peak, and nearby Mount Bierstadt. The Mt Evans Scenic Byway is windy, nerve-wracking and sometimes slow-going, taking you past alpine lakes and meadows, but it is absolutely breath-taking! The summit itself is only accessible in Summer, but along the way you can hike, fish and picnic. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, elk and sheep that are known to roam the area.
Arguably one of the best outdoor music venues in the world, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is as legendary as the bands that have played there! The giant slabs of red sandstone provide amazing acoustics and an even more dramatic setting that bands and solo artists cannot resist filming their concerts at the venue. If there is a concert at Red Rocks that coincides with your visit, get your tickets now and thank us later!
Denver is all about craft beers and the experimental flavors that distinguish these brews from your typical mass-produced beer. Most brewpubs in the city offer tasters of the various ales, lagers and pilsners on sale, and a hearty meal for when hunger strikes. Each craft brewery has a different style that reflects the origins or inspiration for their continued love of beer. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is super popular for parents taking their kids on a local excursion, but this fascinating museum also appeals to adults without little ones!
The museum started off as the Carter Museum, named after naturalist Edwin Carter, who Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?
displaying a collection of birds and mammals from his log cabin home in 1868. Denver Botanical Gardens is a great place to relax, stroll around and to be surrounded by colorful vegetation! The gardens are gorgeous all year round, and make for a perfect family outing! Conservation is a high priority for the curators who work tirelessly to provide conditions favorable for endangered plants, and natural habitats for vulnerable animal species.
The gardens provide a wide range of settings from a tropical biosphere to a Japanese garden complete with pond and lily pads. If you spend a few hours time goes by without even realizing in this oasisbe sure to pack a light picnic or something to snack on. Alternatively, you can enjoy a meal at one of two great restaurants! The station building first opened in 1881 and has since undergone major renovations to become the beautiful structure it is today.
Along with a historic terminal building, the station also features a grand hotel and several restaurants and retailers. A walk through this marvelous building will be especially pleasing for architecture buffs and admirers as Beaux-arts, classical revival and Romanesque revival styles are on show.
This is a brilliant Denver attraction that makes for a great stop while traveling solo, visiting friends, or when you just need a quick break from the kids! The distillery offers visitors a free guided tour of the facility, taking you through the different stages of whiskey production, and most importantly…a tasting at the end! The ziplining course is nestled in the Rocky Mountains and will provide you with an amazing adventure!
With an elevation of over 8,000 feet, the views are absolutely magical, but only if you remember to open your eyes. Fly at speeds of up to 50mph along a course of over 6,000 ft in length!
It is a fantastic way to enjoy some fresh air, see some magnificent Rocky Mountain views, and have a whole lot of fun. Make a Stop at the Denver Art Museum Denver Art Museum houses one of Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? most impressive collections of art in the United States! Spread across two buildings that are just as impressive as the art inside, the museum is probably best known for its displays of Native American and western American art.
Their extensive collection of western American art, including paintings, sculptures and drawings going back two centuries is a must-see! Visits to the wine country are normally a two or three-day affair and a pleasant experience. The urban wineries and wine bars found in Denver tend to be hidden gems and intimate, perfect for individuals, couples or small groups.
Most wineries offer tastings, and some even offer wine tours, meaning you can! Wine always goes well with some savory snacks, so enjoy a few hours relaxing in a nice setting, sipping on some tasty wines and tucking into a gourmet Italian dish! Two of these suburbs are LoDo Lower Downtown and RiNo River North Arts District. LoDo is a bustling downtown neighborhood now known for its trendy shopping and dining scene.
Make sure you bring your camera along to capture some of the artistic flair and beautiful scenes! Explore the Victorian-Era Molly Brown House Photo: self Located in the Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?
Hill District, the Molly Brown House Museum is a classic Victorian Manor with an interior reflecting life around the late 1800s. Visit a Cannabis Factory The recreational use of cannabis in Colorado has been legal since 2012, with Denver benefitting from an increase in tourists eager to get the health benefits of cannabis-based products. If you Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? interested in the cultivation, production or use of cannabis, why not visit a cannabis factory to get the latest information on this medicinal plant.
See the grow room, extraction lab and packaging center, and learn everything there is to know about the health benefits of the cannabis plant. Something you need to watch out for when driving in Denver is aggressive drivers.
Locals tend to drive at speeds above the speed limit and are renowned for being impatient. The Rocky Mountains are fantastic for getting out in nature and offer amazing hiking Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?. However, wild animals such as mountain lions, bears, and wolves live in the area, so be prepared and respectful when heading outdoors. You should always keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas as pickpocketing can occur.
But a good way to stop would-be pickpockets in their tracks is simply to wear a money belt which we highly recommend Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? something like the very discreet will work wonders. Finally, remember to purchase travel insurance in case of any accidents or cancelations! Read our before you fly and always get travel insurance. Get your cash stashed with this awesome Pacsafe money belt.
It will keep your valuables safe no matter where you go. Never get caught with your pants down again! The neighborhood is home to some of the most haunted buildings in the city! Some notable locations include the Sheedy Mansion, 13th Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? and Poets Row. Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our for the inside scoop! A night out at the mansion is sure to provide some laughs, a belly full of good food, and wonderful experiences. The evening opens with a welcome drink in the Victorian parlor rooms, a scavenger hunt that introduces you to a couple of characters, then into the dining room for a buffet meal and a great murder mystery.
Sample the Denver Nightlife Each corner of this city might offer something different at night. No matter what your style, there is certain to be a place to party that suits your taste in Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? or social status. The Denver music and nightlife scene is alive with alive and kicking! On any given night, there are local and national artists playing a wide range of genres in clubs throughout the metro area.
From the stylish lounges and trendy joints in Larimer Square and LoDo to the energetic dance floors of the South of Colfax Nightlife District, The Mile High City knows how to party in style!
Where to Stay in Denver Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Denver, Colorado. Best Hostel in Denver: The Ember Hostel is our pick the best hostel in Denver. Set at the heart of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood, this hostel is a short walk from tourist attractions, bars, clubs, restaurants and more.
It has a fun and social atmosphere, a spa Jacuzzi, and an outdoor fire pit. Best Hotel in Denver: Thanks to its central location and variety of amenities, this 4. If you and your partner enjoy being outdoors and in nature, then what could be more romantic than spending an intimate day out in the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park?
The Rocky Mountains are a short drive away, and make for a great little getaway or day trip. There are some amazing hiking trails through alpine meadows and forests, with incredible views from elevated peaks! In winter the national park is a good place to go skiing and snowshoeing. If you are looking to keep your man happy, treat him to some of the tastiest offerings in Denver!
Men, the same works in the reverse. Denver has a pretty diverse food culture with beef and game meat being prominent ingredients in typical western American fare, and green chili being ever popular. A great dish to try for anyone visiting the city would be Rocky Mountain oysters — deep-fried bull testicles! Catch a Show at the Denver Performing Arts Complex Photo: Dave Friedel is one of the largest multi-venue performance centers in the world!
It stages all kinds of live performances, such as ballets, symphonies, operas, and occasionally rock concerts too. It is the venue of choice for touring Broadway shows, as well as locally produced plays. The outdoor space hosts all kinds of celebrations in summer, and is a hive of activity for months on end!
Many of the local micro-breweries offer behind-the-scenes tours of their facilities, where you can brush up on your brewing knowledge and taste some samples too! Brewery tours are offered at Strange Craft Beer Company, Great Divide Brewing Co, Prost Brewing Co and Wynkoop Brewing Co, just to name a few. For premium lager lovers, is a must-do! The set-up is rather similar to a museum, with lots of information pieces and exhibits on display to help you appreciate all the steps of making a great-tasting beer.
The best part of all has to be the free beer at the end, it just makes everything worth it! Explore the United States Mint Photo: Billy Hathorn For anyone curious about the production of coins, a trip to is an absolute must! Today, the mint is still in operation, producing coins for circulation, as well as commemorative coins.
Be sure to book a visit in advance, as this is a popular activity! The Denver Capitol Building is a cornerstone of the city and one fine example of American neoclassical architecture!
Constructed in the 1890s from Colorado white granite, the building officially opened in 1894. The Capitol is intricately decorated, with the gold dome containing real gold leaf to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush! Be sure to climb the narrow stairs leading up to the dome of this historic building, and take in the exquisite views from the top!
Its history extends back to the 19th century when Colorado was in the midst of the gold rush! Browse the unique shops, sit down at a trendy Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? or just admire the few remaining old buildings. The book is set on the east coast, but it can certainly teach thing or two about enjoying nature in Colorado.
For a fun day out for the whole family, or anyone who loves sea life, the Downtown Aquarium is a must! An aquarium in a landlocked state may be an unusual idea, but it provides a valuable service educating the public about the amazing life under the sea, and sparking a curiosity in kids that may not have ever left the state. There are many displays to keep you entertained, and a visit here is a fantastic idea for both young and old alike.
Kids in particular love seeing the live mermaid show and getting soaked in the flash flood exhibit! This fantastic facility that encourages learning and joy is the result of almost 50 years of ongoing stimulation for our young ones. Since the museum was started from a converted school bus in 1973, it has grown into a must-do for children of all ages!
Once inside, children are exposed to interactive, unique and engaging opportunities which include wood-working, grocery marketing station, rocket launching, rock climbing, cave exploration and lots more!
Encourage your kids to run, roam and explore while you get a much-needed break! For all baseball fans, there is nothing more exciting than being taken to a ballgame at Coors Field! Home to Major League outfit the Colorado Rockies, Coors Field is a family-friendly ballpark with a great atmosphere! For a good view of the action, with a spectacular backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, go for a seat near first base or behind the right outfield.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride Photo: DarlArthurS Treat your special other to an extra special activity, when you take to the skies over Colorado in a hot Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? balloon! A hot air balloon ride is a sure way to impress a loved one, especially while sipping on some champagne and taking in the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Typically, hot air balloon rides take place in the morning, just after sunrise in the golden light of Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?
early morning, when the world is slowly waking up. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the inner workings of one of the most state-of-the-art stadiums in North America!
The museum has a collection of over 600 transportation artifacts that includes all sorts of cars, motorcycles, aircraft, carriages, steam locomotives, and bicycles. From a single 1921 Kissel, the museum expanded rapidly to what it is today, and makes for a great stop while in Denver. Remember what we said before about fast drivers? Driving down the super-curvy canyon roads of Colorado is more fun in limited release Lamborghini or specialized Porsche.
Let your hair down along a 65-mile canyon drive and! The candy store provides complimentary factory tours that are educational and fun for candy lovers of all ages. Photo: Ewen Roberts For baseball fans of all ages, a visit to this museum will definitely be something to remember!
Downtown Aquarium (Denver)
Since the owner, Bruce Hellerstein, decided to display his amazing collection of ballpark memorabilia from the basement of his house, baseball fans from around the country have been making annual pilgrimages to this beloved museum.
The Denver Climbing Company Outdoor Climbing School provides professional guides that ensure rock climbing activities are done in a fun and safe environment. Anyone is welcome to join, including beginners, kids and experienced climbers Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?. Routes are set up to accommodate all skill levels and provide a fun challenge for everyone! Walk along the 16th Street Mall The 16th Street Mall is pedestrian-only thoroughfare lined with a variety of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, making it a popular place to visit during the day!
It stretches over a mile long, and is neatly lined with red oak and locust trees. The 16th Street Mall attracts a diverse range of shoppers and street performers, making it a great place for a stroll and a bit of people-watching!
Take a tour of either and then sample the sweet nectars of the gods. It is also one of the most impressive national parks in the entire nation and receives a boatload of visitors.
Spend a day exploring this park,to drive the superlative Trail Ridge Road summer only or via one of the many trails. Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Cherry Creek State Park 17. Boulder Map of Denver not to scale. This area hosts some of the most significant landmarks in the city including the aforementioned Capitol, the Denver Art Museum, the Molly Brown Museum, and Civic Center Park.
The Art Museum is known for its excellent exhibitions and ultra-modern design, which provides the setting for some of the best photos in Denver. The Civic Center Park and adjacent Capitol Building are also two of the prettiest areas in the city, often the site for local festivals.
Free buses run along 16th Street for most of the day. As we approach the end of 16th Street, we arrive at Union Station, which serves as both a train station and cafeteria.
There are Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? of little eateries, bars, and restaurants inside Union Station and I personally love how exciting they make the station. Whereas many American train stations feel decrepit, Union Station feels active and alive with both travelers and patrons alike.
Beyond Union Station is Confluence Park, the South Platte River, and the Highlands neighborhood. Highlands is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Denver and a great place to grab a drink. End your day with a beer and some sweet views of the city, especially at Avanti. It even contains the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Science, and a golf course! Moving west from City Park we hit 17th Street aka Midtown, which is a bit of a local spot. RiNo River North was once one of the worst areas in Denver, a hangout for junkies and squatters.
New bars and restaurants, as well as amazing street art and murals, are constantly popping up around RiNo. End your day at the impressive Source facility for some grub. Aside from being visually arresting, the Source hosts some of the best restaurants in Denver that are sure to leave you satisfied. Note that all of the places mentioned in this section can be reached by public transit, but you should consider renting a car. The town itself is smaller and pretty quiet compared to Denver but is much closer to the Rocky Mountains.
Some of the best attractions near Denver are located around Boulder including Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon, and Isabelle Lake. Visit Boulder for a chance to get outdoors and play around a bit. Golden — A small town at the base of the Rockies. Aside from being beautiful and hosting a number of hikes, Golden is also home to the Coors Brewery, Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better?
offers free tours! Cherry Creek State Park — A very popular getaway for Denverites. Is the Denver Zoo or aquarium better? Creek State Park offers swimming, camping, and boating all within the Denver metropolitan area! Rocky Mountain Arsenal — A formal chemical weapons plant that was turned into a wildlife refuge after much rehabilitation.
35 UNIQUE Things to Do in Denver [in 2022]
Hosts an impressive array of local fauna, most notably a large herd of bison, the closest such to Denver. Also has stellar views of the city. There are people that want you home in one piece.
And then… let the shenanigans begin. From epic day trips into the Rocky Mountains to homely craft breweries and museums, there is plenty to get busy with on your trip to Denver. Make sure you plan ahead and compile your ideal Denver itinerary to make the most of your stay.
A fantastic mix of history, sport, artisanal craftsmanship, exceptional scenery and warm hospitality await you on your Denver getaway! Thanks for reading — that was fun! But we do it because we love it — we love providing epic and free content. We love the knowledge that our content keeps you adventuring. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Adventurer, vanlifer, photographer, designer, and world traveller - these are just some of the many hats that Sheridan Cooper has worn over the years.
While he's hard to catch up with in the real world, you can usually find him on his blog and website .