Union Station#12 in Best Things To Do in Denver
Denver's Union Station is a two for one: it's a working public transit station and a highly praised dining and shopping center. The station was a huge success when it first opened to the public in 1881, providing railroad service until the center of the building caught fire in 1894. The architecture from the 1917 redevelopment remains and today, it's home to an Amtrak hub and a bus concourse. Located in the hip Lower Downtown neighborhood (aka LoDo), with multiple dining options and boutiques, and The Crawford Hotel, Union Station is a newfound entertainment center.
To learn more about the art, history and retail space of the station, as well as the luxury hotel, consider taking a tour. The Crawford Hotel offers tours of Union Station for $20 and the proceeds benefit the hotel's Dollars For Dreams nonprofit partners. The tour culminates at the Terminal Bar for a complimentary drink, so visitors can get the full Union Station experience.
Travelers say the best way to experience Union Station is by relaxing in the comfortable couches and chairs for some people-watching. This pastime has helped the train station earn the nickname of "Denver's living room." Visitors point out that the facilities are very clean for a working transportation terminal, and note that while the station is not as large as train stations in other cities, such as New York and Washington, D.C., it exudes charm. The bars and restaurants can be pricey, though, so travelers suggest grabbing a drink during happy hour.
Union Station is situated in LoDo and about 26 miles west of Denver International Airport; travelers can easily get from the airport to the train station for $9 one-way via the A Line in less than 40 minutes. There is valet parking in a secure lot available on-site and an app that accompanies the service for easy car retrieval. The attraction is also accessible by light rail and it's within walking distance of the 16th Street Mall. For additional information, such as details on shops and eateries, head to the Union Station website.
More Best Things To Do in Denver
#1 Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
With its excellent views of the Rocky Mountains, miles of hiking trails and cinnamon-hued sandstone cliffs, Red Rocks Park is a big draw for outdoors enthusiasts. Occupying 700-some acres, this impressive park offers visitors the opportunity to experience the fascinating geographic transition between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. If you only have a short amount of time here, stretch your legs along the Trading Post Trail; this nearly 1 ½-mile-long path weaves through the rust-colored buttes, making for some spectacular scenery. Before you head out, travelers recommend stopping by the visitor center, which features information on the parks history and trails.
Another big draw is the expansive amphitheater, which has hosted such headliners as the Beatles, Tom Petty and John Denver. You'll soon find (and hear) that the theater – geologically formed by the red rocks – boasts amazing acoustics and an enjoyable atmosphere. But many recent visitors said that no matter the show, the majestic atmosphere makes it a good time. Even if you can't fit a concert into your schedule, many travelers agreed that the theater is worth a stop for the photos alone, while the park's visitor center features displays dedicated to past acts.
Explore More of Denver
When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.
Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019
Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019
Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019
Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019
Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019
Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019
Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019
Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019
Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019