"In the 1800s, it was the railroads that made Denver the largest city between Chicago and San Francisco, so it’s fitting that today one of the most fun ways to get around to city attractions is via the light rail," says Rich Grant, the communications director for Visit Denver. And it's true. With several attractions located within a short jaunt of Denver's light rail system, this city offers tons of activities for those wanting to leave their car at home. From Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) to the trendy restaurants and boutiques of South Pearl Street, just hop on the train (or bus) for a day tour of the city.
16th Street Mall
Accessed by the C, D, and H Lines, the 16th Street Mall is a classic outdoor shopping center with national chain stores like H&M and Barnes & Noble, as well as local retailers. This pedestrian-friendly mall is closed to traffic, with the exception of the free buses that travel the length of the mall. For a shopping trip that's also a short walk from Union Station, take the 16th and California stop.
The famous Coors Field is home to the Colorado Rockies baseball team and you can get to it via rail Lines C, E, and W, taking the Union Station stop. Once you arrive, head north out of the station until you see the baseball stadium. Most games don't sell out, except for weekends like July 4th or when the Rockies play a popular opponent. The Rockies Rooftop section offers a fun way to mingle on the rooftop deck (no seat reservations necessary).
The Pepsi Center, accessed off of the C, E, and W Lines with its own named stop, is home to the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Denver Nuggets baseball team, and the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team. The Pepsi Center also hosts concerts and other events in their 675,000-square-foot venue. Catch a show, a game, or if you're lucky enough, grab tickets to the Stanley Cup finals the next time Denver hosts.
Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park
Serving up summer fun at its downtown location, Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park is right off of Lines C, E, and W and close to the Pepsi Center. This Denver institution offers roller coaster rides, thrill rides, water slides, and cabanas for family chill time.
Denver's transit hub, Union Station, received a facelift in 2014, bringing the 1880's building up to date with restaurants and shops, but still maintaining its historic components. Union Station offers connections to Denver's bus and Amtrak services and provides a stately backdrop for shopping and dining. Get there by taking the C, E, and W Lines.
Address1701 Bryant St, Denver, CO 80204, USA
Home of the Denver Broncos football team, Sports Authority Field at Mile High also hosts concerts and other events that draw a Super Bowl-like crowd. Get there via Lines C, E, and W, and plan extra time for walking since the light rail stop is located all the way across the parking lot from the stadium.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Address1000 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) houses nine venues, including the Boettcher Concert Hall, Buell Theatre, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and Garner Galleria Theatre. Visitors can enjoy touring Broadway musicals, concerts by the Colorado Symphony, and operas staged by the Colorado Opera at the DCPA. The Denver Center Theatre Company also hosts original dramatic works. Check out their schedule for showtimes, and then hop on Lines D, F, or H.
Colorado Convention Center
If you're visiting Denver for a work convention, the Colorado Convention Center (which hosts more than 250 events each year) is conveniently located within walking distance of several downtown hotels. Visitors staying directly outside the city can also take the light rail Lines D, F, and H to the Theater District and Convention Center stop.
Park Meadows Mall
AddressLone Tree, CO 80124, USA
The Park Meadows Mall, a "retail resort" built in the architectural style of a ski lodge (with post and beam construction), is located in the south Denver suburb of Lone Tree, Colorado. Inside, you'll find upscale national chain stores, as well as full-service dining options. The light rail stop is located across the parking lot from the mall. Get there by taking on the E or F Line, taking the County Line stop.
South Pearl Street
The tree-lined streets of South Pearl Street offer a bucolic shopping and eating experience with boutiques and high-end restaurants. Enjoy dinner at Denver's acclaimed Sushi Den (with their seaside-fresh fare) or a grab something quick at one of Pearl Street's trendy coffee shops and pizza parlors. From the light rail stop off of Lines E, F, or H, head south on Pearl Street a few blocks to reach the heart of the shopping district.
The Buckhorn Exchange
The Buckhorn Exchange—featured on the television show Man V. Food—serves up steaks and wild game dishes like buffalo and elk. The restaurant displays Colorado's first liquor license on its walls decorated with stuffed animal trophies. A true hunter's paradise accessed by the C, D, E, F and H Lines at 10th and Osage Station.
Aspen Grove Shopping Center
Aspen Grove is an outdoor shopping center that can be accessed by taking the C and D Lines to Littleton, Colorado. Home to specialty stores like Talbots, Eddie Bauer, and Pottery Barn, as well as several chain restaurants and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, visitors can shop, dine, and catch a movie all in one outing.