With several attractions located within a short walk of Denver's Light Rail Service and Commuter Rail System, it's even easier for visitors of Denver to see more of the city without needing to rent a car. From Coors Field—the home of the Colorado Rockies—to the trendy restaurants and boutique shops of South Pearl Street, there's no shortage of attractions that are easily accessible from the nearly 90 miles of rail and nine distinct rail lines crisscrossing the city. Simply hop on the train (or bus) for a day tour of the city.
The famous Coors Field is home to the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team, and you can get to it via rail Lines A, B, C, E, and W at the Union Station stop. Once you arrive, head north out of the station until you see the baseball stadium.
It's relatively easy to see a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field since most games don't sell out, except for special event weekends like July 4th or when the Rockies play a popular opponent. Additionally, the Rockies Rooftop section offers a fun way to mingle on the rooftop deck, and no seat reservations are necessary to enjoy the space.
For a behind-the-scenes look at this famous Major League Baseball stadium, you can also book a tour of Coors Field. Tours are conducted year-round, last approximately 80 minutes, and cover many sections of the stadium including the dugout, field, Visitor's Clubhouse, Press Level, Toyota Land Cruiser Club, Wells Fargo Club Level, rooftop, and concourse areas.
The 16th Street Mall is a pedestrian-friendly, mile-long shopping destination packed with boutiques, restaurants, and other entertainment destinations also conveniently located within walking distance of Union Station. However, you can also access the 16th Street Mall by taking the C, D, and H lines to the 16th Street and California station.
Featuring national chain stores like H&M and Barnes & Noble as well as a host of local retailers, the 16th Street Mall is closed to traffic with the exception of the free buses that travel the length of the mall, which are known as MallRide buses. Near the south end of the mall, you'll find Denver Pavilions, a shopping and dining complex with 12 movie theaters and over two dozen shops and restaurants.
The Pepsi Center is a 675,000-square-foot music, entertainment, and sports venue that's home to the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Denver Nuggets baseball team, and the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team. Located just across Cherry Creek from the 16th Street Mall and accessible via the C, E, and W Lines to the Pepsi Center / Elitch Gardens Station, this unique venue is a great place to catch a show or a game year-round.
Walk-in and reserved group tours are both available year-round and last approximately 80 minutes each. However, the main draw of the Pepsi Center is the shows and games. Be sure to check the Pepsi Center website for a full line-up of upcoming performances, sporting matches, and special events.
Splash Down at 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 just steps away from the Pepsi Center / Elitch Gardens Station. This Denver institution offers roller coaster rides, thrill rides, water slides, and cabanas for family chill time.
Elitch Gardens is open on select dates from mid-April through the first of November and open daily from mid-May through mid-August each year. Season, weekend, and day passes are available, and special group rates are also for sale on the website throughout the year.
Browse, Shop, and Dine at Union Station
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. Accessible by the C, E, G, and W Lines on the Light Rail, Union Station offers connections to Denver's bus and Amtrak services and provides a stately backdrop for shopping and dining.
Shops at Union Station include 5 Green Boxes, BLOOM, Mercantile Dining & Provision, and the Tatter Cover Book Store—all locally-owned stores catering to locals and visitors alike. Similarly, dining options available at Union Station feature a variety of local Denver restaurants including ACME Delicatessen and Pizzeria, Milkbox Ice Creamery, Next Door Community Pub, Stoic & Genuine, Terminal Bar, and Ultreia.
Home of the Denver Broncos football team, Empower Field at Mile High—formerly known as Sports Authority Field—also hosts concerts and other events that draw Super Bowl-like crowds throughout the year. This massive sports arena is accessible via Lines C, E, and W to the Sports Authority Field Station, but visitors hoping to catch a game or show should plan extra time for walking since the light rail stop is located all the way across the parking lot from the stadium.
Although the regular season for the Denver Broncos runs from early September through the end of December, Empower Field is open throughout the year for special events, concerts, and tours. Public tours of the stadium are guided by knowledgeable professionals from the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Each tour lasts between 75 and 90 minutes and includes access to the field, seating sections, and even a few luxury viewing boxes.
See a Show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
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, and the Denver Center Theatre Company also hosts original dramatic works here as well. Check out their schedule for showtimes, and then hop on Lines D, F, or H to the 14th and Curtis Street Station.
Attend an Expo at the 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.
This multi-purpose convention center encompasses 2,200,00 square feet and is the 12th-largest convention center in the United States. Originally built in 1990, the Denver Convention Center hosts everything from the Denver Boat Show to live performances of kid-friendly productions like PAW Patrol Live throughout the year.
Shop at the Park Meadows Mall
The Park Meadows Mall—a "retail resort" built in the architectural style of a ski lodge—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, Country Line Station, is located across the parking lot from the mall and accessible by the E or F Lines.
Park Meadows features name-brand national brands like Forever 21, JCPenney, Dillard's, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Dick's Sporting Goods alongside a total of 185 stores and restaurants. Park Meadows is open seven days a week—from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Wander Down South Pearl Street
The tree-lined streets of South Pearl Street offer bucolic shopping and eating experiences at boutique shops and high-end restaurants. Enjoy dinner at Denver's acclaimed Sushi Den (with their seaside-fresh fare) or 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.
Dine at the Buckhorn Exchange
A true hunter's paradise accessed by the C, D, E, F and H Lines at 10th and Osage Station, the Buckhorn Exchange—featured on the television show Man V. Food—serves up steaks and wild game dishes like buffalo and elk. Known as Denver's oldest restaurant, the restaurant displays Colorado's first liquor license on its walls decorated with stuffed animal trophies.
Stop by for lunch of lighter fare including Grandma Fanny's pot roast sandwich, buffalo burgers, bratwurst platters, or the Buckhorn's famous bean soup, and for dinner, sample prime grade beef steaks, elk, salmon, game hen, or succulent baby-back pork ribs.
Shop at 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. Featuring 50 stores in a pet-friendly, open-air mall with gorgeous mountain views as a backdrop, this shopping center may be a little off the beaten path for many visitors, but it's well worth the trip to Littleton.