12 Denver Tourist Attractions on Light Rail

Denver's light rail system offers a convenient way to visit tourist attractions in the Mile High City. While not all attractions are accessible via the light rail, downtown attractions are a short hop from the suburbs on all six light rail lines. For more information on how to ride the light rail, visit How to Ride the Light Rail in Denver.

"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 Light Rail," said Rich Grant, the communications director for VISIT DENVER. "And coming in 2016 will be direct commuter rail service from Denver International Airport to downtown’s Union Station."

According to the Regional Transportation District (RTD), more than 100 million passengers traveled on the light rail and bus system in 2013. Light rail ridership grew by 15% alone in 2013. "With the opening of bus rapid transit, commuter...MORE rail and new light rail lines in the coming years, we expect these numbers to continue to grow as more people use public transportation in their daily lives," said Phil Washington, RTD general manager and CEO, in a statement.

  • 01 of 12

    16th Street Mall

    16thstreetmall.JPG
    ••• Photo © Nina Snyder

    Lines: C, D, and H
    Stop: 16th & California

    The 16th Street Mall is an outdoor shopping center with stores such as H&M, Barnes and Noble and other national chains, as well as local retailers. The pedestrian-friendly mall is closed to traffic, with the exception of free buses that travel along the mall. The 16th Street Mall is also a short walk from the Union Station light rail stop.

  • 02 of 12

    Coors Field

    coorsfield.JPG
    ••• Coors Field is home to the Colorado Rockies. Photo © Nina Snyder

    Lines: C, E, and W
    Stop: Union Station

    Coors Field is home to the Colorado Rockies baseball team. From Union Station, head north until you see the baseball stadium. Most games do not sell out, unless you are trying to see a game over Fourth of July or when the Rockies are facing a popular opponent. In 2014, the Rockies introduced the Rockies Rooftop section without reserved seats on a rooftop deck.

  • 03 of 12
    pepsicenter_visitdenver.jpg
    ••• Steve Crecelius/VISIT DENVER

    Lines: C, E, and W
    Stop: Pepsi Center & Elitch Gardens

    The Pepsi Center is home to the Colorado Avalanche hockey team and the Denver Nuggets baseball team, as well as the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team. The Pepsi Center also hosts concerts and other events at the 675,000-square-feet venue, which opened in 1999.

  • 04 of 12

    Elitch Gardens

    Lines: C, E, and W
    Stop: Pepsi Center & Elitch Gardens

    Elitch Gardens Theme Park has served up summer fun since 1999 in its downtown location, but Elitch's has been a Denver institution since 1890 when it opened on the West side of Denver. The amusement park offers rollercoasters and other thrill rides, as well as its Island Kingdom water park to beat the heat.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Union Station

    unionstation_exterior.JPG
    ••• Denver's Union Station was built in 1880. Photo © Nina Snyder

    Lines: C, E, and W
    Stop: Union Station

    Denver's transit hub of Union Station received a facelift in 2014, bringing the 1880's ​building up to date with restaurants and other attractions. Union Station offers connections to bus service and Amtrak service, as well as a stately backdrop for shopping and dining.

  • 06 of 12

    Lines: C, E, and W
    Stop: Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    Sports Authority Field at Mile High is the home of the Denver Broncos football team. Occasionally, the stadium also hosts concerts and other events.The light rail stop is located across the parking lot from the stadium, so budget additional time to walk to the entrance of the stadium.

  • 07 of 12

    Denver Center for the Performing Arts

    dcpa_downtowndenverarts.JPG
    ••• Photo © Nina Snyder

    Lines: D, F, and H
    Stop: Theatre District & Convention Center

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is home to 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 opera staged by the Colorado Opera at the DCPA. The Denver Center Theatre Company also stages original dramatic works.

  • 08 of 12

    Colorado Convention Center

    ColoradoConventionCenter.jpg
    ••• Steve Crecelius/VISIT DENVER

    Lines: D, F, and H
    Stop: Theatre District & Convention Center

    Are you attending a convention in Denver? The Colorado Convention Center, which opened in 1990, hosts more than 250 events each year. The Convention Center is conveniently located within walking distance of several downtown hotels, but visitors staying in the suburbs can also take the light rail to events at the venue. 

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Park Meadows Mall

    Lines: E and F
    Stop: County Line 

    Park Meadows Mall is located in the south Denver suburb of Lone Tree, Colo. The mall, billed as a "retail resort," was built in the architectural style of a ski lodge with wooden beams.The light rail stop is located across the parking lot from the mall, so allow additional time to walk to the entrance.

  • 10 of 12

    South Pearl Street

    southpearlstreet.JPG
    ••• Photo © Nina Snyder

    Lines: E, F, and H
    Stop: Louisiana & Pearl 

    The tree-lined streets of South Pearl Street offer a bucolic shopping experience with boutiques and high-end restaurants, as well as coffee shops and pizza parlors. From the light rail stop, head south on Pearl Street for a few blocks to reach the heart of the shopping district.

  • 11 of 12

    The Buckhorn Exchange

    Lines: E, F, and H
    Stop: 10th & Osage

    The Buckhorn Exchange, built in 1893, has been serving up steaks and wild game such as buffalo and elk for more than 100 years. The restaurant displays Colorado's first liquor license on its walls decorated with animal trophies. The Buckhorn Exhange was featured on the television show "Man v. Food."

  • 12 of 12

    Aspen Grove Shopping Center

    Lines: C and D
    Stop: Littleton/Mineral

    Aspen Grove is an outdoor shopping center in the southwest suburb of Littleton, Colo., that is home to specialty stores such as Talbots, Eddie Bauer and Pottery Barn. Restaurants include Ted's Montana Grill and Rice Bistro & Sushi, and visitors can enjoy both dinner and a movie at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

    Nina Snyder is the author of "Good Day, Broncos," a children's e-book, and "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book. Visit her website at ninasnyder.com.