Metro Denver offers a variety of attractions that appeal to everyone from the young in years to the young at heart. Visitors can experience the beauty of a collection of live butterflies that originated from places around the world at the Butterfly Pavilion to the majesty of a herd of buffalo in their natural habitat at the Bison and Elk Herds, or take a prehistoric journey at Dinosaur Ridge.

If you have a curiosity about animals from across the globe, the Denver Zoo offers more than 750 species and is just minutes from downtown Denver; and The Wildlife Experience in Parker features an extensive collection of natural history and exhibits. For plant lovers, the Denver Botanic Gardens and The Hudson Gardens and Event Center offer serene gardens and plants from around the world. Pick up the pace and visit an amusement park with super-thrill rides or a water park with more than 40 water attractions. Whichever metro Denver attraction you choose, you are destined to have fun and often learn more about the world around you.

Downtown Denver

Colorado State Capitol

Broadway and Colfax Avenue
Denver, 80203
303-866-2604
www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/lcsstaff/capitoltour

Modeled after the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C., the building was made almost entirely of Colorado materials, including granite, white marble, Fort Collins Sandstone and Colorado Onyx, a rare, rose-colored stone used on the wainscoting and pillar facings. A gold dome made from 200 ounces of pure gold leaf tops the Capitol.

Downtown Aquarium – Denver

700 Water St.
Denver, 80211
303-561-4450
www.downtownaquariumdenver.com

This entertainment and dining complex showcases a public aquarium with more than one million gallons of underwater exhibits that feature ecosystems from around the world. The aquarium houses more than 500 species of animals and an interactive Sting Ray Reef touch tank. The complex includes the Aquarium Restaurant, the Dive Lounge, the Nautilus Ballroom and amusements for the entire family.

Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion

400 E. 8th Ave.
Denver, 80204
303-866-3682
www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/residenc.html

The Colorado Governor’s Residence includes museum-quality artwork and furnishings, including the President Grant chandelier, which previously hung in the White House. The Colorado Historical Society offers tours of the mansion.

Elitch Gardens

2000 Elitch Circle
Denver, 80204
303-595-4386
www.elitchgardens.com

For more than 120 years, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park has been a family destination, creating memories worth repeating. Operating on 63 acres, it is America’s only downtown area theme and water park. Elitch Gardens is open May through October and offers 47 rides, live entertainment, shopping, dining and breathtaking views of Denver from every angle. Visit www.elitchgardens.com for additional information and to purchase your tickets online today.

United States Mint

320 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, 80204
303-405-4757
www.usmint.gov

The United States Mint at Denver produces more than 50 million coins daily. Group tours are conducted on weekdays and individuals, families and groups with 15 or fewer people should contact a member of Congress for sponsorship before a tour can be conducted. Contact the Mint for more information.

Venice on the Creek

Speer Boulevard and 14th Street
Denver, 80204
303-893-0750
www.veniceonthecreek.com

Venice on the Creek boasts the only punts— similar to Italian gondolas—in the country and offers you the opportunity to glide down Cherry Creek. Learn about Denver’s history on your ride or enjoy the scenery along Cherry Creek and lower downtown Denver. It also features landscaped pedestrian trails as well as ramps that lead to the bank of Cherry Creek.

Metro Area

Bison and Elk Herds

Genesee Park and Daniels Park
Denver
303-697-4545
www.denvergov.org/Mountain_Parks

Visitors can view two herds of bison and elk in their natural habitat at two area parks. Genesee Park, Denver’s first and largest mountain park, spans 2,300 acres and includes a 160- acre wild elk and bison enclosure. Daniels Park covers more than 1,000 acres, of which 900 acres is a preserve and natural area for Denver’s second herd. The parks offer picnic areas and scenic mountain views.

Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center

6252 W. 104th Ave.
Westminster, 80020
303-469-5441
www.butterflies.org

Spanning five acres, the Butterfly Pavilion is the first nonprofit, stand-alone insect zoo in the country. It features more than 1,200 free-flying butterflies, outdoor butterfly gardens, a nature trail, museum shop and deli. Visitors can watch adult butterflies emerge in a chrysalis viewing area or touch insects from around the world, including Chile’s rose-haired tarantula and Madagascar’s Hissing Cockroach. View peppermint shrimp, hermit crabs and other marine invertebrates in their natural habitat, or feel inches tall in a backyard with giant animatronic insects and interactive exhibits.

Celestial Seasonings

4600 Sleepytime Drive
Boulder, 80301
303-581-1202
www.celestialseasonings.com

Celestial Seasonings, the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty hot teas in the country, offers tours through its art gallery, herb garden and factory. Enjoy samplings of more than 50 varieties of teas and experience The Mint Room where crates of peppermint and spearmint are stored. A café and gift shop are on site.

Colorado State Parks

Colorado
303-470-1144
www.parks.state.co.us

In addition to offering magnificent scenic views and a great outdoor experience, Colorado State Parks offers a host of activities for all ages, including camping, biking, bird watching, boating, cross-country skiing, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, ice skating, jet-skiing, sailing boating, sledding, snowmobiling, swimming and many other activities and attractions.

Coors Brewing Company

13th and Ford streets
Golden, 80401
303-277-2337
www.coors.com
A 45-minute tour through Molson Coors’ brewery in Golden guides visitors through the beer-making process from malting and brewing to packaging. The tour of the largest single brewery in the world includes a stop at a sampling area where complimentary soft drinks and beer samples are served. Beer samples are served to visitors over 21 years of age with a valid I.D.

Denver Botanic Gardens

1007 York St.
Denver, 80206
720-865-3500
www.botanicgardens.org

Recognized as one of the top five botanical gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens spans 24 acres and has more than 32,000 plants from around the world. Other sites are located in Chatfield, Littleton and Mt. Goliath.

Denver Zoo

2300 Steele St.
Denver, 80205
303-376-4800
www.denverzoo.org

Started in 1896, the Denver Zoo has grown to be one of the most visited zoos in the country and Colorado’s most popular cultural attraction. Located on 80 acres, just minutes from downtown Denver in City Park, the zoo is recognized internationally as a leader in exhibitry and continues to grow as a leader in conservation and education programs. Home to nearly 4,000 animals representing over 750 species, the zoo is open every day. In 2004, the zoo unveiled Predator Ridge, a three-acre exhibit that features Africa’s greatest predators.

The series of five exhibits recreates a portion of the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. Visitors can wind through rock outcroppings and brush to discover amazing views of lions, African wild dog and hyena. The zoo continues to create innovative wildlife habitats such as Tropical Discovery, Northern Shores and Primate Panorama. Gates Wildlife Conservation Education Center, a regional hub for activities, introduces Coloradans of all ages to the principles of conservation and natural resources.

Dinosaur Ridge

16831 W. Alameda Pkwy.
Morrison, 80465
303-697-3466
www.dinoridge.org

Located just 15 miles west of downtown Denver in the Morrison Fossil Beds National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge is an outdoor museum that features Jurassic dinosaur bones and more than 300 Cretaceous dinosaur footprints. A visitor’s center and gift shop are located on-site.

Four Mile Historic Park

715 S. Forest St.
Denver, 80246
303-399-1859
www.fourmilepark.org

Four Mile Historic Park seeks to preserve Colorado’s western rural heritage. It is home to Four Mile House, Denver’s oldest house, which once served as a stagecoach stop, wayside inn and tavern for travelers on the Cherokee Trail.

The 12-acre park offers school/youth programs, senior field trips, special events, guided museum and grounds tours, a summer day camp and site rental opportunities

The Hudson Gardens and Event Center

6115 S. Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, 80120
303-797-8565
www.hudsongardens.org

The Hudson Gardens and Event Center offers a multitude of concerts, educational programs and holiday events throughout the year. Visitors will enjoy the facility’s 21 gardens, which vary from flower, herb and water gardens to wetlands and the cascades. The gardens span 30 acres and are arranged around a garden railroad, ponds, wildlife, sculptures and other natural displays and hideaways.

Lakeside Amusement Park

I-70 and Sheridan
Denver, 80212
303-477-1621
www.lakesideamusementpark.com

This amusement park offers countless rides, games and roller coasters for adults, as well as 15 rides for children. The park offers free parking and welcomes picnics.

Mile High Flea Market

7007 E. 88th Ave.
Henderson, 80640
303-289-4656
www.milehighfleamarket.com

Open on Wednesday and on the weekend, this indoor-outdoor market caters from 20 to 40,000 customers regularly.

Mother Cabrini Shrine

20189 Cabrini Blvd.
Golden, 80401
303-526-0758
www.den-cabrini-shrine.org

Owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this shrine is a place of prayer, pilgrimage and devotion to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. The area includes a chapel, grotto, statue, artifacts, barn and a stone house available for meetings.

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

1850 Table Mesa Drive
Boulder, 80305
303-497-1174
www.ucar.edu

Discover how scientists study weather and climate at NCAR’s Mesa Lab. Enjoy science exhibits, an educational research center, gift shop, weather trail, art galleries and special public events. The site also is a natural preserve for wildlife that roam the area and in nearby mountain parks.

Tiny Town, Colorado

6249 S. Turkey Creek Road
Tiny Town, 80465
303-697-6829
www.tinytownrailroad.com

Touted as the oldest village and railroad in the country, Tiny Town was created at the site of the Denver-Leadville stagecoach stop southwest of Denver in 1915. Today, the onesixth- sized town has more than 100 colorful buildings and offers a train ride that is powered by authentic steam locomotive.

Water World

West 88th Avenue and Pecos Street
Denver, 80260
303-427-7873
www.waterworldcolorado.com

Located on 64 acres, the park features 42 water attractions, including Speed Slides, Lazy River and Thunder Bay. Picnics are welcome and parking is free. Other amenities include a gift shop, tube rentals and lockers.