5 Things to Do in Denver on a Budget

union station in denver

Not all things in life have to break your savings account just for the opportunity to experience some fun. Denver does have some pricey places to shop and eat, but some of the best things to do in the Mile High City can be accessed on a very reasonable budget. Denver is known as a gorgeous city for a reason. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains the local scenery is breathtaking all year long and diverse enough to keep your large group interested. Let me share some spots that both locals and travelers absolutely love, and that you can easily get to in your passenger van rental.  

The Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens is tucked next to the famous Elitch Gardens near downtown Denver. Spanning across over 24 acres, this garden features collections of plants from every corner of the world. A constant update of new plants and biome features keeps this place feeling new and exciting.  One of my favorite features displays all the diversity that we have at high altitude elevations. 

Union Station

Inside of the Union Station in Denver

For a more relaxed, urban feel, I recommend an afternoon wandering around Union Station. Known locally as “Denver’s living room” due to the fact that chairs and tables are generously scattered around allowing visitors to eat and relax.  This high energy location offers some of the best dining that is not only award-winning but highly unique and tasty! After you are done eating, make sure to treat yourself to all the locally curated shops on site with all the top-quality items you could want. 

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Dinosaur bones at the Denver Museum

When coming to Denver, you can’t miss a chance to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science located in the downtown area.  Built in 1900, this long-standing site features some fascinating exhibits.  At the entrance, you will be greeted by some of the biggest dinosaur bones you have ever seen! Featuring exhibits about Egypt, local minerals, Native American history and more, there is something here for everyone. 

Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

For the art lovers, we have the well known and loved Denver Art Museum to explore. With a big emphasis on local and indigenous art, it is easy to get a taste of Colorado history on these walls. Many exhibits featured come from all over the world. Places like Latin America and Europe are present as well as one of the largest collections of Asian art in Colorado. From such a diverse and varied pool of art, everybody will find something breathtaking and inspiring. 

Denver Zoo

Sheep at the denver zoo

My favorite place to go every chance I get is the Denver Zoo. Stretched out over 84 acres, this massive zoo is easy to get lost in for a day. Built in 1896 and owned by the city of Denver, this zoo is well maintained and clean. Many animals from across the globe call this place home and can be seen in the natural habitats lovingly maintained by the professionals that keep them. Big and exciting rhinos hanging out next to the majestic tigers and lions can fill anyone up with excitement. Always bringing in new exhibits as well as updating their current ones, this place is an exciting way to spend a day. 

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