Top 10 Intriguing Museums in Denver

Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from Colorado history museums to fine art to sports. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best list highlights the top spots to visit in Denver.

10 Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
This is one of metro Denver's most popular attractions with good reason so saddle up the SUV and get yourself to Golden. In 1917, with some 20,000 mourners in attendance, Buffalo Bill was laid to rest atop Lookout Mountain, where he'd have a permanent view of his beloved mountains and plains. His longtime friend Johnny Baker started the museum a few years later, and today it houses some pretty fascinating photos and memorabilia from the Wild West Show years, Native American artifacts, period firearms and equipment, and interactive kid's exhibits. Giddyup! (303-526-0747)

9 Museum of Contemporary Art | Denver
The cutting-edge Museum of Contemporary Art keeps things fresh by presenting diverse, thoughtful exhibitions approximately every six weeks. In step with its mission to educate and inspire the community through contemporary art, the museum offers an extensive schedule of programs and events, including "Smart Brunch Sundays" and the "Top Ten and What's It To You" conversation series. New perspectives, offered in a variety of media, keep local art-lovers coming back often. (303-298-7554)

8 Black American West Museum
A look at the contributions made by black cowboys, lawyers, and other black professionals to American history. The museum offers interesting tidbits and amazing facts about African-American experiences. (303-482-2242)

7 Molly Brown House Museum
This structure was home to the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, who gained her nickname by surviving the sinking of the Titanic. The home is fully restored and furnished with period pieces. Known for her flamboyance, Molly Brown was a formidable woman in Denver society. Special events such as teas and readings are offered at the home these days. (303-832-4092)

6 Denver Art Museum
Denver Art Museum is highly regarded for its collection of Native American art, which includes over 16,000 pieces from more than 100 tribes across the US. The seven-story contemporary building also houses impressive displays of Pre-Columbian and Central American art and textiles, a fascinating Asian collection, and a fine assortment of modern American and European paintings. The Architecture, Design and Graphics galleries are notable as well. In 2006, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, a craggy structure of steel and glass designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, opened its doors across 13th Street from the original building. The building dramatically increases the museum's gallery and education space while redefining the Denver skyline. (720-865-5000, 720-913-0049)

5 Colorado Railroad Museum
Home to fifty models of old trains, the museum also houses the famed D&RG locomotive, the oldest working locomotive in Colorado. Walk the Museum's 15-acre railyard and train lovers will be impressed with its 100 narrow and standard gauge steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, HO Model Railroad and G-scale garden railway. (303-279-4591, 800-365-6263)

4 The Children's Museum of Denver
If you have kids -- or can borrow some for an afternoon -- you won't want to miss this museum! Hands-on exhibits encourage creativity and learning -- kids love clambering over a fire truck, trying their hand at puppetry or dance, and building their own gizmos from common household recyclables. An art studio and a kid-sized basketball court further enhance the experience. All this fun is bound to make you hungry, so head to the Hungry Tummy Café for sandwiches and cookies, and don't miss the exciting gift shop. (303-433-7444)

3 Byers-Evans House
Dating to 1883, the grand old Byers-Evans House was originally built for newspaper executive Williams Byers. Six years later, it was sold to William Evans, an executive with the Denver Tramway Company and son of a former governor. Today, the home offers lovely architecture, period furnishings, and a film narrating the home's history and its notable owners. Throughout the year, a variety of special events is sponsored, including James Joyce poetry readings and live musical performances. Guided tours available Tuesday through Sunday. (303-620-4933)

2 Denver Museum of Nature and Science
This museum has the largest draw of any cultural exhibit in the region. Denver Museum of Natural History offers an exhilarating look at the history of life on planet earth and also provides an overview of the universe. Kids of all ages enjoy its permanent exhibits: Discovery Zone, Expedition Healthy, Gems and Minerals, and Prehistoric Journey, and Space Odyssey, and its rotating exhibits also draw a huge crowd. (303-370-6000, 800-925-2250)

1 History Colorado Center
Replacing the Colorado History Museum, Denver welcomed the new History Colorado Center on April 2012 into a new LEED-certified (green) building in the Golden Triangle Museum District. The new space tells the stories of colorful, courageous, and persistent Coloradans and includes hands-on, family-friendly activities. The new History Colorado Center debuted in April 2012. Step inside to re-live the stories of colorful Coloradans with fun, family-friendly activities inside a beautiful new building in Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District. The opening exhibits are built around interactive and digital experiences highlighting Colorado's eastern plains homestead communities; descent down a Silverton mine shaft; African American Coloradans mountain escapes near Blackhawk, and an Olympic-inspiring 1915 wooden ski jump from Steamboat Springs. More new exhibits planned in phases. The new space gave the state's historical society the opportunity to start from scratch � to create new ways to experience Colorado's history. The opening exhibits highlight the courage, persistence, triumphs, tragedies and character of the men and women who created Colorado. ((303) 866-3682)


Diana Rowe landed in Denver more than 25 years ago and has never tired of exploring the Mile High City with her family, her husband, or on her own. The nooks and crannies of Denver’s neighborhoods are as exciting as the tried-and-true attractions,  and Denver is always an adventure waiting to happen. As a travel writer for more than 14 years, Diana has explored many local and international destinations. But home is where the heart is, and Denver is forever etched as one of Diana’s favorite destinations.

Read more about Diana Rowe here.

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Maps and Directions

1
Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: Golden
3
Black American West Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: History Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: CURTIS PARK
5
Denver Art Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: Art Museums, Museums
6
Colorado Railroad Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: History Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: Golden
7
The Children's Museum of Denver 10Best List Arrow
Type: Children's Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: Downtown
8
Byers-Evans House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: GOLDEN TRIANGLE
9
Denver Museum of Nature and Science 10Best List Arrow
Type: IMAX Theaters, Museums, Science Museums
10
History Colorado Center 10Best List Arrow
Type: Attractions, Cultural Venues, Family Friendly, History Museums, Museums