VIVO 2016 Conference
Fun Things to do in Denver

Looking for something to do? Here’s a list of fun activities around Denver! See our transportation section with tips on how to get around.

Explore Downtown
The Denver Marriott City Center is located two blocks from Denver’s 16th Street Mall, which is a mile-long pedestrian promenade with restaurants, shops, and sights. Don’t miss the shopping and dining Denver Pavilions at the south end of the mall, near the Civic Center. LoHi, a trendy neighborhood of restaurants, brewpubs and a contemporary art museum, connects to the 16th Street Mall via the Millennium pedestrian bridge. 

The 16th Street Free MallRide Bus runs along 16th street and makes it easy to traverse the entire mall. For the schedule and a map, see the RTD | Free MallRide site.

Dine and Shop in Union Station
Union Station is one of Denver’s newest (and oldest) destinations. This 100-year-old landmark is home to many local shops and delicious restaurants and bars. Located at the north end of the 16th Street Mall, just a short 5-minute MallRide bus from the Denver Marriott City Center, Union Station is a great destination for a night out! To learn more this fun location, visit the Denver Union Station website

Run, Walk or Bike Local Trails
Trails along Cherry Creek, about 6 blocks southwest of the Denver Marriott City Center, run for 24 miles. To the southeast. To the west, the Cherry Creek trails join the South Platte River trails in Confluence Park, about 1.3 miles from the conference hotel. See Walk Ride Colorado for more information. 

Fans of walking tours can find good examples at this online resource of walking tours, such as an example for fans interested in retracing Kerouac's steps in Denver.

Denver B-cycle is Denver’s bike sharing system. With 88 stations and 700 bikes throughout ten central Denver neighborhoods, you can check out and return a B-cycle at any station 5 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year.


Cheer on the Rockies at Coors Field
Coors Field is just a short 5-minute drive (approximately 11 blocks) from the Denver Marriott City Center. The Rockies will be playing at home during the VIVO Conference. Tickets can be purchased online or directly at the Coors Field stadium. 
• Tuesday, August 16th at 6:40pm
• Wednesday, August 17th at 1:10pm
• Friday, August 19th at 6:40pm

Denver Botanic Gardens
Located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood about 2.4 miles southeast of the conference hotel, stunning Denver Botanic Gardens features 23 acres of multiple educational gardens, a conservatory, and an amphitheatre. Perfect for those craving quiet solitude in a gorgeous setting.

Denver Public Library
Library lovers should head southwest on California and south on Broadway, and after 0.7 miles, you’ll run into the Denver Public Library.  Known for its collections on Denver’s history, the Central Library is housed in a huge postmodern structure designed by Michael Graves. 

Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature & Science
City Park is 2.7 miles due east from the Denver Marriott City Center, and here, you can one visit two of Denver’s highly-recommended attractions in one trip: Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. But give yourself lots of time. The Zoo covers 75 acres and houses over 4,000 animals in recreated habitats. The Museum features artifacts from a variety of scientific disciplines, plus a wildlife habitats exhibit and the popular “Space Oddyssey” area. 

Denver’s Cultural Arts District
Visit Denver’s lively art district home to numerous theaters and attractions. Denver’s Theater District is only a short 2-minute ride (about 6 blocks) from the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel and spans over multiple block areas. To learn more about this exciting district, visit the Denver Theater District website. 

The Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building is an architectural standout designed by Daniel Libeskind. The Museum's galleries showcase a renowned American Indian art collection along with other art collections from around the world. It is a short 6-minute ride from the conference hotel, borders Civic Center Park, and is 3 blocks from the Colorado State Capitol. Around the corner, you’ll also find the Clyfford Still Museum designed specifically to display the work a leading painter of the 20th century, described by many as the most anti-traditional of the Abstract Expressionists.

The MCA Denver contemporary art museum in lower downtown features five galleries (Photography, Paper Works, Large Works, New Media, and Projects), and its rooftop deck is a hidden gem with 360-degree views of the downtown Denver skyline. The MCA is around 13 minutes from the conference hotel by foot and the 16th Street Shuttle, around the corner from Union Station.

Step Outside
There are many great shops, restaurants, and more located close to the Denver Marriott City Center hotel. Take a walk around the block for close-by night out!

Other spots to consider for a night on the town:

Union Station
Mercantile Dining and Provision: Upscale dining in the new Union Station
Stoic & Genuine: Seafood restaurant with fresh seafood flown in Daily
Cooper Lounge: “Secret” cocktail bar above the Terminal Bar
LoDo – Lower Downtown Neighborhood
ChoLon: A higher end restaurant focusing on upscale Asian dining
Falling Rock: Long time beer focused bar with over 70 taps and a broad selection of national and local breweries
Rhein Haus Denver: German style beer hall with pretzels, sausages and indoor bocce ball courts.
RiNo – River North Neighborhood
The Source: Food hall a short cab ride from downtown. Restaurants include Acorn, which was ranked #1 by the local 5280 magazine.  Crooked Stave brewery specializing in sour and barrel aged beers.
Ratio Beerworks: Newer brewery on Larimer Street with great beer and a large inviting patio.  Often has free live music or comedy shows during the week.
Bar Fausto: New bar specializing in cocktails and mixology
LoHi – Lower Highlands Neighborhood
Root Down: A new Denver classic with a focus on locally farmed ingredients
Linger: Situated in an old mortuary, this “eatuary” is a popular happy hour destination
Old Major: “Farmhouse” cuisine with an emphasis on local meat with a well-rounded menu with good beer and cocktail service as well
Avanti Food Hall: A newer food-truck themed hall with Mexican and Chinese
Williams and Graham: Long wait possible, but this is the pre-eminent cocktail bar in the city

Live Music Near Downtown
Dazzle: the premier place for jazz in Denver, praised by DownBeat magazine for featuring an array of talent and acoustically treated walls, so there's not a bad seat in the house.
El Chapultepec: Denver’s oldest jazz and blues club, in the same modest location since 1933
Herb’s Hideout: Herb's hosts live jazz, blues and R&B bands some nights in an unpretentious vintage setting
The Meadowlark: An intimate venue for local rock and alternative bands, the building was built in 1885 in Denver’s historic Ballpark Neighborhood. This underground venue’s rock walls sold the owner on creating the bar down below the street.

Find more fun things to do around Denver here!