If you’re visiting Denver, Colorado, or plan to in the future, don’t miss the city’s great museums.

Little child in museum pointing at birds on display in a cabinet

The 6 Best Museums to Check out in Denver

If you’re visiting Denver, Colorado, or plan to in the future, don’t miss the city’s great museums. There are traditional science, history and art museums as well as specialty collections dedicated to aviation, aerospace and pop culture. With so many great exhibits, we had a hard time choosing, but you can’t go wrong with these favorites.

1. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Plane and space fans should not miss the opportunity to visit this spectacular aviation museum on the grounds of the former Lowry Air Force Base. Whether you spend an hour here with the kids or an entire morning strolling around, there’s so much to see. The collection includes modern and historic fighter jets, interactive flight simulators, gigantic bombers and small civilian planes. It is a must-see destination for anyone fascinated by flight.

Kid's Day at Wings

2. American Museum of Western Art

If you’d rather look at art than aircrafts, check out the American Museum of Western Art on Tremont Place near the 16th Street Mall. This museum opened in 2010 and includes many 19th and 20th century masterpieces that the business mogul Philip Anschutz added to his private collection over the course of 50 years. It’s only open between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly. We thoroughly recommend the audio tour option, which provides a wealth of information while letting you explore the collection at your own pace.

American Museum of Western Art
Exterior view of the historic Navarre Building, home of the American Museum of Western Art—The Anschutz Collection.

3. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

This century-old museum never fails to impress our resident science buffs. It’s located on the edge of City Park, which is also home to the Denver Zoo. The Museum of Nature & Science has a fantastic array of permanent and traveling collections focusing on dinosaurs, space exploration, mummies, animals, gemstones and human health. There’s also a planetarium and an IMAX theater to entertain the whole family.

4. Forney Museum of Transportation

This hidden gem will appeal to anyone who loves cars, motorcycles, or trains. It’s located off Interstate 70, just west of Colorado Boulevard. The museum’s comprehensive collection includes many rare and historic vehicles, including early mail trucks, police cars, wood-paneled station wagons, military jeeps and quaint mid-century camper vans. You’ll also see trolleys, massive steam-powered locomotives and one of the first electric cars.

5. Denver Art Museum

We adore the permanent and traveling exhibitions that are displayed in this world-class art museum. Expect to see large and varied collections, pre-Columbian art, multi-media art, fashion and pioneers in modern art. And after your visit you can explore the Golden Triangle and the neighborhood’s many art galleries, cafes and pubs.


Courtesy Denver Art Museum
Courtesy Denver Art Museum

6. Byers-Evans House

This important historic landmark is just a few blocks from the state capitol. It is one of the rare museums that gives you an accurate picture of how life was for people in the past. The home dates to 1883, and it became a museum in 1981. More than 90 percent of the items displayed are original to the home. A tour of this museum is a great way to learn about Colorado’s history and one of the most powerful political families in the state’s early days.

Did we miss one of your favorite museums in Denver? If so, tell us about the places that you love to visit.

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