Denver has plenty of fun and unique tourist attractions that are real must see attractions. Sadly there are also many not so great attractions or tourist traps. If you want to see the best side of Denver then you should see the real sites and avoid the tourist traps. Here are 10 Denver tourist traps to avoid.
1. Denver Zoo: There is nothing bad about the Denver Zoo per se but there is nothing special about it either. If you are local and want to take your kids to a zoo then by all means go to the Denver Zoo. If you are a visitor though there are so many other unique places to see then a zoo that is no match for other larger zoos like San Diego, D.C., New York, or even smaller less famous zoos. Even a trip to Sea World or Busch Gardens is a more impressive zoological experience.
2. Cherry Creek: Cherry Creek is an upscale neighborhood. Being upscale it includes expensive houses that might be interesting to look at if you could see past the fences. They also have upscale shopping areas. However this is an expensive tourist trap that will cost you more then a normal bus fare to even get there. Other upscale neighborhoods like Beverly Hills are more interesting then Cherry Creek, which is not very tourist friendly.
3. 16th Street Mall: Well what can you say it’s a mall. It might be bigger then your local mall if you live in a smaller urban center then Denver but otherwise its not a attraction to see over the many good Denver attractions.
4. LoDo: Lower Downtown is the same thing as the mall and Cherry Creek. Its just one area of town that people live that is not as upscale as Cherry Creek but is a “historic district” so tourist who don’t know better will say hey it’s a “historic district” lets go see it. There is really nothing but stores and upscale apartment complexes to see and most people don’t consider that a real tourist destination worth seeing.
5. The Molly Brown House: Well if you saw the movie Titanic or have ever heard of the Unsinkable Molly Brown you might think it is a worthwhile tourist destination but you would be wrong. While it might be interesting if you are a local and have never been or are really into learning about the Titanic. For someone rich the house is really small. You learn about Molly Brown but a lot of it is lame like how she was ultimately an uncouth uneducated crass redneck and that is why no one liked her in Denver high society, but then again no one but rednecks would have liked her.
6. Denver Botanic Gardens: It’s a big garden that’s about it. It’s not even a good garden. There are plenty of other gardens across the nation that are better some of which are famous such as the Arboretum in LA where many films have been shot, or even in smaller cities like Fresno you can find better botanic gardens.
7. Lumber Baron Murder Mystery Theater: This theater is fun but expensive. It is not a unique idea to Denver and it is not the best of its kind. If you are a resident its worth going to but if you are visiting then avoid this tourist trap and go to a similar but probably better one in a large city near you.
8. Red Rocks: If you like outdoors then this is a good place to go, however as many places on the list is not special or unique. It is a state park and many consider it beautiful but there are many more interesting places that outdo Red Rocks that are near by including many Utah State Parks like Bryce Canyon Monument Valley, most any Utah state park actually is better, the Grand canyon, and many close neighboring states like Idaho have state parks or even places that are just recreational areas that are not even state parks that are as god or better. In Denver this is not even the best place to see nature, for instance you could go to the Loveland ski area. Or in Colorado there are many more places to see that are world famous which are worth your time.
9. Adams Mystery Playhouse: This is a worse version of the Lumber Baron. First it takes its name from the Adams Family, which is a bit dated, and never a mainstream show, and the movies are the kind that might have had an audience when they were in the theater but after that no one ever watches them. It also appears that is trying to be based off the Adams family but it hasn’t exactly licensed the name. Its like going to a knock off Chinese Disneyland with a mascot named Morty the Mouse. The one upside is that it offer a kid version of the show but are little kids going to be into a murder mystery and is it worth spending the money for them? Older kids might be interested but they wouldn’t want to go to the kid version they would want to do the regular show.
10. Black Hawk: If you like to gamble then you might be interested. They point out they have more casinos then Atlantic City and are not as gaudy as what they consider there counterparts of Reno and Kansas City. At least Reno casinos are not old dilapidated buildings. Most casino areas have something better then Black Hawk. Indian Casinos have ore to offer in way of games, Las Vegas, has more glamour, Atlantic City legally has to allow card counters, etc everywhere else has something making it be worth your time if you are interested in gambling.
While this list may seem long remember there are many places worth seeing in Denver. The capitol, Elitch Gardens, and many more tourist attractions are must sees if you are in Denver. Don’t waste your time in Denver on a tourist trap.