Art in the Mile High City

Art in the Mile High City: Discovering Denver’s Best Parks for Outdoor Inspiration

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Denver is a rich city in culture and art, with a thriving art scene that continues to grow and evolve. One of the best ways to experience the city’s art is by visiting its many beautiful parks. In this article, we’ll explore some of Denver’s best parks for art lovers, and why these parks stand out.

The Importance of Art in the Outdoors and Art in the Mile High City

Art and nature have always been connected, and there’s no better way to experience the beauty than by visiting an outdoor art installation. In Denver, many parks offer stunning art pieces that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, creating a unique and immersive experience.

Visiting parks with art installations can be a great way to get outdoors, breathe in some fresh air, and experience art in a new and exciting way. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just looking for a new way to explore the city, Denver’s parks have something to offer.

Top Denver Parks for Art Lovers

Washington Park

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Often referred to by its affectionate nickname “Wash Park”, Washington Park is a beloved highlight among Denver’s outdoor attractions. With its picturesque lake, inviting jogging path, and vast expanses perfect for picnicking and a host of outdoor activities, it is one of the city’s most sought-after parks.

However, the defining element of Wash Park lies in its captivating art installations. The park showcases an array of aesthetically pleasing sculptures that amplify its charm. Among them, the serene “Bird Girl” by Sylvia Shaw Judson and the grandeur of “The Birth of Venus” by Frederick MacMonnies hold a special place.

Beyond the allure of its art, Wash Park also draws visitors with its beautifully curated flower gardens and thoughtful natural landscaping. These elements contribute to the park’s tranquil ambiance, making it a haven of peace and beauty amid the city’s bustling energy.

Whether it’s to admire the unique art installations, bask in the natural splendor, or engage in outdoor activities, Washington Park caters to varied interests and makes for an enriching day out. It’s this unique blend of recreation and aesthetic appeal that places Wash Park on the must-visit list for those exploring Denver.

Cheesman Park

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Cheesman Park presents a rare fusion of history and natural splendor, standing as a unique and enchanting gem among Denver’s array of parks. It hosts the Denver Botanic Gardens, a vibrant oasis that flourishes with a diverse assortment of flora, making it an enchanting retreat for nature lovers.

Enhancing the park’s allure, it houses various art installations such as the “Cheesman Memorial Pavilion” and the “Sunken Gardens” fountain. These creative manifestations add a distinctive artistic charm to the park’s natural canvas.

However, what truly distinguishes Cheesman Park from others is its intriguing past. Originally serving as a cemetery, the site underwent transformation into a park in the early 20th century, a historical facet that lends it an air of mystique. This compelling combination of history, natural beauty, and artistic brilliance makes Cheesman Park a compelling point of interest.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history aficionado, or someone who simply appreciates nature’s allure, Cheesman Park is a destination that should find a place on your itinerary. Its rich narrative and captivating beauty make it a must-visit spot that promises an enriching and immersive experience.

City Park

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Occupying a revered spot among Denver’s vibrant outdoor spaces, City Park stands as a lively hub for a variety of outdoor pursuits and recreational activities. It caters to diverse tastes with its sprawling expanses of greenery, making it one of the city’s most frequented parks.

Further elevating its appeal, City Park is dotted with a range of artistic displays, one of which is the mesmerizing “Prismatic” sculpture. This brilliant installation by the talented duo, Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, showcases a creative union of art and nature that leaves onlookers captivated.

But there’s more to City Park than just its open spaces and art installations. It plays host to some of Denver’s key attractions, including the lively Denver Zoo and the enlightening Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This dual offering of recreational and educational experiences make the park an ideal spot for an enjoyable day out.

Visitors can easily spend an entire day traversing the park, exploring its numerous attractions, and engaging in various activities. Hence, City Park makes for a wonderful destination that caters to families and groups looking for a fulfilling and fun-filled experience in the heart of Denver.

Civic Center Park

Exuding a distinct charm that beautifully blends history and nature, Civic Center Park stands as a visual masterpiece in the heart of Denver. Offering breathtaking vistas of two iconic landmarks – the Colorado State Capitol and the Denver City and County Building, the park serves as a prime vantage point for spectacular city views.

Moreover, Civic Center Park is a haven for art admirers, showcasing various art installations such as the “Civic Center Art Collection” and the “McNichols Building”. These vibrant displays of creativity add a layer of artistic flair to the already picturesque park.

But it’s not all about nature and art; the park also anchors key civic establishments. This includes the esteemed Colorado Supreme Court and the vibrant hub of knowledge, the Denver Public Library. The fusion of these elements elevates Civic Center Park beyond an ordinary park, transforming it into a repository of art, history, and civic pride.

With its striking beauty and historic importance, Civic Center Park is undeniably a must-visit locale. It is an appealing attraction for those with an affinity for art and history, promising an immersive journey through Denver’s cultural and civic landscape.

RiNo Art District

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Going beyond the boundaries of a typical park, the RiNo Art District stands as an essential pit stop for art enthusiasts visiting Denver. The district prides itself on housing a multitude of artistic spaces, including over a dozen art galleries, myriad studios, and an impressive array of captivating murals and street art installations.

There’s an ocean of art to dive into as visitors can indulge in hours of exploration throughout the district, feasting their eyes on the stunning and uniquely crafted art pieces that line its streets. You can further enrich your experience with the availability of guided art tours that promise a deeper insight into the district’s artistic landscape.

In the RiNo Art District, a couple of standout art installations warrant special attention. The “Love This City” mural, a splendid piece by Pat Milbery, captures the heart and spirit of the city while the “Color Block Wall”, a distinctive creation by Sandra Fettingis, presents a kaleidoscope of vibrancy. The RiNo Art District is indeed a pulsating hub of creative brilliance that adds a striking hue to Denver’s cultural palette.

Why These Parks Stand Out

What sets these Denver parks apart is their beautiful art installations and unique features and amenities.

Visitors can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere in Washington Park, beautiful flower gardens, and stunning sculptures. Cheesman Park’s blend of history and natural beauty makes it a fascinating destination for art lovers and history buffs. City Park’s size and variety of attractions make it an excellent destination for families and groups.

Civic Center Park’s historical significance and stunning views make it a must-visit destination, and the RiNo Art District’s unique street art and gallery scene make it a hub for creative inspiration.


Denver’s parks offer an incredible opportunity to experience art in the great outdoors. From serene and peaceful sculptures to vibrant and exciting street art, there’s something for every art lover to explore.

Whether you’re a long-time Denver resident or just visiting the city, add these parks to your must-visit list. Experience the beauty of art and nature together in the Mile High City.

FAQ and Things to Know

Q: Are there any admission fees to these parks?

A: No, all the parks mentioned in this article are free and open to the public.

Q: Are the art installations permanent or temporary?

A: The art installations can vary from park to park. Some are permanent, while others may be temporary or rotate periodically.

Q: Are the parks accessible for people with disabilities?

A: All the parks mentioned in this article are accessible to people with disabilities. Some parks may have specific accommodations or facilities for accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps or accessible restrooms.

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