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Top 10 Accessible Attractions in Denver
By: Danielle Max | Aug 21 2017

If you’re looking for hustle and bustle, frenzy and turmoil, don’t come to Denver. The Mile-High City is cited as one of the U.S.’s most relaxed and chilled out places live and visit. In fact, Denver was named as the best place to live in the U.S. by “U.S. News & World Report” in 2016. Whether you plan on exploring everything the city has to offer, or if you intend to use it as a gateway to the Rockies, Denver is easy, relaxed and extremely inviting.


A view of a lake and the mountain range in Rocky Mountain National Park just as the leaves are starting to change color. | Photo: Bruce Boye/Visit Denver

1. Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO 80204
1. Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO 80204
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The exterior of the Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum at sunset. | Photo: Jeff Wells/Visit Denver

The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between the West Coast and Chicago. The museum, which aims to enrich the lives of present and future visitors through art, is especially known for its collection of American Indian art, but it also has more than 70,000 works from all over the world covering genres as diverse as pre-Columbian art to more modern textile art and fashion.

All public areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible. Motorized wheelchairs are welcome. Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the welcome center in either building (photo ID required).

Accessible restrooms are available on every level of the Hamilton Building and on Level 1 of the North Building. A single user/family restroom is available on level one of each building.

Sign language interpretation can be scheduled for any museum tour, program or event with two weeks’ notice. Email to make arrangements.

Large print label booklets and braille label booklets are available for selected special exhibitions from the welcome desk. Magnifying sheets are available in selected gallery areas to make wall labels easier to read.

Large print transcripts are available for exhibition audio tours from the welcome desk. Printed transcripts are also available near selected educational videos and audio components in the galleries.

Visit the Access Programs webpage to learn more about events and programs that the DAM offers to visitors with disabilities.

Parking: There are a few accessible parking spaces on 13th Avenue and some on the second level of the Cultural Center Garage. Enter the garage from 12th Avenue and follow signs to northwest corner elevators.

Public Transportation: Park anywhere downtown and take the free 16th Street shuttle to Cleveland Place (8-minute walk).

Top Tip: Drop-off areas are located on 12th Avenue (Hamilton Building) or 14th Avenue (North Building).

Find out more here.

2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205
2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205
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Dinosaur fossils at Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Photo: Evan Semon/Visit Denver

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science enables visitors to feel, hear and interact with some of the one million objects in its collection. Journey through a mine tunnel (touch the rock walls as you walk through), find out the life cycle of a butterfly with the help of large touch models, smell a deer’s musk scent, touch and experience a Navajo hogan (we’re not telling you what it is, you’ll have to visit and find out for yourself) and touch dinosaur fossils.

Courtesy wheelchairs and canes are available at the information desk on a first-come, first-served basis (photo ID required).

Accessible restrooms are located throughout the museum. A family restroom is located inside the entrance to Gems and Minerals on Level 1. An adult-sized changing table is available (ask at the main ticketing desk).

The Phipps IMAX Theater accommodates six wheelchairs. Access to the theater during museum hours is on Level 3 near Prehistoric Journey. Wheelchair seating is also available in Gates Planetarium. Enter through the main doors of the Planetarium.

Free assisted listening devices are available on a first-come, first-served basis for most shows in Phipps IMAX Theater and Gates Planetarium. You should request the device from an usher or at the box office at least 20 minutes before the show begins.

Closed captioning is available in Phipps IMAX Theater using Rear Window. Request the device from an usher or at the box office at least 20 minutes before the show begins (photo ID required).

American Sign Language interpreters are available at no charge for museum programs and exhibits. Email or call 303-370-6405 at least five days in advance. 

Braille maps may be checked out from the information desk on Level 1 (photo ID required). Elevator controls are marked in braille.

Email for any questions related to accessibility at the museum.

Find out more here.

Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available in the main parking lot on the north side of the building, in the underground parking garage (enter at the northwest corner of the lot) and on the east side near Phipps IMAX Theater.

 

The main barrier-free entrance to the Museum is on the north side off the main parking lot. The doors are fully accessible with push-button entry. A ground-level elevator is available for Phipps IMAX Theater after 5:30 p.m. and is also push-button accessible.

Public Transportation: Buses #20, #32, #40 and DD to Colorado Boulevard and Montview Boulevard (9-minute walk).

 

Top Tip: Professional aides accompanying a visitor receives free entry to the museum, Phipps IMAX Theater and Gates Planetarium. Call Guest Services at 303-370-6000 to make a reservation for a professional aide.

3. Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204
3. Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204
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Visitors looking at artwork at the Clyfford Still Museum. | Photo: Ted Stedman/Visit Denver

If you’ve never heard of Clyfford Still…you aren’t alone, especially since the bulk of his work has been hidden from public view for more than 30 years. Still, who died in 1980, was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. Upon his death, his estate was sealed off from public view following his will, which stipulated that his estate be given in its entirety to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work. Fortunately, Denver stepped up and the museum, which was opened in 2011, holds 95-percent of Still’s creations for the public to enjoy.

The front entrance and all public areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible. Courtesy wheelchairs are available at the museum free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis through the reception desk. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted.

Sign language interpretation is available for all museum events and programs with at least two-weeks’ advance notice. Email or call 720-354-4878 to make arrangements.

Find out more here.

Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available in the surface lot directly across from the Museum on Bannock Street. Metered spaces are also available on Bannock Street and 12th Avenue near the Museum. Vehicles displaying a valid disability placard or plate issued may park at Denver City meters for up to four hours for free. After four hours, the vehicle must be moved at least 100 feet.

Public Transportation: Bus #52 to Bannock St and W13th Ave (2-minute walk).

Top Tip: The museum is closed on Mondays.

4. Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206
4. Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206
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Trailhead Terrace & Rooftop Alpine Garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens. | Visit Denver

Don’t miss the Sensory Garden, dedicated in honor of the 20th anniversary of the ADA at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The garden is designed to awaken all the senses. Situated near the visitor’s center, the accessible garden’s wide paths provide traction and gentle inclines. Raised beds at an ideal height for guests using a wheelchair, fresh, smooth hardscape provides safer footing for people using walkers or canes. There are also handrails for added security. The rest of the extensive gardens are well worth a visit too!

Most of the indoor and outdoor gardens and facilities, including restrooms and classrooms, are wheelchair accessible. Some areas in the gardens are not wheelchair accessible without assistance. Check with the staff in the Bonfils­Stanton Visitor Center if you need clarification on accessible routes or see the map.

Courtesy wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Information Desk in the Boettcher Memorial Center (photo ID required).

Find out more here.

Parking: Limited free parking is available in the parking complex between York and Josephine streets. Street parking is available in Cheesman Park, where posted. Due to height restrictions, vans should park on the top deck of the parking complex.

Public Transportation: Bus # 10 to York St and 9th Avenue (4-minute walk).

Top Tip: If you are visiting with kids and are planning on visiting the Mordecai Children’s Garden, don’t forget to bring a spare change of clothes – they’ll get wet and very dirty!

5. Children’s Museum of Denver
2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211
5. Children’s Museum of Denver
2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211
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Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

If you believe in kid-powered learning, the Children’s Museum of Denver is not to be missed. The museum is targeted at newborns to age eight and provides hours of interactive fun, excitement and learning. The museum underwent a big expansion in 2015, doubling its previous exhibit space and adding some incredible exhibits including a teaching kitchen.

The museum, including all of the exhibits, is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available at the front desk and accessible restrooms are located on both floors.

Find out more here.

Parking: Free on-site parking on non-event days, paid parking at other times.

Public Transportation: Bus #10 to Water St. & 10th St. (6-minute walk).

Top Tip: Groups of kids can be really noisy! If you want to visit when it’s a little quieter, aim for Mondays or Wednesday evenings when there are no school groups and fewer visitors.

6. Wilderness on Wheels
45954 US-285, Grant, CO 80448
6. Wilderness on Wheels
45954 US-285, Grant, CO 80448
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Head out of town to Wilderness on Wheels (WOW). Nestled at the base of the beautiful Kenosha Pass, WOW has been providing access to nature for people of all abilities, their families and caregivers for 30 years. You can stay there overnight in accessible cabins, huts or tents or enjoy a day trip into nature. Meander along the one-mile long, eight-foot wide boardwalk that rises to 9,200 feet. There is also an accessible fishing pond upstream stocked with rainbow trout.

Email or call Barbara Cramer at 303-232-4065 for further details.

Parking: On-site parking.

Find out more here.

Top Tip: If you want to stay overnight (or longer) at WOW, make sure you make a reservation in advance to make sure you are not disappointed.

7. United States Mint – Denver Mint
320 West Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80204-2693
7. United States Mint – Denver Mint
320 West Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80204-2693
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Denver is home to one of only two mints in the United States, producing nearly 50 million coins a day. | Photo: Stan Obert/Visit Denver

Go for gold and learn the “rich” history of the United States Mint with a free guided tour of the Denver facility (one of only two sites open to the public – you can also tour the mint in Philadelphia). Tours run from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and take approximately 45 minutes. If you’re lucky, you will get to see some of the billions of coins minted each year being made, but there’s no guarantee – and no, they don’t give out samples...

The tours are wheelchair accessible.

If you require special assistance, for example, sign language interpreters or wheelchair assistance, email or call the mint at last 10 days in advance at 303-405-4761.

Find out more here.

Parking: Paid street and lot parking.

Public Transportation: Bus #16 #16L to West Colfax Ave. & Delaware St. (1-minute walk).

Top Tip: Come early. The Tour Information window opens at 7 a.m., Monday-Thursday for same-day tours only. Be warned – they go fast!

8. The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
987 Lookout Mountain Road, Golden, CO 80401
8. The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
987 Lookout Mountain Road, Golden, CO 80401
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Child on a horse at the Buffalo Bill Museum. | Visit Denver

William F. Cody, better known as “Buffalo Bill” last request was that he be buried on Lookout Mountain, overlooking the Great Plains and the Rockies. Once you traverse the windy road up to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, it’s easy to understand why he chose this spot. This small museum has a number of permanent exhibits about Buffalo Bill, as well as a special temporary exhibit that changes each year. The Museum Observation Deck offers incredible views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range and the Great Plains, all just 30 minutes from downtown Denver. Make sure you exit through the gift shop. The Pahaska Tepee was built as the original museum in 1921 and is now a regional tourist destination in its own right.

The museum is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom on site.

The videos in the museum are closed captioned.

Find out more here.

Parking: Free on-site parking.

Top Tip: Don’t let the altitude get you down. The museum and grave site is set on a mountain top at 7,375 feet. Make sure you drink plenty of water to counteract some of the effects.

9. Staunton State Park & Track Chair Program
12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine, Colorado 80470
9. Staunton State Park & Track Chair Program
12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine, Colorado 80470

Head out of the city and hit the trails at Staunton State Park. Staunton, located 40 miles southwest of downtown Denver, is Colorado’s newest state park. The park has 25 miles of trail and two ADA-accessible fishing piers, not to mention endless gorgeous views and vistas. It also offers the first track-chair program in the Colorado park system, with three trails currently designated for the track chairs.

The track-chair program operates from May until November (depending on trail conditions). Chairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. A park volunteer accompanies all track-chair excursions and will have the ability to control the chair, if needed.

Current trails include a 3.25-mile loop taking in the Davis Pond Trails, which leads to the Davis fishing ponds and accessible restrooms; the 2.5-mile round-trip Mason Creek trail and the 5.2-mile Staunton Ranch Trail.

The park offers slide boards and a sling lift for transfer into the track chair.

Email or call 303-838-7975 for more information.

Find out more here.

Parking: Park in the designated track-chair parking space where an attendant volunteer or member of staff will meet you at your scheduled trip start time.

Top Tip: The track-chair is available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and should be booked at least seven days in advance.

10. Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park
2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO 80204
10. Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park
2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO 80204
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Visitors enjoying a rollercoaster at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. | Visit Denver

Splash down and have some fun at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, which has been entertaining Denver for more than 125 years! Elitch Gardens, which bills itself as America’s only downtown theme and water park, has an illustrious history. It was home to one of the first zoos west of Chicago, home of Denver’s first symphony orchestra, the site of Denver’s first motion picture theater and also the home of the Trocadero Ballroom, where Denverites danced and romanced in years gone by.

Guests traveling in a wheelchair/electric convenience vehicle needing special assistance can visit the Guest Relations Window prior to entering. Upon entering the park, visitors who use a wheelchair/electric convenience vehicle should enter through the “Accessible/Stroller Entrance” at the metal detectors, located in the middle of the metal detectors.

Wheelchairs may be rented at Tennyson Street Emporium on Main Street, to the left of the entrance to Island Kingdom Waterpark on a first-come, first-served basis for a nominal fee.

All restrooms are wheelchair accessible. A family restroom is located inside Mulvilhill’s Bar and Grill located on the north side of Rustler’s food court.

Accessible tables are available at each facility’s patio.

All shows are accessible and seating for guests using wheelchairs is available at each show location. Seating for at least one companion is available next to the guest using a wheelchair.

All assistance animals must remain on a leash or in a harness at all times. Although assistance animals are discouraged from riding any ride, Assistance Animals may go on the Carousel, Observation Tower and inside Goofy Gazebo. If you want to experience a ride that an assistance animal cannot go on, you can leave the animal with another member of your group and then board the ride without waiting in line.

Due to the dynamics and certain characteristics of the rides, oxygen tanks are only permitted on: Big Rig Trucking Co., Big Wheel, Carousel, Elitch Express, Ghost Blasters and Goofy Gazebo. Oxygen tanks are permitted in theaters, arenas and other enclosed facilities.

Most rides at Elitch Gardens accommodate Guests using wheelchairs through the ride exit. Shipwreck Falls, Carousel and all rides located in the KiddieLand area may accommodate Guests using wheelchairs through the rides entrance. On all rides and/or attractions, Guests may need assistance from another member of their party in order to board safely. Those using wheelchairs will need to transfer from their wheelchair into the ride vehicles seating to ride. 

Find out more here.

Parking: Accessible parking is available in the Elitch Gardens parking lot near the main entrance in the VIP Lot on a first-come, first-served basis for guests with a legal parking permit.

Public Transportation: Bus #10 to Elitch Gardens Loop (6-minute walk).

Top Tip: Avoid disappointment. The park is open seasonally from May to October only.

 

 

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