If you plan on visiting Denver, you are bound to end up on the 16th Street Mall. The Mall is packed with restaurants, shopping and live entertainment. Here is a quick guide on what to expect.
The free 16th Street MallRide in Denver
The MallRide travels from one end of the mile-long 16th Street Mall to the other, seven days a week, between 4:59 a.m.-1:21 a.m. on weekdays, 5:30 a.m. – 1:21 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:30 a.m.-1:21 a.m. on Sundays. The MallRide stops on each block between Chestnut Place and Broadway. At each stop, passengers are welcome to hop on and off of the MallRide as they please, free of charge. The buses run frequently, every few minutes. See below for the MallRide map.
Coming soon! – The MallRide buses are getting a face lift! The old vehicles are being replaced with new electric buses that have more seating and air-conditioning.
Shopping and Restaurants on the 16th Street Mall
There are tons of shops and restaurants along the 16th Street Mall. Even though it’s a chain restaurant (I try to avoid recommending restaurants that can be found elsewhere), I highly recommend Rock Bottom. Order the top sirloin with bourbon glaze, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles and crispy onion straws. You won’t regret it! The stores are spread out along the mall, but there is a concentration of great shops and a movie theatre on Glenarm Place in the Denver Pavilions (pictured above).
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides on the 16th Street Mall
While I consider this one of the biggest tourist traps of the area, some love the experience of riding a horse-drawn carriage through the city (especially young girls, see below). If this is something you are interested in, aim to take a ride in the evening with the glow of the city lights – it makes it all the more magical.
Family Friendly Activities on the 16th Street Mall
In the past, there has been crime along the 16th Street Mall. Thankfully, the Mall has made some improvements including increased police presence, events geared towards young families and around-the-clock cleaning crews maintaining the streets and sidewalks. Now, you will even see small sandboxes and interactive art exhibits that encourage young children to play and explore the Mall with their parents.
It seems as though the 16th Street Mall is becoming busier as the population in Denver increases. There are more concerts and events taking place here than ever before. I recommend taking a bus or light-rail into Denver if you want to avoid the traffic and parking. Otherwise, street parking, parking lots and parking garages are available averaging $8 for a couple of hours. Another word of caution: keep an eye on the Rockies schedule, with the baseball park just a few blocks away the 16th Street Mall restaurants and bars are often packed before and after a game.
Solving your traveling dilemmas,