Wheat Ridge is a city of about 30,000 residents that’s located along the Interstate 70 corridor west of downtown Denver.
One of the last stops before starting the great ascent into the Rocky Mountains, it’s uniquely positioned to offer visitors the best of many worlds, including easy access to incredible natural attractions and historical, artistic, and cultural ones as well.
Some of the country’s best skiing is just a short drive away for much of the year, and the city of Denver and its abundant attractions are even closer still.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Wheat Ridge, Colorado, that warrant a look.
1. Brass Armadillo Antique Mall
No matter where you find yourself – even in the most rural parts of the country – you’re probably never far from an antique store or mall.
Located just off Interstate 70 in Wheat Ridge, the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall is one of the area’s go-to attractions for antique and treasure-seekers who’ve got the time and patience to scan their offerings, which are spread over nearly 50,000 square feet.
Expect to find items that range from vintage clothing and housewares to records, military paraphernalia, and jewelry. There’s a restaurant and espresso bar as well.
Admission is always free, and they’re open daily.
2. The Bardo Coffee House
The Bardo Coffee House was opened in 2010. Since then, the staff and owner have been striving to make it the best coffee shop in the Denver area.
Featuring all the fantastic coffee options you’d expect, like cappuccino, latte, and espresso, they also serve tea, Italian soda, and even beer.
Previous visitors have noted that Bardo had fast, free Wi-Fi, abundant outlets for those working on their laptops, and an all-around contemporary and inviting atmosphere.
For those in need of a sweet snack or a hearty meal, Bardo offers sandwiches, burritos, salads, and baked goods like pastry, banana bread, and chocolate cake.
3. Anderson Park
Anderson Park is a municipal park that’s undergone quite a few renovations and upgrades in recent years. It’s now even more popular with the active lifestyle crowd, who value its convenient location and plentiful recreation options.
The park’s centerpiece is its massive outdoor pool that sports a big water slide, both of which are open seasonally during the summer months.
Clear Creek runs adjacent to the park, and there’s access to a trail of the same name that winds its way through natural areas that include picnic tables and covered seating.
The pool can be crowded on weekends and holidays during the summer, so plan accordingly.
4. Clancy’s Irish Pub
Located on West 37th Place in Wheat Ridge, Clancy’s Irish Pub has a way of making guests feel like they’ve been transported to Dublin as it was decades in the past.
Clancy’s is known for its traditional Emerald Isle fare, like shepherd’s pie and batter-fried fish. Many guests over 21 choose to enjoy their meal with a pint or two of Guinness.
The restaurant has been around for nearly three decades but recently moved to a new location that’s adorned with historic photos and memorabilia, giving it a uniquely old-world charm.
Salads, sandwiches, and soup are available too, and though it’s not cheap, most visitors find it good value.
5. History Colorado Center
History Colorado Center one of the newer attractions of its kind in the area, but its unique blend of historic and contemporary exhibits has a way of keeping visitors both young and old engaged and entertained.
The center’s exhibits touch on the state’s settler-era, Native Americans, gold boom, and dust bowl days, as well as more contemporary topics like sports and the environment.
Most guests agree that History Colorado Center is most well-suited for children, especially those in elementary and middle school.
Most of the center’s exhibits are interactive and encourage kids to get active and not just view passively from a distance.
6. The Molly Brown House Museum
Margaret Brown was a Denver native who is most well-known for her heroics shortly after the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic in 1912.
Her friends and family called her Molly, not Margaret, and from then on, she was often referred to as ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown.’
Molly’s family were wealthy Colorado residents who made their fortune in the gold business, but Molly spent much of her life championing the causes of the working man and other philanthropic endeavors.
The Molly Brown House Museum is open year-round, but to visit, you’ll need to sign up for one of the regularly scheduled docent tours.
7. West 29th Restaurant and Bar
West 29th Restaurant and Bar is located on West 29th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. It offers local and visiting foodies an impressive selection of fresh, homemade food with a number of international influences.
Ravioli, calamari, steaks, and stroganoff are ever-popular options, and there are soups, salads, and plenty of tasty desserts like key lime pie.
For those traveling with little ones, there’s a special kid’s menu that features smaller portions and reduced prices. They’ve got a great wine list and offer cocktails and several local and regional beers as well.
Outdoor seating is especially popular in the evenings during the summer.
8. William F. Hayden Green Mountain Park
Comprised of nearly 2,500 acres, William F. Hayden Green Mountain Park is one of the area’s largest municipal parks. It’s located just a few minutes from Wheat Ridge in the neighboring town of Lakewood.
The park is located at the base of Green Mountain. For those brimming with energy who value a physical challenge, there’s a trail that winds its way to the peak.
The hike is moderately challenging but can get tricky during cold and wet weather. For hikers who manage to reach the top, there are unbeatable panoramic views of the surrounding landscape that those at the bottom won’t get to see.
9. Colorado Mills
Featuring tons of international brand anchor stores like Forever 21, Eddie Bauer, and H&M, Colorado Mills is a popular attraction for those who believe that shopping is a legitimate vacation activity.
Shopping also happens to be one of the best options when the weather isn’t conducive to being outside; for people who aren’t big fans of freezing temperatures and driving snow, this happens pretty frequently in Colorado.
Colorado Mills is located on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood and has an abundance of dining options, including freshly baked goods, sushi, and Mexican – as well as traditional American fare and a huge beer selection at the Yard House.
10. Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum has a history that stretches back nearly a century. In addition to being one of the largest museums of its kind in the west, it features one of the most impressive permanent collections of art from all over the world.
The museum’s collection includes nearly 70,000 individual pieces, and many guests find that the Native American art is the most interesting.
In addition to its exhibits, the museum’s staff offers a variety of educational programs for artists and art lovers; many of them have been specifically designed for families with children, so check their website before heading out.
11. Great Frontier Brewing Company
For those with dietary restrictions and allergies to ingredients commonly found in beer, there are precious few choices out there, but Great Frontier Brewing Company in Lakewood features some reduced gluten and gluten-free options that don’t skimp on taste.
Of course, they’ve got lots of traditional beers too, ranging from refreshing blonds to dark stouts and everything in between.
Though Great Frontier doesn’t provide food, there are usually food trucks in the lot that serve up tasty street grub, all of which pairs well with beer.
For those unsure of what kind of suds they prefer, it’s probably best to order a sampler.
12. Denver Zoo
The Denver Zoo is located on Steele Street near the downtown area and is home to thousands of animals from all over the world.
Spread over nearly 100 acres, it was founded more than a century ago, and has always been one of the area’s most popular attractions, especially for those traveling with little ones.
Back in the late 1800s, the zoo’s first resident was a young black bear that had been orphaned in the wild, but now it’s the more exotic animals that tend to steal the spotlight.
The zoo’s grounds are connected by paved paths; to see everything will require a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfy shoes.
13. The Colorado Symphony
The Colorado Symphony is one of the west’s premier symphonies, and it’s located on 14th Street in the Denver Performing Arts Center.
Featuring classical music, concerts, and symphonies, it’s got a full, year-round schedule of events – as well as a variety of educational and instructional programs that are offered to the public.
The center’s Boettcher Concert Hall can seat nearly 3,000 guests and was designed to ensure that nobody is relegated to the back row with a poor view and lousy acoustics.
It’s a great way to spend a romantic evening, and it’s near a variety of restaurants and bars that cater to the symphony crowd.
14. Coors Field
Coors Field is home to Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. Unlike many stadiums around the country, it’s a unique mix of the historical and contemporary that gives it a feel all its own.
Its aged brick façade and iconic clock are its most notable features, but it’s a state of the art facility that features tons of food choices and seats at nearly every price point.
Fans of the Colorado Rockies are known for being laid-back compared to rowdy fans in other cities. Though tickets aren’t as inexpensive as they once were, taking in a game is a memorable way to spend an afternoon or evening.
15. Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens are located in the downtown area and are comprised of three separate locations, each with multiple cultivated portions that feature their own distinct themes.
Plants, trees, and flowers from around the world are represented, and the gardens are home to some of the world’s most complete collections, including species suited to desert areas.
Each location features well-marked and easily walked paths that include informative signs so you’ll learn about the things you’re seeing. There are Asian inspired gardens, fountains, sculptures, and a dedicated children’s garden too.
The garden’s main entrance is located on York Street, so stop there first.