Westminster is located northwest of downtown Denver along U.S. Route 36 and is known for its recent placement on the nation’s best places to live.
Westminster is characterized by a low crime rate, beautiful scenery, and easy access to some of the region’s most popular attractions, including state and national parks, historical and cultural sites, and some of the best ski areas in North America.
With a population of over 100,000, it is one of the largest cities in the state and was founded more than a century ago.
Here are 15 things to do in and around Westminster, Colorado.
1. Westminster Central Park
Although it’s often referred to as Peter Pan Park by locals, Westminster Central Park is a popular natural attraction with a cool British theme, including replicas of Big Ben and the River Thames.
Located on West 92nd Avenue, the park includes many paved walking trails, playgrounds and fountains, and tree-lined meadows that are ideal for a picnic.
The amphitheater near the center of the park hosts a variety of live entertainment during the warm summer months. This is a free attraction close to other area attractions you may also want to check out.
2. Daganxi Trail
Hiking and mountain biking are two of Colorado’s most enjoyable outdoor activities, and Denver-area visitors have countless options when it comes to hitting the trails.
Located on Sheridan Boulevard in Westminster, the Big Dry Creek Trail is open year-round and stretches for nearly a dozen moderate miles in varying environments.
The main trail runs between Westminster and nearby Broomfield, with ample parking at both ends.
Dogs are fine as long as they are leashed and cleaned up afterwards. There’s no better place to experience an exhilarating day outdoors without leaving the city.
3. GQue Champion Grill
Old-fashioned BBQ is often associated with unpretentious restaurants that tend to focus on taste and value but lack ambience.
GQue Championship BBQ is an exception: it’s a sleek, modern dining destination serving some of the best BBQ in the area.
From chicken wings, ribs and pulled pork to appetizers, salads and brisket, even the most discerning traveler may have something on their menu, and they offer a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Whatever you order, you can enjoy their homemade sauces, which come in a variety of flavors, from Carolina to Kansas City style.
4. Walnut Creek Golf Reserve
During the summer, Colorado’s weather is perfect for golfing.
Blue skies, low humidity and moderately warm temperatures make for a great day in the Links, and the Walnut Creek Golf Reserve is one of the most unique and popular courses in the area.
The course covers more than 200 acres and has been certified by the Audubon Society as an animal sanctuary, which means you will typically see a wide variety of birds and animals at your game, many of which are rare.
Pro shops, restaurants and practice areas complete the course, and it is recommended that you book tee times in advance.
5. Butterfly House Insectarium
Home to hundreds of species of native and exotic butterflies and insects, the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Centre on West 104th Avenue in Westminster is a one-of-a-kind local attraction, always popular with families traveling with children.
Beyond beauty, butterflies have interesting life cycles, with many species migrating thousands of miles a year to mate and lay eggs.
The Butterfly Pavilion is run by a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting butterfly habitats around the world, and the staff offers many activities for visitors.
Admission is reasonable, and this is often a prominent activity for visiting families.
6. Kachina Southwest BBQ
Southwestern cuisine features plenty of fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and multiple influences from Native American and Mexican cultures.
Kachina Southwestern Grill is a trendy food destination popular with trendy foodies for its extensive menu, cool atmosphere, and impressive selection of regional beers, international wines and craft cocktails.
Boasting old favorites like burgers, tacos and Rellenos made with local bison, spicy peppers and fresh vegetables, this restaurant might just serve up some of the most memorable food in the area. This is a favorite stop for those who just want to enjoy appetizers and drinks with friends.
7. Standley Lakes Regional Park
Lake Standley Regional Park is a public facility that serves as a recreational area and water source for the towns of Westminster, Sandton and Northglen.
With over 1,000 acres of surface area, it is a massive reservoir, the third largest in the Denver metro area.
Activity options at the park include hiking, biking, photography, and camping. For those who enjoy water sports, kayaking, boating and fishing are popular.
The park dates back more than a century, and due to its size, a quiet patch of forest or body of water can often be found without being overwhelmed by tourists.
8. Aurora History Museum
Just a short drive from Westminster, the Aurora History Museum has been a local attraction since the late ’70s, housing an impressive collection of memorabilia, artifacts, documents and photographs related to the history of the Denver area.
Many of the museum’s exhibits focus on past settlement times, Native Americans, and the local economy, but many touch upon contemporary history, including the city’s winemaking industry.
The museum is located on Alameda Parkway, and most visitors usually end up spending anywhere from 1 hour to 90 minutes to see all the attractions.
9. Plains Conservation Center
While Denver is a metropolitan center that offers travelers all the amenities and attractions of a big city, much of the rest of the state is a wild natural wonderland, one of the most rugged and undisturbed in the 48 states.
Located on East Hampden Avenue near Aurora, the Plains Conservation Center is a protected natural area that not only focuses on habitat conservation, but also educates the public on the importance of being good stewards of the natural world.
The facility has been around since 1949 and features a visitor center and replicas of historic barns, schools, and blacksmith workshops.
10. Red Rock Park and Amphitheatre
Filled in natural pastel colors with breathtaking views of layered limestone cliffs and the Rocky Mountains beyond, Red Rock Park and Amphitheater is the perfect blend of the natural and man-made worlds, attracting visitors of all interests.
The park covers over 700 acres and is popular with hikers, runners and cyclists. Most trails are moderately difficult and suitable for most age groups.
Due to the vastness of the park, it’s a good idea to get to know the land at the visitor center before you set off on your own.
The park’s amphitheater hosts live entertainment during the summer, and admission is free.
11. Aurora Reservoir
As the population continues to grow, so does the demand for water in the Denver area, and the Aurora Reservoir is one of the largest sources of freshwater in the area.
At over 30,000 acres, the reservoir is a sight to behold, especially when its sparkling waters reflect the blue sky and white clouds above.
The reservoir has designated swimming areas, including parking, restrooms and covered seating areas. Hiking, biking and boating are popular for those looking to burn off some extra calories.
Walleye, bass, trout, and catfish are some of the reservoir’s wild fish – but keep in mind that if you plan to wet a fishing line, you’ll need a valid Colorado fishing license.
12. Stanley Brewery
Located on Dallas Street in Aurora, Stanley Brewery has one of the widest selections of beers in the state.
The lobby has a unique pouring system that allows guests to choose their own beer without having to rely on waiters or waitresses. Each option includes relevant information such as alcohol content, calories and flavor profile, making it relatively easy to choose wisely.
Offers a variety of hearty and affordable bistro-style fare, including burgers and sandwiches. There are also soups, salads and other light options for those who want to watch their waistline.
13. Denver Zoo
Although Colorado’s climate is very different from that of the African plains, the Denver Zoo was built to closely mimic the landscape of Kenya, home to many of the continent’s most iconic animals.
Featuring lions, rhinos and giraffes, just to name a few, the Denver Zoo is home to thousands of animals from remote corners of the globe, spanning nearly 100 acres not far from downtown.
The zoo is open daily from March to October from 9 am to 4 pm, with shorter opening hours in the fall and winter. Ticket prices vary by season.
14. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
The Rocky Mountains are a majestic chain of rugged peaks that stretch over 10,000 feet above valleys in many areas. They are the state’s most recognizable features.
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the perfect place to experience these natural wonders, for those reluctant to travel into the wild.
The trail follows Interstate 70 west from Denver into the mountains and passes through quaint and historic mining towns like Idaho Springs.
There is a small fee to access several sections of the trail, but previous visitors have noticed that it’s insignificant compared to the abundance of stunning scenery and fresh mountain air.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Westminster, Colorado (CO)
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