Photos: Ten best places in Denver to people watch
There are few places better for people watching than Denver. Given Colorado's magnetic effect on tourists and folks looking for a better place to live than their crappy hometown, not to mention our own highly original locals, there's typically a wide variety of humanity on display, and checking them out is free.
But what are the best spots for this pastime? For that, we consulted our handy Best of Denver archive. Look below to check out best people watching spots from more than a decade's worth of editions. They're worth watching.
Parks usually make for good people-watching, but Washington Park, which pops off with free entertainment year-round, is the cream of the crop. You'll find moms pushing strollers the size of ATVs and dads on rollerblades with ski poles; bar-based running clubs in the afternoons and lane-weaving cruiser-bike fanatics; overzealous triathlon types on racing bikes; tanned-and-toned sorority gals; school groups; and, of course, people who look like their dogs. It's a melting pot of eye-catching splendor. — Best of Denver 2013
An indoor retail oasis in the middle of the city, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center has banked on its elite status since opening in 1990. But if you're not shopping, buy a latte and grab a seat — there are several living rooms' worth of cushy furniture and a giant flat-screen TV in front of Abercrombie & Fitch — because you could sit for hours watching people. Who's there? Everyone from early-morning Silver Sneakers Club mall walkers and the lady with her dog in a stroller to international shoppers, teenagers, well-heeled fashionistas, and solo moms with a cell phone in one hand and a pocketbook in the other. — Best of Denver 2013
Downtown boosters recently conducted a major study of the 16th Street Mall, which turns thirty next year, trying to determine what directional changes it needed to truly be a pedestrian paradise. Their conclusion? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So beyond getting some basic repair work and a general sprucing up, the 16th Street Mall will carry on as it has for almost three decades, a mile-plus artery stretching through downtown that's an ideal place to stroll, window-shop for bad Colorado souvenirs made in China, and watch all kinds of people — from punks to businesspeople to buskers to tourists amazed by the bustle, some good, some bad, all lively. That's what you get at the heart of a vibrant city. — Best of Denver 2011
No matter how much the city cleans up East Colfax Avenue, RTD's #15 bus will always be the true gauge of this neighborhood. Hop on between Colorado and Broadway, and listen to East High School students talking with the homeless. Or as happy hour turns to night, watch as drunken blue-collars heading home from the strip's rougher bars rub shoulders with twenty-something hipsters on their way to hear live music. Conversation is the sole soundtrack to this route, because music is allowed with headphones only — and you'd better have exact change, because RTD doesn't dish any out. Other than that, though, no rules apply and all bets are off. Whether you're chatting with an immigrant about the world he left behind or hoping that the drug dealer to your left will leave you alone, the #15 delivers the bold, hard facts on the real Colfax. — Best of Denver 2008
At NBA games, the best seats in the house are on the floor, which means the rich and the gaudy are front and center rather than tucked away in skyboxes. Check out the enormous bodybuilder guys in silk shirts and the buxom babes squeezed into zany zebra stripes. Take a gander at the old guys with rings on every finger, ponytails and berets, or chance a guess at which synthetically boobed and tanned women are wives, which are trophy wives and which are mistresses. You'll see playas, big shots, CEOs, homies and hotties all dressed to the nines. The Nuggets are exciting, but some of the best action is definitely off the court. — Best of Denver 2009
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