During my recent visit to Colorado, I was all about walking and shopping in Denver. Did you know that a 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Denver sixteenth most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities? I didn’t either and was fully prepared to walk as much as possible in Denver. However, I highly recommend renting a car if you’re visiting as Denver and its neighboring counties make this one big area to get around on foot.
If, however, you feel like spend some time walking while in Denver, my guess is that you’re probably in the area of the 16th Street Mall. What is the 16th Street Mall? Built in 1982, it’s a pedestrian and transit mall measuring 1.25 miles long that runs along 16th Street in downtown Denver, from Wewatta Street (at Union Station) to the intersection of 16th Avenue and Broadway (at Civic Center Station). The 16th Street Mall is home to over 300 locally owned/chain stores, over 50 restaurants, and the Denver Pavilions.
For those of you that are vehemently opposed to walking, you’ll be happy to know that there is a free shuttle available to help get you around, especially in bad weather.
We decided to walk around, grab a few coffees and free Wifi, and continue exploring the 16th Street Mall.
I found the Mile High Global Bazaar while walking around and although I didn’t know it, it was a two day event at the 16th Street Mall. This small bazaar had a multitude of booths set up with a large variety of items for sale from jewelry to clothing to food and more.
Nestled in amongst the many booths was a small jewelry booth that called my name. Turns out the owner was Jessica, a mom of two small children who makes beautiful jewelry. It was definitely unlikely that I would leave without making a purchase and I walked away with some great finds, including a beautiful necklace with a Hamsa hand.
Maybe you’ve tired of walking and shopping and now you want to sit and maybe grab a bite and a drink. The 16th Street Mall has 42 outdoor cafes and Denver Pavilions, near the south end of the Mall, is a shopping and dining complex with 12 movie theaters and more than two dozen shops and restaurants. At the north end of the Mall, 16th Street continues as a pedestrian path over three bridges connecting downtown to Commons Park and LoHi, a hip neighborhood filled with restaurants and brewpubs.
This area is a great place for a leisurely stroll and to people watch for certain. Want to know exactly what restaurants and bars are on the 16th Street Mall? Go to this page on Eat Drink Denver for more details.
16th Street Mall
1001 16th St B-180, Denver, CO 80265