Looking for interesting museums to visit while you’re in Colorado? Then you’re certainly in the right place because this guide covers all the best museums in the US state!
The best art museums, natural history museums, and railroad museums are just some of the top museums in Colorado you can visit. Read on to learn more about popular museums in the state, and see which of the best museums in Colorado are the right option for you!
Denver Art Museum is a popular museum in the state capital. It’s situated in the Denver Civic Center, and it boasts a huge encyclopedic collection that contains more than 70,000 different works.
The artworks in the museum’s collection have been collected from places across the world, and they span nearly all the different periods in art history. The DAM’s enormous collection earned it the title of one of the best and largest museums between Chicago and the West Coast.
One of the most prominent collections in the Denver Art Museum is the exhibit of American Indian art. Other notable exhibits in the museum include its collection of Western American Art, the collection of Asian art, an impressive collection of American and European art before the 20th century, and many others.
Related: While in Colorado, be sure to check out the stunning National Parks
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is a Colorado museum dedicated to aviation and space exploration. It is situated in the former Lowry Air Force Base, and it manages to preserve the history of the base’s operations dating from 1938 to 1994.
The museum’s collection includes an impressive exhibit on World War II aviation, which features many military and civilian aircraft that were used in various wars. One of Colorado’s hidden gems!
Additionally, this popular museum also boasts exhibits that are dedicated to space exploration. There’s an entire mockup of the Space Station Freedom module, which belongs to the museum’s exhibit on the International Space Station.
It’s worth noting that this Colorado museum also hosts various educational programs for both students and teachers. The complex is also home to a huge technical research library, which boasts more than 15,000 documents on various topics related to aerospace and aviation.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a municipal museum dedicated to science and natural history. It’s a crucial resource for education on science in the region of the Rocky Mountains, thanks to a variety of different programs, activities, and exhibitions that are aimed to educate visitors on the histories of the Universe, Earth, and Colorado.
The museum occupies a building of 716,000 square feet, and it’s home to more than a million different objects related to natural history and sciences.
In addition to fascinating exhibits, the museum also boasts an IMAX theater, classes, lectures, and other programs, which are related to the natural sciences. This includes geology, paleontology, health sciences, anthropology, zoology, and space sciences.
It’s visited by about 300,000 teachers and students annually, which accounts for just some 15% of the total visitors this museum gets every year.
On top of that, it’s worth noting that the museum contains quite a few hidden secrets that visitors can look for if they want. There’s a downloadable brochure on the Museum Treasures scavenger hunt, which is loads of fun for the younger visitors.
The Molly Brown House Museum is the former home of Margaret Brown. She was an activist, a philanthropist, and a socialite, but none of those things are the reason why there’s a museum dedicated to her in Denver.
Margaret Brown was known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” because she was one of the survivors of the RSS Titanic. The museum boasts a collection of some 9,000 objects that offer visitors a glimpse into her life, as well as the life of her husband, James Joseph Brown who was a mining magnate.
The museum has several exhibits, most of which are dedicated to the daily life of the Browns. Some exhibits also chronicle Molly Brown’s Titanic story, but this isn’t the highlight of the museum.
Forney Museum of Transportation is a popular transportation museum in Denver. It’s named after J.D. Forney, who was the founder of Forney Industries. The metalworking and welding company is still operating today, making it one of the longest-running family-owned companies in this field in the US.
The museum is in Fort Colling, where the company is still operating today. It was initially just Forney’s private collection of various objects relating to transportation, but it has since expanded into one of the best transportation collections in the United States.
It boasts around 500 exhibits, which include everything from old motorcycles to locomotives. Highlights of the museum’s collection include the Big Boy locomotive #4005, the Kissel Gold Bug owned by none other than Amelia Earhart, and an authentic Forney locomotive, which was designed by the founder’s cousin.
Colorado Model Railroad Museum is a popular miniature railroad museum. Also known as the Greeley Freight Station Museum, it boasts a collection of hundreds of different railroad sceneries, over 500 various scale locomotives, and some 80 scale miles of railroad tracks.
There are thousands of artifacts in this museum, making it the best in Colorado for train lovers. It’s equally fun for both kids and adults, thanks to the variety of exhibits that appeal to different generations.
Some of the highlights of this popular museum include a scale layout of the OC&E Railway, the miniature C&S Caboose that’s been recreated with incredible detailing, and the vast collection of model Lionel Trains!
Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is a popular aviation museum complex in Southern Colorado. It consists of two hangars, which house most of the aircraft in the museum, as well as thousands of other artifacts that date from World War I to the present day.
The complex is also home to the Southern Colorado Space Museum and Learning Center, as well as the B-24 Memorial Museum. In any case, if you decide to visit this famous Colorado museum, you’ll have plenty of interesting things to explore while you’re there.
The PWAM’s collection includes numerous military and civilian aircraft, as well as some other historical military vehicles. There’s an M20 armored vehicle on display in Hangar One, and it’s certainly one of the highlights of the collection.
Additionally, this popular Colorado museum is known for hosting Free Fly-In Days, which grant free access to the museum to all passengers and pilots who land at the Pueblo Memorial Airport. If you coincidentally end up flying into this airport during the Free Fly-In Days, you have no excuse not to visit one of Colorado’s best aviation museums!
The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is the most popular modern art museum in the state capital. It was initially founded in 1996, and it was the first-ever museum dedicated to modern art in Denver.
The museum is interesting because it doesn’t have a permanent collection. Instead, this museum features rotating exhibitions that are displayed for 2-4 months at a time. The exhibitions change 3-4 every year, allowing locals and tourists to explore something new and interesting every time they visit this museum.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the MCA Denver also hosts special events and lectures, with the purpose of promoting contemporary art and culture. The museum also has a special program referencing the intersection of contemporary art and feminism, which is a one-of-a-kind program in the entire United States!
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is situated in downtown Colorado Springs, in the former El Paso Country Courthouse building. The granite building is famous for its domed clock tower, and it’s a beautiful sight.
The museum boasts a large exhibit of artifacts, fine arts, and other archival collections that chronicle the rich history of the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. The collection of this museum includes more than 60,000 objects, including all sorts of historic and cultural artifacts.
The museum’s main goal is to preserve and share the cultural history of the region, and it manages to do that incredibly well through an array of both permanent and temporary exhibits, programs, tours, special events, and lectures.
Some of the highlights of the museum include the vast Native American collection, the exhibit on Helen Hunt Jackon and the Jackson Family, the collection of artifacts from World War I, the outdoor sculptures, and many others.
The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is one of the most visited historic sites in Colorado. It is the final resting place of famous cowboy William Cody, who was known as Buffalo Bill. His grave and the museum dedicated to him are situated in the Lookout Mountain Park, according to the legend cowboy’s wishes.
Buffalo Bill’s gravesite is also a spectacular promontory point, offering incredible views of the Rockies and the Great Plains. The museum, on the other hand, offers an insight into the life of the popular cowboy, with exhibits on Wild West shows, various Native American Objects, and even firearms.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.