A couple of weeks ago, I took my new friend Jeff (also a Michigander – we’re everywhere) to the 16th Street Mall to walk around, as he had never been. As he had just moved to Denver a week prior to our mall excursion, I felt it necessary for him to see it in all of its glory! It’s a mall in the sense of the British term, so more related to a boulevard. Shops, banks, and other businesses line the street on either side, and free pedestrian buses drive up and down. There are multiple stops along 16th street, collecting and dropping off the tons of people that inhabit the area each day. Not only are the free buses a great way to get to one end or the other in a timely manner, they can also be a savior when your feet are disagreeing with your choice of walking shoes.
In addition to the commercial shops of the mall, art pops up everywhere – different sculptures of wood, metal, and everything in between line the 16th St. Mall, making it THAT much cooler to get out and walk both sides. Along the middle, or median, of the 16th street mall, brightly-painted pianos reside, ready for anyone and everyone to stop and play. These were placed by the Downtown Denver Partnership in a launch lovingly referred to as “Your Keys to the City” in 2011. All pianos are painted by local artists, using their own particular inspirations.
Whether you stop in at H&M, have a burger at Johnny Rockets, or just lolly-gag around, there’s plenty of things to do and see on the 16th St. Mall. Pick up a sweet Colorado shirt from one of the many tourist shops along with a few rad postcards to send to your friends and family. Make sure to take in all of the interesting and entertaining people watching and street performers. A robot street performer named RoboMike, pictured below, is an expert at making passers jump, laugh, and smile – make sure you say, “Hey” when you see him!
Have a great time visiting the 16th St. Mall – definitely one of my favorite places to hang out in Denver!