Colorado's Top Museums

No matter where you are traveling to in Colorado, there’s bound to be an extraordinary museum nearby to expand your mind, your knowledge or your appreciation of art, history and science — or to give your kids a lesson they can experience rather than just read about.

By: Staff Writer
Updated: March 23, 2024

Original Colorado Museums

Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Experience the life and times of American legend William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody at the scenically located Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in GoldenLearn more about Buffalo Bill in Colorado

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site

The historians of Bent’s Old Fort re-create the life and times of an 1840s fur trading post in La Junta through demonstrations, tours and special events. Tip: Check the fort's official website for when it's open while you're planning; its hours can change during different seasons. 

Museum of Northwest Colorado

Tucked away in the corner of Colorado, many visitors don't make it all the way to the town of Craig 40 miles from Steamboat Springs — but they should. The free Museum of Northwest Colorado offers an impressive list of traveling exhibitions. The museum's permanent collection includes thousands of cowboy artifacts that have drawn worldwide attention.

Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum

Visit the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum in Vail to pay homage to Colorado’s ski and snowboarding heritage, World War II’s 10th Mountain Division and the Winter Olympics. It’s free!

Molly Brown House Museum

Molly Brown may be best known for surviving the Titantic, but a visit to Denver's Molly Brown House Museum will prove that’s not the only notable thing about her.

ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy

Adjacent to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) headquarters in Colorado Springs, the history of rodeo and memorabilia from Hall of Fame inductees are featured in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy.

Favorite Museums for Kids

Children’s Museum of Denver

If you can entice the kiddos off the fire truck on the first floor of the Children’s Museum of Denver, they’ll delight in playscapes devoted to learning by playing at a pint-sized marketplace, a bubble extravaganza and more. 

Powerhouse Science Center

Geek out with the kids in Durango for a hands-on learning experience devoted to energy — past, present and future at Powerhouse Science Center.

WOW! World of Wonder Children’s Museum

Kids can touch all the art, science, dramatic play and cultural exhibits at WOW! World of Wonder Children’s Museum in Lafayette to play, learn and imagine.

Colorado Railroad Museum

Clamber around the Colorado Railroad Museum's 15-acre railyard in Golden, where locomotives, cabooses, passenger cars and much more showcase Colorado's fascinating railroad past.

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver digs into our rich history in space travel, as well as celebrating military and civilian aircraft. Climb into the cockpit, take a flight simulation and see the nation's only display X-wing Starfighter.

Colorado Science Museums

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

With an IMAX Theater, a planetarium and thousands of square feet devoted to science exhibits, you’ll need to schedule more than one trip to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a 40,000-square-foot facility on the edge of downtown Fort Collins that integrates the history of science and the science of history into an interactive and engaging museum offering the best of all worlds.

State-of-the-Art Museums in Colorado

Aspen Art Museum

Aspen Art Museum is a sophisticated spot presenting international contemporary art exhibits and public programs intended to spark thought-provoking experiences for its patrons.

Denver Art Museum

What began in the 1890s as the Denver Artists’ Club has grown into Denver Art Museum — a 365,000-square-foot complex that celebrates art in a family-friendly and interactive way.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

Near Denver’s historic LoDo area, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver seeks to build understanding about the art of our time while providing a forum for discussion at its LEED Gold-certified building.

Clyfford Still Museum

One of the newest members of Denver’s Civic Center Cultural Complex, the Clyfford Still Museum showcases 94 percent of abstract-expressionist Still's lifetime work — more than 2,400 works created between 1920 and 1980.

History Museums in Colorado

History Colorado Center

You can actually put yourself in Colorado’s rich history when you traverse four stories of interactive multimedia exhibits touching on the Ute people, space exploration, the Civil War and beyond at History Colorado Center.

Museum of the West

Visit Grand Junction to step into 1,000 years of American West history at Museum of the West. From firearms to a 1921 fire truck, the museum’s collections allow the stories in history books to unfold. 

Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum

Below the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, built and lived in by the Ancestral Puebloan people more than 700 years ago in the Four Corners region before being relocated to Manitou Springs, enter the three-story pueblo to visit the museum and gift shop. The museum begins to unravel the mysteries of these ancient people with its depictions of daily life and displays of tools and weapons. The architecture style of the Pueblo Indians, descendants of the Ancestral Puebloans, was faithfully followed in the pueblo’s construction.

National Mining Museum

Experience the fortunes and figures that built one of America's richest mining towns at this Leadville institution. Exhibits at the National Mining Museum include a model mining-town railroad, a walk-through replica of an underground hardrock mine and a prospector's cave.

Forney Transportation Museum

With more than 800 exhibits featuring anything with wheels from bicycles to buggies to the world’s largest steam locomotive and cars and motorcycles, you don’t have to be a grease monkey to enjoy a few hours at the Forney Transportation Museum in Denver.

Want More?

Explore all of our Colorado museums

Check out our quirky roadside attractions