Culture, Food, and Rocky Mountain Views Beckon Visitors to Denver
Nestled at the base of the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado is a magical place to visit year-round. After spending some time there, It’s easy to see why millions of visitors flock to the “Mile High City” each year. No matter what your interests you can find it here in Denver. From the bustling city nightlife to the quiet, laid-back mountain-town vibe, Denver keeps you wanting more from the minute you step off the plane.
Tips: Adjusting to the altitude can be tricky, you can easily be dehydrated. Be sure to drink lots of water. If you plan on drinking while you are there, drinking alcohol effects can be intensified.
Getting There (and Getting Around)
If you are flying into the Denver airport getting to your hotel is simple. There is a taxi, Lyft and bus service but there is also a fantastic lite rail train service that will get you downtown in thirty minutes. Once you are there pick up a free bus on 16th street and explore the city.
These are a few of my suggestions on where to go and what to see:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
With over 700,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a must-stop on your next visit. Featuring displays, interactive exhibits, and attractions, this museum is fun and educational for all ages. You can also get the best views of the city from the top floor.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is filled with Western and regional art. It’s easy to get lost here and get a taste of local culture throughout the years. The art museum is spread out over two buildings and you can easily spend a day here checking out the exhibits of various styles of art from contemporary to textiles to Native American.
The Larimer Square Historic District at the spot where Denver was founded and is the oldest part of the city. I loved this area when visiting as it’s filled with independent shops, bars & restaurants. Larimer Square also has a vibrant nightlife and is home to many bars and clubs.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
This attraction boasts amazing views of the Rocky Mountains, miles of hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre encompasses 700 acres and is a geographic transition from the Great Plains to the Rockies. Many flock there for world-class concerts, but if you aren’t lucky enough to be there when one of your favorite artists is performing, you can still take advantage of the breathtaking views. It makes a perfect place to take pictures or watch the sunset.
Union Station Denver
When visiting Denver, chances are you pass through Union Station in Denver’s lower downtown area. This historic building is not only a transportation hub but a destination filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Nicknamed “Denver’s Living Room”, Union Station is the perfect place to relax on the comfortable couches and chairs and people watch and take in the gorgeous architecture.
Colorado State Capitol
No trip to Denver is complete without a stop at the Colorado State Capitol building. This Corinthian-style, gold-domed edifice offers tours, exhibits & photo ops at a mile above sea level. Take one of the free tours available Monday – Friday and get a sneak peek of its charm and history – the mile high markers, General Assembly Chambers and the Rose Onyx wainscoting, just to name a few.
Where to Eat
There are so many places to eat in Denver, a foodie could spend months eating their way through the various restaurants and coffee shops. Since you don’t have months, here are some of our favorites.
Get your day of adventure in the Mile High City off to the right start with these two standout breakfast spots. Syrup is the perfect choice for a hearty brunch. With unique signature dishes like Elvis French Toast and S’mores Pancakes, you will leave there full and ready to tackle your day. Snooze is another great pick. Enjoy a delicious breakfast made from seasonal ingredients served in a casual environment. While you are there try the breakfast pot pie!
If you want to just grab a quick coffee, Novo Coffee makes a mean one. This roastery has three locations and more than a dozen popular roasts. Stop by on a Friday at the Novo Roastery for a tour. Another place to grab a cup of joe is Crema Coffee House. One of the early comers to “coffee row” on Larimer Street, you can pick up a cup of carefully sourced and handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks.
Here are a few more notable places to eat and drink:
- Urban Farmer – Farm to Table restaurant & Cocktails
- Motomaki – Sushi, salad bowls
Where to Stay
The opulent Grand Hyatt Denver was the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of exploring downtown. The rooms were spacious and comfortable with luxurious bedding and every amenity you could possibly need (and some you didn’t know you needed).
It had an impressive gym that was fully equipped as well as other amenities like a business center, rooftop running track and tennis courts which have amazing views of Denver. Unlike many other hotels, the restaurant bar at the hotel was reasonable enough to get a drink and bite to eat.
The location of the Grand Hyatt can’t be beaten. It’s an easy walk to the 16th Avenue Mall where you can shop and pick up one of the free buses that will take you around town.
No matter what kind of adventure you are craving, a trip to Denver should be top on your bucket list.
Have you traveled to Denver? What was your favorite thing to do or see?
For more information about Denver visit www.denver.org
Note: my visit to Denver was sponsored by Brand USA for the IPW Conference 2018 but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Read more about other destinations:
Washington DC Guide: What to See And Do in The Nation’s Capital