• Lisa

Denver, Colorado: City Guide

Updated: 7 days ago

Denver is such a fun city to explore with so much to do! You can visit year round and enjoy the sports, hiking nearby trails, or just exploring the city!

Know Before You Go to Denver:

  • Drink plenty of water before you go. The “Mile High City” can take a toll on your body and many people experience headaches when they arrive. Staying hydrated will help you overcome this!

  • You’ll smell weed everywhere. There is a dispensary on every corner.

  • There are hundreds of different breweries.

  • The city is filled with rentable bikes and scooters.

  • Consider buying a Denver CityPASS to save on popular attractions:

Where to Stay in Denver:

  • Sheraton Downtown: it is in the prefect vicinity to the 16th Street Mall – there’s so much to do in walking distance. The hotel features a rooftop pool that is "heated" (luke warm, if you ask me).

Sheraton Rooftop Pool
  • The Crawford: This swanky boutique hotel is located inside of the Union Station and is the definition of luxury. They even allow dogs!

What to Do in Denver:

16th Street Mall:

Spend the day walking around the 16th Street Mall. This is an outdoor street with dozens of shops, restaurants, and bars located throughout. They have a Free MallRide that runs up and down the street and is never more than a 10 minute wait (hours vary but are typically 5:30AM to 1AM).

Union Station:

Travel back in time when you step into this remodeled train station. It is still active today as a train hub but has now become so much more than just that. There is a fabulous bar inside that offers tasty flights and local beers. There are some very trendy shops and restaurant in the station as well – including the most popular: Snooze, AM Eatery. The Union Station is nicknamed “Denver’s Living Room” because you’ll find travelers and locals alike hanging out in the lobby.

Coors Brewery Tour:

This iconic brand is based out of Denver (Golden, Colorado to be exact.. about 30 minutes away from Denver) and offers daily Brewery Tours! The tours are $5 for local Colorado residents and $10 for all other guests and include 3 samples of beer. But heads up, this is only open for tours – you can’t go for drinks at the bar (I found this out the hard way).

Red Rocks Amphitheatre:

This stunning amphitheater is beautiful, especially at sunset! You can visit for free when there isn’t a concert and explore the ins and outs of the stadium that is tucked in between the red rocks. Let me tell you though, this is quite a hike (especially when you’re a mile high in the air). You can also spend time on the trails (biking or hiking) to explore more of the beautiful mountains.

Capitol State Building:

Walk around the Capitol and snap a picture on the steps showing the exact spot that is 1 Mile high.

Free Walking Tour of the City:

This tour is offered daily May-October and on Saturdays and Sundays November-February. No registration necessary, just meet at the designated meeting point at 10AM and enjoy the 2 hour stroll through Denver’s must see sites. You pay what you want at the end (ie tip).

Visit the Molly Brown House (survivor of Titanic):

Tours are typically 1 hour long and take you through her house and the 1900s era. They’re closed on Mondays but offer tours all other days of the week.

Check out the Sporting Events:

Denver has a huge sporting scene with so many great events. Their stadiums and arenas are state of the art - you'll love the full experience.

Visit Garden of The Gods

While Garden of The Gods isn't technically in Denver, it is the best quick road trip to get out of the city. Garden of the Gods is completely free and offers beautiful views, great hikes, and more! Check out my full guide for Garden of The Gods here.

Where to Eat in Denver:

  • Snooze, AM Eatery: I would be remiss to leave this off the list… it is the number one place to grab brunch in Denver. However, I must say that I find it slightly overrated. Don’t get me wrong – it’s good! But you can find less expensive options that don’t have a 2 hour long wait! (I know I’m really selling this place, lol) if you do go, try the pancakes!

  • VooDoo Donuts: Open 24 hours… you have no excuse to skip out on these amazing donuts!

  • Little Man Ice Cream: hand-made ice cream that is to die for. The wait can be long in the summer (and still worth it in the winter). Check out their menu!

  • Williams and Graham: Fun speakeasy that is a soooo popular. The wait is usually 1-2 hours! There are fun places to enjoy around the area while you wait. When you finally walk in, you’ll immediately be immersed in a “speakeasy” vibe since you walk in through a book case!

  • Wynkoop Brewing Company: This brewery is right across the street from the Union Station and offers options for everyone! The main floor features a restaurant and bar but upstairs you’ll find a pool hall with games and more bar space! On the first floor (basement) they have their brewery. They offer brewery tours Tuesday – Saturday at 3PM and 4PM.

  • The Terminal: Another Union Station Restaurant! (I'm telling you if your'e staying at the Crawford, you have no reason to ever leave the Union Station). Check out the Terminal Bar and fall in love with another part of the station. We tried flights which was perfect to experiment with all of the local Charlotte Beer.

This is just a small taste of everything Denver has to offer! Whether you're spending a weekend in the city or a month exploring all that Colorado has to offer, you'll love every minute of it!

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