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Denver Travel Guide

Denver Travel Guide

This past week, I had the privilege of going to visit my best friend who just moved out to Denver, CO. It was two of my friends and myself that went! We took JetBlue to and from Boston. This was a fun trip, but I wish I had more time to do more. Below is everything I did while I was there and where I ate, played, and shopped.

I plan on going back so you will see this get updated as time goes on!

Skiing  

I have never been skiing in my life… until this trip. Well, that’s a lie. When I was a few months old I went on a ski trip with my family, but to say the least, I didn’t master any of the hills.

On this trip, we went to Echo Mountain to go skiing. The staff was helpful, fun to be around and overall made for a great experience. I didn’t fall, but I also only rode the bunny hill for a few hours. This mountain is great for first-timers and up to intermediate and then up to black diamond skiers. There really isn’t a hill for people who are past the bunny hill but aren’t ready to go to the medium level hills. That’s the only thing I would have changed about this!

Also a good note, the price is right especially for those who don’t know if they’re going to like skiing and may not want to spend the whole day doing it. There is also a bar (and food) on location, and you can rent the things you don’t own like boots, jackets, gloves, snow pants, etc. There is also tubing for those not into the whole skiing and snowboarding thing which is fun, but you need to call in advance and reserve your spot.

Downtown Denver Exploration

My favorite part of the trip was exploring downtown Denver. The downtown area is large, so it makes it hard to figure out where to go if you haven’t done your research. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest before and during the trip trying to decide where to go and honestly there wasn’t a whole lot to work with.

We started at Union Station, which is a great place to get dropped off at. This is because there are different stores around to go shopping and you have a lot to do around it. It also is beautiful inside and around it.

The Murals

We walked up and down Larimer Street in downtown Denver for the day. It was full of beautiful and some sketchy areas, but about every block or so was a new and stunning mural. There were some small ones on the side of garages, and ones that went across multiple buildings and were three times my size, so we basically stopped every block to see almost every single one of them, including a few that were in some parking lots. The best murals were all past 20th street (on Larimer Street).

This article helped us to find some of my favorite murals.

Here were a few of my favorites…

Larimer Square

Larimer Square is known as the oldest and most historic block in Denver. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time there, but I have to say, it is a must stop location. There are shops, restaurants, wellness and beauty services, and most important, nightlife. The reason nightlife is so important here, is because the lights are just magical. They have stringed lights going across the street and it creates an environment that you won’t want to miss. That is why after we visited during the day after our walk up and down Larimer we went back again after dinner to see it lit up.

Food & Drinks

Day 1

We started with lunch from Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. They have everything from homemade guacamole, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and everything in between, so I made the decision to get the steak quesadilla and it was just the right amount of spice and delicious. On top of the food, the environment is fun with helpful staff who assisted in pointing us in the right direction after lunch. We didn’t try the margaritas but they looked so good! They also do mini ones for the people not in the mood for downing an extra large margarita.

We stopped at two places on Larimer Street. One was a coffee shop called Call Denver, which had a great menu and not just coffee. Call Denver had a great outdoor environment, for instance, there was a mural on the outside and a space where dogs are welcome. I ended up getting an iced oat milk latte and it was so good and it came in a glass so it was good for the environment!

On the way back down Larimer Street, we stopped at Ted’s Montana Grill in Larimer Square. We were fortunate enough to have some warm weather and sat outside. They were having happy hour so I got a margarita and my friends got the Sangria and to say the least, nobody was complaining! They also tried the caesar salad and wedge salad which looked fresh and tasty and they enjoyed every bite of. We didn’t have a full meal there, but I’d suggest giving it a try!

Day 2

We stopped for a quick lunch at a place called The Tavern located outside of Denver, but they have one in downtown as well. The were having happy hour and we were starving, so we decided this was the perfect place. It was a quick stop, but I got a lettuce wrap that was unforgettable. It did the vegetarian version which had mushrooms instead of chicken, but the edamame, corn and other vegetables, mixed with the sauce made it one of my favorite meals. Sorry, I didn’t snap a photo because I was too busy stuffing my face.

For dinner, we went to View House Eatery, Bar & Rooftop. This had a great view (hence the name) overlooking the city. They had great signature drinks from different versions of Moscow mules, margaritas, and vodka-based drinks. Their food ranges from burgers to tacos, to salads, to bar food and it all sounded so good, but I ended up getting the steak tacos which had the perfect amount of spice and flavor. However, my friends got two different burgers and the chicken tacos, which they all raved about! They also put their tacos in a taco holder, which I would like to buy and have in my house one day!

Last Day

On our last day, we spent some time at the Rockbottom Brewery. The environment isn’t exactly what I was expecting for a brewery, especially after being at Cisco Brewers on Nantucket. This brewery has more of a restaurant and bar feel, except you can see them brewing the beer, which was cool.

I did a beer flight which I have to say is your best option. This is because you get to try 5 different beers, of your choice, for a good price. I got the Bottoms Up, Pre-Pro Lager, 16th, Devils Thumb, and Falcon beers, but my favorite two were the 16th and Falcon, which surprised me because I don’t usually like dark beer. Usually, I am only a fan of light beer and the 16th and Falcon were two of the darker beers that I had picked.

For food, we each got a burger and honestly, there were no regrets anywhere. One person got the burger with an egg and a hash brown on it, the other got one with gorgonzola and fried onion strings, but I chose the Fireman’s burger which was spicy with guacamole, a chipotle and chili sauce, and pepper jack cheese. They were all exactly what we needed and on top of it you can get different sides such as mac and cheese and they have normal bar food and other options as well, but we were all feeling burgers.

Dispensaries

This may be controversial, but it’s a must when you’re there. We went to two different dispensaries while there and they were both completely different and great. One was called Smoking Gun Apothacary and it had a speak-easy feel. It’s also next to a strip club if you’re feeling that. The had a joint cage and were helpful. The second was called Altitude. They have a waiting room and then you get a person that assists only you, so you get their undivided attention. Overall, they both offer great experiences and nobody makes you feel bad for asking ALL the questions. P.S. I have no photos because they are no phone zones.

Other Explorations

If you have the time and the means of travel, I highly suggest going to Garden of the Gods. They have many different trails so you can do a light walk or go for miles and miles of trails, but we decided to go on a short trail and took tons of photos of course. This was such a incredible landmark that left us in awe. These rocks are massive and people were actually climbing them (with the proper gear of course).

Next time I’m in Denver…

I didn’t have time on this trip to go everywhere I wanted to go in Denver, so when I go back there are a few more things I want to do.

One of the places I want to try is called Bones, which I hear has some of the best noodle dishes!

When my sister went to Denver, she tried this place called Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar so this is on my list for the next time I go, not to mention that they do brunch, cheese boards, beer and most importantly, wine flights.

Another place I want to try is called Departure, which is upbeat and Asian-fusion. One of my friends works there, so I definitely want to check it out. It is a higher class restaurant, but I hear it is well worth it.

Have you been to Denver? If so, where did you go?

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Always Sunkissed guide to Denver // Denver Travel Guide


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