Table of Content
Denver | Introduction
Denver, the capital and largest city of Colorado, is located in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the Midwestern United States, and was originally a prosperous gold rush town. Located in the heart of Colorado, Denver is the starting point for the surrounding mountains and natural attractions, and people like to use Denver as a starting point for their Colorado driving tours, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, exploring Grand Circle, etc. In fact, the city of Denver is also a worthwhile place to visit, so if you are in Denver, you may want to leave a day or two to explore the city.
Denver | Itinerary
Downtown Denver Day Trip
If you only have one day, spend it in downtown Denver. In the morning, head to the Colorado State Capitol, see the big blue bear at the Denver Convention Center, and if you still have time, visit the University of Colorado Museum. Then head downtown to Union Station and find a restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, take a stroll through 16th St Mall, walk around Larimer Square, and in the evening, find a small bar and enjoy a local beer.
Denver 2-Day Tour
If you have more than two days, I'd recommend splitting a day trip into two days and adding in Denver's newest Meow Wolf immersive art exhibit and an out-of-town attraction to the itinerary. Example:
- Day 1: See Meow Wolf in the morning, finish up in Union Station area, then 16th St Mall and Larimer Square in the afternoon, go to Denver Convention Center to see the big blue bear.
- Day 2: Arrive at the Colorado State Capitol in the morning and head to the Art District for lunch. After lunch, head to Red Rocks Park and enjoy an evening outdoor concert. (Concert times and ticket reservations can be found atRed Rock websiteEnquiry)
either one or the other
- Day 2: In the morning, go to Garden of the Gods to enjoy the red rock scenery in the suburbs, and in the afternoon, go to the Colorado State Capitol and Denver Convention Center to see the big blue bear.
Trips of more than three days
If you have more than three days, you can arrange a self-drive route outside the urban area, for example, a 1-day to 1-weekRocky Mountain National ParkIf you have more than a week to spare, take a trip to Grand Circle or pick out some of the Colorado National Park highlights.
Denver | Lodging Options
If you don't have a car and you are staying for many days, a more convenient place to stay is in the city center, near Union Station or Larimer Square. This is the easiest choice for travelers as it is easy to get around. If you are considering staying farther away and want a cheaper room rate, Capitol Hill neighborhood is cheaper and has easy access to public transportation. If you're traveling by car, or if you have a car, there are plenty of lodging options near Denver. There are many hotels 15 minutes west of downtown with good parking and not too far away, so it is a good choice for car owners with high CP value.
Find a stay in Denver:
Denver | Downtown Attractions
Colorado State Capitol Colorado State Capitol
The Colorado State Capitol, one of Denver's landmarks, was built in 1894 and is an imposing building. Designed in the Romanesque style, the building's chambers and library are open for tours during business hours, and the most striking feature is the gold-paved dome, which is said to symbolize the history of the Gold Rush.
Denver Convention Center | Big Blue Bear
The Denver Convention Center is a large convention center in the heart of downtown Denver and is the main location for many of the major events and exhibitions held in Denver, close to famous tourist attractions such as 16th Street Mall and Larimer Square. The highlight of the visit for visitors is the 40-foot, three-story blue bear peeking through the glass window next to the convention center, making it the most popular attraction in downtown Denver. It's a public art piece by artist Lawrence Argent called "I See What You Mean".
Larimer Square | 16th St Mall
Larimer Square is a historic neighborhood located in downtown Denver between 14th and 15th Streets. This neighborhood is considered to be the origin of Denver, so the architecture is quaint and unique, with historic 19th-century red brick buildings that attract many visitors. With its many stores, restaurants and bars, it is one of Denver's most popular shopping and recreation areas.
Keep walking to 16th St and you will come to 16th St Mall, this is a pedestrianized shopping area, you can come here if you like shopping. Strictly speaking, this shopping area can be walked all the way to Union Station, which is 1.25 miles long.
Union Station has a long history and was built in 1881 as a monument. Ten years ago, the station was renovated and now there are new restaurants and cafes, so if you take the light rail, you will definitely pass by here.
There are many good places to shop around the station, towards Coors Field, you will pass by McGregor Square and Dairy Block, which are both full of stores and atmospheric places to shop and eat.
Coors Field is the home of the Major League Baseball Colorado Rockies, so if it happens to be in season, come out for a game!
River North (RiNo) Art District
RiNo Arts DistrictLocated in the north of the city center, it is a relatively new business district. Originally, this area was a warehouse and factory, and the security was not very good. In the past ten years, the city government has promoted the transformation of this area into a new art district, with a lot of graffiti art on the streets, which is like an outdoor art gallery. Nowadays, there are many specialty restaurants and bars. When you come to this area, you can visit Denver Central Market, where there are many specialty stores for cocktails, oysters, ice cream and beer tasting.
Meow Wolf Denver
Meow Wolf is an American art and entertainment company that produces immersive interactive entertainment experiences and has several venues in the US. If you're like me and don't know what this is all about, you might want to check it out. Basically, once you enter a Meow Wolf venue, it's like entering a large-scale interactive game world in real life, where visitors explore a rich art scene and gradually collect and learn about the plot. Because each location has its own theme, scenery, and story, visitors don't have to worry about repeating themselves even if they've already been to another Meow Wolf pavilion. The theme of the Denver pavilion is called Convergence station, so I won't bore you with the details here.
In order to control the flow of people, it is recommended to buy tickets in advance, and it is best to buy tickets in the morning, because some visitors reported that in the afternoon, some of the mechanical equipment would break down due to too many people using it, but of course, this part of the exhibition will probably be better as it becomes more mature.
There is a main story and many subplots, if you have limited time, we suggest you focus on the main story. We heard our friends highly recommend it before we left. They arranged a three-day trip to Denver, and because they didn't finish the main story the first time, they spent an extra morning buying tickets to come back and finish it, so you can see the charm of this interactive entertainment, right? We focused on the mainline and spent about two and a half hours there.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an open-air musical theater located about 20 minutes from the city center, nestled in the hills of Red Rocks Park, surrounded by red rocks and known for its spectacular natural scenery. The theater's unusual design, with an open-air stage and auditorium, can accommodate nearly 10,000 people, utilizing the local rock formations, with two monolithic walls forming a stunning concert venue with perfect acoustics.
Concert times and bookings can be made onRed Rock websiteEnquiry.
Denver | Nearby
Garden of The Gods
Located in Colorado Springs, just half an hour from downtown, Garden of the Gods is a spectacular nature park. The park is home to countless massive stone pillars, which were formed by the accumulation of limestone over the past several million years, all in different shapes and sizes. Discovered in 1859 by two explorers from Denver, the park was called the Garden of the Gods after two explorers from the city of Denver marveled at the beauty of the landscape and called it a masterpiece of God's work.
If you have enough time, it is best to park your car at the visitor center and walk, as the loop road to the river is too popular and congested. There are plenty of trails in the park for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural beauty.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National ParkLocated about an hour and a half from Denver, this drive takes you from endless forests to alpine tundra and is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. If you're in Denver for more than three days, you can't go wrong with a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park offers four seasons of beauty: spring and summer for flowers, fall for maples, and winter for spectacular snowfalls.
Located about 30 minutes northwest of Denver, the small town of Boulder was originally a college town. Surrounded by mountains and valleys, Boulder is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and is known for its beautiful natural scenery and healthy lifestyle. Boulder is perfect for a day trip from Denver or as a pit stop on the way from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park. This cute little town has a great pedestrian-only Pearl St. with street performers, and is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities or fine dining.
Denver | Food & Bar
RiNo Art District | Work and Class
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Price: $$
Work and class is supposedly a Latin American restaurant, but when we tried it, we thought it was a combination of New American + Latin American flavors. Anyway, it's worth trying this chef's restaurant, the food is very good and the atmosphere of Everything for share is great. The restaurant is quite popular in the area, and we queued up at the door right before it opened, and the place filled up soon after we entered. Because it was Happy Hour, we took advantage of the cheap prices and ordered a variety of food and drinks. For drinks, we started off with Long Island Iced Tea and Work and Class Mule, and then added the house cocktail, Grapefruit Habanero Rosemary and Blueberry Pomegranate Thyme flavors, which were both very good. We ordered his Sunday Special Fried Chicken, Tempura Broccoli, Spicy Chicken Pot Pie, Chick Pea Fries, and 1/4lb lamb, all of which were very good, with the signature fried chicken and snap pea fries being especially amazing.
Larimer Square | TAMAYO
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Price: $$
Located in Larimer Square, Tamayo claims to be Denver's best Mexican restaurant, with great atmosphere and service, and a wide selection of food, the best being their Mahi Mahi Tacos.
Milk Tea People
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Price: $
Located between Union Station and Larimer Square, Milk Tea People is a very atmospheric online matcha drink store. If you're tired of shopping, come here to get a cup of tea and feel refreshed!
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Price: $$
Denver is actually a very suitable place for beer tasting, Epic Brewery in RiNo Art District is one of the famous beer bars in Denver. We came late, and the bar closed at 8:00pm, so we only had a flight, but we liked the beer. We were surprised to find out that the bar closes so early, so please come early.
Great Divide Brewing Co.
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Price: $$
Great Divide Brewing Co. is not a big store, and in the afternoon there were only a few tables of customers, it was quiet, and some people were sitting on the bar reading books, so it was more like a library atmosphere. But it's actually the most recommended beer bar in Denver, and after we tried it, we thought it was our favorite beer we've had all the way to Colorado.
More Colorado Further reading
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