This past weekend I went to Denver for the second time with some girlfriends. After visiting twice, I’m confident I’ve got a pretty good feel of the city and thought I would share some of the things that made me fall in love with Denver. To me it has the perfect mixture of being a city on the one hand, but feeling like a town on the other–it has that crunchy-granola vibe that’s very comforting and homey. The other bonus? The first time I went my flight out of Miami was $30 (ROUNDTRIP!) and this time it was only $97 out of Fort Lauderdale. Not too shabby to fly two time zones away.
My first trip was for my mom’s b-day September of 2015. While in Denver, we took a day trip to Red Rocks and Boulder. This was a fairly easy drive, made even easier by the fact that we stopped off at Avery Brewery on the way back to Denver from Boulder. Highly recommend grabbing some food and a beer flight at Avery: my personal favorite is the Liliko’i Kepolo, a passion fruit witbier that goes down a little too easy.
As for Red Rocks, obviously it is a music venue, but it was pretty cool seeing it in the day time against crystal blue skies.
The great thing about Denver is that you can see so much of the city in one day and both times I was there I was able to do a TON. I definitely recommend checking out Union Station which is a gorgeous train station with cute shops and places to eat. I recommend Mercantile for a great breakfast pastry and coffee and the Cooper Lounge for fancy cocktails.
Another area I love that is just a short walk past the train station is LoHi, which stands for the Lower Highlands area of Denver. While there you can get brunch at Linger (a mortuary that was converted into a restaurant and has a sick rooftop view), a cone from Little Man Ice Cream, and a cocktail from Williams & Graham-a speakeasy that’s best to go to right at 5pm to avoid a brutal wait time. Pro tip: If there’s a long wait, hit up Occidental right next door. It’s owned by the same people as W&G and they make a mean Tom Collins.
For a beautiful, perfectly executed meal in a cozy atmosphere with amazing service head to Fruition in the Country Club neighborhood. It’s a special occasion-type restaurant that showcases Denver’s emerging food scene. It has a very elevated, yet unpretentious farm-to-table vibe.
This past weekend we also took a day trip to Vail and Breckinridge, which are both about a 2 hour drive from Denver. I had always considered them winter destinations but they really sparkle in the summer. The weather was perfect, there were farmer markets and the flower arrangements sprinkling the towns are on point. Literally there were hummingbirds in the flower bushes, can you get more idyllic than that? In Vail, grab a drink at the White Bison for a peaceful view of the creek below, then head next door for a burger at Mountain Standard and dine al fresco. You really can’t go wrong.
Other places to check out: Osteria Marco for homemade cheeses and the best seasonal bruschetta, Avanti at night for pretty skyline views and a fun/young crowd, Second Home for a satiating brunch or dinner if you are near the Cherry Creek area, Lookout Mountain (the view pictured above), Okinawa for a chill sushi spot, Forest Room 5 for a drink and some crazy hipster/lumberjack vibes (they do Saturday happy hour 4-6 which is greatly appreciated), cute boutiques in the residential Washington Square neighborhood, the Great Divide for another beer flight, and the Source for a cool/uber industrial marketplace with cheeses, wine, and some of the best coffee in America.
Also as an aside, I have to say the men are suspiciously attractive in Denver. They don’t call it Menver for nothing I guess. Can some of them come to FL please?
We are already planning a December birthday trip back to CO and I couldn’t be happier.
- Do you have any Denver recs?
- What is your favorite place for a day trip outside of Denver?