Denver has been on my USA bucket list for a while. Before California legalized it, the draw of Denver's cannabis culture, national park, and hipster eateries were so intriguing that last July the travel squad booked a long weekend getaway to explore the area.
See + Do
Red Rocks Amphitheater - We didn't get to see a show here, but even during the day this place is alive and vibrant with joggers, tourists, and locals enjoying the scenery.
Rocky National Park - We can't go anywhere without hiking. We did the Deer Mountain Summit hike, a six mile trail to a mountain peak. In all honestly, this was not our first choice hike, although it turned out to be amazing. We ended up on this hike because of the insane crowds, limited parking, and long lines for the shuttle bus for the more popular hikes. Because of the crowds I have to admit this has been my least favorite national park yet, still worth a visit though!
Coors Factory Tour - Coors doesn't have the Rocky Mountains on its can for nothing! It's the water here and it's long standing roots in the area that make this beer so iconic in America. While the craft brewery scene in Denver has exploded with new flavors and varietals, the classic Coors will always be at home in Denver, and the factory is worth a tour!
The free, self-guided tour allows you to see and hear about the beer making process. The best part? Three free beers at the end, and it's not just Coors. We were able to sample some of the special kegs only available in Colorado.
Eat + Drink
Rooftop Drinks at Linger - I'm a rooftop bar fanatic and Linger is one of the cutest. The rooftop has a hipsterfied camper trailer turned bar, tables and lounge seating with views of Downtown, chic lighting and cool vibes.
Right next to Linger, is Little Man Ice Cream, an ice cream shop in the shape of a giant milk can with a line stretching down the street, and live music outdoors by the table seating. This place is worth a stop for a sweet treat. They have many sizes so you can get a mini if you're just wanting a taste, or a bigger size if you want to try multiple scoops. They even have vegan flavors!
Hands down, one of my FAVORITE things to do is Afternoon Tea, especially when the establishment goes all out with abundant treats and Instagram-worthy presentation. The Afternoon Tea at D Bar does exactly that! I was so impressed with all they brought out. Not only the tiered tray of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats, but it also came with some of the best scone toppings and amazing creme brulee, my favorite!
Where to Stay
We rented an airport through Airbnb in the Glendale neighborhood of Denver. We found that the more central Denver location prices were outrageously steep, and since we rented a car staying outside the city center for a third of the cost was no big deal. The kitchen was nice to have to reheat leftovers from all the eating out we splurged on since we saved on accommodation.
Bonus Trip - Boulder!
With Boulder just a few miles away you have to visit this town as well. We have travel friends in Boulder that we met on an Inca trail hiking expedition in Peru, so we went to have breakfast with them on their property before exploring around a little.
Hike the Flatirons trail. It's a short, fairly easy, dog-friendly hike that peaks at the top with beautiful views of below.
Walk around the quaint downtown and then cool down with rooftop drinks at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant .
We came, we saw, we did all that we could with three days in Denver. Until the next visit!