Denver: High and Mighty
Collected by Kristin Rust, AFAR Local Expert
Call her the Mile High City or City of the Plains, Denver is a city with a high altitude and a low key attitude. Locals here care about the spirit of the Rocky Mountains, and carry that vibe into the city through recreation, art, music and food. A trendy and fit city, it's also humble, casual, and friendly. Maybe it's the 300 days of sunshine, maybe it's the thin air, maybe it's the Superbowl rings, but it is something, Something special.
200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203, USA
Before you go through the West entrance of Colorado State Capitol Building for their free historical tours, the 15th step bears the inscription "One Mile Above Sea Level." Don't be fooled, it isn't the actual one-mile marker. After two inaccurate...
2736 Welton St #103, Denver, CO 80205, USA
There was a time when Five Points in downtown Denver was the country's jazz hub west of the Mississippi. Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, Count Basie, and Dizzy Gillespie played here. The neighborhood is centered on a...
5201 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216, USA
The historic Riverside Cemetery sits just outside the downtown area and although it is now surrounded by railroad tracks and refineries, it is one of the most beautiful, and hidden, places in the entire city. Many of the state's most prominent...
1101 13th St, Denver, CO 80204, USA
Constructed across four city blocks around Denver's original 1908 municipal auditorium, the sprawling 12-acre Performing Arts Complex now contains 10 venues under one roof. It’s the largest performing arts center...
2376 15th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
1106 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Food is always better when it's pretty. Kevin Taylor, a big name chef in Denver, offers up a six-course dinner with food that looks like art. Colorful veggies served like checker boards, whipped purple potatoes, and cantaloupe sorbet orange enough...
144 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Over 100 years ago what is now the McNichols Building was a Carnegie Library, complete with shushing librarians. Today, quite the opposite is true, with staff encouraging interactive and boisterous reactions to art and music on display. This...
100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204, USA
With over 70,000 works of art, the Denver Art Museum can't be fully taken in during just one visit. Its permanent collection has a number of focuses, including art of the region, but it also contains works from farther afield. The museum...
2239 W 30th Ave, Denver, CO 80211, USA
You won't get a passport stamp, but you will take a trip to France when you settle into this intimate bistro. The twinkle lights, brick walls, and projected old-school subtitled films create a romantic and sexy spot that demands champagne and...
1727 Tremont Pl, Denver, CO 80202, USA
It’s one of those buildings that you walk by all the time, yet have no idea what goes on inside. What does go on inside? Well, plenty. The Navarre Building was a bordello, fancy dining club, and jazz hot spot, and is now an art museum housing one...
Denver, CO, USA
RITUAL. - I used to take the aisle seat for every single flight. More leg room, get out when I want, off the plane faster. Then one time I got "stuck" in a window seat. I watched the clouds passed, stared at the buildings below, watched the sun go...
1401 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202, USA
After your Saturday night fever has broken, head to The Corner Office for Disco Brunch, once you can muster the strength. Get your energy back with some hair-of-the-dog Bell Bottomless Libations, like the Dy-no-mite Bloody Mary and Boogie Oogie...
1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Known for hosting readings by big stars in the literary firmament, Tattered Cover Book Store originally opened in 1971 in a mere 950 square feet of space in the Cherry Creek North area. The enterprise has grown to...
1626 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Contrary to popular belief, most Denverites do not dress like cowboys. But those hipsters that do, do it right at Rockmount Ranch Wear. Some seriously cool fashion pieces have been flying off the racks here since 1946, when the shop opened in at...
1600 17th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
It’s rumored that Stephen King was inspired by this moody deco landmark when he wrote about the hotel bar in The Shining. The Cruise Room in the historic Oxford Hotel is an authentic post-Prohibition bar with its original chrome and neon,...
2115 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Head to Mexico City Restaurant and Lounge, a Denver staple since 1968, the next time you feel the craving for a delicious taco. It’s a great spot to hit before a Rockies Game. The menu’s loaded up with all kinds of Mexican fare, but skip the...
1215 18th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Downtown is full of trendy restaurants, so The Old Spaghetti Factory is an awesome throwback to when going out to dinner was a big deal. Yes, it’s a chain, but I had no idea until recently. I thought it was one of the most special places ever....
1068 9th Street Park, Denver, CO 80204, USA
Three colleges merge on one campus at Auraria on the western border of downtown. Once a thriving Denver neighborhood, the campus still shows signs of the past with a bounty of historical landmarks. The Ninth Street Historic Park is lined with...
1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204, USA
Did you know it’s rude to put soy sauce on food in Japan? They’ll teach you the finer ways of Japanese cooking at Domo, a hidden treasure in downtown Denver. And while the restaurant’s exterior looks like an industrial warehouse, the interior...
1001 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80265, USA
Architect I.M. Pei's firm designed the 16th Street Mall so that, when seen from the air, the repeating pattern of red, white, and gray stone that makes up the pavement would resemble the markings on a diamondback rattlesnake. At ground level,...
2201 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80205, USA
The city that helped launch the craft beer revolution has turned its attention to liquor. Here are three distilleries worth a visit. 1. STRANAHAN’S The whiskey is made from barley grown in the Rockies. Factory tours end with a tasting in the...
1512 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Sometimes I love to have long lunches “for one.” Either in the company of my laptop, a good book, or simply my thoughts. I pick a place with good food, uncrowded seating, and I plop myself down for an hour or two. Le Grand Bistro is one of my...
1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Have you ever tried a Graham Cracker porter? Well, you should. It's surprisingly mild— despite its dark hue—with hints of vanilla and mulled spices. And it's only available at the Denver Beer Co. The brewery serves along with other delish...
4700 Cherry Creek S Dr, Denver, CO 80246, USA
It's a bright, sunny Sunday morning in Denver. We're too relaxed to pack the car to head into the mountains. We don't much feel like heading out on the bikes. The Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, and Avalanche are all out of town. So what do we do? We...
Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Colorado is known for its wildlife, but it's taken to a whole new level each fall in Estes Park when the elk population rivals the tax payers in town. Estes Park, on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park, and only an hour from Denver, is home...
2827 E 3rd Ave, Denver, CO 80206, USA
For some, shopping can be a spiritual experience, and jewelers Alex and Ani have taken it to another level with pretty eco-friendly gold, silver, and colorful crystal charms that have each been blessed by a shaman. The company, founded by free...
2615 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Call it what you like—weed, pot, reefer, cannabis—marijuana is legal and accessible in Colorado. There are roughly 30 retail licenses registered in the state offering a variety of bud with names like Death Star and Headband, edibles, and...
4655 Humboldt St, Denver, CO 80216, USA
Every January thousands of cows, horses, sheep and cowboys ride into town for one of Denver's oldest and finest traditions - the National Western Stock Show. The over 100 year history has seen the 17-day event grow, but some things stay the same,...
3200 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Maybe because Denver is a beer town, drinking wine from a can makes a kind of sense. Urban winery Infinite Monkey Theorem serves a selection of their own reds and whites, made from grapes grown on Colorado's Front Range and on the plains of Texas....
Wyoming 82009, USA
Most head west when in need of a day trip from Denver, but head north of the city to Wyoming and check out Curt Gowdy Park, Vedauwoo and Medicine Bow. You can be there in less time than it takes to get up to many of the over-popular Colorado...
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