Last month I kicked off a new series called “Around the World.” Each installment features a different city with tips and advice from those who live there. The inaugural city for this series was NYC, and you can read all about it here.
If you have been reading my blog for more than 5 minutes you probably know that I love to travel. I have a passion for exploring new cities and experiencing different cultures. I frequently scour the internet for information before I go somewhere and almost always buy some type of travel book to take with me for tips along the way. Not surprisingly though, I’ve found that the best resources are the locals. They know exactly where to go for the best food, how to beat the crowds, what part of town to stay in, and what you absolutely must see while in xyz city.
This time, we’re heading west to Denver, Colorado.
Our Hostess: Shelley, one of the coolest chicks I know 😉
How long have you lived in Denver? Almost 5 years.
What do you love most about the city? The superb weather- 300 days of sunshine, year-round outdoor activities, concert venues and friendly locals and transplants.
What’s your biggest gripe? TRAFFIC.
When is the best time to visit? You can’t go wrong visiting Denver during any season; it all depends on the activities you would like to take part in.
So, you’ve got tons of mountains and snow…what are temperatures usually like? The weather fluctuates throughout the year, but rarely drops below 0 degrees F in the winter or above 100 degrees F in the summer.
That’s quite a swing. The very dry climate makes those extreme temperatures bearable. Overall, the temperature is quite mild.
What is a “must-do” when in Denver? A visit to Red Rocks Amphitheater. Enjoy a concert or movie, get in a high-altitude workout or just bask in the sheer magnitude of your surroundings.
What’s the best way to spend an afternoon? Exploring many of Denver’s vibrant neighborhoods, either by foot or bike. The city is very bike friendly and boasts over 85 miles of paved trails in additional to hundred of miles of dirt trails. After all that walking/riding, make sure to take advantage of bars/restaurants with patios!
Denver has long been known for being the craft brew mecca, but what are some of the hot bars right now? There are fantastic bars all over Denver. I’ll break down my favorites into the neighborhoods that house them:
- SoBo (South Broadway) Syntax Physic Opera. Small plates restaurant with a music/art aspect
- LoDo (Lower Downtown) The Cruise Room is located in the Oxford hotel and is extremely picturesque with its Art Deco features and fabulous martinis
- LoHi (Lower Highlands)
- Forest Room 5 is an eclectic hipster restaurant and bar. Log stools, phenomenal outdoor seating and creepy taxidermy, help make this joint a hit
- Linger is also a fantastic spot in this neighborhood. It occupies the space that was once a mortuary and boasts stunning views of downtown from the rooftop bar area
- CapHill (Capitol Hill) LaLa’s Wine Bar and Don’s Club Tavern are my favorites in the area. They couldn’t be more different but both offer great drink specials
- Highlands– Williams and Graham is a speakeasy that is accessible through a secret door in a bookcase. Their attention to detail really makes this place magical
- Uptown– The Thin Man has been one of my favorite bars from the start of calling Denver home. The small bar’s décor is odd and the drinks (infused vodkas, whiskey and tequila) can be consumed without mixers. This bar is a winner in my book.
- RiNo (River North) Pon Pon Bar and Finn’s Manor are my faves in this hood, although you can’t go wrong with any bars in the area.
- Five Points/Ball Park–
Denver’s bar game is strong. What about food for all that booze? Any restaurant recommendations? Root Down is a delicious farm to table restaurant housed inside an old gas station.
What is misrepresented/misunderstood about Denver? The marijuana culture. More often than not, occupants of Denver do not partake. Denverites are very active, fit and outgoing which is quite different than most marijuana stereotypes.
What is a signature food/drink? Green chili. On everything.
What about the attire/style? Denver is relatively laid back, so the attire at many bars/restaurants is relaxed and focuses around Denver’s fit and active community. There are many places throughout the city where you can get dressed up for a night out, but overall the dress code is based on comfort.
So in your opinion, why should we book our next vacation to Denver? Denver is perfectly sized. Despite the traffic, it is an extremely easy city to navigate and all our sporting venues (besides soccer) are right in the city center. This makes it extremely convenient to attend events without needing a car.
We’ll be heading down south next time…stay tuned!