As I mentioned in my “5 Experiences To Make You Love Asheville, NC” post, I categorize each travel location I visit. Denver in itself would fall under “Completed”, but Colorado has so much left to offer. There is a big chance that every time we come to Colorado we will stay in Denver for a few nights because we love it here. Colorado will be categorized as “Not Finished” for a long time.
In this post, I will share our 5 “Must-Do” Items in Denver/Colorado. While we’d like to think that Denver is a hub for outdoor adventures, most of them are at least an hour away. You will find that my list is very similar to Asheville. The two cities are very similar in a lot of ways, but different enough that both of them are worth visiting. I have written more in-depth posts about these topics. Click the title of this section to see more.
A big reason that we love Colorado so much is the nature it has to offer. When we visited in June 2021, we tried to be outdoors as much as possible. We hiked the Mount Galbraith Loop in Golden, CO, the Chautauqua Trail in Boulder, CO, and the Alberta Falls Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. We wanted to hike the Emerald Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain, but there was a “charging elk” blocking the path.
Location: City Park West
Reverence is the smallest brewery we visited, but had the best flight experience. With each flight, there were detailed cards explaining the beer and a small cup of popcorn. Luckily, we showed up on the last day they were serving their Apple Sour. It was delicious and a great option for people who enjoy beer and cider.
In our 6 weeks here, we went to Epic twice. The first time was a Sunday afternoon. Their beer selection is pretty diverse. I ordered a flight and enjoyed every type of beer. One thing to note is that some of their beers have higher alcohol content. There was also a food truck outside.
3. Unique Bars
Location: Lafayette, CO
This location is about 30 minutes outside of Denver, but worth the drive. There is a lot of outdoor seating and a playground for kids. In one seating section, there are fire pits. In others, there are outdoor heating lamps. If you are not interested in sitting outside, they have plenty of indoor seating as well.
The view of the mountains from this cidery was insane. Also, there was an extensive restaurant menu. The Acreage has it all! It was pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon, so I would make reservations if you can.
When you walk into Number 38, you have to check in with the front desk. They check your ID, add a credit card to your file, and give you a bracelet. Throughout your time there, you tap your bracelet at the bar or food counters to pay. At the end of the night, they will add a tip and close out your tab. It is such a smart way to help people drink and not forget their cards. Also, it definitely makes people spend more money because you aren’t thinking about it all adding up.
The venue is massive. It has a huge indoor section with games. Once you go outside, there is a big TV screen that plays sports games. They also have DJ events. If all of that wasn’t cool enough, they have a volleyball court. At Number 38, there is something for everyone.
Forest Room 5
Location: Highland Park
Have you ever sat around a campfire in a forest in the middle of a city? If your answer is no, you are missing out. This bar is deceivingly massive. The indoors has two rooms and one has games. The outdoor section has a lot of trees to try to mimic a forest and it feels more legitimate than you’d expect. I am sure you are wondering. Yes, on the menu there are smores. I love experiencing unique bars. Forest Room 5 created a memory that will be hard to forget.
Location: Denver & Boulder
We loved Snooze AM so much that we ate there at least twice. Honestly, I think we ordered from there three times. We were not disappointed with anything from the menu. Even though it is a local chain, it is definitely worth eating at.
Location: Larimer Square
We chose this restaurant because it was part of Larimer Square. With a seat outside, we were able to people-watch and it was a really cool experience. We ordered the assorted cheese plate and it was worth it. I also really enjoyed my pasta.
Location: North Denver
Cuisine: American Indian
Although it is out of the way from popular Denver neighborhoods, Tocabe is worth trying. The setup is similar to Chipotle where you pick your meat and then add in toppings, but all of the ingredients are authentic to the American Indian culture. Noteworthy: One of their meat options is bison.
Garage Sale Vintage has something for everyone. Not only did they sell clothing, but they had accessories and jewelry as well. It was a cool spot just to hang out, but an even better spot to feel inspired. When I walked in, I felt a sense of calm. It seems unfair to refer to it as a store because it is so much more. There are old video games, a pool table, a vinyl room, and a bar. There were so many racks of clothing to choose from that were all fairly priced (if not a steal).
Create a list of 5 experiences that would make anyone love your hometown or area. If you can’t think of 5, there is definitely an opportunity for more exploring at home.