Colton and I love Colorado. We have dreamed of living in Denver since before we got married almost ten years ago, but other than the airport, neither of us have spent any time there. When Andrew McMahon announced his Dear Jack benefit concert would be in Denver, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to explore and experience what Denver has to offer. Although we had less than 72 hours, we made the most of our time and can’t wait to visit again. Denver, we love you.
Where to stay
Like Dallas, Denver is divided up into many different neighborhoods. Their city website contains neighborhood guides to help you decide which area is best for your stay. We chose East Colfax because we liked the charm of the local bars, music venues, restaurants, and more. You will find everything you need within walking distance. We walked to restaurants, coffee shops, record stores, and the Ogden Theatre where the concert was. The Ramada Denver Downtown is a great budget choice in the center of East Colfax just 30 minutes from the airport.
Use public transportation to get from place or place or rent a car. There are plenty of car rental companies to choose from around and outside of the Denver International Airport. However, there is a new app called Turo that we used while we were in Denver. Think of it like Airbnb for your car. We rented an adorable little yellow car at the airport for $40 a day, but there are choices available for even cheaper. Driving around the city was pretty easy and everything is relatively close together.
What to do
Walk East Colfax
Take a stroll down this long street and stop in to a variety of local bars, shops, and more. Check out Twist and Shout, a giant record store, and the Tattered Cover Book Store. Step in to various boutiques and pick yourself up something fun.
Catch a show at one of the iconic theaters
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness was the primary reason we visited Denver, so I was ecstatic to check out the Ogden Theater. It reminded me a bit of The Granada in Dallas because of the seating and wonderful acoustics. There are a couple other iconic theaters in the area, Bluebird and Fillmore, so check out the show schedules before you go.
Tour the neighborhoods
Colton and I visited many of Denver’s neighborhoods. One of my favorite spots to walk around on foot was the Highlands area. South Broadway also has a fun of fun shops, and plenty of Instagram worthy walls to take photos in front of.
I know zoos and captive animals are controversial, but if you enjoy zoos, the Denver one is small enough to see everything in a couple of hours. They have a ton of animals, including the polar bear, my favorite. It’s kid-friendly and couple friendly too. You can even drink beer and wine while you walk around.
There are plenty of restaurants and shops at Union Station. Union Station is 100 years old, and an important part of the city. Check out the historic station and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants.
My favorite thing to do in a new city is to eat. Denver has a plethora of places to choose from that will make your taste buds happy. Whatever you are in the mood for, you will find somewhere in the city.
Where to eat
This cute little pub has a menu full of Irish favorites. If burgers are your thing, order the Ellis Island Burger. It’s topped with a fried egg and Irish Rasher (bacon). However, I highly suggest you order the beef tips with Guinness mushroom sauce if you want something delicious and Irish.
If you are a Texan looking for coastal Mexican food, check out Lola in the Highland area. Colton and I split a couple of different tapas style dishes here. Be sure to order the table side guacamole for fresh, made-to-order guacamole made at your table.
We haven’t had the chance to check out the PS 214 in Dallas, but if it is anything like the PS 303 in Denver, we are huge fans. Located in the heart of Union Station, this restaurant has everything you could want for brunch. We stopped in for a couple of drinks and had to try the Brussels sprouts. They were some of the best Brussels I have had.
Colton and I stumbled in to Goomba’s Pizza Grinder because I was craving pizza before the concert. This family owned and operated restaurant has only been open for a few weeks and already has a great thing going. Their pizza and calzones are made fresh and served piping hot. Then, they have a variety of Greek desserts to choose from. If you find yourself on Colfax, stop in and grab a slice (or whole pizza!). We love supporting small businesses with great products, and Goomba’s is no exception.
Even though our hotel had a free breakfast buffet, I wanted to check out a great breakfast/brunch spot while we were there. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for a while. I love brunch. They feature a menu that rotates seasonally, so you are able to enjoy the freshest ingredients. The three little pigs bowl is the perfect option for your bacon-loving friend (or yourself). If you are more of a classic breakfast fan, try the Collective Breakfast. Be sure to check out their French toast offerings. The stuffed tres leches will ruin all other basic French toast for you.
You can’t visit Denver without stopping by Little Man Ice Cream. The 28-foot cream can building is just the first indication of the creativity of their ice cream. All of the homemade flavors rotate daily, but if you have the opportunity to try the salted Oreo, do it.
Do yourself a favor and book a trip to Denver as soon as you can. You won’t regret spending time in this fun city.
Have you been to Denver? What’s your favorite thing to do? Leave me a comment below.