If exploration is your forte, Denver is the city for you! I wandered for four days and already want to go back for more. I found myself always wanting to leave the hotel to go find some adventures and this Colorado city did not let me down! I had good food, drinks, and lots of exercise exploring the streets of the downtown area.
Here is my quick stay guide to Denver, CO!
The Market at Larimer Square
Easy to reach by taking the 16th street Free Mall Ride and walking just a few streets- The Market at Larimer Square is the perfect place to stop for breakfast before conquering the rest of your day.
The atmosphere here is definitely hustlin’ and bustlin’; The Market is set up cafeteria style with a cafe in the front and hot food options in the back. For under $8 you can get a delicious, filling breakfast, and for an extra $3-4 tack on some caffeine for some quick energy.
I personally got the Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito and ,even after forcing myself to eat as much as I could, only managed to eat 2/3 of this giant breakfast treat.
The 16th Street Mall
Located in the heart of Downtown Denver, the 16th Street Mall has a lot to offer. We spent the first entire day just going up and down the strip finding interesting stores and sites. If you’re looking for cute vacation clothes, souvenirs, food, coffee, etc. the mall has it all!
The mall also has a Free Mall Ride public transportation bus that travels in both directions – honestly, the mall is totally walkable but if it is winter this free bus comes in handy!
The Tattered Cover
An old building full of books and history!
The Tattered Cover is located in the old ‘Morey Mercantile’ building which was part of Denver’s history from 1884-1950s. The building was designed by the same architects as the Union Station just down the street ,which can also be reached by the Free Mall Ride, and is absolutely gorgeous.
When you step inside this book store it truly feels like a step back in time. The finishings and the furniture all take you back to a classic time where print was essential. This stop is perfect for the life-long learner or creative admirer in your travel group. Every book can be found from new releases all the way to special sections such as ‘Rocky Mountain Authors’ or ‘Sustainability’- The Tattered Cover has something for everyone.
Known as Denver’s Original Rock n’ Roll Cafe, Paramount offers more than it’s rich history and architecture- this goes down as one of the best burger joints I have ever been to. Here is why:
- Mouth-watering Elk Burger
- Bloody Mary made with pepperoncini & pickle infused vodka
- A crazy beer selection
Seriously.. if you’ve got a craving for something greasy and filling check this place out! I was stuffed by the time I left and probably gained a few pounds in one sitting but I don’t regret any of it.
Aside from the food, the atmosphere was great! The bartender shared my name, which was pretty neat, and was super inviting to us tourists. Definitely would go back if given the chance!
While in Denver, we made an appearance here every night. I was already sold from the twice-a-day Happy Hour featuring $3 wells, local drafts, and our favorite- ‘mystery shot’ – but what kept us coming back was the flousy, fun ambience.
As soon as we walked in, it was like we had found life on mars. Seriously, the streets were dead on Monday at 1 a.m. when we arrived, but this place was happenin’. There was a live Americana band, people dancing in the isles, and bartenders handing out shots left and right!
I also happened to find the best stout of the trip at this bar: The Big Bad Baptista, a mexi-coffee stout from the Denver based Epic Brewing Co. This stout was heavy on the coffee flavor with a strong cocoa flavor but so incredibly smooth. It was also heavy on the alcohol content because I was feeling it after this and one mystery shot.
Appaloosa left us with a great first impression of Denver. I highly recommend you stop in at anytime of night for some swing-dancing, delicious fries, and great drinks.
City O’ City
An artsy bar/cafe combo located just a few streets off of the 16th Street Mall.
First of all, the service was incredible. The place was pretty packed when we arrived around midnight, but a server was at our table in no-time and was constantly checking up on us to make sure our glass was never empty.
The mixed-drinks were strong considering they were $2 off during their late-night happy hour, and they even craft and serve their own house-made wines for just $4! I grabbed a glass and was well ready for bed as the sweet-red wine settled in my tummy.
Another interesting aspect of this one is that each month City O’ City displays the work of their ‘Artist of the Month’ which provided for something to talk about at our table. I always favor a business that promotes local artists, so this was a nice feature.
I really enjoyed the neat little quirks of this place!
Thanks for tuning in.. I hope to explore the rest of CO sometime soon!