The Mile High City is just plain awesome!! We love to visit our family here and enjoy the great outdoors.
Most people assume that Colorado is really cold, but that's not true. It is the state with the third most days of sunshine (behind Arizona and California), so even when there's snow it's beautiful and sunny and you still want to be outside.
Denver is a fun up-and-coming city akin to Chicago or DC but with wayyy less people. And they're ALL friendly! We always enjoy the difference in air quality and pleasantry between Denver and Los Angeles ;).
WHAT TO DO:
There is so much to do in Denver, and right outside of Denver as well!
Go on a wall crawl - thanks to the Crush Walls, Denver is ripe with murals. There are so many clustered in the RiNo Arts District / Five Points area! Use the Google Map below to go on your own wall crawl in Denver! [dog friendly]
Confluence Park - this was a new find of ours since it's right by my brother's office. Cute little creek by a huge grassy field, pawwwwfect for your pooch! [dog friendly]
Buy weed - DUH.
Shop at Apothecanna - this store is just adorable. Go. ;) [dog friendly]
Outside of Denver:
Red Rocks - the best concert venue in America, hands down. Outdoor amphitheater made of gorgeous red rocks. Every band sounds amazing here and it's so stunning to watch the sun set and moon rise there. Not to mention people get TURNT (and really high 😉 ) even when it's raining. Pro tip: if you’re going for a concert, take the shuttle from Denver! It's $35 round trip and they give you water and Kind bars on your way home. Score! [dog friendly for hiking, not for concerts]
Garden of the Gods - this is kind of a trip considering it's down in Colorado Springs (so about an hour South of Denver), but an absolute must see!!! Gorgeous nature-made red rock formations and a gorgeous large park to drive/walk around to see them all. Once you hit the top you've got a breathtaking view of Colorado too. [dog friendly]
The Broadmoor hotel - you have to see this place, but when you first get there you must brunch. There are quite a few restaurants in this hotel/resort grounds, but we went to the Natural Epicurean because they have healthier options. I had some incredible juice that I can't remember all the ingredients but I think papaya and pineapple were in there so how can you go wrong. The hotel itself is worth taking some time to explore too. Gorgeous pools and lakes line the buildings. Beautiful fresh flowers in every room. A whole hallway dedicated to every celebrity who's been there, and even a bowling alley. The outside is kind of like the Grand Budapest Hotel on a much much smaller scale hehe. [dog friendly]
Rafting - you kind of can't go wrong rafting in Colorado! Here are two of our favorites though:
Poudre - class 3 so nice and steady, but still invigorating and exciting!
Clear Creek in Idaho Springs - depending on where you go in this creek you can hit a class 3, 4 or 5. We did class 4 right after a ton of snow run off, which meant the river was moving so fast it cut the normally 2 hour trip down to 1 hour 15. Beautiful and fun though, not too scary!
WHERE TO EAT:
The Kitchen - one of my favorite restaurants in Boulder recently opened a shop in Denver and it's the same delicious taste. They embody farm-to-table - I ordered a truffle omelet once and the waitress told me they had just picked those mushrooms the day before in the Rockies. [dog friendly patio]
Snooze - I'm not gonna lie to you: everyone loves this brunch place, but it's just not my cup of tea. Lots of delicious pancakes, french toasts and egg dishes, but all really hearty and indulgent. If that's your type of thing I highly recommend this! There are locations all over.
The Source - you get your bang for your buck here, as this old warehouse is converted into several delicious restaurants! Acorn is our favorite, with contemporary American small plates and a really nice atmosphere. Also big fans of Comida. You can keep your dog on the patio here (but has to be outside technically). [dog friendly outside patio]
Mercantile - another amazing lunch spot in the Union Station building. Fabulous cheese and meat selection too for purchase if you're on the way to a picnic or Red Rocks show! [dog friendly patio]
Denver Central Market - similar to The Source, Denver Central Market offers a wide variety of options. There’s a cheese & charcuterie spot, coffee & pastries, pizza (so bomb), salads, seafood and then a bar. They’ve got a great happy hour and a dog friendly patio! [dog friendly patio]
WHERE TO DRINK:
Terminal Bar - in the recently redone Union Station area, this bar is a must go to. Super chill vibes in an old train station setting with really good beer.
Breweries - Colorado is known for its breweries, and rightfully so. There are way too many to visit in one trip, they're all over the state, and the list is ever-growing. Just means you need to go back several times ;). Here are a few of our dog-friendly faves [dog friendly]:
Green Russell - by far my favorite place to drink in Denver! This bar is speakeasy style and you enter through what looks like the back kitchen doors. It's one of those bars where the bartenders like for you to say "I like slushie drinks!" or "I like wiskey and lemons" and they'll make something up for you. Also delicious food: we could not get enough of the pretzel bites!
1up - arcade bar!! Super fun and in my opinion much better than the popular ones in LA (and less crowded!). They've got a ton of pinball games and giant jenga in addition to your regular arcade selection!
So many good coffee shops, but these are our favorite dog friendly options [dog friendly]:
Find me on the gram: @watsonandwalls