If during your stay in Denver you are hoping to get out and explore the city, the 16th Street Mall is the place to start. Designed by celebrated architect I.M. Pei, the open air shopping center is a walking art exhibit. The street is closed off to traffic, allowing shoppers to travel easily up and down the mall, either on foot or one of the cities free mall shuttles. If you get hungry, there are dozens of outdoor cafes along the street, allowing you to get a great view of the town while enjoying some delicious food.
If you plan to utilize public transport to explore The Mile High City, you will undoubtedly make a stop through Denver’s transportation hub, Union Station. All of the city’s light rail trains can be accessed here, as well as a free shuttle to the 16th Street Mall, the free Downtown Denver Circulator and a train to take you directly to and from Denver International Airport. Other than serving as mecca for public transport, Union Station also hosts a plethora of trendy restaurants, shopping centers and a wild nightlife. The Crawford Hotel located inside Union Station, offers walking tours on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays at 1pm.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is Colorado’s premier concert venue, offering music lovers the chance to watch their favorite artists perform in the open-air amphitheatre. Surrounded by massive red rock formations on all sides, concerts here are a spectacle, as the night sky intermixes with the flashing lights of the musical performance below. The amphitheatre is often recognized as one of the best concert venues in the country and should not be missed on your trip to Denver. If large concerts aren’t your cup of tea, the park also hosts bi-weekly yoga classes, film festivals and many other unique events.
The Brookings Institution ranks Denver as the fourth most walkable downtown area in the country, which makes exploring this great city easy and safe. If you don’t feel like hiking the city, there are also rentable electric scooters scattered across Denver making travel quick and exertion-free. View all the amazing neighborhoods the city has to offer, spaced only minutes away from each other. Shop at thousands of different retail stores and stop in for a quick bite in one of the cities numerous restaurants.
Source: The Palmer Living
The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest in the region, with a large collection of Native American and Asian Art. The curators strive to have a dynamic collection of art, utilizing interactive displays, unique exhibitions and a complex collection of masterpieces to entice visitors from all over the country. Tours are available for those seeking a more comprehensive visit to the museum, with each one led by one of the knowledgeable museum docents.
Nothing is so quintessentially ‘Colorado’ as hiking one of the state’s 58 fourteeners. A ‘14er’ is any mountain with a peak that exceeds 14,000 feet in elevation and residents are obsessed with hiking them. Many of Colorado’s 14ers can be reached in under an hour drive from downtown Denver, making for a great mountain escape when you tire of the city. Each mountain will range in difficulty, with some equating to a pleasant stroll in the wilderness and some being a full day excursion. You can even drive to the top of one of them, with the highest paved road in America leading to the peak of Mount Evans!
With a long tradition of high-quality marijuana, Silver Stem is a cornerstone of Denver’s marijuana marketplace. With 2 locations in the Denver Metro area, top shelf cannabis is only a few minutes away, no matter what part of the city you are in. Silver Stem always stocks a full menu of edibles, concentrates, tinctures and flower. This dispensary offers amazing specials on a wide variety of items, so be sure to check for coupons online before making your first visit.
Address: 8151 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220
Green Man Cannabis has been a staple in the Colorado weed community for over 10 years. This dispensary began as a flower-growing operation, so you can trust they only stock the highest quality Colorado cannabis in their store. Green Man has also won numerous awards at multiple cannabis cups, so the in-house grown bud will be some of the finest in the Denver region (which is saying a lot). Other than top shelf flower, Green Man is always on deck with a wide array of every THC product imaginable. If dabbing is more your speed, this dispensary always has a cornucopia of concentrate options.
Address: 1355 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204
Source: Green Dragon Denver
With 12 different locations spread across Colorado, it is hard not to visit one of Green Dragon’s spectacular dispensaries. Green Dragon is a city favorite amongst Denver locals, with a massive selection and clean, stylish interior. The giant retail space and knowledgeable staff help cut down on wait times that can sometimes be found in other Denver dispensaries, making every trip fun and informative. Green Dragon also stocks a generous selection of potent in-house grown flower, cutting out the middleman and passing the savings on to you.
Address: 5130 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220
Source: Denver Eater
Larimer Square is one of downtown’s trendiest shopping and dining centers. With lights strung between Victorian-style buildings, the square is a sight to behold, especially during the evening hours. The restaurants and shops are more upscale than some other areas in Denver, but the beautiful architecture and modern storefronts make for a very unique shopping experience. If you are looking for a romantic location for a date-night, Larimer Square can’t be beat.
Source: Hot Spot Denver
Just minutes from downtown Denver is this sprawling, open air shopping center. Belmar offers visitors a more traditional shopping experience, including both independent boutiques and popular national brands. With over 80 stores, an ice rink and huge department stores, Belmar can make for an amazing day of shopping without the crowded feel of downtown.
Source: Cherry Creek North
The Cherry Creek Shopping Center is Denver’s premier retail location. With over 150 unique storefronts and a central location in the city of Denver, Cherry Creek will be the ideal choice for any visitor. This shopping center is loaded with full-service restaurants and bars, making it an ideal location to grab a drink or get dinner with friends. The Cherry Creek shops can often be on the higher end of retail stores, so expect to pay a little more than you would at other Denver locations.
Source: Biker Jim’s
What first began as a sidewalk sausage stand is now one of Denver’s best foodie joints. Started by former repo-man ‘Biker Jim’, this restaurant is more than your average hot dog cart. The quality and unique sausages have earned Biker Jim’s renown throughout the city of Denver, winning ‘Best Hot Dog’ in publications such as Westworld, 5280 and the Denver Post. Forbes even named this restaurant one of the nation’s best locations to grab a dog! Stop in and try one of the numerous unique items on the menu, including Alaskan Reindeer, Wild Boar, Elk Jalapeno Cheddar and even a delicious Vegan Dog!
This hole-in-the-wall Thai spot has slowly risen to fame amongst Denver locals. Serving authentic, mouth-wateringly good asian inspired dishes has made Liang’s one of Denver’s best kept secrets. Sadly only open 11am-5pm M-F, Liang’s is an unbeatable spot to grab lunch or an early dinner. With hands down some of the best Curry and Pad Thai in the city, the line to get some grub can sometimes reflect that. Calling in your order to-go is a great way to skip the lunchtime lines and get some amazing Thai food.
Source: Sushi Den
If you thought Denver didn’t have good sushi, think again. Sushi Den is one of the best Japenese restaurants in the United States with the finest fish you will find in Colorado. Started in 1984 by chef Toshi, Sushi Den has risen to prominence as the best sushi spot in Denver. With experience cooking in both Japan and Los Angeles, Toshi has managed to create something truly special with Sushi Den. The fish offered at this restaurant is purchased daily from a fish market in Japan before being flown into Colorado via airplane. You can taste the quality of the various ingredients as you bite into every thoughtfully crafted dish.