Make the most of your time in Denver with these five spots perfect for music lovers, nature fans, and everyone in between.
Geographically located in the middle of everything (naturally beautiful rock formations, mountains for snow sports, and even hot springs), Denver is as beautiful as it is exciting. If you’re a fan of nightlife, you won’t be disappointed with the city’s wide range of bars and clubs. If you prefer the outdoors, there are a number of hikes in and near the city. So whether you’re looking for an active vacation or a more laid-back one, you’ll find it in Denver.
Visit Red Rocks Amphitheater
The star of Denver’s selection of music venues is surely the Red Rocks Amphitheater. This naturally acoustic amphitheater is just a 16-kilometer drive from Denver and well worth it. Many of the big acts that come through Denver play here, and hearing the music bounce off the beautiful red rocks, is unlike any other. This is one experience you can only get in Denver.
The epic scenery of Red Rocks Amphitheater at sunset
Go For a Hike
As mentioned, Denver’s geography is rich with beautiful nature. If you have a day and love the outdoors, there are a handful of gorgeous hikes to go on just outside of the city. Looking to feel like you’re truly away from the city? The Flatirons Vista Loop Trail has sprawling wide open spaces and two different trail options. For something more challenging, try the Gregory Canyon Hike to Realization Point. And if you have a little time to spare before your show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, try the Red Rocks trail at Red Rocks Park, or check out the beautiful sights of the Garden of the Gods park.
Hiking with a four-legged friend just outside Denver
Walk Around Larimer Square
One way to spend an afternoon or evening in Denver is to walk around Larimer Square. This is a historic part of the city located downtown, complete with great bars and restaurants (like cocktail bar Green Russell and restaurant Milk & Honey Bar Kitchen), and even a comedy club, Comedy Works. Take a stroll in the evening through the lights strung up above the street to experience the magic of Denver.
Strolling past Larimer Square's shops and patio dining options
Enjoy Local Musicians
If your day in Denver is spent enjoying nature, the night should be reserved for experiencing live music. Before you go, check the Westword calendar ahead of time to see if any of your favorites will be in town, or check the day of to see what’s happening. If you’re feeling brave, join karaoke night at a local bar like Star Bar, one of Denver’s oldest bars. They host karaoke nights every Tuesday and Thursday. Or plan a nice night out to see a jazz show at Treppeda’s Ristorante, which serves up Italian food and live jazz every week! Denver’s live music and entertainment scene is a lively one, and it won’t be hard to find a club, bar, or venue that suits your taste.
Catching a show at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, one of Denver's many live music venues
Explore Denver’s Amazing Food
Great food is easy to find all over Denver, but one culinary hub is Union Station. Located downtown, this historic area is the larger district where Larimer Square is located. Filled with shops, excellent restaurants, and beautiful architecture (and even a place to stay: the Crawford Hotel!), this district is great for meandering through during the day, or treating yourself to a nice drink or meal. Whatever you decide to do there, you’ll be able to get a sense of Denver’s history and magic.