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When my sister expressed interest in spending a weekend in Denver, I quickly booked our tickets.
I visited Colorado a lot growing up, as my closest cousins lived in Aurora. We spent many summers going to the Movie Tavern, eating Qdoba, and having ridiculous movie marathons. However, one thing we didn’t really do when I was visiting is explore outside of Aurora.
Even so, I feel there’s a difference between visiting family or friends somewhere, and getting to experience a place as a traveler. And seeing as how my sister had never been to Colorado, spending a weekend in Denver with her was the perfect chance to have a more “touristy” experience.
All that being said, here’s what we did and some suggestions on how to spend 3 days in Denver.
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WHERE TO STAY IN DENVER
We stayed at a DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Cherry Creek which is about 4 miles outside of downtown Denver. We had a rental car so we had no problem getting around. However, the next time I visit Denver, I would stay in the downtown area. My top 3 picks would be The Maven at Dairy Block, Kimpton Hotel Born, and Le Méridien Denver Downtown.
THINGS TO DO WITH 3 DAYS IN DENVER
- Visit City Park: City park houses the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and IMAX, lakeside trails and more. You can stroll around one of the lakes, paddle boat, or have a little picnic.
- Cross the Highland Arch Bridge: The Highland Arch Bridge is 325 feet long, and connects downtown Denver to the Highland neighborhood, where you can find two of Denver’s popular spots: Linger and Little Man Ice Cream.
- Brewery Hop: There’s tons, and I mean TONS of breweries in Denver. Pick a few that interest you and do a DIY brewery crawl.
- Catch a game at Coors Field: Coors Field is located in the heart of downtown Denver. If you happen to be visiting during baseball season, catch a game at the stadium.
- Ride some coasters at Elitch Gardens: I went to Elitch’s a couple of times with my cousin growing up, and had a really good time.
- Stroll around Larimer Square: Larimer Square is a historic block in Denver lined with lots of shops and eateries.
- Take a day trip out to Rocky Mountain National Park: RMNP is about 1.5 hours from Denver, and makes for a perfect day trip from the city. We did the Emerald Lake Trail and it was absolutely beautiful.
- Do some shopping at 16th Street Mall: Unlike a typical mall, the 16th Street Mall isn’t one big building housing multiple shops. It’s actually a 1.25-mile stretch of stores located on, you guessed it, 16th St in downtown Denver.
More things to do in Denver
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK IN DENVER
- Urban Farmer: This place has such a cute and aesthetic interior. Stop by for a cocktail. I had the Boom Boom, which is like spicy marg but better.
- Union Station: There’s plenty of places to eat in Union Station. My sister and I had oysters at Stoic & Genuine.
- Olive & Finch: Good coffee and good food. My sister really liked the avocado toast and the Milano hash was delicious.
- Four Friends Kitchen: We had brunch here on our way from the airport. You have to try the buttermilk fried chicken tenders with smoked chili caramel syrup.
- Earls: I LOVE Earls. My friends and I went multiple times during our road trip through Alberta, Canada, and I was happy to find out that there was one in Denver! They food and drinks are really good, and they have great happy hour deals.
- Linger: The main reason to go here is for the rooftop and the big neon sign that hangs out on top of it. We just grabbed drinks, as we noticed that everyone was leaving lots of food on their plates. Not sure if they were full, or if the food just wasn’t good.
- Exile Kitchen: We were planning on going here for brunch, but unfortunately didn’t make it. Their brunch looks delicious from the pictures we saw, and it’s definitely on the top of my list when I revisit Denver.
- Little Man Ice Cream: Located right next to Linger, Little Man Ice Cream is a very popular place to grab some ice cream. When we were walking into Linger, the line was literally down the street. We had dinner reservations elsewhere so we didn’t get a chance to try it, but many say it’s a must in Denver.
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