Everything You Need To Know
Denver Colorado sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet — which is also one mile above sea level — giving it the “Mile High City” nickname. However, Denver is so much more than this, offering a vast array of outdoor activities, culture, art, and breathtaking views. To be honest, we were so impressed by how alive this city it — being here is truly like a breath a fresh air (I mean you can actually breath fresh mountain air here). While there are many things that stand out about Denver, which we will get into below, there were two things that stood out immensely — the weather and the people.
Tell Me More
After spending some time in Denver, we want to start a petition to change Denver’s nickname to “Always Sunny City” because Denver is quite literally, always sunny. The city streets seem to almost live in a little bubble, avoiding all clouds — if this is what heaven is like, sign us up. But what makes a sunny city even more likable? The people and culture that it’s made up of. Not only are the people in Denver friendly, but they are progressive. There is a type of laidback positivity that emulates off the locals and encapsulates you — a feeling that makes you feel welcome, secure, and chill. This could be due to the legalization of marijuana and access to hundred of dispensaries, or the sunshine — either way, we like it.
WHAT’S THE ALTITUDE
WHEN TO VISIT
WHAT’S THE TIME ZONE
The Denver International Airport was reportedly the third busiest airport in the world in 2021. Even though it has been under construction since 2018, clearly the daily traffic hasn’t been negatively impacted. In fact, DEA is looking to grow to at least 80 million annual passengers by 2025, and honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if they get there sooner. While the new construction definitely makes getting from point a to point b longer, the entire airport is reliable and easy to navigate. With trains shuttling passengers between terminals and easy access to the public Light Rain, getting from your flight to downtown Denver is super easy for just $10.50. If you aren’t a fan of public transportation, downtown Denver is just 35 minutes by taxi and Uber/Lyft, costing around $35.
What To Expect
BEST TIME TO VISIT
With year round activities, sunshine, and seasonal weather, there is really no bad time to visit Denver. We recommend planning a trip based around the activities you are looking to do. For those interested in doing a quick pit stop in Denver then heading to the mountains for skiing or snowboarding, we recommend visiting during the winter peak months (December-March). For those interested in hiking and outdoor activities, we recommend visiting in the spring time when the weather is low 70’s and always sunny. There are also endless festivals and events to plan a trip around like Denver Arts Festival in May, PrideFest or Comic Con in June, Denver Beer Festival in the fall and so much more.
Denver isn’t necesarily a walking city. With countless neighborhoods, some miles apart, most people in Denver have cars. That said, when visiting without a car, there are a few ways to easily get around.
Scooters: Lime and Lyft can be found throughout Denver’s city center.
Public Transit: Denver has a pretty good public transit system with over 44 rail line stations and 1,000 city buses. There is also a convenient line direct from Denver International Airport to Union Station.
Walking: While Denver isn’t necessarily small enough to get around on foot, it is possible to walk throughout the city with accessible walking bridges, sidewalks, and walking trails. Being from NYC makes us big advocates of walking, so if you can make it from point a to point b in under 45 minutes, go for it!
UPTOWN (“NORTH CAPITOL HILL”)
Great for young professionals and people without cars, this neighborhood is easily walkable and near many corporate offices. North Capitol Hill offers many great restaurants and bars, all while still maintaining a good community feel.
This is Colorado’s most densely populated neighborhood, and it includes the Colorado State Capitol building. It’s an area that’s brimming with bars, restaurants, and interesting locals.
LOWER DOWNTOWN (“LODO”)
Home to many of the city’s top sites, and the best area for visitors to stay. LoDo is where downtown Denver parties. This part of the city is known for its nightlife, though it’s also home to offices and apartment buildings.
RIVER NORTH ARTS DISTRICT (“RINO”)
This neighborhood is great for artistic types, young professionals and East Coast transplants. Having drastically changes over the past few years, this former industrial area is now bustling with breweries, boutiques, hip bars, and art galleries.
This is considered the creative district in Denver, home to some of the best museums and cultural institutions. However, be prepared to see a decent amount of homelessness here.
Highlands is a laid-back Denver neighborhood with a great selection of restaurants and bars. The neighborhood sits on a hillside overlooking the city and is sometimes called North Denver.
LOWER HIGHLANDS (“LOHI”)
LoHi isn’t technically a neighborhood but locals call it such. LoHi situated just across the I-95 footbridge from LoDo, but offers a more traditional neighborhood feel with lots of single family units, green and leafy street. Great for working adults between 25-35, dog owners.
A bit on the outskirts of Denver, Sloans Lake is a great place for professionals looking for a bit more space outside of the heart of Denver. Centered around a large lake and gorgeous views of Denver, you’ll find a mix of townhomes, contemporary remodels, and duplexes.
This neighborhood was once the center of Denver’s jazz scene and still hosts an annual jazz festival. Nowadays, it’s a hipster haven known for its restaurants, bars, and public art.
Just a short drive from Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek is where you want to live when you grow up. This luxury neighborhood in Denver is home to some of the most expensive homes, charming tree lined neighborhoods and beautiful parks.
Where We Stayed
Sonder – While staying in Denver for a longer period of time, we recommend looking into AirBNB or Sonder. We wanted to have enough closet space and have a full kitchen to be able to cook throughout the week. Ultimately, we landed on staying at a Sonder location. While you can book a Sonder stay through AirBnB, we recommend booking directly with Sonder, as prices are cheaper. Overall we loved out stay. The unit we rented was a small studio but had everything we needed, including a full kitchen and bathroom products. We were also walking distance within LoHi, with easy accessibility to places like Happy Camper, the running trail on the lake, and Little Man Ice Cream.
THE ART HOTEL DENVER
This trendy pet friendly hotel is filled an extensive artwork collection & mountain views. Located in downtown, its a short walk to some of the main tourist spots. Rooms start around $275 per night.
Home to one of our favorite bars — Death & Co, The Ramble is a vintage styled boutique hotel settled in the heart of RiNo, with velvet couches, brass accents, and antique rugs, you feel like you are stepping back in time. Rooms start around $350 per night.
This boutique sits within the heart of Denver’s new microdistrict, the Dairy Block. The hotel has a modern design with large loft-style rooms filled with natural sunlight and rustic minimalist artwork. Rooms start around $375 per night.
Things To Do
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
There is no doubt that one of the best things about Denver is the accessibility to some of the countries most beautiful mountains. Less than two hours from the city, Rocky Mountain National Park is filled has over 300 miles of hiking trails, incredible wildlife viewing, and gorgeous views from mountain peaks. While the Colorado Rockies are extremely vast, we recommend heading to Estes Park, which is the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS
With an impressive display and array of flowers, artwork and design, this is a must see for anyone who can appreciate design. Denver Botanic Gardens is like an escape to a tranquil retreat in nature nestled in the heart of the city. Pro tip: there are free converts here in the summertime!
Red Rocks is one of the most famous music venues in the US. This outdoor amphitheater is built into the side a mountain and surrounded by out-of-this-world rock formations. There are really few better places to get lost in the music. Outside of concerts, the Red Rocks Amphitheater host’s yoga, hiking, and so much more for locals and visitors.
This neighborhood is a delight to stroll through. The block is lines with Victorian buildings converted into modern shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It’s a great place to do some work or light reading, people watch, and drink a coffee.
Just a short 30 minutes from Denver is it’s neighboring city, Boulder. Known for it’s hippy laidback community, outdoor lovers, and liberal positive champions, this small and quiet city is worth the visit. While visiting Boulder, you’ll likely be surprised by the food and brewery scene, which is highly competitive to Denver’s. There are also endless hiking trails nearby, making it a great escape for anyone trying to get out of Denver for the weekend.
Work & Class
Denver is a must for anyone looking to explore a culturally thriving city. Denver has everything from food, beer, mountains, music, and so much more. One of our favorite things about this city is the easy access to so many other great destinations. From Denver you can easily get to Beaver Creek, Breckinridge, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and so many more amazing destinations. We recommend multiple trips to Denver, as you can’t possibly see it all in one trip. Thanks for reading our Denver Travel Guide and stay tuned for more travel guides!