Unsurprisingly, all of the things that have helped Denver consistently rank among America’s best cities to live in in recent years — including easy access to the outdoors, nearly 300 days of annual sunshine, and its affordable price – also make it a must-visit travel destination. On top of that, now is a particularly good time to leave. The weather is wonderfully balmy, and the summer crowds aren’t swarming the city just yet, as May marks the end of the city’s first shoulder season. That is to say: you can enjoy exploring the Mile High City at your leisure and in comfort.
So ahead, how to make the most of a spring weekend getaway in the Mile High City.
Where to stay
When Thompson Denver opened in February, it breathed new energy into the LoDo neighborhood of Denver – something the area so deserved after the past few years. In a subtle nod to the city’s Rocky Mountain roots, the 216 rooms and suites feature warm finishes, clean lines, and sleek yet comfortable furnishings, like plush beds dressed in crisp Sferra linens. Another thoughtful touch is the property’s partnership with Victrola, the Denver-based brand that’s been making quality turntables for over 100 years. To that end, all rooms are outfitted with the company’s Linden Wood Bluetooth radio, while suites have record players and vinyl collections.
Fittingly, the sleek aesthetic extends to the hotel’s common areas, restaurant, and bar. The lobby and reception take on a decidedly bold and luxurious look with a reception desk dramatically set in dark marble, a two-story fireplace, and original artwork by Colorado artists.
Led by world-renowned chef Ludo Lefebvre, the hotel’s signature restaurant Chez Maggy kindly honors its late mother-in-law with traditional bistro fare and classics with surprising twists such as bison tartare and a la carte burger. fork and knife topped with pepper sauce, smoked mayonnaise and beer-braised onions. For a more casual meal: take a seat at the beautiful circular bar, where you’ll hopefully see Harriett, one of the friendliest bartenders in town.
And because no evening is complete without a nightcap, head to Reynard Social. Though the sixth-floor lounge is inspired by old-school cabins with its fireplace, low seating, and mountain views, the fun Victrola listening lounge and whimsical cocktails like the chocolate TNZT green yard sale stand out. feel here and now.
Where to eat
While the location in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace might seem modest, make no mistake: Annette is one of Denver’s brightest restaurants and has plenty of awards proving the point. Marrying family warmth with seasonal and deeply irresistible fare—even humble snacks like popcorn and deviled eggs shine—owner and chef Caroline Glover has set the bar high for what today’s neighborhood restaurant is. should look and feel.
Uchi’s Japanese cuisine may not be traditional per se, but it is executed with the utmost care and is downright delicious. (There’s a reason this RiNo spot is still lively, no matter the time of day.) Iconic creations include Hama Chili (buttery slices of fish dressed in spicy ponzu), and be sure to try lesser-known cuts of nigiri like Ishidai (knifejaw) and Kuromutsu (black sea bass). Ditch the soy sauce, as each piece is seasoned appropriately by the chefs.
Another place not to miss is Sunday Vinyl. Tucked away in the Kimpton Hotel Born and overlooking the Union Station train tracks, the chic wine bar merges pretty decor (pale pink walls, a horseshoe bar, vaulted cabins) with an extensive collection of wines and vinyl from from which the restaurant’s soundtrack is taken. Although Cole’s Brasserie Brixton may present itself as a French restaurant, it also happens to be refreshingly informal. (Notice the Stormtroopers adorning the bar’s brick wall.) In the morning, locals flock to Stowaway Kitchen for globetrotting breakfasts of Japanese salmon rice bowls and eggplant and halloumi sandwiches. And while there are plenty of respectable pizzas in town, Cart-Driver stands out from the rest by producing perfect wood-fired Neapolitan pies from a salvaged shipping container.
What to do
One of the liveliest things to do in Denver, Meow Wolf’s “Convergence Station” is an experience like no other – check it out. As the third permanent exhibit from the visionary Santa Fe-based art production group, “Convergence Station” takes guests on an immersive, multi-sensory, and mind-bending journey exploring the concept of quantum travel.
There’s no shortage of big brands in town, but isn’t it better to shop locally? With that in mind, head to RiNo Evergreen. Owned by Caitlyn Schwarz, this beautifully curated boutique features items and gifts expressly made by small, sustainable manufacturers. And just down Blake Street, you’ll find another terrific female-owned boutique, Judith & Joe, where stylish, durable clothing is the specialty.
For a totally unique spa experience, book a session at the Beer Spa owned by Jessica French and Damien Zouaoui. From the dining room where you can enjoy rotating beers to your private beer therapy room – which is equipped with an infrared sauna, a giant cedar bathtub and a shower stocked with The Beer Spa – facilities help you celebrate and soak up all the surprise benefits of Denver’s favorite beverage.