Welcome to Denver, the city with the least oxygen, but the most love in the continental United States. I descend upon the prim and polished Cherry Creek neighborhood, which is full of shopping, fun eats, and the Moxy, a hip little Marriott owned boutique play and Stay where the check in desk is actually the bar. In fact, it’s impossible to escape beer here in Denver as there are over 150 craft breweries to choose from.

While the hotel is super fun, Denver was calling, so I head over to the famed Union Station in the heart of downtown. Truly charming and stylish, this Art Deco Beaux Arts beauty will impress you, making it a great place to chill out or check out the fun and funky local art. Most come for brunch to experience Snooze welcomes anyone looking for the best brunch in Denver. In this colorful, retro casual spot, you’ll find long wait lines for one of their coveted outdoor tables and for good reason. The breakfast here is an event from their decadent flavor bomb pancakes to their elaborate savory eggs benedict which require, for health reasons, one of their loaded Bloody Marys to make it all go down right.

Completely stuffed, I decide to see the city in style while not leaving even one carbon footprint. Introducing eTuk, Denver’s premier fully environmentally friendly tour company. These locally manufactured, fully electric tuks come with heated seats and fantastic views of the city, letting you whip around downtown to take in all the sights.

As my guide pointed out some of the finer features that Denver has to offer, like the Cherry Creek pedestrian bridge, perfect for morning runs, the decadent Cruise Room located at the Oxford Hotel, the lovely Larimer pedestrian mall and the opulent Performing Arts Center, which proudly showcases two giant Botero sculptures, which are minuscule compared to Denver’s giant blue Peeping Tom Bear, all worth seeing. 

Leaving the old school charm of downtown Denver I pop over to River North or RiNo Arts District, famed for its abundant world class street art and super fun and funky cafes. A trip to RiNo isn’t complete, I’m told, without hitting up the Denver Central Market, which is located in this reclaimed warehouse, chock full of anything you could possibly want to eat or drink. This is a great place to explore and even throw back a few before picking up something for dinner, and don’t forget dessert either, with world famous Temper Chocolates waiting for you. Heading across the Platte River to the hip Highland District, I find some very photogenic spots like Happy Camper Pizza, which is like an Instagram post that serves food with its giant disco ball, garden nooks and dripping twinkle lights.

There’s also Little Man Ice Cream, which, besides mixing up the craziest flavors, is housed in the largest milk pail I’ve ever seen. Photo ops aside, I was getting hungry so I checked out Avanti F&B, which is a collective eatery. What’s a collective eatery, you ask? Well, it’s like you die and go to comfort food heaven. This place is a foodie paradise with amazing dishes from around the world which makes it super easy to forget about your diet. Add in a great indoor/outdoor space while noshing on your new favorite nibbles and you’ve got it made. 

Sated and happy I decide to take in some culture at Denver’s world Class Art museum. This institution boasts some of the most outrageous exhibits. From Keith Haring Triptychs to Skull Riding Triptychs, this was a visual wonderland that gave good cause for Colorado’s stance on legal marijuana. 

Mind properly blown I was itching for some of that famous Colorado outdoors so I took a quick cab to the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is by far the most beautifully, naturally occurring theater that I’ve ever seen in my life. While not rocking out, locals use this breathtaking location as a giant gym which is more than I can say for Madison Square Garden. It is a truly stunning place that will simply take your breath away, so unique and majestic, and when you consider that it’s just 20 minutes drive from downtown, it’s a no-brainer to fit into your itinerary. 

As the sun sets on the Queen City of the Plains (yes, that’s what they call Denver), I submerge once more downtown for dinner. Sure, you can keep it low key and hit up Duffy’s Cherry Cricket, whose no frills charm is overturned by the delicious burgers and boozy milkshakes, but I decided to class it up a bit and check out the Mediterranean marvel Rioja on Larimer Street. This class act of fine dining is one of the best restaurants to experience Denver’s cultured cuisine, from delicate amuse-bouche to savory pork belly appetizers and perfectly grilled Colorado rack of lamb. Don’t forget about their decadent desserts where you can literally eat the spoon.

After dinner an evening stroll completes a perfect day. The sky here in Denver is large, and being a mile up perhaps you are closer to it which makes it all that more impressive. Looking back at all the wonderfulness that this high plains city offers, from amazing food, culture and fun, it’s easy to see why many residents call it heaven on earth, and not just from the altitude. 

Getting There:

Denver International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world and can be easily reached from anywhere else. Just keep an eye out for bad weather as snow storms during winter can cause delays.

Stay There

The Moxy hotel in Cherry Creek is a great option to stay in an upscale part of the city, far enough from the bustle of downtown, but close enough to every attraction the city has to offer. 

Address: 240 Josephine St, Denver, CO 80206

Phone: (303) 463-6699

In the know

If you head into the Brown Palace, one of Denver’s first hotels, there is a small water fountain right off of the main lobby. If you drink from it you will be sipping on artisanal well water from under the city, still in use from the first days of the pioneers. There is a plaque and information about the well, and drinking from it the locals say guarantees a return in the future.