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  • Writer's picturenycnichole

5 Days in Denver, CO

Day 1:

We arrived mid-day and after checking into the hotel, decided to venture out to explore. Our hotel was located about 15 miles outside of the city so we rented a car so that it would be easier to get from place to place during our stay and avoid taking costly Ubers.

We did pretty much no research on things to do before coming to Denver. So after a quick google search we decided to check out 16th St Mall. I was expecting cute local shops and restaurants and instead discovered brand name commercial stores and restaurants. After walking the length of the strip in about 20 minutes, we decided to leave and visit the first of four thrift stores!


Night one was spent eating takeout sushi in our hotel room because we were exhausted from waking up at 4 am to travel.

Day 2:

River North Art District (RiNo)

This neighborhood gave me Williamsburg, Brooklyn vibes. There is tons of amazing graffiti/ street art, industrial style buildings, restaurants, shops and nightlife.

It was the perfect little neighborhood to visit for coffee, lunch and a walk around to view the art. There were endless insta-worthy photo spots here too!

Where I ate:

First stop: Coffee at Crema Coffee House - Address: 2862 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205

This hip coffee spot had lots of tables and an outdoor patio garden to sit and enjoy. What makes this place unique is the little vintage shop in the back- Big Sky Supply.

Stop 2: Brunch at The Lobby Address: 2191 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205

Stop 3: Denver Central Market for a sweet treat from Izzio Bakery!

Address: 2669 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205

We spent our evening at a Colorado Rockies Game! Tickets cost $20 and we purchased them last minute. I'm not a sports fan, but I am a fan of stadium food and the loaded nachos did not disappoint.

Day 3:

Day 3 started at Snooze a breakfast and brunch restaurant with lots of locations around Denver. You're going to want to get here early because the tables go quick.

My order: Latte, The Snooze Classic and the Signature Pancake Flight that comes with your choice of 3 pancakes. I got Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry and Pineapple Upside-down.

We ended the day visiting Union Station, a renovated train station that now has comfy lounge chairs, couches, tables plus tons of places to eat and drink with really cool architectural features! Definitely a cool place to relax for a bit during a long day sight seeing in the city.

Day 4:

This day was jam packed with activities. It was the perfect day trip itinerary to explore more of what Colorado has to offer outside of the Denver area.

The day started with a trip to the thrift store then brunch at In-N-Out. My order: cheeseburger animal style with fries and a coke.

Red Rocks was an easy 30 minute drive from Denver. In addition to the amphitheater, there are different trails you can hike to see the landscape and views.

From there we drove about an hour to Breckinridge where we walked around the town - in and out of shops and had lunch. Definitely a cool little town up in the mountains to check out! The drive there alone was so gorgeous and worth it.

About 1/2 between Breckinridge and Denver is a tiny gold mining town called Idaho Springs. They have natural hot springs that you can visit at a place called Indian Springs. This place isn’t glamorous or luxurious by any means- but it was a nice and relaxing way to end the day.

Water comes directly out of the mountain at hot temperatures and they pump it into spas and their cave baths. Water was HOT- 130 degrees ( the average bath/ hot tub is about 100 degrees for reference). I had to easy my way into the cave bath and could only stay in for about a few minutes before needing to leave to cool off.

Day 5:

We took a 3 hour - 15 mile bike tour through Denver on electric bikes was led by Tom. It was a great way to get a feel for the city and learn some fun facts from a local. Zipping around on electric bikes was an incredibly easy and fun way to see the city. I would recommend taking a tour like this is any city you visit- preferably at the beginning of the trip to get a feel for the city and ideas on where to go and what to see as opposed to the very end.

Denver was a cool city to explore. In 5 days I feel like I saw a decent amount!

Things I would 100% recommend doing:

  1. Explore RiNo

  2. Do the day trip to Red Rocks, Breckenridge and Idaho Springs

  3. Renting a car to explore Denver and all the surrounding area has to offer

Things I would do differently:

  1. Do a bike or city tour FIRST

  2. Research good restaurant and make reservations in advance. I am so bad at this.

  3. Visit in the Spring or Fall. It was HOT and the sky was smoky from California fires which apparently happens often during the summer fire season months.

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