There is so much fun to be had in Denver, but if you only have three days in the Mile High City, here are some restaurants, bars and activities we recommend.
How to Spend Three Days In Denver
Check in at the Maven Hotel, a unique boutique hotel located in the Dairy Block. This historic block of the LoDo neighborhood was once home to Windsor Dairy and is now a vibrant micro-district that boasts 15 shops, 19 restaurants and seven bars.
Depending on when you arrive, you may need some fuel to get your day started. Grab coffee at Huckleberry Roasters or a bite at Denver Milk Market, an all-local mix of take-away and dine-in restaurants run by Colorado chef Frank Bonanno. Be sure to check their schedule of events because there could be something fun going on like Drag Bingo Brunch!
When you’re good and fed and ready to wander out into town, head over to River North to bar hop, marvel at the street art and see what other fun can be found.
Be sure to stop at Lustre Pearl Denver.
That name might sound familiar in you live in Austin like we do. Yep, it’s part of the local Dunlap ATX family. Read more about it here.
We also hit up American Bonded, which had plenty of pop culture decor to entertain us. From there, it was on to Bierstadt Lagerhaus, where I’m proud to say, my pals and I dominated the life size beer pong set up. I’m talking eight wins in a row. It was a good arm workout, y’all.
We definitely worked up an appetite with all that fun. So we hung up our crowns and headed over to Work & Class for dinner. The simplest way to explain their concept is this: a square meal, stiff drink and fair price. We ordered a multitude of item including Blue Corn Empanadas, Shrimp & Corn Grits, Green Chili Lamb & Pork Meatballs, Chickpea Croquettes and Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese.
Following dinner, the plan was to call it an early night, but the Denver Day of Rock festival had other plans for us. This FREE music festival features four stages of live music throughout the LoDo neighborhood. The one-day event unites the community through music and family friendly entertainment while also raising funds to help Amp the Cause continue to support non-profits in the community.
After catching Chris Isaak’s set, a nightcap was in order. Conveniently located behind the Maven, also in the Dairy Block, is the whiskey bar Seven Grand. And get this, it’s part of the same group that owns the Seven Grand in Austin!
Start day two with a short walk over to Union Station where you can pick up a cup of coffee at Pigtrain and gape at the stunning craftsmanship of the main terminal. Oh, and guess what we spotted right next door? Hopdoddy! We had no idea that the Austin burger joint had expanded to Denver.
If you have time to kill before brunch, walk the blocks around Union Station and you may find something you weren’t expecting. We wandered into a boutique called The Vintage Label and found the most adorable Whataburger candle.
Following our walk, we grabbed a car and headed to lunch at Monkey Barrel. This pop culture dream come true is referred to by the restaurant/ bar as the gen-X home of the Mile High City. Their tagline: “It’s like your first apartment, but with better beer.” I must say, the Nintendo 64 in every booth and the variety of pinball machines makes it WAY cooler than my first apartment.
Next up was the main event. Our real purpose for going to Denver was to check out Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station. It did not disappoint. After spending three hours taking in all the wonder, we left to go get dinner. But we returned hours later for a late night event, which I recommend planning your trip around. Check the schedule and plan ahead. If they are hosting an event, you want to be there for it. The one we attended was called Danceportation, The Party Portal. There were 12 DJs set up at three stages throughout the immersive art experience. Plus, drinks, snacks and the most amazing game of bingo I’ve ever played (we were one square away from winning roller skates)!
In between our Meow Wolf adventures, we went back to the hotel for dinner at Kachina Cantina, a free-spirited, modern cantina whose inspiration is found in the Four Corners region of Southwest America and Baja Mexico. Though there are a variety of options on the menu, the highlight is the seven different types of tacos with your choice of corn tortillas, flour tortillas, bibb lettuce wrap or fry bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about that fry bread.
Before we made our way back to Meow Wolf, we had some time to kill so we hit the alley at the Dairy Block behind the Maven and discovered Run for the Roses. The underground bar has a speak easy feel as you have to check in at an old racetrack style betting window and then be escorted into the elegant cocktail club.
Our final day began with brunch at at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. What a name, ammiright? we continued the classic club theme with brunch and a show at this swank Ballpark gem. Open for brunch and dinner, Ophelia’s serves up gastrobrothel fare paired with fresh kinks on classic cocktails and neo-old-school hospitality. The Victorian brownstone it’s situated in was a brothel, sex shop, and peep show before becoming Ophelia’s. It now flaunts its sultry beginnings in a style both cheeky and sex positive as a boudoir-chic historical remix and Denver’s sexiest spot to indulge.
Since we had tickets to Red Rocks in the evening, we decided to head up that way after lunch. But first, we made a stop in Golden to check out the quaint town not far from the city, and famously home to Coors Brewing. We did not choose to our the facility but you can! Get info on that here.
After a couple of hours of exploring, we set off for Red Rocks. On the way we grabbed snack and drinks so we could tailgate with fellow fans in the parking lot before the show (this is totally allowed). There are some things to know before going to a show at Red Rocks, like where to park, how many stairs are involved, etc. We’ll be posting a separate article about that so stay tuned.
Wondering what show we saw? We kept the Austin theme going by seeing Gary Clark Jr.
So there you have it! Three days in Denver. Of course, there are many other things to do like catch a ball game, check out the world famous breweries, hike, etc. Hopefully, this guide simply inspires you to plan a visit and perhaps we even gave you some ideas of what to to do.