I’ve talked about this epic bucket list I made years ago several times with you all. I’ve been adding to it… a lot. I find myself just even scrolling through Instagram and finding random cities and adding them too. But to be totally honest, Denver has been on my list for years. I never had a reason to go nor a friend to go with me. Until now! One of my closest friends, Ryan, and his partner moved out there over the summer. It wasn’t just a few weeks into their move that I planned my trip (nearly 3 months out) and finally visited them in October.
To be honest, I’m envious of Ryan for taking the plunge and moving for no reason other than, time for something new. I always thought of myself as pretty independent and kind of a risk taker. But something about moving to a new city for me just hasn’t happened. I have my reasons. My mortgage is cheap, my family is here, Pork spends a lot of time at my parents with my travel and so on. So I’ve embraced traveling and have made it more of a point to explore if I’m not going to move. So anyway, he’s ballsier than I am, and I respect that. I’m glad my friends are like that though because they make some great hosts when I come visit!
Off I was to Denver and I got super lucky that my photographer and friend Janelle, was there visiting her twin sister and newest nephew the same week. We met up when I landed to shoot and grab lunch while Ryan worked. I was instantly blown away by Denver when I walked into Union Station. It’s a 40 minute train ride in from the airport and it drops you right off into Union Station which is in the heart of downtown. What was once not a safe place to hang out, is now a must see and must hang out spot. It feels like a lightened up, modernized Boston library. It’s adorable, with half a dozen or so of great restaurants and shops surrounding an open work space full of cozy chairs, desks and more. We grabbed lunch at Mercantile, and obviously a local beer. After lunch, we then headed to Commons Park to explore a bit. We stumbled onto the most gorgeous golden leaves lining the sidewalk. It was breathtaking.
After lunch and photos, we parted ways and I headed to Ryans for the weekend. We had a fun filled few days of all things Denver. I think we visited at least 7 breweries/taprooms, a dispensary, duh, and went for a nice hike at Red Rocks. Here’s a few highlights of the things we did and see.
WHERE TO EAT
Moe’s Bagel – breakfast & lunch
Denver Biscuit Co – great bloody Mary’s
Snooze – breakfast & brunch
Avanti – dinner & hangout
Los Chignones – great cocktails & mexican
Torchy’s Tacos – best breakfast tacos
Mercantile – Union Station
Little Man Ice Cream
Fire at The Art Hotel – cocktails
Forest Room 5 – unique vibe & good cocktails
THINGS TO DO & SEE
Brewery Tours & Taprooms
Day Trip To Boulder – Jon Benet Ramsey’s house is here… just saying! Also visited Avery Brewery which had great beer and also amazing food
Day Trip To Red Rocks – check their schedule for possible concerts you may like. Or just do a hike, there’s lots of options
Bike Around The City
Denver Art Museum
Civic Center Park – mile high stairs, capital building
Neighborhoods to Visit – RiNo, Highlands, Capital Hill
Find The Best Wall Murals
BREWERIES TO VISIT
There’s a reason why they call Denver the Napa Valley of Beer. Beer is everywhere and even if you’re not a big fan of it, I can guarantee you’ll find a style of beer at a microbrewery that will change your mind. I discovered sour and saison beers on my visit and now look at beer totally different.
Goed Zuur – if you like sour beers, this is a must visit
10 Barrel Brewing – great food here too
Recess Beer Garden – possibly my favorite spot
Ratio Beerworks – loved the patio here
Trve Brewery – no frills, just beer!
Avery Brewing – food was amazing, this is in Boulder so be sure to visit if you make the drive over