Don't get me wrong, I know that Denver might not be your first thought when you think of taking a trip from Manhattan, but it is a great option! Since my sister lives there I try to visit at least once a year. My favorite time to visit is in July or August since Colorado offers a little escape from the Kansas heat!
Each time I go our schedule varies, but one thing is for sure, we ALWAYS make time for great food and fun. In fact, my niece and nephews are mini foodies and constantly give me pro tips on what to order at all the new food places they want to take me!
Here are some of our favorite things to do when we visit Denver, Colorado!
Hiking! I am not sure you can think of Colorado and not think about the outdoors. The last time we were in Denver we hiked The Three Sisters trail. As my nephew kept telling me, this is an easy hike! I can say that I do agree with him for the most part, but this Kansan definitely could feel the altitude!
Denver Museum of Natural Arts and Sciences is a MUST, even adults will enjoy themselves! My husband and I got pretty competitive on the air guns that you pumped up and then shoot paper airplanes off of!
Denver Zoo spans 80 acres and is one of the most fantastic zoos I have ever been to! The Toyota Elephant Passage is AWESOME and now they also offer Stingray Cove allows visitors to get up close and personal to the Stingrays!
The Royal Gorge! I forgot how spectacular the views were since the last time I was there as a child! Now, even though I am terrified of heights, I forced myself to walk across the bridge knowing that little eyes were watching and the last thing I wanted my niece or nephew to see was fear! After you see it from the top-down, then you need to look from the bottom up! Take a train ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, I promise it is truly breathtaking! We went to the gorge in the morning and then drove over to the train depot and enjoyed lunch on the train.
Catch a Rockies Game, after all, baseball is America's pastime! Our favorite game to go to is the July 4th weekend games! The firework show after the game is spectacular. If you sit on the "Rockpile" you are able to go down onto the field after the game and enjoy the fireworks while relaxing on the in-field!
Red Rocks is an outdoor concert venue that is one of the most unique experiences you will find! Keep an eye on their calendar, if music isn't your thing, Red Rocks offers more experiences for visitors.
Cherry Creek Shopping Center is an enormous shopping district that includes the mall and then open air shopping and restaurants for shoppers to enjoy
Craft Brewing is a HUGE part of the culture in Colorado.
Downtown Aquarium was so much fun! They had several spots were you could stand in an air bubbles and almost FEEL like you were in the tank! The Aquarium also offered other interactive spots for kids to get closer to the animals.
Coors Brewery Tours- Located in Golden, Colorado the Coors Brewery is only about 30 min. from Denver and offers tours of the factory throughout the day make sure you check out their site for availability. We had a blast and it was incredibly interesting learning about how the factory and industry have evolved over the years! At the end you get to taste various beers in their tasting room and you can also pick up some swag in the gift shop! My husband came home with a sweatshirt that has a built in koozie, true proud wife moment right there! SIGH!!!
Now, we can't forget the food! Here is a list of our FAVORITE food stops when we are in Denver, Colorado. We normally have a checklist to make sure we hit all the spots while we are there!
Adelita's is some of the best Mexican food I have ever tasted. The first time we went we shared a Molcajete', it was AMAZING and plenty for two! Honestly, everything is amazing, but be prepared to wait!
ZOMO's is one of our favorites that offers Asian American food. All their dishes are great, but make sure to order the Taro Fries and the Banh Mi Bites! You won't regret it.
Denver Biscuit Company throws down the dough! This breakfast spot packs tons of flavors on its biscuits! Everyone can always find an item to satisfy their cravings.
Trompeau Bakery offers authentic French pastry, I have never tasted anything like their Almond Croissant and now it is something I have to have every time I go!
Maine Shack flies in their lobster every day and once they are out, they are out! One of their specialties is lobster roll sliders. I was happy that my order only came with three, I think I could have eaten twice that many! lol
Lucile's Creole Cafe' brings a little Louisiana spice to the metro area. Pro Tip, order the jam with their Beignets, they are so light and fluffy and best of, covered in powdered sugar!
Crown Burgers is a classic and when my sister first moved out there one of our first stops. The combination of a hamburger and pastrami was mouth-watering perfection. In fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Cherry Cricket in Cherry Creek is a classic burger joint near the Cherry Creek shopping center. It is a Denver institution that if you are in the area you must try!
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream for those of us that love Call Hall this is similar! Call Hall will always have my heart, but Bonnie Brae is so good. Rich, sweet, and Creamy just like ice cream should be!
Saucy Noodle another Italian favorite but here you better LOVE garlic! If not, you might want to skip this one.
Snarf's Sandwiches is the sub shops of sub shops! Their bread is fantastic and you can get almost any sandwich you can think of! Snarf's has several locations to choose from but if you are looking for a quick bite this is the place to go.
Paxti's Pizza if you have been reading any of my other blogs, you know that Pizza is a food group in this house! Paxti's offers a New York size slice and a very similar taste!
Finally, they say the fun is in the getting there, and here are your options. First, you can take a 7.5-8 hour drive on I-70 or you can hop a flight from Hays or Salina Airport to Denver! On your way, there are several places to explore if you choose! Once in the Denver area, there are many places to explore that are nearby the metro area.
Enjoy your time in the Mile High City!!!