A few weeks back, my mom and I visited my sister, who lives in Denver. It was a short trip, but we made the most of our time in the Mile-High City.
It was my first visit to Denver (with the exception of a quick stop in the airport in 2011), and I wasn’t really sure what there was to do. I relied quite a bit on the expertise of my sister and my mom, who has visited many times. They made some great choices.
Here are the five things you must do in Denver.
1. Get breakfast at Denver Bicycle Cafe and Denver Biscuit Company.
Does this one count as two things to do? Too bad.
My mom and I stopped at Denver Bicycle Cafe for breakfast our first day in Denver, and it fulfilled all of the Denver stereotypes. It’s a coffee shop in the morning, a bicycle repair shop during the day, and a bar at night.
We grabbed some coffee and pastries, which was perfect for a quick bite before a long day. But be warned: the coffee is so strong you might be shaking for a while afterward.
When you’ve got more time to sit down and eat, head to Denver Biscuit Company. It’s another restaurant that functions as different things during different parts of the day, which is a great use of space in a busy city.
I ordered the Dahlia, which was sausage, a fried egg, apple butter, and maple syrup on a french toast biscuit.
Yup. You read that right. I’ll be ordering one every time I go to Denver.
2. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
I can’t talk about Denver without mentioning the Museum of Nature and Science.
As a dinosaur lover, this was the place for me. Go ahead and imagine the dinosaur fossil above saying “HAAAAAY!” Want to visit now?
The prehistoric exhibit was spectacular: two stories full of fossils, interactive diagrams, and all-around awesomeness.
But that’s not the only great exhibit. There’s three stories full of interesting exhibits. My favorites were:
- Space Odyssey
- Gems & Minerals
- North American Indian Cultures
- Prehistoric Journey
- Botswana, Africa
- Sky Terrace
3. Get a donut at Voodoo Doughnut.
This one is completely separate from breakfast.
If you haven’t heard, cupcakes are on their way out, and doughnuts are on their way in. Have a craving for a doughnut that’s a little bizarre? Voodoo Doughnut is happy to oblige.
However, there aren’t detailed descriptions on the menu board once you arrive, so I recommend researching ahead by checking out their menu page online.
I personally tried the Bacon Maple Bar, because it was a bit bizarre, but I knew it would be delicious. After all, it’s got bacon on it.
A word of warning: don’t plan on doing anything for a few hours after finishing your doughnut. You’ll want to take a short coma.
4. Go hiking in the mountains.
To work off all of the calories from these delicious meals, you’ll want to head up to the mountains for some hiking.
We personally went to Fort Collins, but I’m sure there are many beautiful trails close to the city.
Coming from Michigan, where there are (basically) no mountains whatsoever, it was wonderful exploring the scenery.
Hiking is definitely a Denver must. Just remember to bring plenty of water to avoid altitude sickness.
5. Play some board games while sampling hard ciders at Stem Ciders.
I’m definitely a cider person, more so than beer and wine, so a trip to Stem was the only thing on my list before I arrived.
It’s a really fun environment. There were some food trucks in the parking lot, so we had bruschetta pasta and sriracha mac and cheese. Yum.
We also brought Parcheesi to play while drinking some samples of the best ciders. I definitely recommend bringing a board game; the laid-back atmosphere was the perfect end to a long day.
And make room in your suitcase so you can take a growler home with you. I highly recommend Remedy.
Is there anything I missed? What is your favorite part of Denver?
Outbound Adventurer says
Ooh, I love the DMNS! I used to volunteer in their fossil prep lab 🙂 I am a big fan of the One Up Bar (an arcade bar in downtown Denver), Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs around the corner from the DMNS, Enzo’s End Pizzeria in Denver, Beau Jo’s Mile-High pizza in Boulder, hiking the Flatirons at Chautauqua Park (though that’s Boulder, too)–man, I miss those mountains! Glad you had a good time! (this is Tara, by the way!)
Great list! I’ll definitely have to check those out the next time I visit. I’ll definitely be stopping by DMNS again, too. 🙂