Denver, Colorado

Local Details

Learn more about Denver, Colorado using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Denver, Colorado so great!

Current Temperature

  • 81.6°F
  • 27.6°C

City Guide

Denver is the largest city in and capital of the state of Colorado, USA. Denver ("The Mile-High City") is at an altitude of 5,280 feet/1,600 meters, where the midwestern plains give way to the Rocky Mountains. The city officially records its Mile High Status by a gold band embedded in the steps of the state capitol, located in downtown Denver.


Denver is the Mile High City, a bustling city of over 579,000 people supporting a metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people. Though the city embraces its cowboy and mining past it also looks forward to the future with a vibrant arts, and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, awesome neighborhoods offering their own unique experiences, and pretty much everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer, not to mention great access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains only 15 miles west of town (The Denver of "Dynasty" is long gone).

Thanks to the Denver Mint Denver Mint Tours, more U.S. money is made in Denver than anywhere else in the world. Fish a coin out of your pocket and look for the "D" on the face side of the coin (usually in the bottom right quadrant). The 'D" means the money was minted in Denver.

Still, Denver does have its growing pains. Sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation. Denver is generally a driving city, and problems with pollution and traffic are thus a part of every day life. In November 2006, the T-REX transportation construction along I-25 was completed (with a Light-Rail line as well), which is aiding in the traffic and transportation for this area of the city. Denver's grid system is fairly efficient as well, though there is often confusion at the intersections of the NE-SW, NW-SE downtown grid, with the N-S, E-W grid of the rest of the city.


Contrary to popular belief, Denver residents enjoy a mild climate, but are subject to 4 very pronounced seasons.

The winter months of December through March can and do bring biting temperatures and heavy snow to the region encompassing all of the large cities along the Front Range of Colorado, including the Denver Metropolitan Area. While Denver does receive a major blizzard every 6 years on average, most snowstorms bring less than 6 inches of snow. Foothills locations directly west of Denver receive copious amounts of snow; most unprotected areas receive an average of nearly 200 inches of snow per winter. Winter is also when the Denver area gets pounded by a phenomenon known as the chinook. As air flows over the mountains to the west, it sinks on the leeward (eastern) slopes of the foothills and warms up. During strong chinook events, it is not uncommon for locations in the Boulder and Golden areas just west of Denver to receive wind gusts exceeding 120 miles per hour. Chinook winds are known to raise air temperatures dramatically - sometimes 30º or 40º during the course of an afternoon - and can last for several days. Temperatures generally drop quickly once the chinook subsides. In spite of an average high temperature of 43º and average low temperature of 15º during the coldest month of January, Denver regularly records highs in the 60s, and sometimes the low 70s, in the dead of winter (almost always a result of a chinook wind event). The coldest temperature ever recorded in Denver was -29º, however temperatures below -20º have not occurred since the early 1990s. If you're planning to visit Denver during the winter, be prepared with full winter gear, but consider packing a light sweater or t-shirt - you never know what you may be treated to.

Spring in Denver is pleasant, though generally brief. Trees begin budding by late March, which for some not accustomed to Denver's springs, is not always positive. March, on average, is Denver's snowiest month. As temperatures begin to rise, the snow that does fall is generally saturated with moisture and can and does cause significant damage to trees that have begun budding. April is Denver's third snowiest month on average, though most years only record a few inches. April is typically the time of year when Denver receives its first thunderstorm of the year, although it's not unheard of to hear thunder during any month of the year. By late April into mid May, most trees are in full leaf and the city transforms from the browns and grays of winter's grip to a colorful and vibrant oasis between the plains to the east and the mountain ranges to the west. May can and, in most years, does bring with it several days of freezing temperatures (mainly at night), but most days are clear with highs averaging in the 70s and lows in the 40s. June in Denver is quite unpredictable. Snow has been recorded as late as June 12 and freezing temperatures have also been recorded in mid June. Severe weather is most prominent in Denver during June, so keep your eyes to the skies if visiting during this time. One of the costliest hail storms in United States history devastated the Front Range from Fort Collins (north of Denver) to Colorado Springs (south of Denver) and caused more than $600,000,000 in damage.

By the middle part of June, Denver enters its summer season. Temperatures typically rise in earnest by this time and 100º temperatures have been recorded as early as June 14 (again, considering it's altitude, this is quite unusual). Most heat waves begin in the latter part of June and continue through July, the hottest month in Denver on average. By the middle part of July, the southwest monsoon kicks in. Temperatures rise rapidly from morning through early afternoon (30º-40º between 7:00am and 1:00pm is not uncommon) before thunderstorms develop over the mountains and foothills to the west and spread east over the Denver area and eastern plains. For those who do not like the heat, this is usually a welcome sight - thunderstorms producing heavy rains can drop temperatures from 95º to 65º in a matter of minutes. Keep in mind that Denver has an extremely dry climate, so temperatures fall quickly during storms and once the sun sets. July high temperatures in the city average around 90º and lows average around 60º. The heat generally sticks around until the third week in August. By this time, there is a noticeable difference in evening and night time temperatures as the days are shorter and average temperatures begin to drop. Even so, Denver's highest recorded temperature of 105º did occur in August.

Fall is one of the best times to visit. September is a glorious month. Temperatures average in the low 80s during the day and, by the end of the month, lows average in the 40s. September is normally free of severe weather and skies are clear and blue for most of the month. October usually brings the first snowfall of the season to Denver, although it is not usually heavy. This is also a wonderful time to drive west and see the fall colors in the mountains. The brilliant golds and reds are sure to amaze anyone. A drive up Guanella Pass near Georgetown (about 1½ hours west of Denver on I-70) is not to be missed. By November, it is clear that winter is on its way. November is, on average, Denver's cloudiest month and its second snowiest. Be prepared for cool to frigid weather if visiting during November. By this time, temperatures average in the 40s to low 50s during the day and the 30s at night.

Outdoor Enthusiasts Rejoice

Late spring/early summer and early autumn are excellent times to visit Denver if you are an outdoor sports enthusiast. The weather is generally pleasant, there is an abundance of outdoor festivals at these times, and the mountains offer great beauty in the form of plenty of wildflowers in early summer and the fantastic color of the changing aspen trees in September.

Of course, for skiing enthusiasts, winter is the best time to visit Denver. There are many ski resorts about 1 1/2-2 hours west of Denver along I-70, though the weekend traffic to these resorts can be very slow, especially in inclement weather. To avoid the drive, you can take the Ski-Train from Union Station to the Denver-owned Winter Park and Mary Jane ski resorts or the RTD bus service to the Eldora Ski Resort west of Boulder (by far the cheapest option). You can find information about the latter at the RTD bus station at the corner of 16th and Market streets in downtown Denver. To avoid the crowds, go skiing during the week or avoid the busy Thanksgiving to New Years season. There are also numerous mountain trails for snowshoers and cross-country skiers that are generally free.

Get in

By plane

  • Denver International Airport, (IATA: DEN, ICAO: KDEN). Commonly referred to as DIA. It is located about 20 miles to the east of downtown. It is a hub for both United Airlines and Frontier Airlines as well as being served by most major domestic carriers.
    • Frontier Airlines. Discount carrier with its hub at DIA and service to and from over 60 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
    • Jet Blue. Makes inexpensive flights to Denver from New York.

The airport is located amidst rolling plains, far from any conceivable local destination. Public transportation skyRide offers 5 bus routes from the airport with several stops each, delivering you to many "Park and Ride" locations in the metro area for $6-$10 one way. Purchase tickets at the RTD desk in the main terminal. The airport can be crowded due to its post-9/11 security redesign creating a single central screening station, followed by a train that passengers must take for access to concourses B and C. Forget the fifteen year old rumors about the baggage system, it is no worse than any other airport's, in fact it is perhaps even better than most. It can take up to an hour to get from the ticket line to the gate, so travelers should get to the airport at least 1.5 hours before the scheduled departure time. There are a number of Airport Shuttle companies that will deliver you to the city & points beyond.

Private pilots will prefer Centennial Airport (ICAO: KAPA) south of town. Be aware that on warm days the density altitude may make takeoffs difficult; Centennial has long runways for this reason, and to accommodate a large volume of private jet traffic. Flight visibility in the Denver area is often in excess of 100 miles; weather fronts tend to travel quickly N-S along the front range. For small planes, any direction but west is a good choice.

By car

  • I-25 (north and south), I-70 (east and west), and I-76 (northeast) are the major interstates leading in and out of the city. I-225 and I-270 cross the Denver area.
  • U.S. Highway 40 connects Denver to Salt Lake City, to the west.
  • Interstate 70 connects Denver to Summit county, the location of many major ski areas, to the west.
  • Interstate 25 connects Denver to Colorado Springs in the south and Cheyenne Wyoming in the North.
  • U.S. Highway 36 connects to the North western suburbs and eventually to Boulder.
  • E-470 A toll road, connects the airport to the southeast, east, northeast, northwest suburbs, C-470 at its souther terminus, the Northwest Parkway at its nothern terminus, which leads to Boulder.
  • C-470 Connects to the southern end of E-470 (also accessible from I-25) leading to the south, southwest, and western suburbs.
  • Northwest Parkway A toll road, connects to the north end of E-470 leading to north, northeast and northwest suburbs, and Boulder. Also accessible from I-25.
    • E-470 and Northwest Parkway are toll roads. Toll booths are $1.75 each, are attended by humans 24/7, and will accept up to $20 bills. Depending on distance traveled, you could spend $14. The upside is that you can skirt serious rush hour traffic on I-70 and I-25.

By train

  • Amtrak serves Denver at Union Station (DEN). The California Zephyr stops once a day, and continues east to Chicago, and west to California.

Please note, however, that Union Station is currently under renovation, and when it is complete, Union Station will become the central terminal for bus, light rail and Denver commuter rail, as well as Amtrak national railway service.

By bus

  • Greyhound, 1055 19th Street. The bus station is located in downtown a few blocks away from Coors Field and other central attractions. It is serviced by Greyhound and Skyride buses. The station also has storage lockers, which can be rented hourly.

Get around

  • Numbered streets

Run east-west in the north half of the metro area, including suburbs. Ellsworth is the "equatorial" street. Numbered streets increase as you travel north.

  • Named streets

Run north-south. Broadway is the "meridian" street. Ordered alphabetically going up as you travel east or west away from city center. Adresses on named streets correspond to intersecting numbered streets. i.e. "1701 Broadway" is at 17th and Broadway.

Public Transit Voters approved a plan in 2004 to significantly expand Denver's public transportation system. This plan will not be completed until sometime after 2012, so public transportation is still somewhat underdeveloped outside of the downtown area. Denver's existing light rail system, though limited, can efficiently get you from downtown to the Tech Center and to some south central and southeast suburbs. If you are a business traveler staying near the Tech Center, you can easily take light rail downtown for an evening's entertainment without the worry of driving. One light rail line travels parallel to I-25 from its intersection with Broadway to Lincoln Avenue in the southern part of the Denver metro area, with a spur on I-225 connecting the highway to its intersection with Parker road. Another light rail line connects downtown to south Santa Fe Drive to Mineral Avenue, through Englewood and Littleton. Most light rail lines connect to downtown Denver on to either the central part of downtown or to Union Station. There are also many RTD buses you can take for additional travel throughout the city. Buses are $1.50 a trip with a free transfer to another line within two hours. Light rail tickets must be purchased (cash or Visa/MC) from vending machines at the stations before entering the trains and cost between $1.50-$3.75 depending on how far you travel. RTD offers a free shuttle bus along the 16th Street pedestrian mall, which has a length of 1.25 mile and takes you close to most places downtown. The light rail system and most buses go through downtown and connect with the rest of the city. Information about both can be found at the Market Street and Civic Center bus stations at either end of 16th street.

Parking Downtown Meters are free on Sunday, and run till 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. In the downtown area near Coors Field, The Pepsi Center, and Lodo, there is virtually no free parking on weekdays. In some areas a few blocks from city center there are places without parking meters within reasonable walking distance of downtown. Just because you don't see a meter does not mean parking is free. Denver is increasingly deploying "european style" meters, where you purchase a paper ticket from a machine somewhere on the block and place it on your dashboard.

Downtown Streets The diagonal layout of the downtown area can be difficult to understand, especially for first-time visitors. North of Colfax and west of Broadway, the streets are canted 45 degrees from all other streets in the city. This is where the tallest buildings are. The transition between the two systems is confusing even for local residents.

Car rentals are the most convenient for of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.

Car Rental Companies includes:

  • Alamo Rent A Car, Toll free: 1-800-462-5266.
  • Avis Rent A Car, Toll free: 1-800-331-1212.
  • Budget Rent A Car, Toll free: 1-800-527-0700.
  • Dollar Rent A Car, Toll free: 1-800-800-3665.
  • E-Z Rent-A-Car, Toll free: 1-800-277-5171.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Toll free: 1-800-261-7331.
  • Hertz Car Rental, Toll free: 1-800-654-3131.
  • Thrifty, Toll free: 1-800-847-4389.


  • Chamberlin Observatory, 2930 East Warren Avenue, +1 303-871-5172. Built in 1890, this working observatory is a historic landmark and a pride of the University of Denver. Star Parties and other events are open to the public.
  • Colorado Historical Society, 1300 Broadway, +1 303-866-3682. Home of the Colorado History Museum and the Stephen H. Hart Library. Exhibits, museums and historical sites throughout Colorado. Check website for details.
  • Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, +1 720-865-5000. Closed M and holidays. A huge museum with art from all over the world - you'll want to give yourself several hours to properly explore the place.
  • Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St, +1 720-865-3500. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Denver Mint, 320 West Colfax Avenue. Registration is required for all tours.
  • The Molly Brown House Museum, 1340 Pennsylvania St., +1 303-832-4092.
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, +1 303-322-7009. Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Includes exhibitions, planetarium and IMAX.
  • Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St, +1 303-376-4800. Open every day of the year, hours vary by season.



A great number of people come through the Denver airport on their way up to the ski areas of Summit and Eagle counties, these areas include: Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Loveland Basin, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge, Winter Park; further a field are both Steamboat, and Aspen.

Visitors arriving by plane (at DIA) can reach the Winter Park Ski area without driving. Take the RTD bus Route AF to Market Street Station. Walk 3 blocks or take a taxi to Union Station and take the Ski Train. If you have time to kill, there are numerous restaurants, brewpubs and coffeehouses in this part of town, referred to as [LoDo] (lower downtown). The Ski Train delivers you to the foot of the mountain (literally) within steps of the ski rental hut. The dining car (read "bar car") on the return trip after a day of skiing is one of the best rolling parties in America.

Parks and outdoors activity

  • Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 Westminster Blvd. Westminster, CO 80020.

  • Denver LoDo Self-Guided Audio Tour, Want to explore downtown Denver on your own time and at your own pace? Download one of these cool hip tours onto your iPod or other personal player, and off you go! Don't have a MP3 player? No problem, you can call up and listen to the tours on your mobile phone. Explore LoDo with Bessy LaBovine, Pedro the goat and Soapy Smith.
  • Six Flags Elitch Gardens, Elitch Gardens, Six Flags, Amusement Park.
  • Washington Park Beautiful and lush Denver park, with lakes, flower gardens, a recreation center, soccer fields, tennis courts.... Over 160 acres of natural beauty, surrounded by turn of the 19th Century homes.
  • Waterworld, One of the largest family water parks in the U.S. Open last weekend in May through Labor Day.

Festivals & Events

  • January National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, Martin Luther King Parade, Indian Market
  • February Colorado Garden and Home Show, Denver Restaurant Week, Buffalo Bill's Birthday Party
  • March St. Patrick's Day Parade, Denver March Powwow, Starz Global Lens Film Festival
  • April Doors Open Denver, Colorado Rockies Home Opener, KBCO Kinetics
  • May Cinco de Mayo, Tesoro Indian Market and Powwow, Downtown Denver Festival of the Arts, Colorado Colfax Marathon also includes Denver's Navy Week.
  • June Colorado Renaissance Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, Comcast La Piazza dell’Arte, PrideFest, The People's Fair, Highland Street Fair
  • July Cherry Creek Arts Festival, The INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, Colorado Irish Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Evergreen Jazz Festival
  • August Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival
  • September A Taste of Colorado, Annual Oktoberfest, Festival Italiano
  • October Fright Fest, Great American Beer Festival, Denver Mariachi Festival, Denver Marathon
  • November Starz International Film Festival, Denver International Wine Festival, Downtown Denver, Grand Illumination
  • December Mile High Holidays, Blossoms of Light, Zoo Lights, 9News Parade of Lights


  • Art Institute of Colorado, 1200 Lincoln Street, +1 303-837-0825 (Toll Free: 1-800-275-2420).
  • Central Library, 10 W 14th Ave., +1 720-865-1111, Denver Public Library's Central Library was designed by acclaimed architect Michael Graves, was host to the G7 Summit in 1997 and has a wealth of information of all kinds. The library also offers free Internet access and its Western History collection is considered one of the best in the world.
  • Community College of Denver
  • Emily Griffith Opportunity School, The oldest adult vocational/technical school in the United States.
  • Johnson & Wales University, 7150 Montview Boulevard, +1 303-256-9300 (Toll Free: 1-877-JWU-DENVER).
  • Metropolitican State College of Denver.
  • University of Colorado at Denver, 1380 Lawrence St, +1 303-556-5970.
  • University of Denver, 2199 S University Blvd, +1 303-871-2000. DU is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in Colorado.


Denver is rapidly becoming the second main business center of the Midwest after Chicago, major industries in the Denver metro area are: Technology, Telecom, Defense, and Tourism.


There are a number of shopping areas in Denver. The two most prominent are the 16th Street Mall, and the Cherry Creek Shopping District.

  • The 16th Street Mall runs the near entire length of 16th St. in downtown Denver. It is home to a number of chain stores, as well as novelty shops. It is dominated by the Denver Pavilions, an "urban mall," on the southeast end of the street.
  • The Cherry Creek Shopping District sits southeast of downtown Denver, and hosts some of the most expensive stores in the metropolitan area. The Cherry Creek Shopping Mall is the epicenter of this district.
  • The Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue 303-322-7727 (and other locations), is the area's largest and best-known bookstore, selling both new and used books. The bookstore hosts author readings and other educational programs.


Mexican food is abundant and satisfying and takes a local Denver flavor. Green Chili is the order of the day: a brown, chunky and spicy sauce made from pork and Pueblo or Hatch green chilies that works well on everything from chorizo and eggs to tamales. Denver is also known for "western" food using ingredients such as angus beef, buffalo, rattlesnake, cutthroat trout and Rocky Mountain oysters. Denver has most types of cuisine as other large cities and has several restaurants recently noted in top food publications. A recently passed bill had outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants statewide. However, some places with outdoor patios still allow smoking there.

The restaurant section of the weekly independent newspaper Westword (available for free every Thursday at newsstands and locations across the city) is a good place to find the food your interested in for your price-range and location. Below is a sampling of some consistently good choices.


  • Benny Blanco's Slice of the Bronx, 616 E. 13th Ave., +1 303-831-1346. Benny Blanco's is a classic hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, and in this case the phrase is literal. There's no seating, but big, New York-style slices fresh from the oven can be had for as little as $2 a slice.
  • Blue Bonnet, 457 S Broadway, +1 303-778-0147. A noisy bar featuring southwest/Tex-Mex in Denver with most items under $10. There is patio seating and two separate dining rooms that are a bit quiter than the man bar. Consistently rated a "Best Of" in various local polls.
  • Buenos Aires Pizzeria, 1319 22nd St., +1 303-296-6710. An Argentinean-style pizza joint with unusual topping choices and plenty of $2 empanada (small savory turnovers) offerings.
  • Clancy's Irish Pub, Located a wee bit west o' Kipling and 38th Ave. Daily 11AM-10PM. Clancy's serves a variety of Anglo-Irish and domestic favorites, including Corned Beef and Cabbage, Fish n' Chips, (listed by Westword as the best in town.) Shepards Pie, Rueben sandwitches and pint after pint Guinness Stout on tap.
  • El Taco de Mexico, 714 Santa Fe Dr., +1 303-623-3926. This small Mexican lunch-counter offers many delicious food choices for the adventurous palette.
  • Heaven Dragon 16255 W 64th Ave, +1 720-898-9909. Though not in Denver proper (rather, it's in the suburb of Arvada) this often-overlooked Chinese restaurant may be among the best in the entire state of Colorado. With prices that will feed even a large family for under $40, its food is consistently ranked by reviewers as spectacular, to the point where visiting politicians (congressmen, governors, even President George W. Bush) often go out of their way to stop there. The atmosphere is superb--very formal and elegant, despite the low prices. A bit of a hike from the city, however--20 or 30 minutes from downtown on a good day.
  • Illegal Pete's 1530 16th St. #101, +1 303-623-2169. A local favorite hangout with great, cheap burritos! Its patio is located directly on the 16th St Mall, making it a great place to people watch.
  • Jerusalem, 1890 E Evans Ave., +1 303-777-8828. Open until 3AM, and within walking distance of the University of Denver, this small but excellent Middle Eastern restaurant offers great no-frills food in a laid-back and hip atmosphere that only a college eatery can provide.
  • Leela European Cafe, 820 15th St., +1 303-534-2255. Leela's is a combination bar/coffeehouse/cafe which is a favourite among the college crowd. There's good Italian coffee, great music (live on some nights), and the best panini sandwiches in Denver. Leela's is open 24 hours as well, and free wireless internet is available, so you can be productive (or not) while waiting for your friends to arrive.
  • Taqueria Patzcuaro, 2616 West 32nd, +1 303-455-4389. This neighborhood favorite boasts the most amazing tacos and green chili.
  • Tommy's Thai, 3410 East Colfax, +1 303-377-4244.
  • Two-Fisted Mario's Pizza, Market and 16th, +1 303-623-3523. Two-Fisted Mario's boasts brilliant East-coast style pizza on the cheap ($2 a slice, and it's a big slice), and is open until 3AM, so you can grab a pie after drinking microbrews into the wee hours of the morning.


  • Racine's, 650 Sherman St ., +1 303-595-0418. THE restaurant for both Denver's power brokers and proletariats with its simple yet elegant American menu and casual yet sophisticated decor.
  • Jack n Grill, 2524 Federal Blvd., +1 303-964-9544. Excellent New Mexico-style food with heaping portions usually soaked in your choice of a green or red chili or for the indecisive, both.
  • New Saigon, 630 S Federal Blvd., +1 303-936-4954. Denver is home to a sizable Southeast Asian population that shows off its unique culinary talents at this great Vietnamese community institution.
  • Empress Seafood, 2825 W Alameda Av., +1 303-922-2822. Empress has long been the queen of dim-sum and affordable yet flavorful seafood selections from all over Asia.
  • Le Central, 112 E. 8th Ave., +1 303-863-8094. A surprisingly affordable French restaurant in central Denver offers Provence-style French food such as mussels et frites. A great choice for the fancy dinner without the fancy check.
  • Imperial Chinese, 431 S. Broadway. +1 303-698-2800. Simply put, The Imperial is Denver's premier Chinese restaurant and has been for the over 20 years it's been in existence. Dinner entrées range from $10-$30, with all but the Peking Duck and various specials under $22.


  • The 9th Door, 1808 Blake Street, +1 303-303-293-2111. Spanish tapas and wine, desserts and atmosphere.
  • Barolo Grill, 3030 E 6th Av., +1 303-393-1040. Decadent Italian.
  • The Black Pearl, 1529 S Pearl St, +1 303-777-0500.
  • Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage Street, +1 303-534-9505, The oldest continuously operating restaurant in Denver, noted for its "western" menu and decor. Right next to the 10th and Osage light rail stop. Famous for offering game meat such as elk, bison, and venison.
  • The Fort, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison. Though a bit of a drive, The Fort is possibly Denver's most famous restaurant. It sits just on the edge of suburban Denver and is perhaps most famous for hosting a dinner during the G7 conference in 1997. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Luca d'Italia, 711 Grant St., +1 303-832-6600.
  • Mizuna, 225 E 7th Av., +1 303-832-4778.
  • Strings, 1700 Humboldt St. Near the heart of downtown Strings is a fantastic restaurant with entrée prices ranging from $12-40 or so, and an excellent wine list. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Sushi Den, 1487 S Pearl St, +1 303-777-0826.
  • Venice Ristorante Italiano, 1700 Wynkoop St. Amazing, authentic Italian. Very expensive. Very romantic. Very Good. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Vesta Dipping Grill, 1822 Blake St., LoDo, +1 303-296-1970. Each menu item at this hip LoDo restaurant comes with your choice of three dipping sauces for a unique and interactive meal.


Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state. In fact, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper was a microbrewer before running for office. Notable breweries in Denver and environs include Coors Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co., Flying Dog, Breckenridge Brewery, Wynkoop Brewing Company, and the Bull & Bush. New Belgium, maker of the very popular Fat Tire, is based to the north in Fort Collins. Rock Bottom, a national chain of brewpubs, is based in Louisville (near Boulder).

One should keep in mind that the effects of alcohol are magnified at higher elevations, so people may find themselves inebriated more quickly and with greater effect than they would at lower altitudes. Moderation is probably a good idea until you understand your body's reaction to alcohol and can acclimatize to its effects at higher elevations.

That said, the following are some of the best bar-hopping locales in the city:

Bars in Lower Downtown (LoDo)

LoDo is the name Colorado locals have given the Lower Downtown district of Denver. It's a great place for meals, entertainment, and nightlife, where restored Victorian buildings now house more than 90 sports bars, brew pubs, jazz clubs, and restaurants.

  • My Brother's Bar (Brother's), 2376 15th St, +1 303-455-9991. Brother's is the oldest bar in Denver and steeped in the history of the Beat movement; Jack Kerouac was a regular here during his years in Denver. Massive selection of premium choices and a fantastic single-malt scotch selection. Classical music plays, but don't expect to hear it on a really busy night. Good food, including the JCB: a cheeseburger featuring Jalapeno Cream Cheese. There's no sign on the bar so don't look for one, but it's right on the southeast corner of 15th and Platte streets. This is where the locals go and regulars abound.
  • The Cruise Room, 1600 17th St, +1 303-825-1107. 1930's Art Deco Martini Bar inside the Oxford Hotel. Best Martinis in Denver! You can also order fresh seafood from McCormick's Fish House.
  • Double Daughter's Salotto, 1632 Market St, +1 303-623-3505
  • Fado Irish Pub, 1735 19th St, +1 303-297-0066.
  • Falling Rock Tap House, 1919 Blake St, +1 303-293-8338
  • Lodo's Bar & Grill, 1946 Market St, +1 303-293-8555
  • Nallen's Irish Pub, 1429 Market St, +1 303-572-0667. A little piece of the Old Country in Denver, Nallen's has great nightly drink specials, authentic Irish ambience and a great Tuesday night pub quiz.
  • Pour House Pub, 1435 Market St, +1 303-623-7687
  • Sing Sing, 1735 19th St, +1 303-291-0880
  • Wynkoop Brewery, 1634 18th St, +1 303-297-2700. Fresh brews, billiard tables, and excellent food. Banquets and private parties. Historically significant architecture.

Bars in Capitol Hill & Other Neighborhoods

Capitol Hill is the neighborhood directly east and south of the Colorado State Capitol, located on Colfax Avenue and Grant Street. It has long held as place for young people, sub-cultures and the gay and lesbian community. Currently, it rivals LoDo as the place to party, no matter what your scene is.

  • Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill, 980 Grant Street, +1 303-860-1655. Charlie Brown's in another beat era hangout located at a hotel where Ginsburg and the gang used to stay. Has great happy-hours, a mostly local crowd, good food, and an agile piano player belting out tunes while you drink.
  • Bender's Tavern, 314 E. 13th Ave. +1 303-361-7070.
  • Funky Buddha Lounge, 776 Lincoln St, +1 303-832-5075.
  • Govnr's Park Restaurant & Tavern, 672 Logan St, +1 303-831-8605. Practically the after work bar for all of the state workers and lobbyists at the capitol, this comfortable place has great happy-hour specials and tasty food.
  • Park Tavern, 931 11th Ave.
  • Cricket on the Hill 1209 E. 13th Ave, +1 303-830-9020. Denver's preeminent punk bar/club offers almost nightly live music, great specials and some of the best clientele to people watch in the city.
  • The Church, 1160 Lincoln St., +1 303-832-2383, part of the "SoCo" (South of Colfax) club district, the Church is one of the most popular dance clubs in the city, and as its name suggests, is housed in a former Episcopalian church. That however, does not prevent hundreds if not thousands of people from descending on the dancefloor every night to shake what God has given them.

Bars On Colfax

Colfax Avenue, described by Playboy Magazine as the "longest, wickedest, street in America," stretches 26 miles through Denver and its suburbs. Colfax has long had a "gritty" reputation for being home to prostitution and drug peddlers. However, through much urban development work, Colfax has shed its past and emerged hipper, cleaner and more popular than ever. The many bars, restaurants and nightspots along the street give it a 24/7 ambience.

  • The Bank Bar & Grill, 2239E Colfax Ave, +1 303-320-9494
  • Charlie's, 900 E. Colfax Ave. +1 303-839-8890. While technically a gay bar, Charlie's is also a cultural landmark catering to the old west spirit and/or disco diva in all of us. Very straight-friendly and not at all creepy, Charlie's friendly clientele and music makes everyone who visits at least a little "gay" (as in happy).
  • Goosetown Tavern, 3320 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-399-9703.
  • Irish Snug Restaurant & Pub, 1201 E Colfax Ave # 100, +1 303-839-1394. The Snug (to the locals) is the best place in Denver to down a pint of Guinness with your mates. Excellent fish and chips will fill you up (if the Guinness doesn't first).
  • Lion's Lair, 2022 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-320-9200.
  • Mezcal, 3230 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-322-5219, Mezcal is a hip Mexican-themed bar/restaurant serveing excellent and cheap Mexican food along with its plentiful selection of great drinks, particularly tequilas.
  • The Red Room, 320 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-830-7050.
  • Sancho's Broken Arrow, 741 E Colfax, +1 303-832-5288. One of the four Don Quixote themed bars in Denver, Sacho's is the best place in Denver to relive your old days with its Grateful Dead come alive decor and live rock and roll every Monday.
  • Streets of London Pub, 1502 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-861-9103. The closest thing to England you can get without a 10 hour flight, Streets of London has an abundant selection of ales, draughts and other favourites.
  • The Squire Lounge, 1800 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-333-9106.

Downtown Coffee

  • The Market, at Larimer Square. THE place for coffee shop people watching in Denver. Not Wifi/Laptop friendly. Outstanding pastries, hot from the oven every day at 6:30AM. Also a great full service deli.
  • St. Mark's, 17th and Race (20 blocks east of Broadway). Quintessential coffeehouse ambience. House made pastries. Lovely neighborhood block with a nice collection of restaurants.
  • Fluid, 19th and Pennsylvania. Modern. Wifi/Laptop friendly. Order an Artisan coffee made with the Clover machine. Light pre-packaged eats available.
  • Daz Bog, 9th and Downing. Formerly Diedrich's. Wifi/Laptop friendly. Lovely tree lined street. Nice selection of pastries and light bites. Significant portion of patrons are gay.
  • Common Grounds Downtown, 17th and Wazee. Wifi/Laptop friendly. An old mainstay in Denver. Between Union Station and Market Street RTD station.
  • Metropolis, 11th and Cherokee. Modern. Wifi/Laptop friendly.

Music Venues

  • 15th St. Tavern, 623 15th St, +1 303-572-0822.
  • Bender's Tavern, 314 E. 13th Ave. +1 303-361-7070.
  • Bluebird Theater, 3317 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-322-2308.
  • Climax Lounge, 2217 Welton St.
  • Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St
  • Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St
  • Gothic Theater, 3263 South Broadway, Englewood.
  • Hi-Dive, 7 S Broadway (Cross Streets: Ellsworth & Broadway).
  • Invesco Field at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St.
  • Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St, +1 303-291-1007.
  • Lion's Lair, 3317 E Colfax Ave, +1 303-322-2308.
  • Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
  • Oriental Theater, 4335 W 44th Ave, +1 303-455-2124.
  • Red Rocks Amphiteatre 16352 County Rd. # 93, Morrison



  • Budget Host Inn, 2747 Wyandot St., +1 303-477-6299 (fax: +1 303-455-1642). Located across the I-25 from downtown Denver.
  • Denver International Youth Hostel, 630 East 16 Avenue, +1 303-832-9996.
  • Hostel of the Rockies, 1717 Race Street, +1 303-861-7777 (email:
  • Melbourne International Hotel & Hostel, 607 22nd Street, +1 303-292-6386 (email: A pretty decent place with private rooms and dorms available. Doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside it is actually quite nice. Not exactly in a great part of town, but the rooms are well protected and it is very close to downtown, just two blocks away from a light rail station.
  • Microtel Inn Denver International Airport, 18600 E. 63rd Avenue, +1 303-371-8300.
  • Ramada Gateway Downtown, 2601 Zuni St., +1 303-433-6677 (fax: +1 303-455-1530). Located across the I-25 from downtown Denver.


  • AmeriSuites Denver Airport , 16250 East 40th Avenue, +1 303-371-0700.
  • AmeriSuites Denver/Park Meadows, 9030 East Westview Road, +1 303-662-8500.
  • Hyatt Place Denver/Tech Center, 8300 East Crescent Parkway, +1 303-804-0700.
  • Best Western Central Denver, 200 W 48th Avenue, +1 303-296-4000 (fax: +1 303-296-4000).
  • Best Western Denver Southwest,3440 S. Vance St, +1 303-989-5500.
  • Courtyard Denver Airport, 6901 Tower Road, +1 303-371-0300 (fax: +1 303-371-2480).
  • Courtyard Denver Cherry Creek, 1475 S. Colorado Blvd, +1 303-757-8797 (fax: +1 303-758-0704).
  • Courtyard Denver Downtown, 934 16th Street, +1 303-571-1114 (toll-free: 1-888-249-1810, fax: +1 303-571-1141).
  • Courtyard Denver Stapleton, 7415 E 41st Avenue, +1 303-333-3303 (fax: +1 303-399-7356).
  • Drury Inn, 9445 E Dry Creek Road, near the Tech Center. Low cost, solid rooms and free breakfast and dinner of pizza and salad.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Denver Cherry Creek, 1680 South Colorado Blvd, +1 303-691-2223 (toll-free: 1-800-690-9799, fax: +1 303-691-0062).
  • Fairfield Inn Denver Airport, 6851 Tower Road, +1 303-576-9640 (fax: +1 303-574-9638).
  • Holiday Inn, 15500 East 40th Ave, +1 303-371-9494.
  • Holiday Inn, 4849 Bannock Street, +1 303-292-9500.
  • Holiday Inn, 1450 Glenarm Place, +1 303-573-1450.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 7010 Tower Road, +1 303-373-4100.
  • Holiday Inn Select, 455 South Colorado Blvd, +1 303-388-5561.
  • Motel 6, 3050 W 49th Avenue, +1 303-455-8888 (fax: +1 303-433-2218).
  • Motel 6 Denver - Airport, 12020 E 39th Avenue, +1 303-371-1980 (fax: +1 303-375-7763).


  • Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th Street, 1-800-321-2599. An elegant, historic hotel in downtown Denver.
  • The Burnsley, +1 303-830-1000, Luxurious hotel right in the heart of downtown and offering 80 suite accommodations.
  • Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 California Street, +1 303-297-1300 (toll-free: 1-800-228-9290, fax: +1 303-298-7474).
  • Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 South Syracuse, +1 303-779-1100 (fax: +1 303-740-2523).
  • Embassy Suites - Downtown, 1881 Curtis St., An all-suite, full service hotel.
  • Hotel Monaco, 1717 Champa Street, +1 303-296-1717.
  • The Inverness Hotel & Conference Center, 200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood, 1-800-832-9053, Luxury resort with golf, spa, dining, conference, and wedding facilities.
  • The Oxford Hotel, The historic hotel provides a romantic retreat located in the midst of Denver’s lively LoDo district.
  • JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek, 150 Clayton Lane, +1 303-316-2700 (fax: +1 303-316-4697).
  • Loews Denver Hotel 4150 East Mississippi Ave., +1 303-782-9300.
  • Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street, +1 303-399-7500 (fax: +1 303-321-1966).
  • Summerfield Suites Hotel by Wyndham, 9280 East Costilla Avenue, +1 303-706-1945. Within Denver Tech Center's corporate park and just a short drive from the Rocky Mountains' finest resort cities.
  • Wyndham Denver Tech Center Hotel, 7675 East Union Avenue, +1 303-770-4200. In the heart of Denver's most prestigious business center.


Wireless Internet

  • 16th Street Mall, Free Wifi along the pedestrian 16th Street Mall in the heart of Downtown.
  • Cherry Creek North, Entire area has free WiFi provided by the Cherry Creek North Business District.
  • Common Grounds, 3484 W 32nd Ave, +1 303-458-5248 or 1601 17th St, +1 303-296-9248. Both locations in the West Highlads and LoDo neighborhoods respectively, offer wireless Internet as well as a wide selection of coffee and coffeehouse food. The LoDo location also offers pay internet terminals.
  • Peaberry Coffee, Multiple locations. Free WiFi, but you have to ask the barrista for username and password. Use your browser to log in.
  • Paris on the Platte, 1553 Platte St, +1 303-455-2451. A funky little coffee shop down in LoDo. Good food, good art, great coffee. Free WiFi and even tables where you can plug in for power and even ethernet for those that lack wireless.
  • Panera Bread, Multiple locations. Free Wifi at most if not all locations.

Stay safe

Denver is pretty safe for a city its size. Use your common sense when traveling, particularly in downtown and some of the other inner-city neighborhoods. Denver does have a higher than usual population of homeless people, but the city has strict laws about accosting for money. In general, they are not really harming anyone. Downtown has a fairly active 24/7 population, especially in LoDo, so it's generally safe. Still, it may be a good idea to not travel alone, especially at night, and especially in some of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Unlike some larger cities, there are really no neighborhoods where one should not travel at all. Violent crime is fairly low in Denver for a such a large city. Muggings and theft are not nearly as common in Denver as other cities, but common sense dictates that you should be careful with your money and valuables. Probably the most common theft in Denver is stealing from cars, especially around busy shopping districts. Take extra care with valuables in your vehicle, and consider either keeping them in your posession or keeping them at the hotel. At the least, keep valuables out of sight in your trunk.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness is an ailment that potentially anyone can have when they visit areas with higher altitudes than they are used to, due to decreases in barometric pressure (though not oxygen content). Denver is called the Mile High City for a reason -- at an altitude of a mile above sea level, one can start to experience some of the effects of altitude sickness, though generally this condition becomes more pronounced at elevations around 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) and above. Some normal changes may occur when people travel to higher altitudes that are not altitude sickness. These include:

  • Hyperventilation (breathing faster, and/or deeper than normal)
  • Shortness of breath after exertion
  • Changes in nightly breathing
  • Awaking at night
  • Increased urination

The above are generally nothing to worry about, though problems with breathing may be helped by a drug called acetazolamide. If you think you may have problems, get advice from your doctor before traveling to Denver.

Some people get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which can be serious, at the higher elevations you will experience if you are touring through the Rocky Mountains. A diagnosis of AMS is usually given if a person has a headache accompanied by one of more of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite, vomiting and/or nausea
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Insomnia, difficulty sleeping

Some people liken AMS to a bad hangover or worse. It occurs because your brain tissue swells at higher elevations than it is used to. If you are feeling unwell at high altitudes assume that you are suffering from AMS unless there is another logical explanation that would be accompanied by other symptoms (food poisoning or a viral infection). To avoid AMS, try to get to a lower elevation until your symptoms subside, drink lots of fluid to avoid dehydration, and avoid traveling at high rates of ascent. If the symptoms continue or worsen, travel to a lower altitude. AMS can turn into High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), a potentially fatal condition where the brain swells so much that it ceases to function properly. Symptoms of HACE include confusion, inability to think clearly, lethargy, ataxia (walking staggerdly, as if one was drunk), and changes in behavior. The person may not recognize they have HACE, but if you or a person you are with experiences any of these symptoms (especially ataxia), they need to immediately be taken to lower elevations for medical treatment.

Another very serious condition, called High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) causes fluid in the lungs. If someone suffers chest tightness, congestion, gurgling breaths, blue or gray fingers or lips, cough producing frothy or pink liquid, and difficulty breathing even at rest, they should be taken to a lower elevation and receive medical treatment immediately.

Although not particularly common, keep in mind that these illnesses are possible, and that anyone is susceptible to them, even if you have traveled to high elevations before. For more information about AMS and related illnesses.

Another medical concern at higher elevations, particularly those in Colorado and Denver, is sunburn and skin cancer. The higher elevation means that there is less atmosphere protecting the skin from harmful solar radiation. This is especially true in Colorado, with both dry air that saps the skin of protective moisture and with the beautifully sunny days we have in the state. Colorado actually has the highest rate of skin cancer in the country, so it's always a good idea to wear a lot of high SPF sun-screen, hats, long sleeve shirts and pants. Don't think that you are protected from the sun in the winter either. The sun's rays can actually be reflected by the snow on the ground, still causing skin damage, so when in Colorado, do as the locals do, and wear sunscreen on any exposed skin surface at any time of the year.

Get out

  • Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Located in Morrison, Colorado on the western edge of Denver, is a gorgeous outdoor concert venue with amazing natural beauty that provides a great view of Denver below. The history of this concert venue is quirky and storied--from Igor Stravinsky performing the North American debut of the Rite of Spring at the park's opening in the '40s to the Jethro Tull, Grateful Dead and Phish riots of the '70s, '80s and '90s. Red Rocks was also a stop on The Beatles famous British Invasion tour of America. But if you pay and visit Red Rocks only during a concert, you are seriously cheating yourself. Visit the Rock and Roll Museum at the top of Red Rocks, eat in the restaurant, hike the red sandstone and scrub oak trails for their scenic beauty and wildlife. Do note, however, that it is illegal to climb on the rocks themselves. It is possible to book a room or stay in a campground next to the amphitheater.
  • Most travellers are likely to use Denver as a base for their forays into the neighboring mountains.
  • Boulder is a laid-back university town about 25 minutes northwest of Denver. Snow-capped mountains can be seen for miles from the town.

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