In between the majestic snow-capped Rocky Mountains and a booming metropolis is the perfect balance of the two dynamics, and it’s called Denver, Colorado. On one hand, you have a cool, hip, and trendy urban style that lines the streets; on the other hand, you have the looming slopes and abundance of nature at your doorsteps. This 1 day Denver itinerary is a perfect mix of the outdoors and the vibrant core.
The best place to situate yourself when you’re looking for a place to stay in Denver is an area called Lower Downtown or LoDo for short.
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1 Day Denver Itinerary
From Denver’s Snooze to State Capitol
Start your morning by walking to the historic Larimer Square.
One spot I highly recommend is Snooze; not only do they serve fantastic breakfast, but they also donate 1 percent of sales to the community.
Once you’re energized and good to go, you’ll find the city’s oldest area is a great place to people-watch and window shop the many specialty stores. Eventually make your way down 15th Street and you’ll find Civic Center Park. Take a stroll here en route to the gold-domed Colorado State Capitol Building, at 200 E. Colfax Ave. A 45-minute tour will enable you to learn about the building’s artwork and architecture. At the end of the tour, make sure you climb to the top of the dome for the spectacular vistas that await you.
Art of the Indoors and Outdoors
You won’t be able to steer your eyes away from the Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway. The dominating architecture is downright impressive and worthy of photos. Even if you don’t see the expansive collection of Asian, pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Native American works, the outdoor area features interesting sculpture and an open air museum of sorts.
Before you leave, make sure you fill up again at the highly rated Palettes inside the museum. The food here is distinctive and always delicious. With the fishbowl glass perched on the second level, you’ll also get great views of the street below.
A short cab or drive away is a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the city. The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., is home to over 15,000 different plant species and more than a half-day of sights worth seeing. You’ll find a lot to view here, especially during special events. Families with kids are definitely going to love the experience, and if you’re a photographer, you’ll have plenty of good angles to shoot.
Relish Denver’s Music History and Dining
For your last stop, make a short drive to Morrison and the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway. Rich in music history, U2 filmed a music video here, and many other famous artists, such as Dave Matthews, have performed at this concert venue. Take some time to hang out and take in the views at the top of the amphitheater. If you have time, take advantage of one of the many hiking trails.
Round out the night at Root Down, 1600 W. 33rd Ave., where retro meets fine dining. If you’re looking to stay closer to your hotel, you can also consider Rioja, 1431 Larimer St., for a modern culinary delight or Panzano, 909 17th St., for a distinctive taste of Italy.
Whether you’re in town for a stopover or you’re using Denver as a gateway into the Rockies, you’ll find more than enough things to do. Adjust the itinerary according to your preferences; regardless of your interests, you’ll have a hip cosmopolitan experience even within the outdoors.
Where to Stay in Denver
Here are our favourite places to stay in Denver that you should check out!
La Quinta Inn Denver Gateway Park
“Great hotel overall- from the front desk to the cleaning crew, staff were friendly and very accommodating. Breakfast was exceptional, all facilities were pleasantly clean, comfortable and easily accessible (including the pool & spa)!” This property is affordable and located right off the I-70.
Element Denver International Airport
Located right next to the airport, this is a new and ultra-modern property with free private parking, spacious lounge, included breakfast, and shuttle to/from the airport. Element is also part of the Marriott family.
Historic Mansion Apartment
This is a historic mansion in Denver’s Historic District, Capital Hill. You’ll have access to a 1 newly renovated bedroom apartment with self check-in options, full kitchen, washer/dryer, and parking. This is a great alternative to hotels in the city.
This is a DoubleTree by Hilton property which is great for those that have Honors membership. The property has quite the whimsical and retro-vintage atmosphere with a different theme on each floor. Rooms are super cozy and clean and it’s located right in the heart of the city.
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