Three days in Denver. What to do?

Hello Dope.

This coming weekend my wife and I will be in Denver. We’re flying in Friday night and leaving Tuesday morning. Saturday morning is already planned for (our voice teacher lives in Denver; we take our lessons by Skype, but are finally meeting the woman in person on Saturday), which leaves us with a nice chunk of time to do whatever. We have several friends in the area who will undoubtedly take us around to places, but I thought I would ask here for ideas too.

Local restaurant recommendations and the like are welcome, but we’re really looking for more in-depth local/cultural type things. Ideally within an hour or so of the city.

Thanks in advance!

LoDo or the Cherry Street area has lots of varied things to do, shops to see, bars in which to imbibe…

Take the bus out to Boulder (does it still go that far?)

Real nice museums and galleries in Denver.

Drive up to Fort Collins and get annoyed at the traffic downtown.

COLFAX! (if you’re into that kind of thing…)

Alive or dead?

In nearby Loveland:

Verboten Brewing

“The brewery is located in the heart of Loveland on 1550 Taurus Court. The brewery and taproom are across the street from local distiller, Dancing Pines Distillery.”

We’ll have a car, so driving to Boulder is easy enough. Looks like it’s actually closer to where we’re staying (Golden) than the airport is. What should we do in Boulder?

I’ve got enough annoying traffic at home, thank you very much.

Either way.

In Boulder, walk the Pearl Street Mall. Lots of varied stuff there. The drive up (or back) has some nice areas to view.

Tour the Coors Brewery while in Golden. Blackhawk still has casinos, right?

Lots of nice photo ops near where you are, esp if you like scenics. Just drive for 45 minutes out and then back.

A little further out, the Poudre River canyon is pretty, as is the Thompson River canyon. Little shops exist, too on their river following highways. Pies, curios, handmade jewelry…

You’re not TOO far from Rocky Mountain National Park or the Stanley Hotel. (Here’s Johnny!)

A week would work better than 3 days for all this.

I’ve been told that the Coors tour isn’t worth the time. We live in St. Louis; I can’t imagine it compares to the Anheuser-Busch tour.

We’ll probable take some time to drive around and look at pretty places. That is one thing we lack around here.

Alas, three days is all we’ve got. Have to get back to work, you know.

Thanks for the suggestions!

A short drive will take you to Morrison and the Red Rocks amphitheatre. It’s lovely and a few minutes to tour through the information area is well worth it. The town of Morrison is quaint, quirky and wonderful, too. Weather permitting, you can eat on the rooftop of the local Italian restaurant (sorry the name escapes me at the moment, but it’s a tiny town, you can’t help but find it.

Another quick trip is Idaho Springs. Genuine mountain mining town built into the side of the mountains. It looks like the scene from a western movie. Tommyknockers Brewery is there (it’s not a trip to Colorado without a trip to a craft brewery). You can grab lunch there and watch the brewery activities through glass wall that separates the restaurant from the brewery. There is also a gold mine you can tour and a hot springs you can visit. The antique stores there are worth a look.

In the city, don’t miss the Art Museum. The architecture of the building itself is a treat and they have a very respectable collection of art. The Clyfford Still museum is in the same area and houses a comprehensive collection of the artist’s work. Google him if you don’t know the name and if his work appeals to you, stop in for a look.

A fun dinner experience in downtown Denver is the Buckhorn Exchange. It’s Denver’s oldest restaurant and specializes in local game. If you’re not an adventurous eater, try the bison. The decor is one-of-a-kind. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you about it.

Casa Bonita is a waste of time with horrible food. Don’t let anyone talk you into it. Same with the Buffalo Bill gravesite, without the horrible food.

You might want to grab a drink at the Brown Palace Hotel downtown. If you are familiar with the name the Unsinkable Molly Brown, it’s her namesake. Supposedly the bar area is haunted. You might be fortunate enough to catch one of its ghosts. :slight_smile:

Hope you enjoy your trip. Denver is pretty great.

I figured I’d be too late to make this joke. I was correct.

Unfortunately, that’s all that I had to contribute to the discussion here…the closest I’ve been to Denver is when I was in Aspen a few years ago. Technically I guess I was a few miles closer when we drove up the road to the Continental Divide at Independence Pass.

It’s a pretty typical big city. It can acomodate many interests. The 16th Street Mall and surrounding area is touristy, foodie, adult beverage-y. There is the theater district and museums. There is a botanical gardens, a zoo, and an aquarium, if you are into that kind of thing. We also have the Denver mint which does a tour.

For sports, the Avs (hockey), the Mammoth (indoor or box lacrosse) and the Nuggets (NBA) are in season though the Avs and Nuggets not very good this year, but the Mammoth are.

The mountains are a great time for day trip with Blackhawk and Central City for the gamblers and Glenwood Springs for a nice getaway.

There are shopping malls (Cherry Creek Mall(which is close to a nice arty/foodie district) and the Park Meadows Mall (suburban rich kids mall)).

There are The Gothic, The Bluebird, The Fillmore and The Ogden theaters for live local-ish smaller venue concerts. Jazz at Jakes on the 16th Street Mall for live jazz.

Those are off the top of my head. If there are specific ideas, I’m sure I can come up wiht something.

Glenwood Springs looks a little out of the way. We’d be spending five hours in the car. I’m sure it’s a lovely drive, but I think we’d rather be doing things than driving around.

Just noticed it on the map: Leadville is a little intriguing just because of the operatic connection, but I’m not sure there’s actually anything to do there.

Nightlife-y things are good, although we’re on a budget what with tax time coming up. We probably won’t do any concerts, but jazz clubs might be fun.

Westword is the local alternative paper wioth a good directory of waht’s going on the local area and where things are.

Seconded. If you like meat, you will not be disappointed!

City Park. The Zoo is on the north side (although I found it a bit depressing. The enclosures are so small and both the bears and the elephants looked seriously depressed.) The Museum of Nature and Science (?) is on the East side. Hell, just walk around the lake in the park, it’s beautiful with downtown and the mountains as a backdrop.

At a minimum, ride the free bus the length of the 16th street mall. I guarantee at some point you’ll want to get off and walk around a bit.

Just a heads up. If you do a day trip up in the mountains, and are planning on taking I-70, it can get very crowded on weekends because of skiers. Going back down on a Sunday afternoon can be a nightmare.

enipla, that’s an excellent point.

OP, I think you’d enjoy Leadville. It’s much more interesting than you might think on first impression. There is a college there and a decent amount of cultural activities. But…I wouldn’t advise going up there at this time of year. It is the highest elevation continuously inhabited town in North America. Which is great, but you can easily get stranded by a mountain snow dump this time of year. Not at all good when you are on a tight schedule. Come back in the summer for Leadville. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the heads-up, enipla. maybe save the day trip for Monday. And, obviously, I should keep an eye on the weather.

What he said. The traffic downtown in Denver is a hassle, but I like to do the used bookstores. And I can kill a whole day just doin’ Estes Park, although it’s a bit of a drive. But the Pearl Street Mall is another fun place to kill a day or so, if the weather is good.

Since you’ll be staying in Golden, an alternative route is Hwy. 70 (not the interstate) leading to Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which has some spectacular views of the Continental Divide.