Touching down in the mile-high city of Denver, and stepping out into the bright, autumn afternoon sun, I already feel liberated.
I’m excited to discover the city of Denver, this booming metropolis nestled so perfectly beneath the Rocky Mountains, which serves as a gateway to some of the most breathtaking scenery, skiing and year-round outdoor fun that the US state of Colorado has to offer.
Pubs and Breweries: So Many Choices
In a city filled with world-class museums, parks, restaurants and entertainment, it might seem very British to head straight for the pub, but believe me when I tell you: Denver is a beer lover’s paradise!
They brew more beer in the Denver Metropolitan area than in any other city in the USA. The beer culture is relaxed, fun and innovative. Microbreweries take advantage of Colorado’s pure mountain water to produce over 200 different beers every day.
Heading for the trendy LoDo Historic District (Lower Downtown) with my Beer Trail map in hand, I find dozens of brewpubs like the Denver Beer Company, with its brilliantly adventurous, constantly changing menu. With loads of brewery tours, rooftop cafes, sports bars, restaurants and shops, Denver offers seemingly endless choices and a great vibe.
Outdoor seating at the Denver Beer Co. brewery
Super Shopping Options
Denver offers stunning and varied options for shopping. Try the high-end Cherry Creek Shopping District, with both indoor and outdoor options, and the 16th Street Mall, where you’ll find all of your favorite American brands.
An absolute must is to stop by Rockmount Ranch Wear in the LoDo district. This shop pioneered and helped popularize American Western wear across the world. They invented the famous snap shirt worn by icons such as Elvis Presley, Robert Redford, Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland. It’s still part of Rockmount’s classic, core American look as they fuse it with modern fashion.
If a unique, local shopping experience is your thing, then check out the boutique shops at Larimer Square right in the heart of downtown. You’ll find a range of high-quality and distinctive local designers offering clothing, accessories, jewelry, wine, chocolate, home goods, and salon and spa services.
Getting between Denver destinations is made even more fun by catching a Mile-High Pedicab, a modern rickshaw. The drivers often love acting as tour guides while pedaling you to your next downtown destination. Or, you can hop on a B-cycle at one of the city’s 80 bike sharing stations.
Afternoon stroll in Cherry Creek North
Links to the City's History
While Denver’s terrific art and historical museums do a great job of linking the city to its old Western roots, you’ll find living history within the walls of one of the city’s most famous and luxurious hotels, the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa on 17th Street. Guided tours are available, and you can learn about the time that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr stayed here in 1964 during the Beatles’ famed concert at the nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Even though Denver offers a world-class experience, the city’s vibe never feels invasive or pretentious. It’s a casual city, home to those who appreciate the beauty and richness of the great outdoors and unique urban offerings around them.
The dynamic Denver Art Museum
Denver International Airport (DEN) is one of the busiest airports in the USA, with nonstop and connecting flights from around the world.