Boutique Traveler: Summer in Denver
Denver has become a go-to destination for many young travelers, as well as a home base for larger city transplants. With its staggering mountain ranges, wildflower lined hiking trails, summer water activities and socializing options, Denver has a little bit of everything for every type of traveler during the warmer seasons. While the city is more popularly known for its cold brews and outdoor lifestyle, dive a little deeper and you’ll find an emerging innovative food and beverage scene, as well as a community of diverse artists. Come for Denver’s nature, stay and explore the more boutique things the city has to offer.
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Where to stay in Denver
Set in downtown Denver, this upscale hotel is within walking distance of Coors Field and Union Station.
Life House, Lower Highlands
Refined hotel with chic rooms and a high-end restaurant in Denver's hip LoHi district.
The Ramble Hotel
A chic boutique stay in Denver's RiNo neighborhood with a theatre, Pan-Latin restaurant and lively bar.
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Things to do in Denver
Brewery Hop - Denver is known for its many craft breweries and cold hops culture. Spend a day at some of the city’s best spots, and put together your own self-paced tour. Check out places such as Dos Luces (specializing in Peruvian and Mexican lagers), Spangalang (local community spot, Black owned, and weekly trivia and live jazz music), Raíces Brewing and the classic Denver Beer Co.
Outdoor Local Hikes
The hiking options are endless in and near Denver. Head over to Coyote Song Trail, just 30 minutes south of the city center, for red rock views and a hike perfect for all athletic levels.
Summer River Tubing - Though Denver is landlocked, there are still fun options for those craving some time in the water. Head over to nearby Golden and get your thrills at Clear Creek Whitewater Park, a fairly fast paced river that runs through the Coors Brewery. Or slow it down and lazily float through the South Platte River, perfect for beginners.
Picnic in Washington Park - Grab some local treats from a nearby bakery or coffee shop, and head over to Washington Park, called Wash Park by locals. Opt for a sunny picnic, or take a leisurely walk around the 2.5 mile loop. The park is beautifully curated with local trees, three lakes and many opportunities to view the bird life (and dog life!).
Art, Music & Culture Red Rocks
Denver’s iconic music venue is the place to be during the warmer months. Check out the summer show schedule and see your favorite musicians in the most unique mountain venue with a view!
Denver Art Museum — we believe that you can’t really know a city until you learn its history and art. Beat the dry heat at Denver Art Museum, curated with Native and local western exhibitions.
Redline Contemporary Museum — Alternatively, check out Redline for local contemporary art. Redline is a nonprofit art center that focuses on local artwork and artists in order to bring about social change. They feature exhibitions that are culturally representative of Denver’s more marginalized communities. A must visit for those interested in a more authentic local art experience.
Did you know that Denver’s Juneteenth Festival is one of the largest, if not the largest, celebration in the nation? The music festival takes places in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood and has been around since the 1950s. It’s a weekend for all to come together, honor and celebrate the Black community and support local BIPOC owned businesses!
Rockies Game at Coors Field
Seeing a Rockies game at Coors Field is a fun way to get your sports fix in, for all the sport enthusiastic travelers.
A unique relaxing experience you can only find in the Mile High City! Beer Spa combines a day spa with a craft brew room, allowing guests to dip into hop infused spa waters while sipping on local beers.
Places to eat & drink in Denver
Tí Cafe - Start your day with an iced strawberry matcha latte or cafe sua (Vietnamese coffee) at this family owned coffee shop on South Broadway. Tí is a local and loved spot that infuses the family’s Vietnamese heritage with the community of Denver.
Avanti - Pop over to this food hall located in the Highlands, with the most perfect view of downtown Denver. The various food offerings allow for lunch or dinner, and you can walk around to the nearby shops and parks afterwards.
Wildflower - A favorite dinner and cocktail spot located in Lifehouse Hotels also in the Highlands. A full dining experience, with innovative cocktails, elevated entrees, and a moody vibe to match.
Safta - Israeli food at its best! Come to Safta for the freshest pitas and creamiest lebneh in the Mile High. Dinner always delivers, and on weekends they offer a brunch buffet that is sure to put you in the happiest slumber afterwards. Food and service here are top notch and never disappoints.
Esp - While Denver is known for its beer, spots have opened up that are more focused on other adult beverage varietals, such as natural wine. Come to esp for something out of the Denver ordinary. Esp takes after the listening bars in Japan, and offers a space to settle into the music and enjoy conversation amongst friends.
Death & Co - Originally an NYC cocktail bar, Death & Co now has a location at The Ramble Hotel in the middle of one of Denver’s liveliest neighborhoods, River North (or RiNo). Grab a seat for high quality cocktails before or after dinner.
Kokoni - For those interested in a more upscale experience, book a reservation at Kokoni, an omakase restaurant that fuses local Colorado produce into a Japanese and French inspired tasting menu. With dishes curated by a James Beard award winning chef, you’ll enjoy a playful selection of foods, and an experience you sure won’t forget.
Somebody People - Want a veggie friendly dining option? Come to Somebody People for innovative vegetable forward meals. Order a la carte, or let the kitchen put together a tasting menu for you and your guests. Add their delicious espresso martini to really elevate the entire experience!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Nancy McLaughlin’s guide, 3 Days in Denver, Colorado for Any Season.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Denver.