I’m no stranger to Denver, in fact aside from my hometown of Austin, Texas… I’m pretty sure I’ve been to Denver the second most. That says a lot. I have an affinity for the Mile High city and no it’s not just because you can get high there legally, although that helps!
I recently planned a little ski trip to Vail, but ended up staying in Denver for about a day and figured I would share my play by play in case you find yourself in Denver for less than 24 hours and want to hit up some of the spots I checked out ✌️
6 AM: We flew out of Austin at 6am on the nonstop flight from Austin -> Denver landing us in the 303 at 7:40am. Yes, I am that person who takes early flights. I enjoy being able to have a whole day in the city. And as such, I plan accordingly.
9:30 AM: Denver recently got it’s first SoulCycle, can you believe it?! It’s 3 months old and in one of my favorite Denver neighborhoods, Cherry Creek. The studio itself is actually one of the bigger ones I’ve ridden in, but be forewarned their layout is a little chaotic at times with people transitioning from class to class. We took Dylan’s 60 min Soul Survivor class which is 15 min longer than a regular SoulCycle class. It was a great class and a great way to wake us up after our early morning flight. That and my travel buddy Maureen are SoulCycle fans and love spinning in new cities so this was a good one to cross off the list.
11 AM: Post spin I asked Maureen to detour me to one of my favorite dispensaries* in Denver. It’s called Lightshade and I’m particularly fond of it because they sell pre rolled mini joints, which actually pack quite the punch and if you’re only in town a few days a great way to smoke flower without lighting up a whole fatty J if ya know what I mean. Other products I picked up were 1908 THC peanut butter cups, WANA disposable vapes, some mini J’s, and some micro dosed mints which are actually really discrete to consume! (*linking to my full Denver dispensary map)
12:30 AM We were famished after our SoulCycle ride and ya know, I was getting hungry from the previous stop 🙂 So we made a point to go visit one of Denver’s food hauls that I hadn’t visited yet called Avanti. There are 7 food establishments and a beautiful full bar. If you’ve ever been to Austin, it’s similar to our Fareground food hall. We were there with a purpose though. The Rotary was recommended to me by my sister Sydney who was recently in Denver. She knew I wanted a healthy spot and The Rotary did not let me down. WOOF. What a spread, I couldn’t even pick just one thing I liked because I loved it all. The salad topped with rotisserie chicken is what I would order if I lived in Denver, but you can’t go wrong with their grilled veggies, or even a heaping order of their house made potato chips. Which are drizzled with fresh lemon and lots of parmesan cheese!
2 PM: Downtown Denver is such a hub, there is actually a really cute little district called Larimer Square that I enjoy dining and drinking around. So we knew we wanted to be near there and luckily The Curtis (A Doubletree Hilton hotel) was just the spot to be our HQ while we were in the city. We were 3 walkable blocks from Larimer Square and had plenty of other nice amenities in the hotel like a warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival, and the decor was really fun and retro which only reinforces their motto for you to “Stay Happy”. Every floor had a different theme and we happened to be on the Speed Racer themed floor. Also because I really do have a need for speed! It was THE perfect place for us to enjoy the city and also crash before leaving for the mountains bright and early. PS: The Curtis totally has a parking lot for self park or valet on the property which was a plus. Some hotels in the city use a separate lot having you lug your stuff too and from if you’re using your car. But I appreciated that there was easy access to a garage!
4:00 PM: Dessert time! I’ve become quite fond of finding vegan ice cream spots, and last time I was in town I went straight to High Point Creamery, so I had to make a trip to visit them once more this trip. And to share the greatness with Maureen too of course. They have every kind of flavor under the sun and then some. Dairy and DF alike. So don’t feel like you *have* to have vegan ice cream. This time we went with their ice cream flight, it’s 5 scoops of any flavor combination, a cup of either chocolate sauce or caramel sauce (team chocolate), and 2 waffle chips! The flavors rotate so I won’t recount what we had per say, but it was all so good and oh so perfect for an in between savory meals snack! We also went to the one in Denver Central Market which houses a few other food vendors and is Denvers OTHER food hall. Another favorite of mine, I also snagged some chocolate and a few baked goods from neighbors nearby Tember Chocolates and Izzio Bakery.
5:30 PM: We had a tight schedule and another spot I wanted to make sure I crossed off the list was El Five from one of my favorite Denver hospitality groups Edible Joint– who also own Linger another top choice! El Five was spectacular, and has KILLER views of the Denver skyline and mountain tops. We arrived just in time for sunset and they even sat us at what I’ll dub “the best seat in the house”. The menu was tapas style and full of middle eastern influenced dishes. Some do not miss were: The Turkish Pizza and The cheese plate, called Quesos, actually was quite good (yes, I indulged and ate all of the cheese #vacationbod). I can’t rave about this place enough, so just please do yourself a favor no matter HOW long you’re in Denver for and go here!
8:00 PM: Ended our evening with a few drinks with a local friend of mine in the Larimer Square district. We went to Tamayo a tequila bar (because HEEEY TEQUILA!) and they had quite the selection. At that point in the night I could no longer fit food in my body so liquor it was. And thank God they were a few blocks from our hotel The Curtis, so I could just stumble home and straight into bed.