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Denver and the Surrounding Area in 5 Days

Guest post by kblachman

Map tips: Each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

My husband and I took this trip for our honeymoon in October. We experienced each season that Denver has to offer–from 85 and sunny to 23 and snowing–all within one week! No matter the weather, there were amazing activities and sites to see.

Day 1: Getting to Estes Park

After landing in Denver around 6PM, we rented a car to drive up to Estes Park–all wheel drive is a must for going up into the mountains!

Once at the Stanley Hotel, we enjoyed cocktails at the fabulous on-site whiskey bar before turning in for the evening.

Day 2: Rocky Mountain National Park

We started our day off with breakfast at the on-site Cascades Restaurant & Lounge. The scenery is very peaceful and the food was delicious!

After stocking up on snacks at the Safeway, we entered Rocky Mountain National Park. While we originally planned on the scenic Old Fall River Road drive, we learned that it had just closed for the season. Instead, we did the Trail Ridge Road scenic loop. We drove up to an altitude above the tree line at almost 13,000 feet. I highly recommend bringing a hat and winter coat if you intend to get out of your car. The views were amazing and there are several places to stop your car to get out and explore.

In the late afternoon, we returned to downtown Estes and ate at Ed’s Cantina & Grill. They had the best homemade peanut butter pie!

We rounded out the day with a night/ghost tour of The Stanley where we got to hear about the history of the hotel and some of its most notable ghostly residents.

Day 3: Boulder

  • The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
  • Lions Lair And Sunshine Canyon Trails
  • Ratio Beerworks

After saying goodbye to The Stanley, we headed toward Boulder. In Boulder, we did a bit of exploring downtown and then went on a gorgeous (and strenuous!) hike at the Lions Lair and Sunshine Canyon Trails. Definitely bring lots of water for this hike!

We had a late lunch at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. The food was excellent, with a wide variety of vegetarian-friendly options. The atmosphere is beautiful and very serene–definitely not your average “creepy doll” teahouse.

After lunch, we made our way toward Denver. When we arrived it was 85 and sunny. We visited Ratio Beerworks (a local microbrewery) for about an hour, and by the time we left, a storm had kicked up and the temperatures were quickly dropping. By the time we got back to our hotel, it was a blustery 32!

Day 4

  • Snooze an A.M. Eatery
  • Denver Aquarium
  • Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
  • Linger

For this cold and snowy day, we kept our outdoor activities to a minimum. Having parked the car at the hotel, we mostly walked and ubered around the city to do a lot of fun indoor activities. Stranahan’s was definitely a must-visit for any whiskey fans. The staff were super friendly and bought drinks to celebrate our honeymoon. If you go there, be sure to go on one of the guided tours!

Day 5: Denver

  • Denver Cat Company
  • Vital Root
  • Union Station
  • Otra Vez Cantina
  • Tattered Cover Book Store Colfax
  • Milkbox Ice Creamery

The day started with a trip to visit furry friends at the cat cafe. It’s very relaxed there, with people working, drinking coffee, and hanging out with some of the cutest felines in town.

Just a hop skip and jump away is Vital Root, one of the best vegan cafes I’ve ever been to (although it’s a bit pricey). This was probably my favorite meal of the trip–vegan banh mi tacos with Impossible meat.

Since it was warming up, we decided to walk up 16th street mall, a pedestrian walkway with lots of stores and eateries. We walked to Union Station and had boozy milkshakes at Milkbox Ice Creamery.

As book lovers, we of course had to make a stop at Tatter Cover Book Store.

We ended the evening with a nice meal at Otra Vez Cantina.

Denver is the perfect place to visit for anyone who would like a mixture of nature and city activities.

Traveled in October 2019

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