Nearly Native’s City Guide: 48 Hours in Denver, Colorado

Welcome to the Mile High City! I’m Christen, a 24 year old living in Denver, Colorado. As a recent Ohio transplant, I find the continuous sunny days and mountain views a daily treat. The outdoor lifestyle here prompted the move out west, as well as the importance placed on eco-friendly practices. I’m launching a sustainable apparel brand called Chromade Co. (@chromade.co) and knew Colorado would be a great location to build a foundation. Some people will say they moved here for the flowing craft beer. Both are valid reasons to visit! Here are my top picks for a weekend in the great city that I call home:

Friday

Your first stop is Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in the Ballpark neighborhood. This sultry and eclectic gastropub offers gourmet local food as well as a wide range of staged music entertainment all weekend – including brunch! Seats fill up fast, so make sure to reserve your Friday night table or balcony booth before arriving in Denver. Or check out other great dining options listed below. Then mosey on over to Ophelia’s for some late night cocktails and entertainment.

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(photo: @opheliasden and @nearlynative at Rebel)

Other Dinner Options:
Rebel (RiNo) small plates
Forest Room 5 (LoHi) atmosphere
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (Larimar Square) meat lovers

Saturday

Depending on your breakfast preference, or your altitude hangover, you’ll either want to refuel at ProsperOats or indulge at Habit Doughnut Dispensary. Whether you opt for “Up Beet” juice and an exercise class at City Surf, or a chocolate espresso donut infused with Baileys, no one is judging.

If you’re not attending a Red Rocks concert tonight, I highly recommend making the short drive to Morrison, Colorado to see the historic amphitheatre. Both the park and its attached Colorado Music Hall of Fame are open to the public during the day. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find this beautiful venue filled with stair climbers, yogis, and hikers enjoying the scene. If you decide to get your fitness on here, prepare to work extra hard. The altitude will have you short of breath after one flight of stairs. Definitely a bucket list item to check off.

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Back in Denver, you can’t go wrong with an afternoon in the up-and-coming RiNo (River North) Art District. Just minutes from downtown, you’ll walk along mural filled streets and find yourself in a modern industrial utopia. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, brewery hop, and shop local artisan goods.

For a midday meal, I would start at The Source or The Denver Central Market. Both spots offer a marketplace with several food options under one roof. The Denver Central Market houses 11 food vendors so you’re guaranteed to find something you’re craving! The Source has fewer options when it comes to food, but they also feature small retail shops and unique Saturday pop-ups for your shopping and gifting needs. This is the place to find those “hip” souvenirs.

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Your next stop is a short walk away to Infinite Monkey Theorem. A back alley winery that offers wine in a can and an outdoor urban garden courtyard. Their canned wine yields a higher alcohol content than standard wine, but who’s complaining? Rosé all the way.

Not into wine? Check out any of RiNo’s breweries. My favorites are Mockery, Stem Ciders, and Black Shirt Brewing Co. They are always rotating their taps and offering new brews. If you’re heading to a Red Rocks concert tonight or want to continue your brewery hop, you can find dinner at any of the food trucks lining taprooms on Saturdays. Cheap and delicious food is always a win.

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(photo: @infinite_chimp and @stemciders)

If you fancy a sit down dinner, stay in RiNo with a live jazz dinner at Nocturne. Leave the deciding up to its five course chef tastings or the wine and cocktail pairing series. End the night with dessert “encores” to dream about. Reservations are recommended.

Sunday

Like a true Denverite, start the day on two wheels with a bike rental from Denver B-cycle. Take a stroll along the Platte River Trail that winds you through downtown and dog filled parks.

Make a pit stop in the Highlands for a rooftop brunch at Linger, a converted mortuary turned trendy weekend “eatuary”. Spend your morning leisurely enjoying downtown views and “topless mimosas”. Bento Box Tacos and reservations are recommended.

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(photo: @lingerdenver)

After brunch, head over to The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver). Check out the latest exhibition of art and culture. I promise it’s not a snooze, even for you left-brainers. Sports fans might enjoy an afternoon at the baseball field watching a Colorado Rockies game instead.

Colorful Colorado has so much adventure waiting for you! While my weekend guide covers Denver, a trip to Colorado wouldn’t be complete without a hike in the Rocky Mountains. Don’t forget to bring along your favorite craft brew for a summit view cheers!

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