Denver, the capital of Colorado, is a city that offers a perfect blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. With its beautiful mountain views, diverse neighborhoods, and thriving food and drink scene, Denver is an ideal destination for a three-day getaway. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, or a history buff, there’s something for everyone in the Mile High City. In this article, we will guide you through how to spend the perfect three days in Denver, highlighting the city’s top attractions and must-visit spots.
Three Day Denver Itinerary
Arrive at Denver International Airport (DEN) and take a shuttle, taxi, or rideshare to your hotel. We recommend The Crawford Hotel, a stylish and unique hotel located inside Denver Union Station, though the Source and the Ramble are also great options. Assuming you arrive in time for breakfast, start your day with breakfast at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery known for their delicious pancakes, benedicts and breakfast cocktails.
Explore the historic Union Station, which serves as a transportation hub and also features a variety of shops and restaurants. With its beautiful architecture and historic charm, Union Station offers a unique shopping experience that includes locally owned boutiques and souvenir shops. Check out the flower shop Landfall Floral Co. and grab a quick espresso at Pigtrain Coffee Co. located inside Union Station.
For a later afternoon lunch, head to the Milk Market, a short walk from Union Station. Milk Market is an indoor food hall with a variety of vendors serving everything from sandwiches to beer and wine.
For dinner, head to Mercantile Dining & Provision, a highly acclaimed restaurant located inside Union Station. The restaurant is known for its seasonally inspired cuisine, which features locally sourced and sustainably grown ingredients. In addition to its delicious food, Mercantile also offers an extensive wine list, craft cocktails, and a cozy atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. After dinner, enjoy a drink at the Terminal Bar, a stylish and historic bar located inside Union Station.
Start your day with a breakfast at The Bindery, a modern American restaurant located in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by classic European dishes but incorporates contemporary techniques and flavors. The Bindery also has a bakery and market section, where customers can purchase freshly baked pastries and other gourmet goods.
After breakfast, take an Uber to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens, a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city with over 24 acres of gardens and exhibitions. Doors to the Botanic Gardens open at 9:00am.
For the afternoon, take a stroll around the RiNo Art District. RiNo, short for River North, is a trendy neighborhood that is definitely worth a visit. Known for its vibrant street art scene, RiNo is home to numerous murals and art installations that can be found on buildings and alleys throughout the neighborhood. RiNo is also home to a diverse range of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. We suggest lunch at Cart-Driver, a trendy spot that serves up wood-fired pizzas and Italian-inspired small plates.
For dinner, head to Brasserie Brixton, a French-inspired restaurant in the Cole neighborhood. Indulge in classic favorite dishes such as their french onion soup and streak frites, paired with a glass of wine or a craft cocktail. After dinner, catch a show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which offers a variety of theater performances throughout the year. We recommend booking tickets ahead of time to reserve your seats.
Start your day at Onefold, a popular breakfast and brunch spot that offers a unique twist on classic dishes. The restaurant’s menu features a mix of American and Asian-inspired cuisine, including items like bacon fried rice and congee. With its cozy atmosphere and friendly service, Onefold is a great choice for a relaxed and delicious breakfast or brunch experience.
After breakfast, take an Uber to the Denver Art Museum for a morning of art appreciation. Located in the heart of downtown Denver, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between the West Coast and Chicago. The museum’s extensive collection of more than 70,000 works of art ranges from pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary art installations. Visitors can easily spend hours exploring the museum’s many exhibits and galleries, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
After the museum, head for lunch at Avanti Food & Beverage, a food hall with multiple vendors serving up an eclectic array of food truck style cuisine in neatly designed shipping containers. After lunch, explore the nearby Highlands neighborhood, known for its charming architecture and trendy shops. A must-visit is Little Man Ice Cream, known for its iconic milk can-shaped structure and delicious ice cream flavors such as Salted Oreo.
For dinner, head to Uchi, a Japanese-inspired restaurant located in the RiNo neighborhood. From the moment you step into the restaurant, you’ll be struck by the contemporary and stylish decor. Uchi’s sushi bar is a popular spot, where skilled chefs prepare beautiful and delicious sushi rolls and sashimi. The dishes are designed for sharing, making it the perfect spot for a group of friends or a romantic dinner for two.
After enjoying dinner at Uchi, a great way to continue the evening in the RiNo neighborhood is to explore some of the local breweries. A few suggestions include:
Our Mutual Friend Brewing, a popular local brewery known for their creative and diverse selection of beers. The taproom features a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to unwind after dinner.
Ratio Beerworks, known for their innovative and experimental brews. Ratio is another great choice for beer enthusiasts. The industrial-chic space is a great spot to relax and try some new brews with friends.
Where to Stay
Denver has no shortage of great accommodation options, but if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, there are a few hotels worth considering:
- The Crawford Hotel, as mentioned above, is located inside Union Station. The Crawford offers a luxurious stay in a beautifully restored historic building. With its stylish rooms and easy access to shopping and dining options, the Crawford is a popular choice for visitors looking to stay in the heart of downtown Denver.
- The Source Hotel, located in the RiNo neighborhood, is another top choice for its modern and industrial design, rooftop bar, and proximity to some of Denver’s best restaurants and bars.
- The Ramble Hotel, also located in RiNo, is a boutique hotel that boasts elegant and eclectic decor inspired by 1920s Paris. With its on-site restaurant and bar and proximity to RiNo’s art and dining scene, the Ramble is an excellent choice for those seeking a unique and stylish stay in Denver.
Getting To/From the Airport
Denver International Airport (DEN) is located about 25 miles northeast of downtown Denver. A great way to get to and from the airport is by taking the A Line train, which runs directly from the airport to Union Station in downtown Denver. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft, but expect to pay about $40 or more depending upon current demand.
- “Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis” by Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel, tells the story of Denver’s transformation from a small mining town to a thriving metropolis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It covers everything from the city’s early settlement to its growth during the gold and silver rushes, the development of its infrastructure, and the challenges it faced along the way.
- “Denver: The City Beautiful and Its Architects, 1893-1941” by Thomas J. Noel, examines the city’s early 20th century architecture and urban planning. The book highlights the work of prominent architects such as Burnham and Root, Fisher and Fisher, and Temple Buell. It also explores the ideas and ideals that shaped Denver’s “City Beautiful” movement and the efforts to make Denver a more livable and beautiful city.
- “Denver: An Archaeological History” by Sarah M. Nelson, offers a fascinating look at the history of Denver from an archaeological perspective. The book explores the city’s prehistoric past and its growth from a frontier town to a modern metropolis. Nelson uncovers the layers of Denver’s past and offers insights into how the city’s history has shaped its present.
Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you buy a product or service through an affiliate link. This revenue helps us provide readers with helpful content to plan amazing adventures.