Obsessed with nature, art and history? Denver should be your next stop. Sitting at the base of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, the city boasts 300 days of sunshine and an astounding mountain-scape background. Hop off your flight at Denver International Airport and onto a train that ferries you to the beautifully restored 1914 Beaux Arts-style Denver Union Station, right in the heart of downtown. (Airline: United)
When to go
Spring in Denver is a magical time of year, with lush landscapes, freshly blooming flowers and gently melting snowy peaks.
What to do
Through July 17, visit Denver Art Museum’s exhibit ReVisión, which presents a selection of nearly 180 objects from the museum’s ancient American and Latin American collection. Jam out under the stars—and between some rocks—at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which will host a variety of musical acts this year, including Phoebe Bridgers, Ziggy and Stephen Marley and Nine Inch Nails. Beginners and experts alike can enjoy a hike at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, featuring trails of varying difficulty, but equal amounts of serene nature and beauty.
Where to stay
Travel back in time with a stay at The Brown Palace, a charming hotel offering historic interiors and architecture, afternoon tea, a boutique spa and pure artesian water straight from its own well. At the swanky Ember Hostel, enjoy the social life by spending the night in a plush, curtained bunk; relaxing in the lounge with a steaming mug of coffee; or cozying up by a courtyard fire and sharing stories with other travelers. Fun for the whole family can be found at The Curtis Hotel, where you’re welcomed by cartoons, retro toys, candy and soda, with rooms themed around pop culture treasures like Barbie, Star Trek and Ghostbusters.
Where to eat
Tacos and tequila are always on the menu at Agave Taco Bar, a quaint, rustic cantina with daily happy hour and tacos starting at only $3.50. No meat is no problem at Watercourse, a plant-based downtown restaurant dishing up riffs on comfort foods like chicken and waffles and Cuban sandwiches. Then take a load off and enjoy one of more than 700 whiskies at Seven Grand—and maybe even play a round of pool while you’re there.
A few other recommendations...
A book to pack
The Poet by Michael Connelly. When his brother ends up dead from an apparent suicide, Denver crime reporter Jack McEvoy finds himself traveling down a path laced with poetic clues that may reveal a darker truth.
A record to put on
Yours Conditionally by Tennis. The husband-and-wife duo behind this popular soft rock group met at the University of Colorado Denver before launching their music career.
A movie to watch
A Dog’s Way Home. Journey from the New Mexico desert to Denver with Bella, a lovable pitbull pup, as she sets out to reunite with her owner.