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With a backdrop of the incredible Red Rocks and endless mountains, Denver is an outdoor lover’s dream. There are rapid waters to raft through, scenic road trips to take and vibrant organic food to try. Famous for its designer skiing destinations like Aspen and Vail, Colorado is no wallflower when it comes to showing off its assets in every season. And why would it be? With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado has every reason to shine. From downtown city tours to mountain hikes, spring and summer in Colorado offer a bounty of activities for locals and tourists alike. So whether you’re visiting for a breath of fresh mountain air, or looking to make a permanent move to one of the country’s fastest-growing destinations, Denver offers plenty of memorable experiences.

On a sunny Friday in late June, my smile widened as the gorgeous Colorado mountains came into view. My Delta flight landed smoothly, and soon I was in the cool, evening air of downtown Denver. I met friends at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a local favorite with delicious Southern food and a covered rooftop patio. I had never been to Colorado in warm weather before and already loved it as much as I do come ski season. The streets are clean, everyone and their dogs are outdoors, and daily life has a natural ease to it.

After calling the night early, I awoke on Saturday morning bright-eyed and ready for coffee. One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to establish a morning coffee spot for the duration of my trip. Even if it’s only a weekend getaway, this simple habit has allowed me to observe my temporary environment as if I truly lived there. Talking to the same barista, seeing the same shuffle of the crowd, it really creates a grounding sense of wherever you may be at the time.

A short walk from the two-story apartment I was staying at in the up-and-coming LoHi neighborhood is Black Eye Coffee. Featuring roll-up garage doors, brick walls and industrial-style seating, Black Eye Coffee serves up house-roasted beans and light bites for laid-back customers. I had an iced, almond-milk coffee and dense chocolate chip cookie before continuing on a neighborhood stroll. With a kombucha bar, American Cultures, in the area, and easy access to great restaurants and bars, LoHi is a great alternative to staying downtown.