Oxford Hotel // We normally recommend staying in accommodations away from train stations, but the Oxford Hotel is an exception. As Denver’s most historic hotel, the Oxford is located in the bustling neighborhood of Lower Downtown, LoDo. Its prime location makes for convenient dining, shopping and exploring. This is the perfect hotel to stay at if you won’t have a car. Each of the guest rooms incorporates historic elements (hello, claw foot tub), with the rest of the property combining elements that provide the luxuriant feeling of old and new. Depending on the time of year, you can find rates from $150 a night.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot // This local favorite features a covered rooftop patio and serves up Southern food. The pork wings with a beer or whiskey is just the thing to get here while kicking back with friends and planning highlights for the rest of the weekend. There’s a lively happy hour and nighttime crowd, so if you’re looking to have an energetic night with a side of comfort food, this is the spot.
Williams & Graham // When you enter the bookstore front of this alluring speakeasy, the attendant scrawls your name on a card and then files it away in a drawer. Moments later, the bookcase on the left opens and a different attendant greets you by name, whisking you down the short hallway to a dark, snug bar. There are booths along the wall and tables to stand at. The artisanal cocktails from the weathered menu all sound delicious. I highly recommend the Corn on the Macabre. For food, you can’t go wrong with the mac & cheese or roasted bone marrow. This unique watering hole is the perfect way to end a night in Denver.
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. An iced, almond-milk coffee and dense chocolate chip cookie makes for the perfect breakfast or snack before continuing on a neighborhood stroll.
Boulder // The drive from Denver to Boulder is only 30 minutes, and it’s definitely worth the drive if you’re looking to round out your ideal weekend in Denver. The main street is full of beauty and style. It feels akin to New York’s West Village with its cute independent bookstores and boutique shops. Not to mention, the mountains in the background make for a perfect photograph at any vantage point. If you’re only staying for an hour or two, buy some sweet bakery treats and slowly meander the side streets.
Taste of Denver Food Tour // The 3-hour guided tour will immerse you in Denver’s history and top city eats. Comprised of six tastings, ranging from succulent ribs to heavenly ice cream, you will experience the very best of Denver’s culinary scene. You will learn the history of Larimer Square, Union Station and the Oxford Hotel. For $60 a person, this is definitely a worthwhile (and tasty) afternoon activity.
Stir Cooking School // In the up-and-coming LoHi district, Stir is an open, colorful and inviting cooking school. If you have an evening flight home, this is the perfect way to end the weekend, as you will learn something handy while having fun eating and drinking with new friends. The $75 price tag gets you a 3-hour class, plus leftovers (perfect for a plane snack!) There are many different types of classes to choose from, from backyard barbecue to French wines and cheeses. There are several spacious cooking stations for students and a larger demo kitchen towards the back. The classes are intimate, ours was a cozy seven, and there is a lively bartender serving drinks that are best sipped on the porch outside. Stir Cooking School is an ideal itinerary add-on to your Denver vacation.