If you don’t know anything about Denver, you may assume that its first permanent structure was something like a bank or church. You’d be wrong - it was a saloon, possibly setting the city up to be one of the U.S.’s coolest in 2016.
Denver brews more beer than any other U.S. city. Coors Brewery in Golden, which is close to the city, is the largest brewing site in the world. There are also tons of boutique microbreweries, brewpubs and taprooms throughout Denver, particularly in the downtown and metro areas. There are upwards of 200 different beers brewed there daily, including everything from IPAs to sours.
Head from the German Prost Brewing Company to the English Hogshead. If you love heavy music, don’t miss TRVE Brewing Company. It’s easy to pop from one spot to the next, whether you’re on foot or out for a stroll. You can even download a Beer Trail map for free.
Every autumn, partake in the Denver Beer Fest, which is nine days that are packed with local brews. You should also attend the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place after the Beer Fest, including 3,000 beers from throughout the country.
Even if you don’t love beer, it's still a very cool city, particularly amongst the young 30-something professional crowd. It’s an ideal place to live if you love being active and outside. It’s also a great location for culture, with plenty of art museums in the area, like the Clifford Still.
Union Station is a must-see. While it’s 135 years old, it was renovated in 2014 into what’s now a buzzing city hub. It’s also the main focus of lower downtown, which is affectionately called LoDo. The Union Station renovation helped the area to become a bonafide entertainment and retail hub. The station’s atrium is surrounded by breakfast spots, bars and boutiques. Head to the Terminal Bar, which was once the ticket windows, for drinks. If you need a place to spend the night, book a room at the Crawford Hotel. Other popular hotels include ART, The Curtis and The Oxford Hotel, which goes all the way back to the late 1800s.
A favorite pastime of Denver residents is cycling through their city. The city has approximately 85 miles of bike trails that run throughout the city, plus a bike-sharing program with over 80 states. One of the best places to visit by bike is River North, dubbed RiNo, an especially funky eighborhood. For a late brunch, head to Lower Highlands, referred to as LoHi. You won’t be at a lack for restaurants to choose from, since the city has more than 2,000 in total.
If you want to be entertained for a night, check out what’s happening at the Center for Performing Arts. Catch a musical or cabaret show. For live music, get tickets to a performance at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Every November, attend the Film Festival and choose from their over 250 films.