Denver will always have a place in the hearts of American cannabis enthusiasts. It’s the first large American city where the recreational use of cannabis was legalized. But this city has more to offer than just a legal high. Before your next visit, be sure to consider our list of the best things to do in Denver.
Before you start finding things to do in Denver, you’re going to want something to eat. Here are a few suggestions:
- Rye Society: Rye Society offers a taste of the east coast in the middle of the Rockies. It’s a deli, plain and simple, but quite possibly the best you’ve ever been to. Whatever your deli favorite is, be it corned beef or pastrami, you’ll remember eating it at the Rye Society.
- Smok: Of course you’re going to want to go to a restaurant called “Smok” (pronounced “smoke”). Everything here is smokey, from the brisket and burnt ends to the pulled pork and smoked fish sandwiches.
- The Wolf’s Tailor: This restaurant offers an interesting fusion of Italian and Asian cuisine. Everything on offer is insanely fresh, from the house-milled grain pasta to the vegetables grown on-site. Reservations aren’t required but are highly recommended.
Among other things to do in Denver is a feast for the eyes. Here’s where to feast yours:
- Colorado State Capitol: The gilded dome of the state capitol is worth a plane ticket by itself. The Greek-inspired capitol is an architectural marvel. If you like good design, look no further.
- Denver Botanic Gardens: Have a smoke and go walk around some of the most beautiful flowers the West has to offer. Walking tours are available, but you can also just wander on your own.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater: The Dead recorded one of their most famous live gigs here, so it’s worth checking out whether you’re catching a performance or not. Music shows are mostly held during the summer, but as the slogan goes, there’s no better place to see the stars.
Denver’s Historical Monuments
West of the Mississippi, “historical” is a relative term. But the historical attractions of Denver are the rival of anything Boston or Baltimore has to offer:
- Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception: You don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate this cathedral, built between 1902 and 1911. This French Gothic cathedral would be equally well-placed in the “Denver Sights” section.
- Elitch Theatre: This was the original site of the first zoo west of the Mississippi. It later became one of the first movie theaters in the West. The theater finally closed in 1991 but was restored in 2007.
- Sakura Square: Sakura Square is ground zero of the historic Japanese-American community in Denver. Busts of figures, including a Buddhist monk and the Colorado governor who opposed internment, sit near a gorgeous Japanese garden.
Last but not least, Denver has museums to spare:
- Denver Art Museum: The main thing about the Denver Art Museum is its diversity. No matter what kind of art you’re into, they’ve got it. Pre-Columbian, African, Spanish colonial, Asian, photography or even art celebrating the American West. The Denver Art Museum has all that and more.
- Denver Museum of Science and Nature: There’s something here for little kids, big kids and overgrown kids. Feature films play regularly and the planetarium is world-class. You can easily get lost here all day with entertaining hands-on education.
- MCA Denver: The emphasis at MCA Denver is on contemporary and modern art. Founded in 1996, it sought to give expression to contemporary art in the city. Its current location is a long way from a renovated fish market in Sakura Square.
These are some of the best things to do in Denver, but they’re by no means all the Mile High City has to offer. And hey, let’s be honest—they all go better with a little weed.