By Carrie Sheaffer | STC Member
Are you looking for more reasons to come to Denver for the STC Summit this year? We can give you a few! After all, there’s a lot going on in Denver these days, and there’s something for everyone. We’ve got a great economy, a great climate, and great people. We have a thriving arts and culture scene, good restaurants, and an active community.
And on top of that, Denver International Airport was recently ranked as the best large airport in the U.S. How can you beat that?
To help keep you entertained during the Summit, the Rocky Mountain Chapter is planning several events that you won’t want to miss:
- Monday Night: Dine Around
- Tuesday Night: A party option and a mellower option
- Wednesday after the Summit: Hiking in the foothills and baseball
Plus, some fun to be named later. Keep an eye out for updates and ways to sign up!
Eat Great Food
The Denver food scene is excellent, and there are a lot of options both near the hotel and further afield. Within walking distance from the hotel, you’ll find:
- 16th Street is the main downtown walking street in Denver. There are many restaurants at all price points along the strip. There is also a free bus that goes along the street, stopping at every block.
- Sam’s #3 – Diner food with generous portions, very close to the hotel. This place doesn’t take reservations.
- Larimer Square is block of shops and restaurants and a favorite evening spot, and within easy walking distance of the hotel. A few favorites:
- Euclid Hall – Good pub food from one of Denver’s premier chefs.
- Rioja – Upscale Mediterranean dishes in an elegant environment.
- Corridor 44 – Champagne bar and restaurant.
- Union Station is Denver’s historic train station, now a shopping and restaurant hub.
Tour a Brewery
Microbreweries are very popular in Colorado, and Denver is full of breweries and tasting rooms. It’s not all about beer: you can find great locally-brewed cider, as well as other spirits. And if you’re of a non-alcoholic mind, look for kombucha offerings at most breweries. You can even tour the Celestial Seasonings tea factory if that’s your thing! Here are some of our favorites:
- Coors Brewery Not a fan of microbews? Tour the Coors factory in Golden, CO!
- Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey If you are a whiskey aficionado, you might be interested in Stranahan’s whiskey. This facility is closer to downtown (but still just a car ride from the hotel).
- Walking tours. Want to try a few different places? A walking tour is your best bet. You can find some self-guided options, or there are guided options if that’s your preference. One popular area is RiNo (just a short drive from downtown), which is home to some good beer and ciders and good food. Check out Stem Ciders for cider, Epic Brewing Company for beer, and Osaka Ramen for food. These three spots are all within a few blocks of each other.
- Tap houses. Just looking for a convenient way to try various things? Look no further than a conveniently-located tap house. Freshcraft, Falling Rock, and Great Divide are all good options.
Go to a Museum
Are you a museum person? Denver has some great museums, many of them downtown and walking distance from the hotel. Standouts include:
- Denver Art Museum, famous for its vertigo-inducing architecture.
- Clyfford Still Museum, a newer addition to the Denver arts scene.
- History Colorado Center, where you can learn about Colorado, and lust over the Native American jewelry at the museum gift shop.
Interested in something a little different? Try these options:
- Molly Brown House Museum, which covers the history of the Colorado Gold Rush and unsinkable culture icon Molly Brown.
- The Denver Mint is open week days for tours.
- The Denver Capital building is also open for tours, and has a real gold-plated roof.
A little further afield are the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Zoo.
Catch Some Music
The music scene in Denver is eclectic, with Big Head Todd, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, The Fray, and many others hailing from here. If you watch to catch some music while you’re in town, here are a few places to look up:
- Dazzle is just a few blocks from the hotel, a jazz club featuring live music every night.
- Appaloosa Bar and Grill, a downtown restaurant that often features live music.
- The Paramount, a beautiful Art Deco Paramount theater, hosts not just musical acts but also speakers and comedians.
- Not within walking distance but worth looking up if you’re a music fan are the Ogden, the Bluebird, and the Walnut Room.
- You’ve probably heard of Red Rocks, one of the premier outdoor music venues in the country. May is not concert season and Red Rocks is a longer drive from downtown, but the park is open to the public on days without an event scheduled, and is beautiful any time of year. While there, you can visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, which is full of memorabilia and exhibits featuring musicians from Colorado.
See a Show
Here’s a little secret: Denver has a pretty happening performing arts scene. We have good theater options, plus symphony, ballet, and opera options. And the performing arts complex is right next to the hotel. If you want to see a show while you’re in town, here is what’s playing:
- Colorado Opera: The Marriage of Figaro
- Musical: Wicked
- Pulitzer-prize winning theater: Sweat
Coloradans love the outdoors, and the state is full of outdoor adventures, year round. If you’re ready to venture out of the city and visit the mountains, you’ll have many options. When you plan your adventure, don’t forget the altitude: Denver itself is at 5,280 feet, and mountain adventures are higher. You’ll probably fare best if you plan your adventure for after the STC Summit, and even then you’ll likely feel the effects of altitude. Drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, and don’t be surprised if you find walking uphill much harder than it is at home.
- If you want to admire some natural beauty, Rocky Mountain National Park is only about an hour and a half from Denver. The park is beautiful any time of year, and by May some trails will be passable without snowshoes. Estes Park, the mountain town nearest the park entrance, is also full of quaint shops and good restaurants.
- If you want to hike, look for trails in Golden or Evergreen. These towns are within an hour of the city and have a lot of hiking trails that should be clear by May. Ask the Rocky Mountain Chapter for recommended trails—everyone will likely have a different favorite.
- If you’re a skier, Arapahoe Basin is your best bet. Their slopes stay open longer than other resorts, but don’t expect the best snow so late in the season.