Denver is a quickly growing city where the quality of life is amazing. Within a small radius of Denver, you can hike, ski/snowboard, eat, drink, live, work, and so much more. This past weekend, I got the chance to visit one of my oldest friends, who is a bad ass attorney in the city. While there, I realized a couple more of my friends lived there and got to meet up with them, as well! As I explored the city, here is a light summary for those who are thinking about visiting, or are just curious about my travels!
A quick overview…
The cost of my trip is a 3/5. Pretty comparable to other cities around the US, Denver is ranked on the higher side simply due to the activities. Snowboarding and skiing can be a bit pricey, especially if you don’t have your own gear. Luckily, my friend knows all the tips, which you can see below. But I also saved some money by crashing with my girl. (Thanks, Hayleigh!) Denver, itself, is pretty affordable. My meals were an average of $10-$15/plate; my fancy cocktails and expensive taste in liquor averaged about $14/drink.
I gave Denver a transportation rating of 2/5 because you need a car out here. If you want to go to all the little neighborhoods around the city, you’re going to have to drive. This is, also, true about all the nearby hikes and slopes. There is a train that can take you from the airport into the city, but that is pretty much all that it’s good for. I do suggest renting a car, but if you prefer, Uber and Lyft are available here.
As aforementioned, there are many things to do in this city. If you want a chill vibe, this is the city to be in. With it’s stunning views and liberating rooftop bars, everyone is pretty relaxed and laid back here (we might all know why). And you have access to clean air and the essence of the great outdoors. Not only so, Denver is home to the Nuggets, Broncos, Rockies, and Avalanches. On an artsy side, the “Mile High City” has a multitude of museums, as well. The only thing that I, personally, did not see was a big club or big “turn up” scene. Hence, I give Denver a 4/5 on the things to do spectrum.
Oh, food. You KNOW I love my food. Coming in at a 3/5, Denver is ranked as an “average” food destination spot for me. The main reason I say average, is because I did not see that much diversity in the types of food. Coming from places like Dallas, LA, and Miami, I have been able to see a bunch of cultures and foods all in one small area. Unfortunately, the diversity is a bit lacking in Denver, which transfers to the food that they have. Don’t get me wrong, they do have some cute and good restaurants out there. If you get a chance, I did make some suggestions of places below…My favorite? Death & Co. it’s an awesome little bar with a dope vibe that originally started in NYC; they recently opened up a chain in Denver, and I absolutely love it.
About the Trip
I came to do two things while on this trip: 1. Hangout with one of my best friends and 2. go snowboarding! Thus, my sleeping arrangements was sharing a bed with my bestie. (Hey! Saved me money, too. Thanks, girl!)
I got my snowboarding rentals all in order. Tip: If renting, rent your gear online at a location OUTSIDE of the mountain. It will be cheaper. I rented my board, boots, and insurance for the gear through Breeze in Frisco, which is about 15 minutes outside of Copper Mountain. For 2 days, it only cost $84. Aside from the rentals, the ski lift pass was the most expensive thing to purchase. My girl has an “Ikon Pass”, which is basically a seasonal pass; so, that allowed me to get a discount on my own pass. My pass was $134, but at some places, this can cost around $200, so be weary of that. After getting my gear and my pass, we were ready to hit the slopes! (as they say) After a full day of snowboarding/skiing, we headed back into the city, showered while heating up some Trader Joe’s samosas for a snack to hold us over before heading over to the Denver Central Market in the “RiNo” area. This restored warehouse, has a couple of good options for food—great if your group doesn’t know exactly what they want—and a really good bar, as well. Two other options that we were looking at were Denver Milk Market and Avanti, which both have a similar “food court” type concept. After catching up on life over some pizza and drinks, we walked over to Death & Co.—that bar I was telling you about earlier—, and I wish I could’ve stayed there all night! I absolutely LOVED the vibe, the aesthetic, the drinks, EVERYTHING there. Nonetheless, we had to get to bed, so that we could make it back up to the mountain bright and early the next day!
After getting a text from another one of my friends, who I completely forgot also lived in Denver, saying that he, too, would be up at Copper, we all got our gear on and headed back out to the slopes! Feeling fairly confident in my snowboarding skills (one trip every season for maybe 6 years total), I told my friends—who go out there almost every weekend—”Yes! Let’s go down some blacks.”
For those who do not know, the ski trails are ranked in difficulty by color: green being the easiest, blue for intermediate, and black for more experienced riders. My ONE RULE was “no mogul fields”. And guess what, we definitely got stuck in an entire mountain-side of moguls. See below for a picture of a mogul field, and RIP to my PB&J sandwich that was lost in the midst of me somersaulting down a couple moguls. Despite all of that, we all made it down the mountain safe and sound!!
However, on our LAST run, my friend managed to hurt her knee pretty badly on a patch of ice. So, after saying all of that, here is my advice:
Know your limits, and if you decide that you want to push your limits, get a helmet. They say that the more you prepare for something, the less likely it will happen. Plus, a concussion or brain damage is not worth it!!
Save the ski patrol’s phone number just in case you get stuck somewhere in the middle of the mountain. They typically don’t just have patrol guys going around all of the trails; so, please, make sure you save their number in case something does happen and you aren’t close to a base.
Get out of your head and just do how you feel. Sometimes, it really helps to just get out of your head. Your body knows what to do, how to move; you have to just trust yourself.
Sunday Brunch is always a MUST!! I got to meet all of my friends friends. And what better way to meet people than with $10 bottomless mimosas??! We went to a brunch spot, called Root Down. The vibe was hipster diner; the food was hipster brunch. Overall, the food was affordable and good! The lemon pound cake with butter and raspberry jam was INCREDIBLE!! And was my favorite, if you can’t tell. Here, they also have healthy options, for you health nuts around the world. From Root Down, we went to an arcade bar, 1Up, in “LoDo” before the Superbowl started.
I’M TIRED OF SEEING THE PATRIOTS IN THE SUPERBOWL (AND I’M TIRED OF THEM WINNING!!) Ugh. Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. Anyways…I ended up meeting up with another one of my friends to go bar hopping from there. And let me tell you, Denver has an immense selection of rooftop bars. Yes, they have heat lamps, for us warm weather loving normal people. After that, we ended up going over to my friend’s place, where I learned to roll a blunt! Yes. You read correctly. Let me just say that though I did not smoke, marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado…if you did want to smoke. Just saying. No judgement. Also, unlike in LA, Denver is pretty lowkey about their smoking. Yes, there are a bunch of dispensaries everywhere, but they aren’t just “aggressively in your face” like in Los Angeles. Also, although smoking/vaping is legal, they prefer you not to smoke inside the restaurants and bars and is typically frowned upon.
After a very educational lesson on Mary Jane, we headed off to Little Man’s Ice Cream. Though it isn’t Blue Bell, it’s pretty freaking cold. Again, I am one of those weird people that enjoy ice cream in the cold. But, hey! Accept me for who I am. Also, this spot has a pretty cool view of downtown.
Overall, Denver is exactly what you would think it is. And that isn’t a bad thing. Clean air, chill vibes, down to earth people, and an active lifestyle. I definitely want to come back in the Spring or Summer time, to be able to get a good hike in—and even sandboard!! Also, I would love to get out there for a music festival!! Have you been to Denver? What was your experience like?
What about ski or snowboarding? Any tips for anyone?
Thanks for joining in on my adventures!