The Perfect Day in Denver: A Complete Itinerary

a day in Denver

The Perfect Day in Denver: A Complete Itinerary

Wondering what to do with a day in Denver? You’re in the right place!

Denver, Colorado, also referred to as the ‘Mile High City,’ is a remarkable city where urban elegance meets natural beauty. It’s easy to spend days, weeks, or even months exploring Denver. But we’ll share how to spend a day in Denver and experience its greatness in 24 hours.

From delicious food and vibrant culture to picturesque scenery and fun activities for everyone, Denver offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you’re looking to take a day trip or enjoy a staycation, it’s easy to have a memorable day!

Let’s look at what to do in Denver for a day, how to get around, where to stay, and other tips.

How Can I Spend 1 Day in Denver?

An incredible day in Denver includes excellent food, culture, scenery, and relaxation.

Here’s a quick list of your 1 day Denver itinerary. Then, we’ll share all the details with our top tips for an amazing day below, plus other activity ideas.

  • Have breakfast and check out Union Station. (1-2 hrs)
  • Hang out at Confluence Park. (~1 hrs)
  • Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. (~1 hr)
  • Grab lunch and explore River North Art District (RiNo). (2-3 hrs)
  • Relax and enjoy local beer at The Beer Spa. (~2 hrs or less)
  • Enjoy dinner and a night out in Uptown. (the rest of your evening)

Coming to Denver with your love? Check out this article for unique date ideas in Denver.

Larimer Girl & Boy Mural at 2732 Larimer St.
Larimer Girl & Boy Mural at 2732 Larimer St.

Morning: Brunch & Lower Downtown (LoDo)

What better way to start your day in Denver than by exploring its oldest neighborhood, LoDo? LoDo is a buzzing neighborhood that’s filled with stylish shops and restaurants. You can also find Victorian architecture and local events.

Tip: LoDo is very walkable. So you can take a train or drive to and park in the area, then walk around to explore.

A few excellent Denver brunch spots in LoDo are Snooze, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, and Whole Sol. After grabbing brunch, walk around and discover what makes LoDo so unique!

Check out Union Station.

After brunch, we recommend walking over to check out Denver Union Station, a historic train station.

You can also have brunch at Union Station. It’s filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s also home to one of the largest bookstores in the US, Tattered Cover Bookstore.

Union Station is known as ‘Denver’s living room,’ and it’s the ideal place to get an authentic feel of Denver’s vibrant energy!

Allow: 1-2 hours for brunch and spending time at Union Station

Hang out at Confluence Park.

Half a mile from Union Station is a peaceful outdoor space, Confluence Park. It’s situated where Cherry Creek and the South Platte River meet in LoDo.

At Confluence Park, you can find miles of walking paths, places to sit and relax, and views of the Mile High City.

If you’re looking to ride some scooters around, Confluence Park is the perfect place for it. You can rent scooters from the Lyft Rideshare App!

Allow: 1 hour to check out Confluence Park

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.

After hanging out at the park, take a short walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

We love this Denver art museum because it displays a diverse collection of unique, contemporary art. In fact, it’s the first dedicated home for contemporary art in Denver. 

Allow: 1 hour to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art

You might also be interested in reading: Top 10 Things to Do in Denver [The Ultimate Bucket List]

Afternoon: Lunch, River North Art District (RiNo), & Spa

For the afternoon of your awesome day in Denver, grab some lunch, explore RiNo, and relax at the spa.

We recommend enjoying lunch before you leave LoDo or checking out one of the great Denver lunch spots in RiNo: Cart-Driver, Park Burger, or RiNo Beer Garden.

Explore River North Art District (RiNo).

There’s something for everyone to see and do in RiNo! You can find art galleries, brewpubs, cocktail lounges, and many Instagrammable murals.

We definitely suggest taking a self-guided tour or joining a guided tour for the best of RiNo and street art.

Allow: 2-3 hours to have lunch explore RiNo.

Relax and enjoy local beer at The Beer Spa.

After you’ve explored Denver, you’ll probably be ready to relax! And, The Beer Spa in Denver, just a mile and a half from RiNo, is the perfect place for it.

The Beer Spa is a unique, award-winning day spa that offers a craft beer (and other beverages!) taproom and spa in a cozy oasis.

Unwind with a tasty beverage (beer, wine, cider, and more) in hand while enjoying a spa treatment alone, with friends, or with your significant other.

Check out spa services and book an appointment here! You can also simply walk in to relax in a Zero Gravity Massage chair and/or hang out in the taproom.

Allow: 2 hours to relax at The Beer Spa (or half an hour to just enjoy a beverage or Zero Gravity Massage)

Beer Bath Hydrotherapy at The Beer Spa
Beer Bath Hydrotherapy at The Beer Spa


You might also be interested in reading:
13 Amazing Spa Benefits: Why You Should Book a Spa Day

Evening: Uptown for Dinner & a Night Out

Finish up your incredible one day in Denver with a memorable dinner and night out. While there are many places to spend an evening in Denver, we recommend checking out Uptown. 

About a mile and a half from The Beer Spa is Uptown, or North Capitol Hill. This bustling neighborhood boasts eclectic restaurants, cocktail lounges, casual dive bars, and performance venues – everything you need for an epic night out in Denver!

Some of the best Denver dinner spots are in Uptown on Restaurant Row, a stretch along 17th Ave. A few spots locals and travelers love dining at include Humboldt Kitchen + Bar, Pho & Bar, and Stoney’s Uptown Joint.

If you’re looking to have a fun night out in Denver, Uptown is home to several performing arts centers, including the eclectic Curious Theatre Company. Retrograde is also a cool cocktail bar worth a visit! 

Allow: the rest of your day for having dinner and a night out in Uptown!

Tips for the Perfect Day in Denver

It’s easy to enjoy a day in The Mile High City, but here are some top tips to make the most of your experience. We’ll also share other activities you can include in your one-day in Denver itinerary. 

a day in denver

Other Things to Do in Denver

If you’re looking to customize your one-day Denver itinerary, here are other noteworthy things to see and do:

  • City Park: a large, tranquil green space with picnic areas, playgrounds, lake, trails, and sports courts; also home to the Denver Zoo.
  • Four-Mile Historic Park: a 12-acre historical park with a museum and barn.
  • Microbrew Tour: a guided tour by Denver Microbrew Tour that takes you on an adventure to taste craft beer, explore street art, and learn local history.
  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater: a historic concert venue, park, and amphitheater situated in a breathtaking rock structure.
  • 16th Street Mall: a mile-long promenade where you can shop, dine, and enjoy local attractions.
  • Colorado State Capitol Building: open for tours Monday-Friday.
  • Denver Milk Market: a vibrant venue that features local vendors for take-away or eat-in dining.
  • Denver Beer Trail: a map of breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms in the metro area.

When to Visit Denver

Most people enjoy Denver in summer most.

But if we’re being honest, Denver is worth a visit any time of year! With that said, different times of the year offer various experiences. 

Denver’s peak travel season is during summer between June and August. The weather is incredible, and there are tons of activities to enjoy. Keep in mind that this is when you’ll find more people and higher prices in Denver.

Spring and fall also offer pleasant weather but fewer crowds. Many people love visiting Denver in the fall to see the beautiful sight of autumn colors, whereas others appreciate blossoming flowers and local events in spring.

Winters in Denver also offer an unforgettable experience. While the weather is frigid and you can expect to see snow, there are endless winter activities and events to appreciate. 

How to Get Around Denver

To add to just how great Denver is, getting around the city is easy, and there are a lot of options for transportation. The most common ways to get around are by foot, public transportation, car, and rideshare services.

If you have a day in Denver with a layover, you can take the rail from the Denver International Airport to Downtown Denver, then explore on foot.

In fact, many areas in Denver are very pedestrian-friendly. These include stops on your one day in Denver: Lower Downtown (LoDo), River North Art District (RiNo), and Uptown. You can also rent electric bikes or scooters

For affordable travel to different areas of the city, check out Denver’s public transportation system. Hop on the light rail or bus to get to your destination, including to and from the airport.

If you want to get around Denver by car, you’re in luck because it’s a very drivable city. You can also use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.

Where to Stay

Denver has many excellent places to stay if you’re looking to spend the night after your day in Denver. There are accommodations for all kinds of travelers, from hotels and inns to hostels and vacation rentals. 

When visiting Denver, our favorite places to stay are The Crawford Hotel and the Halcyon Hotel.

The Crawford Hotel is conveniently located in downtown Denver above Union Station and close to trendy dining and shopping experiences.

Meanwhile, the Halcyon Hotel is situated in the center of Cherry Grove’s shopping district and offers a cozy home base and rooftop deck pool.

If you’re looking for an upscale hotel with a luxurious spa, The Brown Palace Hotel is a great option. This elegant hotel and spa feature unique decor. They also offer various packages to make your stay in Denver convenient.

How Can I Spend a Few Hours in Denver?

If you don’t have an entire day to spend in Denver, visiting Union Station and The Beer Spa is the perfect way to make the most of a few hours.

We recommend visiting the historic Denver Union Station for a bite to eat, some shopping, and a vibe unlike any other.

Then, enjoy the ultimate relaxation experience at The Beer Spa. The Beer Spa is the only spa of its kind where guests can enjoy local craft beer and other beverages with relaxing beer-inspired spa treatments.

Denver Day Trips

If you’re planning a day trip from Denver, there are some excellent options, including

Here are some great places to visit that are within a few hours of Denver:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park: a gorgeous national park with rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, and hiking trails.
  • Estes Park: the home base of Rocky Mountain National Park, ideal for a mountain getaway.
  • Fort Collins: Colorado’s craft beer capital with excellent breweries like Odell Brewing Company.
  • Mount Evans Scenic Byway: Colorado’s highest byway offering a stunningly scenic drive.

Enjoy Your Perfect Day in Denver

Denver is a fantastic place to experience all kinds of fun and adventure! It’s easy to enjoy 24 hours, and we hope this 1 day in Denver itinerary has inspired you to treat yourself to a day trip or staycation in the Mile High City.

Enjoy delicious cuisine, eclectic shops and bars, a unique day spa, and beautiful scenery!

Ready to start planning your day in Denver? You can book a unique spa day experience at The Beer Spa here.