The Perfect Day in Denver: A Complete Itinerary

a day in Denver

The Perfect Day in Denver: A Complete Itinerary

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’re going to share how you can spend the perfect 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, you’re sure to have a fabulous day!

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

How Can I Spend a Day in Denver?

An incredible day in Denver includes excellent food, culture, scenery, and relaxation. Here’s a quick list of how you can spend your day. Below, we’ll share all the details with our top tips for an amazing day!

  • Have breakfast and check out Union Station.
  • Hang out at Confluence Park.
  • Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Grab lunch and explore River North Art District (RiNo).
  • Relax at The Beer Spa.
  • Enjoy dinner and a night out in Uptown.

Looking for Denver date ideas? Check out this article!

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.

After you grab some brunch, it’s time to explore! A few excellent Denver brunch spots in LoDo are Snooze, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, and Whole Sol

Check out Union Station.

After brunch, we recommend checking out Union Station, a historic train station filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Snooze and Thirsty Lion are both actually in Union Station. 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

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. 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 a fun place to do it!

Allow: 1 hour

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 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

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 check 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 lots of 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

Relax at The Beer Spa.

After you’ve done lots of exploring in 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 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

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

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

Evening: Uptown for Dinner & a Night Out

Finish up your amazing 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 located in Uptown on Restaurant Row, a stretch along 17th Ave. A few spots worth checking out 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!

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.

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.

When to Visit Denver

If we’re being honest, Denver is amazing all year! With that said, different times of 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 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.

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. Hope 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. 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.

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 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!

Interested in spending a few extra days in Denver? Check out this 3-day itinerary!