Rock and roll at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
It’s a one of a kind concert venue – an amphitheatre carved out of the landscape in a city park. Rock out in front of a gorgeous Martian-red backdrop of craggy cliffs. Concerts go on rain or no, and there are close to perfect acoustics and views from every seat in the near-10,000 capacity space. If you go for a daytime hike around the popular park you’ll see keen joggers training on the steps.
Top tip: Bring a cushion – and a raincoat, just in case.
The Golden Triangle really does now contain all of Denver’s greatest art galleries, including the Clyfford Still Museum, the Denver Art Museum and the History Colorado Center
Run late at Denver Union Station
Not in every train station can you find some of a city’s most popular restaurants and bars. The city’s ‘Living Room’, Denver Union Station has more than trains and ticket machines, with an outpost of Denver’s famous Snooze brunch stop and modern cuisine from the dourly-named Stoic and Genuine. There’s an airy cocktail bar on the mezzanine, Cooper’s Lounge.
Top tip: Don’t baulk at the queue for Snooze – there’s free coffee while you wait.
‘Ale aboard’ the Denver Beer Trail
Find out what’s brewing in Denver. There are more craft ales, breweries and ale appreciators here than in any other American city. The oldest, Tivoli Brewing Company, opened in 1859, while Wynkoop Brewing Company is notorious for experimenting with everything from roasted bull testicles to spicy ancho peppers. If you can’t pick just one to visit, take one of the four self-guided Denver Beer Trails. Just try to walk in a straight line.
Top tip: Leave Wynkoop ‘til last and stay on for the pool tables and upstairs comedy club.
The Beatles performed here in 1964, Daft Punk in 2007. Who’ll be at Red Rocks amphitheatre when you arrive in Denver?Book flights
Go up to RiNo
RiNo, the former manufacturing district, is a great place to visit – if you know where to go. It’s now a trendy neighbourhood full of art studios, cafes and the coffee-scented whiff of gentrification. Visit on First Fridays, when the galleries are open late, beer is flowing, and you might walk away with the start of your first art collection.
Top tip: Visit The Source, an artisan food market held inside a former foundry with plenty of hipster-friendly bars inside.
Seek inspiration in Denver Art Museum
This very good museum has a bit of everything, art-history wise, and you can get the insider info by taking a free 45-minute tour. Look out for the modern American art, and old colonial and pre-Columbian treasures. There’s a lot of gold, a smattering of Georgia O’Keeffes, and Picasso. It’s all housed in a directional new home, designed by the world-famous architect Daniel Libeskind.
Top tip: Look out for controversial sculpture, The Shootout by Red Grooms on the rooftop.