Things to Do in Denver When You're...
May 23, 2005 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Things to Do in Denver When You're...

... stuck at a conference.

Specifically, the last week in June. The conference runs through the day so I am looking for evening related activities (good pubs, restaurants, shows etc.) that will make the week go by a lot faster.

Any and all recommendations are welcome as this is not just for me but a fairly eclectic mix of co-workers as well. Thanks.
posted by purephase to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (19 answers total)
 
Three words: Jazz Aspen Snowmass.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:28 AM on May 23, 2005


Do you have a rental car, or do you have to rely on events in/around the city via public transportation? That would make it easier to recommend...
posted by naxosaxur at 11:35 AM on May 23, 2005


I thought the Coors Brewery tour in Golden was pretty interesting. If you can make it through the tour there's all the free beer you can drink (though officially they can limit you).
posted by rolypolyman at 11:37 AM on May 23, 2005


It is a very long haul from Denver to Aspen unless you have a private jet.
You could hang out at UCLA! University of Colorado between Lawrence St. and Arapahoe St.(local joke) Larimer Square is nearby and features many pubs. The Wazee supper club used to be a blast and there is a free trolley from Larimer to Colfax,(major east- west st.) lots of bars restaurants and entertainment on 16th St. mall ,the trolley route. Some original old jazz clubs in the Five points area less than a mile east from Larimer square.
Denver is a great city hope you have fun.
posted by hortense at 12:25 PM on May 23, 2005


Well you could go check out some concerts on East Colfax. Usually quite a few different ones there. Lots of bars in Denver. Englewood has some nice ones.

The Fort and the Buckhorn are two interesting restauraunts.

Do you know what part of town you'll be in?
posted by 6550 at 12:25 PM on May 23, 2005


Jeeze I forgot . Not to see Elitches is not to see Denver.
posted by hortense at 12:31 PM on May 23, 2005


I'll be staying at the The Westin Tabor Center. As far as what area of the city that is, I have no idea. ;)

I will have a rental car, but I also like to drink (my co-workers are most likely going to hold the designated driver ropes as some of them do not drink). However, being that they are heavy, heavy meat-eaters and I am a vegetarian, there is a possibility that I may want to spend a few nights on my own without access to the vehicle.

Lots of nice suggestions so far, they're all on my list. Thanks!
posted by purephase at 12:40 PM on May 23, 2005


Denver has a good 'country-style' Japanese restaurant (if you like that sort of thing), Domo. You'll have to get a cab. The local 'things to do' rag is Westword. It has listings for bands, and an archive of restaurant reviews.
posted by carter at 12:49 PM on May 23, 2005


If you are vegetarian, India House has a good range; use the free trolley, or walk back afterwards!
posted by carter at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2005


If any of you have any interest whatsoever in music, Wax Trax Records cannot be missed. I spent whole swaths of my teenage years (not to mention all my spare cash) there.
posted by scody at 12:55 PM on May 23, 2005


You'll be close to the LoDo Tattered Cover, one of the best and largest independent bookstores left. Not only is the inventory nice, but the decor also makes the store a great place to browse.

Take a look at Westword, the local free rag, to see concert and club events for the week you're there.
posted by bibliowench at 1:24 PM on May 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


For a vegetarian I'm not sure my restauraunt recommendations are suitable. "Wild" game (elk, quail, buffalo, etc.) are kind of their specialties.

You'll be staying right downtown which has a pretty big nightlife. It's a bit too trendy for me but it is popular. Lots of places to eat and drink, within walking distance.

I'll second Tattered Cover. Great bookstore.

Wynkoop Brewery is my favorite place to grab a beer downtown. They brew all their beer and they are reasonably priced and quite good.
posted by 6550 at 2:20 PM on May 23, 2005


I third the Tattered Cover -- one of the greatest bookstores I've ever seen. (Years ago, friends of mine actually held their wedding there because they loved it so much!)
posted by scody at 2:36 PM on May 23, 2005


You must go to Watercourse Foods, a vegan restaurant downtown on Capitol Hill. The nearby Taky's Golden Bowl is also a vegetarian essential.

While you're there, have a look around Capitol Hill, and please report back as to whether the creepy Jesus painting with the sparkly eyes is still in the window of the store on Colfax.

You should probably have a good long look at a downtown street map. The city is laid out on a grid oriented to the cardinal directions, but the downtown area is at a 45-degree angle oriented to the river. Very confusing (and I grew up there). Just keep an eye on the mountains (or, at night, at the red flashing lights on the mountains) and you'll be okay.

Have fun!
posted by climalene at 3:39 PM on May 23, 2005


climalene, thanks. The Watercourse Foods menu sounds incredible. Couple this with a trip to the Tattered Cover and I may have a really nice evening ahead of me.

6550, although the recommendations may not be specifically for me, I am 100% possitive that my co-workers will appreciate the information. These are the types of restaurants that they would definately be interested in. Thanks.
posted by purephase at 5:04 PM on May 23, 2005


I haven't been to Denver solo, as an adult, only as a kid then young teen on family vacations. But I can reccommend Casa Bonita. Some will scoff, it's not real high class (though it's not low class, unless it's changed). I don't know if they offer vegetarian, and their online menu is no help. Could be a fun place for a group outing, though - waterfalls with cliff divers, strolling mariachis, etc. Quite a bit of the entertainment is geared toward kids, all is family-friendly, but still interesting.
posted by attercoppe at 6:24 PM on May 23, 2005


Oh. My. God. You simply MUST hit Casa Bonita. The place totally rocks, unless of course you're some sort of loser with no sense of fun at all. Since you have a rental, you might consider heading up to Boulder - it's about 30 miles away. Pearl Street Mall rocks, and you can annoy the local college kids by asking to see all of the "Mork and Mindy" sites. Also, if you have a free day, check out Rocky Mountain National Park, where you can drive up Trail Ridge Road, with a summit over 12,000 feet. If you like to gamble, you can cruise up to Blackhawk and Central City in the mountains, which used to be cool mining towns but are now overrun by low-stakes casinos that all look alike. For sheer entertainment value, you can watch the Colorado Rockies get blown out by, well, whomever they happen to be "playing" that weekend. Oh, and I fourth or fifth or whatever we're up to that you need to check out Tattered Cover, and I also agree that The Fort is great.
posted by robhuddles at 7:01 PM on May 23, 2005


http://www.mercurycafe.com/
Organic food, mostly if not all vegetarian, dance classes (like $5 for one quick evening class), poetry readings, music etc.
The restaurant is a trip back to the 70's & not far from downtown. A Denver institution.
If you are in Denver Sunday evening there are free Jazz concerts in City Park starting in June. Lots of people, dancing, good music, bring a blanket to sit on.
There is a huge REI store with a climbing wall, whitewater course in the Platte Fiver outside & a trail where you can test mountain bikes. There is often something going on in the greens around the river called confluence park too. Right behind the REI is a place called My Brothers Bar with great onion rings & a nice variety of beer on tap. Mostly burgers there but they probably have a couple of veggie things too. It's been there forever and has a great patio for eating outdoors. There is a pool hall across the street from that, I haven't been there but it looks busy.
Watercourse is superb just don't have the burger.
Domo has incredible atmosphere & good food. Check out the small museum & check to see if there is an aikido class going on. There is a big window where you can see into the dojo & watch. Eat outside in the garden or inside where everything is made of big chunks of trees & stone. they also have a rotating choice of sake to try. Call to get directions & follow them even though you're sure you're in the wrong neighborhood, this is definitely a hidden gem.
Do pick up a Westword; free on every street corner or you can go to Westword.com & check the archives on most of the places mentioned above.
North Denver is a fun. Check out the area around 38th & Lowell. Lots of restaurants, shops, about 10 minutes from downtown. Take Speer Blvd. North to 38th & hang a left.
If you go to The Fort go see Red Rocks Amphitheater or better yet see if there is a concert on.
Also check out
http://www.swallowhill.com/ for concerts
Look in Westword for El Chapultepec. It's a seedy old bar, smokey as hell that has jazz. Apparently this is where all the old jazz musicians go to jam after their paying gigs are done.
I'm not sure I'd recommend it for the guys in the group but the ladies might like to check out Lake Steam on
W. Colfax. Read the article in Westword, it's not for the faint of heart. Definitely an adventure. Ladies nights are Tuesday & Thursday. Or, drive up to Idaho Springs for a soak in the stone tubs, carved into the rock & filled with mineral spring water in the old caves. You can also book a great massage there. Idaho Springs is an old mountain town, interesting to walk around in. Beau Jo's pizza is where people have stopped after skiing for years.
Have fun.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:15 PM on May 23, 2005


The Museum of Natural History is world-class.
posted by wsg at 2:25 AM on May 24, 2005


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