locals know best: here’s what you need to do in denver, colorado

This is a guest blog post written by Baltimore native, Bri Manko. She now lives in Denver and is always in pursuit of adventure. 🙂


When people ask me why I moved to Colorado, I respond with “Why would I not move to Colorado?


Denver, Colorado has been home to me for a little over two years now. I have had so many “best days ever” since living here that it makes this post rather difficult to write. The food, the music, the art, the kind, mid-western souls that live here, and the mountains are just a few of my favorite things about this magical place I get to call home. Below you’ll find my version of “The Perfect Denver Day” along with some alternative options!


Breakfast at Snooze: There are so many “out of this world” breakfast joints in Denver, but Snooze is a staple here. Any day of the week, at any of its 7 locations in Colorado, you will find a line out the door. However, the wait is nothing to be worried about! My suggestion is to head to the downtown Snooze An AM Eatery at its Union Station location and put your name in. While you wait, enjoy a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or any other beverage you desire. You also have the option to play one of the many outdoor games they have readily available, or even to just explore downtown Denver. They will text you when your table is ready!

Once seated you MUST order a flight of pancakes as a table appetizer to share. (CAUTION: this will change your life. This will be filling, EAT SLOW). My favorite three pancakes to get are the pineapple upside down cake, the peanut butter-banana-chocolate chip, and the cinnamon bun pancake.Once that is ordered, I put in my order for a mix match eggs Benedict. They have many different options and you can freely mix and match as you please! My favorites are the Chile Verde Benny and the Benny Goodman! Check out their menu online– your mouth will start watering instantly.

  • Alternate: Lou’s Food Bar, A Frank Bonanno restaurant, is a great alternate! Unlimited Mimosas, AMAZING fried chicken with waffles & endless amounts of Southern Comfort foods. They are also known for their build your own Bloody Mary bar. If you don’t have time for a line, check out this hidden highlands gem!


Visit a Dispensary: Even if you do not smoke weed- you should visit a dispensary! It truly is an interesting experience. Native Roots is right on the 16th Street Mall, a landmark in Denver with tons of shops and eateries.

Hang in Washington Park: Grab a Frisbee, some lacrosse sticks, or maybe a few beers and a volleyball. Wash Park is a great place to meet people, play volleyball, and get some vitamin D. It’s also a great way to kill time before an epic night of music!

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Check out Graffiti in RiNo: Take an Uber to the RINO district, also known as River North. This section of town is really up and coming and has a lot to offer an out of towner. Put your destination as the bar, First Draft. It is in the heart of the RINO district, located right on 26th street. This place is the beer drinkers dream. They host a huge variety of craft beer, wine, cider, kombucha, coffee, and cocktails for YOU to pour as much or as little as you like! This is a one of a kind tasting experience that you can’t miss. Plus, if you take a walk around the block you will see some of the most dope graffiti in town.


  • Alternate Option: Travel outside of the city and head to Eldorado Canyon (a 50-minute drive). Eldorado Canyon is one of the first places I ever went hiking in Colorado. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been to and it really is not too far away. Eldorado Canyon offers many different hiking trails with varying difficulty levels. There is nothing better than the fresh Colorado air.

Mexican for Dinner: Denver is is home to some amazing Mexican Restaurant’s – one of my favorites being El Chigones on Larimer Street. If you’re in the RINO (River North) District, this is convenient and the perfect meal to pregame with! They have the most delicious margaritas and tacos at the perfect price. They also have great outdoor seating for a nice summer afternoon or night.


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 Red Rocks Concert: This is self-explanatory. The first time I went to Red Rocks, I cried. It was so magical. So amazingly beautiful, that I cried. If you visit Colorado between the months of May and October, make sure you check the Red Rocks line up! & get your tickets early! If there is no concert- it is still a magical place to visit and even to hike!

  • Alternate: City Park is one of the largest parks in Denver and it is breathtakingly beautiful. I have seen so many beautiful sunsets at this park. Jazz In The Park is every Sunday during the Summer. It starts at 6:00pm and lasts until 8:00pm. My suggestion is you get there early, maybe around 4:30pm, and bring some wine! You can bring your dog too!

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