Located just east of the Rocky Mountains, the Mile High City has gained itself a new nickname in recent years: The Silicon Mountain. The low cost of living and high concentration of nearby universities have contributed not only to Denver’s growing population, but to its vibrant startup scene as well. With companies like Marketo, VMWare, and Oracle Data Cloud all setting up offices in the area, Denver has positioned itself as one of the tech industry’s second cities.
Major conferences like the Rocky Mountain Technology Summit and Digital Summit Denver signal Denver’s growing position as a top location for industry events. From an unending list of local attractions, world-class hotels and restaurants, and some of the best craft breweries in the country, we’ve highlighted a few noteworthy ideas for visitors, planners, and attendees who have Denver in their sights:
Where to Stay
- The stylish, centrally-located Hotel Monaco is within walking distance to the city’s best attractions. Guests can enjoy a complimentary wine hour, loaner bikes, and yoga mats in every room, and for those travelling with a furry companion, the hotel allows pets of all sizes.
- Located in Denver’s Union Station, The Crawford Hotel is a modern, chic option offering unique artwork and architectural features, and an unbeatable view of the Rocky Mountains, all from one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, LoDo. Bonus for baseball fans – the Crawford is just walking distance to Coors Field!
- For fans of contemporary art and design, The Art Hotel provides modern presentation with classic technique. The hotel acts as a miniature art museum, boasts one of the best restaurants in Denver, and offers sweeping views of the city from the rooftop FIRE Terrace.
- Originally built as a bank in 1910, Magnolia Hotel mixes a historic facade with newly renovated rooms, restaurant, and meeting spaces. The central location allows ease of access to local attractions, and in-house restaurant Harry’s Bar was rated “one of the best places to chill” by the Denver Post.
- For a charming and historic stay in lower downtown, The Oxford Hotel stands as Denver’s oldest hotel still in-operation. Don’t be fooled by the hotel’s history and antique furniture; the hotel has an onsite business centre, fitness centre, spa and salon. *Fun fact: Past guests of the Oxford include Theodore Roosevelt and the Dalai Lama.
Where to Eat, Drink, or Host an Event
- A trip to Denver is not complete without a visit to Rioja on Larimer Square, where the Denver foodie scene was born. Winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Southwest”, Rioja brings together local and Mediterranean ingredients in a fine dining setting that also accommodates full buyouts or semi-private dining for groups of up to 34.
- Whether it’s dinner for two, happy hour, or private function you’re looking for, Coohills offers custom designed menus for groups from 6 to 400 people, with a focus on local, regional, and farm-fresh ingredients. The restaurant features and open kitchen, uniquely modern interior design, and a spacious outdoor terrace. Private rooms with A/V are available and the adjoining bridge can be used for larger events.
- Located just minutes from the Colorado Convention Center, Guard & Grace is a modern steakhouse focused on wood-fired fare. This 9,000 square foot space is located in the heart of Downtown Denver’s business center, and offers private rooms with full A/V, complimentary valet, and a walk-in wine cellar!
- Featuring a fireplace lounge, three intimate patios and an exhibition kitchen, Tavernetta is an upscale Italian restaurant centrally located in Union Station. Brought to you by the James Beard Award winning team of Frasca Food and Wine, Tavernetta is the perfect setting for intimate dining, social gatherings, or business occasions.
- For a unique event venue that’s bound to stand out, the D&F Tower offers panoramic views in an elegant setting, located in the heart of the city. This historic building caters to events of all kinds, and can host up to 150 guests.
What to See & Do
- Located on the city’s oldest and most historic block, Larimer Square is a vibrant collection of restaurants, shops, bars & clubs. Whether you’re looking for a local boutique or the best of Denver’s nightlife, this is the place to start!
- Denver is home to eight professional sports teams including the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and the Denver Nuggets. Catching a live a game couldn’t be easier, with the Pepsi Center, Coors Field, and Sports Authority Field all within walking distance from Downtown Denver.
- Denver is home to a number of must-see cultural attractions, including the Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, Botanic Gardens, Museum of Nature & Science, and the Denver Zoo. Visitors can pick up a 3-day Mile High Culture Pass for access to these attractions, plus discounts on the city’s bike sharing program and more.
- Some of the best shopping, bars and restaurants in Denver can be found in Union Station, the city’s vibrant transportation hub. Built in 1914 as railway station, the building recently underwent a major renovation, reopening in 2014 as a mixed-use building while still serving as the city’s center for transportation.
- If you’re looking to get outside and get some fresh air, take a visit to City Park. The largest park in Denver has it all, including two lakes, tennis courts, sports fields, picnic sites, and playgrounds. The park is also home to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science.
- With the Rockies in its sights, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts visiting Denver will be happy to know that the Winter Park Express Train runs from Union Station to the Winter Park Ski Resort throughout the winter months.
- If you’re looking for a quiet getaway or just a good read for the journey home, make your way to Tattered Cover Book Store. A locally owned Colorado landmark, Tattered Cover has four locations with an extraordinary selection, in-house cafe, extensive newsstands and author appearances.
No longer just the gateway to the Rockies, Denver has found a way to marry its past with its ever-evolving present to make it one of the country’s top destinations for events and getaways alike. Prospectors came to Denver in the 19th Century in search of gold and over 150 years later, the tradition continues. With easy and affordable transportation, an abundance of both indoor and outdoor attractions, and a rapidly growing startup scene, we expect to see even more attention on the Mile High City in 2018.