Top Spots in Denver

If you ever get invited to a conference in Denver, you should go! Not just because the Colorado Convention Center is great, but because the city has a lot to offer. Oh, and there are awesome mountains everywhere! Below are some top spots in Denver and the surrounding area!

Downtown Denver!

The Curtis Hotel

Adam and I like going to the national physical therapy conference whenever we get the chance. In 2020, this event that brings over 15,000 physical therapists together was held in Denver and we could not miss it. Like any downtown convention center, this one is surrounded by hotels and sometimes it can be hard to pick which one to stay at (unless your company is paying for you to stay somewhere). We ended up picking The Curtis Hotel because it was relatively inexpensive, only two blocks from the convention center, aaaaaand they give you warm chocolate chip cookies upon your first welcome (and any other time you happen to walk by the front desk and request one)!

Just a couple of the 15,000 Physical Therapists gathered here!

Wynkoop Brewing Company

This conference happened to fall over Valentine’s Day, so Adam and I decided to dedicate our first night in Denver as our Valentine’s Day. We chose Wynkoop Brewing Company for dinner, a beer, and some chocolate of course! We opted to dine in the dining room on the street level, but they also have an extensive pool hall upstairs.

Wynkoop Brewing Company

Our Valentine’s Day!

Wynkoop Brewing Company

Our Valentine’s Day!

Falling Rock Tap House

We then wandered 0.2 miles to Falling Rock Tap House where we enjoyed a couple more local beers before turning in. This is one of the many cool bars in the Coors Field district.

Falling Rock Tap House near Coors Field

Henry’s Tavern

Thursday morning rolled around, and it was time to learn. We had several sessions within the walls of the Colorado Convention Center with the iconic giant blue bear standing watch. For our lunch break, we made reservations at Henry’s Tavern, only a 0.4 mile walk east of the convention center. It was fun to unite with some past classmates and fellow PTs. The food was classic American grill style and our entire group enjoyed their meal.

Colorado Convention Center

Jackson’s Sports Bar

Thursday night we wandered back over to the Coors Field district where we attended PT Pub Night at Jackson’s Sports Bar. This was a standard bar where you can order most any drink you’d like while being pleasantly overwhelmed by the constant hum of people reuniting and networking. 

Highland Tap and Burger

After talking for at least an hour straight, we were ready for some food! We discovered our friend, Connor, had never had ramen. So naturally we had to enlighten him! We walked just over a mile NW to Uncle, a ramen spot that was highly recommended to us, to find a line out the door. Luckily, Highland Tap and Burger was right next door, so we grabbed a drink and some apps here while waiting for a table at Uncle.

Uncle

Uncle was truly worth the wait! We all enjoyed authentic, top-notch ramen and were ecstatic about the tasty drinks: honey whiskey topped with delectable lemon foam and fresh first cut sake.

Delicious Ramen at Uncle

Tasty Whiskey

And Sake!!!

Delicious Ramen at Uncle

Tasty Whiskey

And Sake!!!

Avanti

On our stroll back to the hotel, we stumbled across Avanti, a nice 2-level bar overlooking the city. We were a bit chilled after our walk in the crisp Denver winter air, so we warmed up inside with some delicious spiked hot chocolates!

Avanti with a view of the city!

And delicious warm drinks!

Avanti with a view of the city!

And delicious warm drinks!

Atomic Cowboy

Friday brought more learning sessions, but we had to fuel our brains in between. This time, we decided to Uber somewhere for lunch. One of our favorite ways to get recommendations from locals is by asking Uber drivers. Sometimes it backfires because they are not from the area either, but this time it worked! This Uber driver recommended the Atomic Cowboy for lunch, so we went about 2.5 miles east to Colfax. The Atomic Cowboy boasts an interesting blend of greasy pizza from Fat Sully’s and indulgent biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. Neither healthy, but both spectacular.

One of the indulgent biscuits from Atomic Cowboy!

Ophelia’s

After a long day of learning, we were ready to get our dance on and Ophelia’s was surely the place! They have strong but tasty old-school cocktails served at a classy bar upstairs and then a dance area where you can enjoy plenty of live music downstairs!

Jagged Mountain Brewery

After the crazy energy of Ophelia’s, we were ready to chill for a moment at Jagged Mountain Brewery right across the street. They had some good beers here, but closed earlier than we wanted them to.

The Corner Office

Since we weren’t quite ready to end our night yet, we stopped for a nightcap at The Corner Office. Conveniently, this snazzy bar is connected to the lobby of The Curtis Hotel. We enjoyed some unique cocktails here and another complimentary cookie before heading up to our sports-themed hotel floor. 

Avanti

Saturday was the last day of the conference, so we powered through the morning sessions before heading back to Avanti for lunch with our friends Liz and Corwin from out west. We had already made it to Avanti at night, but it was a different experience during the day. They have several different food stations downstairs where you can get just about any type of food you’re craving. And then it was nice enough outside to check out their deck overlooking downtown!

Habit

Ever since we caught wind of there being a boozy donut shop, we knew we had to get there at some point. Saturday night is when we finally made it to Habit! Upon entering, you get to pick two things: the type of donut you want and a flavor of booze. They then proceed to inject your donut with the booze – brilliant!

Habit

Donuts injected with booze.

Habit

Donuts injected with booze.

Denver Beer Co

A few steps down Platte street from Habit you will find Denver Beer Co. They are a pretty standard brewery, but we particularly enjoyed their Graham Cracker Porter.

Denver Beer Co

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

For dinner, we walked about a mile SE to Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. This was another Uber driver recommendation and we were not disappointed by their food, especially the apps!

Oskar Blues for apps!

Improper City

One other area Liz and Corwin, who went to school in Denver, said we had to check out was the RiNo art district. We opted for Improper City, a warehouse-like bar with a fun outdoor area! 

Great Divide Brewing

Sunday morning, we had our hearts set on breakfast at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. What we didn’t factor in though was the over an hour wait to get into this popular breakfast spot. We didn’t just want to stand on the street during our waiting time, so instead we walked over to Great Divide Brewing on Arapahoe St to grab a delectable beer while waiting for the text message saying our table was ready.

Great Divide Brewing

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

I must say, brunch at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery was worth the wait. We started with a tasty round of drinks including spiked hot chocolate, a fresh juice blend, and a hearty bloody Mary. Our food took a little longer than usual, so our waitress surprised us with a heavenly cinnamon roll pancake! And we continued to be impressed when our meals arrived. Adam rarely agrees to split meals with me, but this time he went along with us sharing a sweet dish and a savory dish!

Quite the drink lineup!

Sweet and savory!

Quite the drink lineup!

Sweet and savory!

Dillon Dam Brewing

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in downtown Denver, but the coolest part about going to a conference in the mile-high city is the fact that the mountains are so accessible! So off we went into the mountains about an hour west of Denver. Our first stop was Dillon Dam Brewing, mostly because it was close to the Ice Castles in Dillon!

Dillon Dam Brewing

Ice Castles

You can find Ice Castles in six cold spots each winter: Colorado, Alberta, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Utah. The Colorado Ice Castles are in Dillon and they were definitely cool to see. We got lost in the ice tunnels, slid down the slick slides, and discovered a fire show!

Colorado Ice Castles in Dillon.

Exploring the ice tunnels.

Surrounded by ice!

Even ice slides!

And fountains!

And we accidentally discovered a fire show within the ice walls!

Colorado Ice Castles in Dillon.

Exploring the ice tunnels.

Surrounded by ice!

Even ice slides!

And fountains!

And we accidentally discovered a fire show within the ice walls!

Tenderfoot Lodge

By Sunday night, we finally made it to our mountain home for the next few days- Tenderfoot Lodge in Keystone. We enjoyed this cozy spot with a view of Keystone Resort.

A swamp buggy up close!

Tenderfoot Lodge

The view from our lodge.

Tenderfoot Lodge

Keystone

It was nice to be able to walk to the ski rental shop in the Keystone village from our lodge. Our favorite run at Keystone was Schoolmarm, a 3.5 mile green! In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have taken our friend who had never skied before on this marathon run…

Keystone

With a fun crew!

Keystone

With a fun crew!

9280’ Tap House

After a full day of skiing, it was nice to unwind at the 9280’ Tap House in the Keystone Village. It was here that we found our friend reminiscing on his first true ski experience. Fun fact: 9280’ is the elevation of Keystone’s base.

9280′ Tap House

Breckenridge

The second resort we chose to check out was Breckenridge because it’s only a 30-minute drive SW from Keystone. Breckenridge was our favorite of the two resorts we skied this week because of how the mountain is layed out. We liked that they have several different peaks with multiple blue runs and a variety of chalets spread across the resort. We enjoyed lunch with a view at one of the chalets, the Vista Haus.

A beautiful day at Breckenridge!

With great views!

A beautiful day at Breckenridge!

With great views!

Breckenridge Brewery and Pub

The other reason we really enjoyed Breckenridge was because of the cute downtown area. We started at the Breckenridge Brewery and Pub for some flights.

Breckenridge Brewery and Pub

For some post-skiing flights!

In good company!

Breckenridge Brewery and Pub

For some post-skiing flights!

In good company!

Angel’s Hollow

From there, we walked to Angel’s Hollow, a recommendation from locals on the chairlift. And we were definitely not let down! This secret spot has the best homemade tortilla chips with guac and the perfect margs to accompany them.

Possibly the best chips we’ve ever had!

Downtown Breckenridge

After some food and drink, we perused the downtown streets still lit up with Christmas lights and intermittently bopped into shops. We may have purchased some Breckenridge merch.

The cute downtown Breckenridge!

A winter wonderland!

The cute downtown Breckenridge!

A winter wonderland!

As I mentioned above, we came to Denver for a physical therapy conference, but we ended up doing a lot more than learning about new research. If you ever make it to Denver for a conference or really anything else, use this list as a good place to start for getting the most out of this area! 

Leave a Reply