Things to See & Do in Downtown Denver, CO in Less Than 36 Hours on a Budget

A couple weekends ago my boyfriend and I made a trip down to Denver to visit a good friend of ours and do some pre celebration birthday fun for Mike's upcoming 25th! I've stayed downtown before but only hung out and around the 16th Street Mall area and other classic tourist spots. Speaking of the 16th street mall, the bus system that is constantly running up and down the entire length of the strip (it's a long one) is straight up free to the public! Just wanted to insert that little fun fact for those who cared to know! It's especially nice in the colder winter months. ANYWAYS...


Dazzle Jazz Club


We arrived on a Friday late afternoon and got ready for the night outing. We ended up at a jazz club called "Dazzle." What an experience!! We walk in and to our right was a large lifted stage with four very talented gentlemen just slaying their instruments like there was no tomorrow! They went by the name of "BearTree" and were excellent performers. Their ability to completely control the energy in the room was amazing to see unfold. They'ed pick up the tempo, and the perfectly crowded room grew with excitement, then soon they'd bring the tone down a notch and everyone in the great room would fill in hushed chatter. So in sync and so joyful to see unfold!

To the left, there was a giant bar dimly lit that casted the perfect amount of light to set the mood for the venue. The full bar and service provided an array of craft beers, cocktails, and wines to choose from too. Not to mention, the cover charge was only $5! So an inexpensive, unique, and fun filled entertaining night was a huge success!

Check out this short video I snagged of the band!!


Amantes Coffee and Union Station


Saturday was filled with a lot of just going with the flow and see what we find. Our first adventure was walking down to the LoDo district. Now if you have never been to LoDo (Lower downtown Denver), and you're into classic architecture, visually pleasing aesthetics, and historic yet modern vibes, then you're definitely going to want to take a stroll through this part of the city. Within this area you'll find tons of great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops! Which brings me to our first stop of the day, "Amantes." We popped into this shop to grab a cup of coffee and fuel the rest of our morning adventures. I got the Mocha latte with oat milk, and it was SO GOOD! Not only is Amantes a great place to sip some coffee and indulge on tasty pastries, but it is also perfect for those who just need a temporary place to relax, get a bit of work done, admire some local art decorating the walls, and observe the passerbys going to and from Union station which is only a half block away.


My beautiful Mocha Latte from Amantes. They even give you a complimentary cookie to dip in your drink and eat!

Took this right outside of Amantes, showing you just how close Union Station is!

We ended up venturing into Union Station, which is so beautifully crafted and a perfect place for a quick paced shoot, however, I did not get any images inside because I was so overwhelmed by the crowd and the vaulted ornate ceilings that I felt it was better for me to just take it all in for what it is. Even though our visit in the station was very short lived, I totally recommend checking it out especially for those who do well shooting in a crowded scene or want to just enjoy people watching.


Tasty, healthy and fast place to eat


As much I wish coffee could suffice my hunger, it didn't and for me when I am in adventure mode, I want something I can easily take with me on the go with little to no mess. We came across "Protein Bar & Kitchen" which is also a 10 out of 10 for me! They had a comfortable amount of shakes and smoothies to choose from that all looked delectable, as well as healthy breakfast and lunch options. A place that can provide a healthy breakfast and lunch is an excellent choice for me! So I hit up their peanut butter, oatmeal, shake, and to say the least, it hit the spot! These Protein Bars can be found all over the Denver area!


The tasty shake I got from Protein Bar and Kitchen.

Bridge to Confluence Park from downtown Denver

A visit to R.E.I.



Moving right along, my friend who we stayed with, Natalie, mentioned that we needed to check out the R.E.I. and Mike and I are the type of people who are down for just about anything, so off we went. The walk over was quite enjoyable as we crossed over a very impressive bridge that opened up from the city to a large open park, known as, Confluence Park. Beautiful views in all directions. An excellent place to see the cityscape, the river, and the mountains! And then of course, R.E.I.!





This was hands down the most impressive R.E.I. I had ever seen! It's located inside an old historic industrial warehouse. Walking in you are greeted by an enormous climbing area and a dedicated section for pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of. For me though, I was more enveloped in the unique detailing of the layout of this whole place. I kid you not, you could literally spend an entire day hanging out in here! So much to do and see, I was shook by how amazing this place was! A few images and videos to follow so you can get a better idea of this incredible physicality.



After about an hour or so, our time in R.E.I. needed to come to a close as there were still many more things to see and do. We took a different route walking back into the city and I captured a few things along the way.

We ended back up on the 16th street mall because it was time for some shopping at none other than, UNIQLO.

UNIQLO is one of my all time favorite stores to shop at. They are a Japanese brand that has top notch quality materials, and classic stylish looks for an extraordinary affordable price! I compare it to H&M but so much better.


UNIQLO Located on 16th Street Mall in Denver, CO

Inexpensive and Fun Transportation


We kinda shopped till we dropped, naturally, and with that we worked up a serious appetite. We needed to get there fast as the hangry started to settle in all of us.



So our fastest and least expensive option was to pick up a few of the scooters lying around and scoot on over to some dinner! This option of transportation became the highlight of our trip! Lime Scooters are where it is at! You can also rent them through Lyft, Razor, and a couple other companies, but Lime definitely had the fastest and easiest scooters to get around on.




Let me explain more in depth about this whole scooter thing; You can find a scooter anywhere in Denver. Don't see one near you? No problem, there is a map imbedded into the Lime App that shows you where available ones are located. You walk up to it, hop on it, activate it with your app, and for 15 cents a minute, you can scoot anywhere and everywhere! We never spent more than $3.00 on a ride and sometimes we were riding them for 15-20 min. They got us around the city of Denver with ease, because these things fly! Like 25 mph! Such a fun, inexpensive way to get around and see the city! Still can't get over how efficient and great those things are. They even send you a message after finishing your ride, that you traveled carbon free! How cool is that?! Fun, cost effective, and rewarding?!!! So much YAS to all of that! It's like living in the game Grand Theft Auto! You just pick up the scooter wherever, then drop it off wherever. GENIUS! Here are a couple of short videos to show you how fun and awesome these are!



Incredible Vegan Dinner and Breweries


The place we wanted to eat at was a delectable all vegan restaurant,"City O' City " and we were going to hit up their happy hour because, HAPPY HOUR, duh! Vegans and non Vegans will LOVE this place! The food was incredible and the environment was so chic and upscale. We had so many different items from the menu which I failed to take photos of because I was really hungry and the only thing on my mind was food. But believe me when I say, the food was as good as it looked. Fancy, fresh, and amazing! Highly recommend City O' City!


For the remainder of the night we met up with some more friends and went bar hopping in the RINO District. We totally scootered there and stumbled upon so many great and unique breweries and bars! If you're a craft beer lover and want a lot of variety, you are absolutely going to want to hit up this area!



 

That about sums up our entire day of exploring the city of Denver! It was one of the most fun filled times I ever had during a short visit there. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog! If you loved this, subscribe to my newsletter! I am working on putting together a weekly newsletter to just fill you in on the newest content released each week. If you liked this little blurb I wrote, HIT THAT LITTLE HEART, so I can see what you guys like and produce more similar content! If there is something you would like to me to discuss, comment and fill me in on your suggestions! I want to provide you guys with things that are going to be valuable and helpful to you!


Thanks again and I'll catch you next time!

-Ellen

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