GDenver is full of culture, food, and rocky views.
The Colorado capital is more than a gateway to Rocky Mountain ski resorts like Aspen. In the fall, indulge in culture via Denver Arts Week (denver.org/denverartsweek; November 3-11) – around 300 events in galleries, museums, and theaters. It’s also more accessible starting this month. Norwegian (norwegian.com) has just launched a direct flight (from £ 360 round-trip) from Gatwick – competing for the British Airways route from Heathrow (ba.com).
The Oxford Hotel (telegraph.co.uk/tt-oxforddenver) is the oldest in Denver, an 1891 lady who channels the twenties with her Art Deco decor. Double rooms for £ 155, room only. The Crawford Hotel (telegraph.co.uk/tt-crawforddenver) opened in 2014 in the reborn Union Station. Some suites look into the great hall of this noble train station. Double rooms from £ 219, room only.
The oldest hotel in Denver, built in 1891, blends old-fashioned glamor with modern comfort in the hip old town. Enjoy brandy by the blazing log fire in the lobby, surrounded by a famous collection of Western art, and experience a fascinating history of this boutique hotel.
Read the expert review
Union Station underwent a major overhaul from 2012 to 2014 and is now a nest of shops and restaurants (including Mercantile, under celebrated chef Alex Seidel; mercantiledenver.com) as well as a railroad hub. Discover its charms, then stroll northwest on 18th Street to Commons Park – another important part of Denver life, where hikers, cyclists, and joggers rush across the South Platte River.
look at this
Walk down 15th Street to the Contemporary Art Museum. There is no permanent collection. The current exhibition Saber Acomodar (through January 21; $ 8 / £ 6; mcadenver.org) features works by 25 Mexican artists.
Lower down in 15th place, Larimer Square Market (themarketatlarimer.com) is a good pit stop selling loaded sandwiches like Hot Turkey / Thanksgiving ($ 10.50).
Larimer Square is one of the downtown retail hotspots. Victoriana Antique & Fine Jewelry (victorianajewelry.com) specializes in 19th and 20th century gemstones. The Cry Baby Ranch (crybabyranch.com) sells western fashion for “cowgirls” and “cowboys”.
Green Russell (greenrussell.com) is an underground bar that borrows the trappings of a Prohibition-era speakeasy over a range of cocktails. The Wynkoop Brewing Company (wynkoop.com) is a legend of the city’s craft beer scene – see Denver Beer Trail (denver.org/restaurants/denver-bars-clubs/denver-beer-trail).
The Kitchen (thekitchenbistros.com) is tucked away on 16th Street with fresh local produce and American ingredients – and serves a butcher steak for US $ 29 (£ 21). Back at Larimer Square, Rioja (riojadenver.com) is the culinary idea of head chef Jennifer Jasinski. Mediterranean dishes include a serrano-wrapped octopus – also $ 29.
Not on the map
About 18 miles southwest of downtown is one of America’s most iconic concert venues, the Red Rocks Amphitheater (redrocksonline.com) – a natural bowl where U2, the Beatles, and Depeche Mode all took place. A taxi is the best form of transportation (denveryellowcab.com). Expect $ 50 each way.