The Perfect Day Trip To Denver (Itinerary & Top Tips from Locals)

Are you planning a day trip to Denver and looking for the best way to spend your day? Look no further. This one-day Denver itinerary has you covered.

Whether you have a layover for the day or want to take a mini vacation, this guide (with tips from locals) discusses exactly what to do in Denver in 24 hours. 

In this article, we share everything you need to know about how to experience Denver in one day for a memorable getaway. If you’re a local trying to decide where to take visitors in Denver, keep reading.

Is Denver worth visiting?

As one of the best cities in Colorado, Denver is well worth visiting. It’s the perfect mix of city life and nature and offers something for everyone. From adventuring and dining to drinking and relaxing, Denver has it all.

How can I spend 24 hours in Denver?

The best way to experience Denver in one day is by indulging in amazing food, exploring nature, enjoying local craft beer, and relaxing at an award-winning spa.

Here’s a quick overview of the perfect day trip to Denver. Below, we’ll share more details.

  • Enjoy breakfast at The Cookery at Myrtle Hill – delicious and something for everyone!
  • Stroll through the picturesque Denver Botanic Gardens – ideal for families, groups, couples, solo travelers.
  • Explore Red Rocks Park – fun for hiking, taking pictures, and enjoying Colorado’s nature.
  • Check out local breweries – so many options to choose from. 
  • Treat yourself to an excellent dinner – keep reading for fantastic options.
  • Relax at Oakwell Beer Spa – the perfect way to finish your day in Denver.
Couple enjoying a day in Oakwell Beer Spa's taproom
Taproom, Oakwell Beer Spa, Denver

The Morning: Enjoy Breakfast and the Botanic Gardens

To start your perfect day in Denver, we recommend one of the best breakfast spots – The Cookery at Myrtle Hill. This delicious American restaurant is one of the most Instagrammable places to eat, offering grandma’s kitchen vibes. Enjoy an expansive menu of delicious dishes, including waffles, benedicts, and sandwiches. You can also choose from various drink options like coffee, cocktails, juices, and beer.

After breakfast, take a short drive over to the Denver Botanic Gardens, located in the popular Cheesman Park neighborhood. The Gardens is one of Denver’s most iconic sites. This 23-acre park boasts various theme gardens and exhibitions. It’s the ideal place to unwind, explore, take pictures, and appreciate your morning in Denver.

The Afternoon: Explore Red Rocks and Visit a Local Brewery

For your afternoon in Denver, head just outside the city center (25 minutes) to explore Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park. At Red Rocks Park, you can spend a couple of hours exploring fossils, the rocks, and hiking trails.

pink flowers at Red Rocks Park in Colorado
Red Rocks Park

Note: If you get hungry for lunch, there are several places to eat near the park.

Checking out Denver’s infamous beer scene is the ideal way to wrap up your afternoon. There are over 150 breweries in Denver, but here are some of our favorites:

Lower Downtown (LoDo):

  • Cerveceria Colorado
  • Wynkoop Brewing Company
  • Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Five Points:

  • Odell Brewing Five Points Brewhouse (RiNo)
  • Ratio Beerworks (RiNo)
  • Woods Boss Brewing Company
  • Great Divide Brewing Co

The Evening: Go to Dinner and Relax at Oakwell Beer Spa

As you finish up your perfect day trip to Denver, head to dinner on Larimer St. This lively pedestrian-friendly area has a few reputable places to have a delicious dinner. Some of our favorites are:

  • Mister Oso: creative tacos and cocktails
  • Dio Mio: Italian small plates and pasta
  • Barcelona Wine Bar: Spanish wines, tapas, and salads

After dinner, head just a few minutes around the corner for a relaxing evening at Oakwell Beer Spa. Oakwell Beer Spa is an award-winning Denver spa. Guests can enjoy beer-inspired spa treatments and a taproom with various beverage options.

A couple enjoying Beer Bath Hydrotherapy at Oakwell Beer Spa in Denver
Beer Bath Hydrotherapy, Oakwell Beer Spa, Denver

Note: Spa appointments last an hour and a half; the latest appointment time is 9:30 PM.

Book your relaxing spa evening at Oakwell Beer Spa.

Other Fun Things to Do in Denver

If you’re interested in other activities for your day trip to Denver, here are other things to do and places to visit:

  • Civic Center Park: a large park surrounded by several popular sites
  • Tattered Cover Bookstore: the largest independent bookstore in Denver
  • Denver Milk Market: lively venue with various food vendors
  • Union Station: a historic railway station with shops, restaurants, and bars
  • The Infinite Monkey Theorem: an industrial chic winery
  • Little Man Ice Cream: iconic ice cream shop

Places just outside of Denver

  • Rocky Mountain National Park: an hour and a half from the city
  • Mount Evans Scenic Byway: the highest paved road in North America
  • Colorado Railroad Museum: located in Golden, CO

What is the best month to visit Denver?

May and September are the best months to visit Denver for nice weather and fewer crowds. That said, July is the busiest month, primarily because of its warm weather and fun activities.

No matter when you spend a day in Denver, you’re sure to have an incredible experience. 

Winters are cold but fun for people who enjoy snow activities. Spring is an incredible time to explore nature. Summer is warm, full of local events, and busy. Fall is beautiful, and crowds start to slow down.

Is Denver a walkable city for tourists?

With so many areas full of places to visit, Denver is walkable. However, you usually need a mode of transportation to get from one area to another.

For your day trip to Denver, we recommend renting a car, riding the light rail, or using rideshare services. Parking around the city is fairly easy for walking or biking around to explore.

Denver Union Station
Denver Union Station

If you’re flying into Denver for the day, Denver International Airport has a train that takes you to and from the Denver Union Station, a central location.

Read more about how to get around Denver.

Where to Spend the Night in Denver

There are a few notable hotels if you’re spending a night in Denver. We recommend one of these:

  • The Crawford Hotel: a conveniently located unique hotel at Denver’s vibrant Union Station
  • Halcyon Hotel: an elegant modern hotel in the popular Cherry Creek shopping district
  • Brown Palace Hotel: a stunning hotel and spa that has everything you need for a luxurious getaway

The Perfect Day in Denver: Final Thoughts

We hope this guide for what to do in Denver for a day was helpful to you. The Mile High City is one of the most fun places to visit. From enjoying delicious food and local beer to exploring nature and relaxing at an award-winning spa, you’re sure to enjoy your 1 day in Denver.

Ready to schedule your relaxing Denver spa day? You can book online or give us a call at (720) 810-1484.

By: Polly Clover