Denver is the capitol of Colorado and a fast-growing city with lots to do. There are several museums, good restaurants and nightlife in the Mile High City, and it makes a great base for day trips.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport is located outside of the city to the northeast. We didn’t fly in but we picked up my friend Martin’s wife, Gönül, who was flying in from New York. It’s a very nice airport with open spaces and very easy to navigate.
Driving in Denver
I found driving around Denver to be easy but the traffic was pretty bad in parts. Drivers were generally courteous. Parking wasn’t difficult to find.
Whatever you do, do NOT drive on the E-470. It might be well-maintained with no traffic, but this privately-owned toll road is overpriced and offers nowhere to pay along the road. It scans your license plate and you will end up getting a bill in the mail after about a month. I got on the road thinking I would be able to pay at the exits but ended up having to call and pay by credit card a month later. My 20 or so minutes on the road cost me US$18. Definitely not worth it.
Before Gönül arrived, Martin and I stayed in the suburb of Aurora which isn’t too far from downtown Denver. We did a few nights of Air BnB camping out in someone’s backyard. We had full access to the house but it was disgusting to say the least.
Our final night was at the Aurora Travelodge. It was also disgusting. There was broken glass on the steps and in the parking lot, the staff was rude when I asked to leave our bags for an early check-in, and our non-smoking room was filled with the stench of cigarette smoke. Avoid it at all costs.
China Café II in Aurora
We had one dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Aurora, China Café II. The food was decent and it did the job. It was filling and cheap.
Las Margs Tavern
In Denver, we ate a good Mexican restaurant and bar, Las Margs Tavern. My mom’s husband Doug is cousins with the owner and he suggested I try it. The food was very good and the atmosphere was great. Their specialty is street tacos but I chose the enchiladas.
It’s also worth eating dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant. Read about my experience here.
Sports in Denver
Denver is a great city for sports lovers. It has a team in each of the major sports leagues. The Denver Broncos play NFL football at Mile High Stadium. The Colorado Rockies play baseball at Coors Field. The Pepsi Center hosts the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche NHL hockey team. The Colorado Rapids play soccer at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The stadiums also hold concerts.