Meow Wolf Denver

Ultimate Guide to Meow Wolf Denver when You Only Have 72 Hours in Town

If you’ve never heard of Meow Wolf it’s time for you to pull up a chair and read on. It’s the definitive immersive art experience in the United States and rivals similar experiences throughout the world. Meow Wolf’s original location is in the picturesque town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s second location opened in late winter of 2021 in Las Vegas. It’s third location, a massive space built in-between two highways will open in my hometown of Denver and I’M SO DANG EXCITED ABOUT IT. If you love immersive art experiences as much as I do, but only have a short period of time in town this guide will give you some suggestions on what to do, where to stay and eat while you’re in town for Denver’s Meow Wolf Installation.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

General Tips for Visiting Denver

Denver is a high altitude location. Yes, the city of Denver. It’s called “The Mile High City” for a reason. Altitude sickness can occur while you’re in town. Take this seriously.

  • If you have health conditions talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about being at high altitude.
  • Don’t try to duplicate your normal fitness routine when you first arrive. Relax.
  • PLEASE don’t assume every Coloradan smokes pot. It’s really annoying. Also, we DON’T care if you do. You don’t need to whisper and giggle about it. Cannabis shops typically have a green cross on them. Do your research prior to arrival. I recommend Simply Pure a company owned by a Black woman. It’s located in the LOHI (Lower Highlands) neighborhood of Denver. Fantastic location to explore while you’re in town.
  • Do drink a lot more water than you’re used to.
  • Don’t try to eat what you would eat at home. Especially Southerners. I only recommend 3 restaurants for Southern Food here in town and ONLY for people living in Colorado.
  • Don’t just spend your time only on 16th Street Mall. Spend 2 hours and then check out some other parts of Denver.
  • Like many cities in the United States we have unhoused Coloradans. It’s likely you may notice this. Do not take pictures. They’re human beings down on their luck (I’ve noticed this trend and think it’s pretty shitty)

What is Meow Wolf Denver ?

It’s actually called “Convergence Station.” It’s in a cool and slightly random location. You may have seen a strange space ship building squished in between two roads. If you’re heading to Empower Field at Mile High or heading East on Speer towards downtown-you’ll see it. Meow Wolf Convergence Station is a 90,000 square foot building that has the following amenities:

  • Concert venue
  • Retail space
  • Food

Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes

Cost: $45 (ish) Tickets at the Las Vegas location and $35 for the Santa Fe location. My guess is that the tickets will be on the higher end and may even be around $55 (Colorado prices, am I right?)

  • Purchase tickets online
  • COVID Protocol-This will be changing constantly. At the time that I’m working on this post mask wearing is basically required in the state of Colorado inside shared spaces. Fortunately, Colorado has a pretty high vaccine rate. If you’re visiting from out of state you’ll find that most Denverites are very comfortable discussing their COVID vaccination status. They may not necessarily say anything if you opt to be mask free. But, it’s very likely that local venues will still continue to require masks to enter. Don’t be a douche and talk about what you do in your state. We don’t care. Just suck it up and bring a mask just in case (or, you’ll end up buying one) I’m sure they will be happy to sell one to you.

Getting to Meow Wolf Denver

I’m a huge fan of using public transit, riding my bike or walking whenever possible around town. For Meow Wolf I think that the two easiest modes of transportation will be:

  • By car-In my view parking is a little limited for a facility of this size. My recommendation is to park along the light rail line and then take the light rail to Meow Wolf. Also, it’s a slightly tricky location to get to if you’re not familiar with that part of downtown Denver or are from out of town.
  • Rideshare-Uber or Lyft
  • Light rail-There are two light rail stops that serve Meow Wolf Convergence Station. If you’ve ever taken the light rail to Empower Field at Mile High you’re likely familiar with both. Purchase the $6 ticket which is good for 24 hrs. You can purchase your ticket before you get on the light rail. The fares are checked at random. Don’t try to game the system. Just purchase your fare before getting on the light rail.
    • Colfax and Federal Transit Center-In my opinion, this is the closer stop and will take a maximum of 7 minutes walking over to Meow Wolf. There are sidewalks in this area and is wheelchair accessible
    • Mile High Station-If you get off at this stop (where a lot of Broncos fans typically exit the light rail to go to a game) it will take about 10 minutes to walk over. It is wheel chair accessible as well.
Meow Wolf Denver
On the way there

What to Know

There are some important details to be aware of before you visit.

  • Read the website when you purchase your tickets. The website details the following:
    • How timed ticketing works
    • If you can reenter the building (likely no)
    • The refund policy
    • What you’re allowed to bring inside-very little.
    • Have large items such as a stroller or large backpack? You might not be able to bring them inside.
    • Don’t bring drugs…they are checking…
  • The neighborhood does have a couple of breweries that you can check out but it’s not the type of neighborhood that has a ton of stores and shops. Basically, you won’t be roaming around afterward.

Meow Wolf Denver-The Facility

This is the third Meow Wolf location. It’s also the largest and I love that in many ways having this experience open in Denver helps to remind people that Denver is truly and arts town.

What exactly is Meow Wolf?

Meow Wolf is an immersive arts experience. Attendees get to interact with the art and become a part of the exhibit. It’s absolutely a family experience but I would avoid bringing small children (I actually would check to see age limits).

Meow Wolf Denver will also host LIVE MUSIC. Your favorite musician may choose to perform at Meow Wolf. Be prepared.

There is also a food hall within the facility providing food and beverages (including alcohol). Vegans and vegetarians there is food available for you and a kids’ menu.

Tentative Budget

Go online to get a feel for what you may end up spending that day. Here’s what I would spend for one person:

  • $6 light rail ticket
  • $45 adult ticket (anyone over the age of 14) *children’s tickets 5-13 are $40 dollars
  • $35-$45 for food at Meow Wolf if I opt for alcohol
  • Swag (?) I normally don’t buy swag but you never know. I could see people EASILY dropping $100 on swag

Tentative Total:

$200 a person if you purchase swag and eat at the venue. You’ll save quite a bit if you avoid doing those two things. OR, just account for the

Where to Stay in Denver

I thought I would recommend hotels and hostels that were a bit “Arty.”

Where to Eat

While you’re in town you’ll likely want to check out some of the local eats. Here are some of my favorite places to recommend. These are all Colorado local businesses serving a range of different styles of food.

What To Do

  • Check out the murals in the RINO neighborhood

Enjoy a Cocktail or a Beer

Coloradans are known for winding down over a nice cocktail or beer. Below are some of the great places to enjoy one.

  • MPB (Moods, Beats, Potions)

Prefer a Mocktail?

Not drinking alcohol while you’re visiting? There are some great places to enjoy a delicious mocktail.

  • Awake Denver-Full mocktail bar
  • Honey Elixir Bar-Does serve alcoholic beverages in addition to mocktails
  • Gruvvi-Keep an out for their next pop up or permanent tasting lounge. Love this Colorado local company. You can also pick up some Gruvvi prosecco or rose around town. Click on the finder to find the location product closest to you.

I’m so excited about Meow Wolf Denver. I think that many people consider Denver a sports town and it is. But, Denver is also very much and arts and culture town. We have the second largest theater district in the nation, have the SCFD which is a tax payers initiative that we keep passing to fund the arts and create accessibility to the arts for everyone in the Denver Metro area. For many people who aren’t excited about nature or sports Denver Meow Wolf gives visitors and opportunity to design a 100% arts focused vacation while in town.

Related Posts

How to Make Friends in Denver When You’re 30 or Older

One of the really challenging aspects of moving to a new town as an adult is figuring out how to make new friends. COVID has also changed where Coloradans are hanging out and meeting in some subtle ways. As someone over thirty who runs a website and podcast about Colorado and Denver, I find myself having the conversation about friendships and making connections often. There are some special nuances to attracting adult friendships and I thought I would offer some insights into how to navigate this if you’re new to Denver.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Listen to the Show

Related Posts

How to Make Friends in Denver

Denver is still very much a “big little city.” While there are moments when Denver feels like a big city to those of us who grew up here (during rush hour), it still in many ways has small time vibes. This can be both a benefit and a little problematic for new arrivals looking to make new friends.

  • Coloradans are very friendly– In fact, it can be a little unnerving to folks moving from cities where randomly talking to people you don’t is a thing. Or, being smiled at for no reason other than to smile. But, Coloradans can also be a little non-committal. It may take a couple of introductions before they decide to move forward with a friendship. This can be a little frustrating to people when they experience this and I wanted to put it out there.
  • Focus on your interests-Join communities that are aligned with your personal interests. There are a ton of free incredibly active Meetup groups that you can join. These groups range from singles communities, language groups, cycling enthusiasts and more. Whatever your interest is it’s likely that there is a group out there for you.
  • Start a Meetup group-In the event that you don’t find a group that’s to your liking, create your own community. Meetup groups are incredibly inexpensive to run (around $20 a month) and you can lead with what you enjoy. Just be prepared for some of the annoyances that come with leading a community.
  • Volunteer-Recently I volunteered at a local TedX event. It was a fantastic experience and the people that I volunteered with were incredible. We’re all looking to hang out again because we had such a great time.
  • What’s your favorite fitness focused activity? Denver and the state of Colorado are filled fitness focused folks. If you enjoy:
    • Hiking
    • Biking
    • Skiing/Snowboarding
    • Camping
    • Rock Climbing
    • Running
    • Yoga
    • Have gear, like to have discussions about gear join one of those communities and not only will have you have weekly activities to participate in but you’ll meet friends pretty quickly.
  • Attend an event-There are so many cool events happening in town and it’s pretty easy to meet people at them depending on the type of event you’re attending. Denver Start Up Week stands out as a great way to grow your business connections while having a great time.
  • Work from a co-working space-People are working from home more now than ever. Co-working spaces are a great way to establish a work home base and meet people with similar interests. I use a tool called Deskpass that allows me to book my spot at co-working spaces throughout the city. It’s a great way to balance out working from home.
  • Start a Content Curation Project-Before I would have said “start a blog” but it’s almost 2022. You could start a blog, vlog, podcast or a mix of all three. It’s a great way to meet people and typically creates a very easy “in” when meeting new people.
  • Own a dog-This is for people who truly love dogs and are pet people. Denver citizens LOVE their dogs. Dogs are family members vs. pets. People love connecting while walking their pets.
  • Join a faith based community-For folks that have a faith practice, finding a faith based community is a huge deal.
  • Go on a local adventure-Explore Denver like a tourist. Basically, avoid becoming insular within your specific neighborhood. Better yet, design that adventure and take your Meetup group friends with you.
  • Join one of Denver’s many “underground communities” From roller skating, cycling in mass with Denver Cruiser Ride, dance communities, or skateboarding enthusiasts there are fun people to hang out with

Finally, be open to fostering friendships with folks who are younger and older than you. Some of my favorite people are 20 years older than me and kick my butt every time we go hiking. Making friends as an adult new to Denver can feel a little intimidating. But, if you have a plan and put yourself out there you will absolutely meet some great new friends.

72 Hours in Denver When You’re Vegan

It may surprise you to hear that for 5 years I was a vegetarian. I also spent one ill-fated month as a vegan because no one told me about taking vitamin B-12. While I’m not a vegan or vegetarian right now I do follow a primarily meat free diet most of the week. One of the most challenging aspects to travel is figuring out where to eat-regardless of your diet. So, I decided to put together an itinerary with my meat-free people in mind for their next trip to Denver. Don’t worry, I won’t be sending you anywhere that smells like patchouli, body odor, dust and sadness.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Before You Arrive

Colorado is a high-altitude destination. When designing your trip, it’s imperative that you keep that in mind. For folks not used to high-altitudes that means taking it easy upon arrival. You may even want to touch base with your doctor about what to consider when visiting a high altitude destination. Yes, Denver, is a high-altitude destination. It’s called the Mile High City for a reason. It’s one mile above sea level.

If you’re from a humid location, basically anything over 20% humidity, Colorado will feel dry AF. Seriously, it will. Don’t forget to bring.

  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick
  • Sunglasses
  • A water bottle
  • Lotion

Some Helpful Tips

  • Tip #1-Take the train from Denver International Airport to Denver’s Union Station-the final stop. Do not try to take a Lyft or Uber from the airport unless you’ve pre-scheduled this. Coloradans take the train at such a high rate that ride share drivers are difficult to connect with at the airport. Once you arrive at Union Station then schedule your Lyft or Uber. This will also save you money.
  • Tip #2-Do not use the Scooters like you’re at Disney World. I see this on a daily basis during the summer travel season. It’s incredibly dangerous and people have been badly injured or died while in town.
  • Tip #3 If at all possible try to get access to a car. It will be challenging to go to mountain destinations without it. But, if you’re here for at least a minimum of 5days, then you can take the Bustang service into the mountains and visit a mountain town. I love Bustang and have taken it numerous times. Bustang does NOT run on weekends or holidays post COVID.

Where to Stay

I actually take staycations on different sides of town from the one that I live in. I live in a great area, but sometimes it’s fun to spend a few nights on the opposite side of town. Here are some suggestions of places to stay while you’re here.

  • The Source Hotel
  • Hostel Fish
  • The Art Hotel
  • Ember Hostel
  • The Rally Hotel
  • Moxy Hotel
Denver is known for its murals

Day #1

One of my favorite places in Denver is the 41st and Tennyson shopping district. It’s way underreported in travel related content about Denver. I think this is happening because most people writing about Denver aren’t from Denver or even Colorado, but are travel bloggers who are basically sharing their trips.

This area is super cute. It has an incredible coffee shop, Allegro Coffee Roasters, which is a great place to get a nice cup of coffee or to work from. This area is also home to 3 boutiques that I love.

  • Lariat-A black owned boutique with a distinct nod to Colorado fashion.
  • Second Love-One of the most beautiful resale…thrift stores…that I’ve ever shopped in. It’s not necessarily cheap but the clothes are second hand and I love that.
  • The Yogi Exchange-This is also a resale store that also happens to have crystals as well. If you’re looking for new to you athletic wear, this is a great place to start.

Once you’re hungry, check out Vital Root, a restaurant that is 99% vegan. It has incredible food and you’ll be ready for your next stop.

Or, you can head back to downtown Denver and hangout in the Lohi Neighborhood.

Now that you’re fueled up, it’s time to explore some more.

Head back downtown and go to the RINO district. I love exploring this district because of the incredible number of murals. So many murals. In fact, in 2017 Lonely Planet called this district one of the top 10 neighborhoods to visit in the United States. Start at Central Market Denver and you could literally throw a stone and hit a mural in this area. In fact, there are murals throughout the Denver metro area and beyond-it’s a thing LOL!

If you get a little thirsty while exploring there are five places that I strongly recommend.

  • Third Culture Bakery-Their iced matcha is the best in Denver. Period. No contest. And, their mochi muffins. This bakery is also LGBTQ friendly. 2600 Lawrence Street Suite #200
  • WELLth-The juices here are so damn good. And the crew is super friendly too. 2636 Walnut St. #103, Denver, CO 80205
  • Stowaway-I spent a couple of months in Australia and quickly came to understand why they are so picky about the quality of their coffee. But, the owners of Stowaway are from New Zealand and are just as particular. Great food, phenomenal coffee and a beautiful space.
  • Whole Sol Blend Bar-Enjoy juices, toasts and other vegan friendly options at this Colorado local business.

Nooch Vegan Market?

If you’re needing to pick up snacks or other foods, stop by Nooch Vegan Market located on Broadway.

Find a Food Truck

  • Best One Yet
  • Wong Way Veg
  • CholoAss Vegan
  • Mu Denver

Check Out

While you’re on this side of town there are a couple of places that I recommend you checking out.

  • Millers and Rossi, a speakeasy in the neighborhood. Make a reservation due to capacity constraints.
  • The SourceThis is also a food hall with bars as well. It is within walking distance of Zeppelin Station. Check out Safta for Middle Eastern food (high end) All are with walking distance of each other.
Downtown Denver

Day #2

Coloradans are serious about our coffee. If you’re downtown you’ll be able to find several shops serving local roasters favorite roasts.

  • Coffee at the Point-This Black owned coffee shop is in the heart of Five Points and right by the light rail. It’s also a great place to meet if you have several friends with you.
  • Amethyst Coffee-This coffee shop also has a focus on sustainable wages for its employees. Something that is a constant conversation here in Denver and beyond.

Don’t want coffee and a quick bite? Go to one of the following vegan and vegetarian restaurants to get your day started.

  • Somebody People-I can’t rave enough about this restaurant. Meat eaters will love this place. The food is so damn good. Somebody People is a whole vibe.
  • Wonder Press Denver-If you’re looking for great fresh juice blends and toasts, Wonder is the place and the staff is really nice.

If you don’t have a car, you can take the train from Union Station to Olde Town Arvada. I really love this area and it still feels like how Colorado used to feel when I was a kid. When you’re ready for lunch you can eat at the following places:

Westwood Neighborhood

Prefer Mexican food? Head over to Kahlo’s. I’m honestly baffled by the fact that this place doesn’t get as much publicity as other well known restaurants closer to Denver’s city center.

If you prefer to stay in Denver here is a short list of activities to enjoy.

  • Ride a bike along Cherry Creek Bike Trail
  • Live music at The Mission Ballroom (right off the light rail). Here are some shows I’m looking forward to this year.
    • Black Pumas
    • Marc Rebillet
    • WuTang Clan and Colorado Symphony
    • St. Vincent
    • Erykah Badu-But will she show up on time?

Red Rocks Amphitheater

This is one of the best venues in Colorado and the World. If you can, try to time your trip so that you can enjoy your favorite musical artist performing there. Or, enjoy the following:

  • Movies on the Rocks
  • Yoga on the Rocks
  • Snowshape Winter Fitness
  • Or, just enjoy hiking around the area. Use the All Trails app to find a trail.

Day #3

Edgewater Public Market and Sloan’s Lake

Meta Burger

Head over to the Cherry Creek North Shopping District. You can take a Lyft/Uber or ride your bike along the bike trail. Cyclists are serious on this trail as are the walkers so FYI.

Once you arrive, grab a cup of coffee from one of Aviano Coffee’s two locations.

Grab a meal at

True Food Kitchen*

  • Flower Child*
  • Sweetgreen*

*Typically, I avoid sharing national chains in my content and focus on locally owned businesses. However, these two chains are standouts and absolutely worth a mention within the context of this post*

Heaven Creamery

Want some ice cream before riding back? Heaven Creamery is DREAMY!!! And, it offers so many non-dairy options.

Feel like doing some yoga? Here are a couple of spots to check out.

  • Four Mile Historic Park-Goat Yoga
  • Black Swan Yoga
  • Corepower Yoga-Many people not know that it’s a Colorado local company.

Special Shout Out-Veggie Viernes

If you’re not familiar with Rise Westwood Collective I strongly encourage you to check it out. If you’re visiting town on the third friday of the month until October check out Veggie Viernes. All LatinX and BIPOC vegan venders.

Rise Westwood Collective: Outdoor Patio
Cultura Chocolate is one of the many awesome vendors there!

F$ck Yoga?

Here are some other options.

Too much action? Head over to Number 38 in RINO relax and grab a beer.

Black Owned Denver

72 Hours Enjoying Black Owned Denver, Colorado (From a Local)

Every time I travel outside of my state I’m asked where am I from. This is a normal line of questioning. But, what happens almost every single time, without fail, is that people are completely confused when I tell people that I’m from Colorado…and I grew up there. They always look so confused and I feel like I end up staring back at them like the Puff Daddy meme that we’ve all seen on Twitter. By the way, this is an incomplete list.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Many people are surprised that there is a rich and long-standing history and community of Black people who have lived in Colorado and made a difference to the state.

If you’re thinking about visiting, I strongly encourage you to do so and thought that I would share a few itineraries that intentionally included POC and allied spaces to check out as you explore Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs and beyond.

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Before You Go

I strongly recommend that travelers visit Fall-Spring and avoid summer trips if at all possible. I’ve included a link to a post that I wrote sharing How Global Warming May Impact Your Colorado Vacation.

Here are some tips to help you plan your trip.

  • Working on your fitness to prepare for those mountain hikes? Fit and Nu is the first gym for created for and operated by women of Color here in the state of Colorado. You can take either in person or online classes.

Related Posts

  • Colorado is a high elevation state. That includes Denver-which is called also the Mile High City. The further west that you go (basically-going into the mountains) the higher the elevation. If you have any medical conditions speak with your doctor about what to anticipate when traveling at a higher elevation. Most people way underestimate how elevation will affect their bodies and the most common complaint that I hear about trips to Colorado is related to altitude sickness and not feeling well during a trip.
    • Take it easy while you’re here
    • Drink water, more than what you typically do
    • Don’t resume your regular exercise routine when you arrive. Wait at least 3 days and still take it easy.
    • If you’re dizzy or have a headache pay attention to that. Those could be signs of the beginnings of elevation sickness.
  • Adrian Miller-The Soul Food Scholar. You would have seen him in High on the Hog.
  • 72 Hours in Denver When You’re Meat-Free

What to Bring

Dress however you would like but definitely bring several pairs of casual/fitness clothes. Especially if you’re visiting friends you will end up moving around quite a bit walking, biking, or maybe a hike. There isn’t pressure to dress up, but if you enjoy dressing up absolutely do!

  • Sunblock-It’s sunny here
  • Chapstick-It’s dry here
  • Lotion-It’s dry here.
  • Travel sized black hair products. The Black Travel Box is a Colorado local business that you can order products from.
  • Sunglasses-It’s really sunny here
  • Water bottle-It’s dry here LOL!

Where to Stay

I have a couple of properties that I love to stay at and like to shout out. Also, this website tries to always start with Colorado local businesses as I like to support local companies and keep the dollars circulating longer in town.

  • The Source HotelI really love this hotel and the staff are wonderful. It’s 2 blocks from the 38th and Blake light rail stop and part of a retail development as well. It’s also within walking distance (about 4 blocks) to Zeppelin Station which is a food hall and has a bar as well. There’s also a saline pool on the roof top patio with an insane view of the mountains. And, if you’re a beer fan-it has a brewery as well. I also hosted my first in-person financial retreat there and would happily host it again at this property.
    • The light rail is safe and has a constant security presence. ALWAYS buy your ticket. The one time you don’t is the time that security walks through the train.
  • The Maven Hotel-This hotel is part of an incredible retail development. It has a ton of beautiful art, is a few blocks away from Union Station and Coors Field and is a great place to as a base for your trip.
  • Hostel Fish-I’m a life long hosteling enthusiast and really like Hostel Fish. This hostel is located 2 blocks from Coors Field and is close to a bar district. COVID has changed a lot of things.
  • Ember HostelFunny story, I’ve actually stayed at the Ember Hostel (1 night) when I was getting some plumbing work done on my place and it took longer than expected. It’s a great hostel located in the Capital Hill district.

Arriving From the Airport

Denver International Airport has a train that travels from the airport to Downtown Denver’s Union Station. I STRONGLY recommend taking the train vs. taking Uber/Lyft from the airport. You will have problems trying to do this.

  • The train is faster. It takes 37 minutes from the airport to downtown. It costs $10.50 and that ticket works on all public transit for the entire day. There is security on the train and they check your ticket typically 3 times before you arrive at Union Station.
  • Most Coloradans take the train and then will schedule a Lyft or Uber from Union Station.
  • Lyft has the larger corporate presence in Denver. They have a massive corporate office here.
  • If you insist on taking Uber or Lyft from the airport please pre-schedule it. Especially if you’re arriving late in the evening. Most drivers do not “hang around” the airport because of the distance to town and because most people take the train.
  • You’ve been warned.
Denver International Airport

Day #1

Your first and second day in Denver I recommend that you take it easy. Check out Mimosas for brunch. You can take a ride share or walk if you’re in downtown Denver. Or, a scooter. But, I hate scooters, you can read why HERE.

For those of you who are cannabis curious. Check out Simply Pure. Wanda James and Scott Durah are the co-owners. Wanda also happens to be the first woman of color in the United States to receive a legal cannabis license (which are incredibly difficult to get).

Need some fun yummies for your munchies? Go to It’s a Bodega a Black owned snack emporium of unique snacks, candies, cookies and chips from around the world. My favorites are the TimTams. If cannabis isn’t your thing (it’s not mine) let’s move on.

Need to get your mind right? Take a yoga class at Urban Sanctuary. This yoga space serves black, brown and allied yogis looking for a welcoming space to get your shavasana on.

If you’re ready to go shopping, head to the 41st and Tennyson (Berkeley Neighborhood) area. This cute little shopping district is one of my favorite parts of town and I continue to be amazed by how it constantly gets missed in travel content. While there, pop into Lariat, a Black owned boutique, with Colorado inspired fashion (I’ve met the owner in case you’re wondering LOL!)

For lunch head back over to Five Points to Welton Street Cafe for some soul food. This restaurant has been a long-time mainstay in Denver’s food scene and Five Points neighborhood.

Want to learn how to use fire arms safely at a Black Owned range? Denver’s 1770 Armory instructs African-Americans in the safe handling of weapons in a welcoming space.

Denver is home to an incredible community of Slam Poetry artists who perform as the Slam Nuba team. If they are performing while you’re in town I strongly recommend checking them out. They cut heads.

Pop into Whittier Cafe for a great cup of coffee. African owned, all of the beans are African and if you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Ethiopian Coffee ceremony let me know. They serve pastries, oatmeal and burritos. Basically, typical coffee shop fare.

Denver is known for its murals.

Day # 2

Check out Meow Wolf Denver (opening Fall 2021), an immersive art experience that is opening this Fall. It’s the third location for the Meow Wolf Art Collective with the original in Santa Fe and the second location in Las Vegas-it’s that massive weird grocery store that you’ve probably heard about.

Craving some BBQ? Head over to Boney’s BBQ on the 16th Street Mall. They are open even if the website isn’t working. But, be warned, they close when the food is gone. They open at 11:00 am.

If you’re craving some ice cream stop by Smith and Cannon Ice Cream, Walia Creamery or MyKings Ice Cream or Sweet Sweetz.

What to Do

  • Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art-Currently has the Black in Denver photo display. This exhibition will end on August 22, 2021. The Museum of Contemporary Art is the first building designed by an Afro European architect in the United States.
  • Denver Art Museum and check out Simphiwe Ndzube’s exhibit in addition to other incredible curated exhibits at the museum.
  • Museum for Black Girls-I visited the second location…right before COVID hit. Literally weeks before. Then, I had a wonderful conversation with the amazing curators of this space. If you’re visiting Denver with your girlfriends or daughter, this is a wonderful place to check out. I was also very fortunate to be shown the second location by the 10 (?) year old daughter of one of the curators. Seeing the exhibit through her eyes really moved me and made the experience even richer. This pop up changes locations and a second exhibit is opening in HOUSTON!
  • Black American West Museum and Heritage Center-Denver and the West has a long history of Black Cowboys and Black settlement. This museum shares that history. Right now it’s closed because it’s being renovated but I will update this as soon as it reopens.
  • National Western Stock Show-MLK Jr.African-American Heritage Rodeo this will take place in January 2022. Again, Black cowboys and cowgirls STILL exist. If you’re in town in January make sure to have it coincide with this event if possible.
    • There is also the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza too!

Sports

We have A LOT of sports teams in Denver. If you’re into sports, the venues are all downtown with the exception of the Colorado Rapids soccer stadium. Watch your favorite teams playing while you’re in town. I’ve listed our professional sports teams below.

  • Denver Nuggets-Basketball
  • Denver Broncos-Football
  • Colorado Rapids-Soccer
  • Colorado Avalanche-Hockey
  • Colorado Rockies-Baseball

Theater

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

The arts factor heavily in our daily lives here in Denver and beyond. In fact, citizens have voted to fund the SCFD for over 30 years in order to provide free arts events for all Denver metro residents. That’s why we have free days at museums, the Zoo, etc. Visitors aren’t eligible LOL! But, this gives you some context for why there are so many murals, theatrical productions, etc. in Denver. Also, many national theatrical tours will debut in Denver after NYC. I’ve listed some shows that are coming soon.

You could also drop in a Cleo Parker Robinson Dance class if you enjoy dancing as much as I do.

For dinner, head over to Konjo Ethiopian Food in Edgewater Public Market. I absolutely love this development and think that not enough people know about it. There’s a rooftop bar and an incredible view of downtown Denver and a lake. Edgewater Public Market also has a food court with other restaurants in it, shopping and a vegan fast food place with REALLY good vegan food.

Day #3

Looking to explore the mountains? Make sure to check and see if Outdoor Afro is hosting an event while you’re in town. It’s one of my favorite outdoor communities to do: hiking, backpacking, stand up paddle board, etc. with. There are chapters across the United States so also check and see if there is a chapter in your town. Here is the link to the Colorado Outdoor Afro group on Meetup.com.

Here are a couple of other outdoors groups for POC and allied folks.

  • Blackpackers and you can listen to my podcast episode with the founder, Patricia Cameron here.

Before you head out to enjoy your final day in Denver, grab a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat at Coffee at the Point.

If you’re on your own and you’re not used to hiking pick a heavily trafficked, easy trail. Boulder’s Chautauqua Park has a number of these trails. Do pay attention to the wildlife warnings posted at the trailheads. Hiking is a serious activity at altitude so don’t be cocky. I don’t want to hear about you on the news. And, yes, we hear about out of state visitors getting into trouble hiking all the time.

  • This is a MUST read-How to Hike Safely in Colorado as a POC

If you’re not up for an actual hike but easy exploration of towns outside of Denver here are my quick day trip suggestions.

  • Boulder-I actually grew up in this town and while it may annoy me at times, it’s just 40 minutes away from Denver and great for a couple of hours away from the city. Explore the Pearl Street Mall which is an outdoor walking mall. Check out Rosetta Hall (food hall) for a meal and eat on the roof top.
  • Golden-If you’re looking for an old school “western” downtown Golden is a low-key option to check out. It’s also 35 minutes from Denver and is home to great hiking, dirt biking and beer.
  • Estes Park-Nestled at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is 1 hour 45 minutes from Denver. It’s worth the drive and one of my favorite mountain towns. You will need a reservation to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Breckenridge-I spend A LOT of time in Breckenridge. It is one of my favorite mountain towns. Here are a couple of reasons why.
    • It’s not Aspen LOL! I’ve finally figured out why so many Black people are going to Aspen-influencers going. But, Aspen is not as welcoming as other mountain towns in Colorado. Period.
    • The people who live in Breck are really chill
    • It’s a very welcoming space for POC travelers. I always see POC travelers of color both single or with families.
    • Good skiing and great hiking
    • One of my favorite hostels in the world is there (The Bivvi) and I stay at it all the time.
    • Isack Heartstone-He is a massive wooden troll that lives in the woods. I love visiting him every time I’m in town. If you have kids, this is a must do activity.

Happy Hour

Check out MPB (Moods Beats and Potions) for happy hour or dinner. MPB is a new business in the Five Points/RINO neighborhood. It looks like so much fun and I’m excited to check it out.

Quick Mention: Red Rocks Amphitheater

I’m obsessed with Red Rocks! It’s the place where I’ve attended numerous concerts, taken yoga classes and watched Black Panther with a sold out crowd of 9,000 people.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to visit Denver just to attend a concert at Red Rocks? It is. It’s a magical venue. You will need a car to visit. Or, you can pay for a shuttle service on the night of an event. You will be charged a premium to get to Red Rocks.

Last evening in Denver, it’s time to eat. Here are a couple of places that I recommend enjoying before you leave Denver.

It’s a Wrap

By now you’ve had a whirlwind experience in Denver and the rest of the metro area. I will be adding to this post with additional places to go and things to do as businesses open and close due to COVID. Hopefully, this post gave you some additional ideas of what to do and where to go while you’re here-especially if you would like to support Black owned businesses

Square State's Top of the Town List

The Problem with the 5280 Top of the Town List And What 5280 Could do Better

It’s clear that people aren’t really aware of all of the cool new restaurants, spaces and happenings going on in town. That’s clearly because of COVID and maybe some apathy on the part of respondents

I feel like it’s deja vu all over again. 5280 does a fantastic job of sharing new places, etc. so it baffles me to see a list where people are clearly not going to the unique spaces and places that automatically stand out to me. I find myself asking how we can encourage reader action to support the businesses and organizations shared throughout the year

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Listen to the Episode

Previous Episodes

Show Notes

Lack of diversity specific to companies of color and other marginalized communities. This is unfortunate because the publicity from that list=new clientele and publicity

Easiest way to address this issue? Create a couple of new categories that address this issue. “Top New POC Owned Business” “Top LGBTQ Business or Space” “Most Inclusive Spot in Denver” “Most unique new art space” (obvious winner next year-Meow Wolf”)

How this list and bracket is announced. Perhaps do cross posting with different businesses PRIOR to the announcement of this list to drum up enthusiasm and awareness.

I challenge the staff to become tourists in the towns and cities we live in.

Reexperience Colorado-it has changed during the past 2 years dramatically. I love 5280 but I think in a post COVID world where the impact on the economy and small businesses has been so significant I would love the 5280 team to take a step back and reevaluate the process for this list. Just like everything that’s happening now, there’s a deeper meaning than just “our favorite” This is an opportunity to rethink this list and do something fresh.The challenges of this moment are also an opportunity.

This list also highlights how we experience a place differently. If you’re listening to the show I encourage you to support the businesses shared on both lists. I took some liberties with the list that I created and shared in below. A few of these spaces opened after the Top of the Town List was curated so I do want to be candid about that.

Would You Like to Become a Show Sponsor?

Do you live in Colorado but can’t keep up with all of the changes? Or, are you visiting Colorado sometime soon? If you’re looking for fun activities, local businesses to support and would like to hear about what’s happening in Colorado Sign up for the “Addicted to Square State” newsletter today. Michelle shares Colorado local tips and more. 

Are you a Colorado local business or organization looking to tell your brand story? Become a sponsor of the Square State Podcast. Why would a Square State podcast sponsorship be a great way to advertise your business?Listeners are from Colorado or looking to visit. The shows are “live” for years giving you incredible bang for your buck over time. Podcast listeners pod binge. Basically, if they are new listeners to the show they will binge on previously released episodes. 

Podcast listeners are a captive audience who are  much more likely to take a suggested action than random flyering or one off advertisements in digital magazines.

Email me today at squarestateco@gmail.com for more information 

The Digital Green Book is an incredible resource developed here in Denver. If you’re looking to insure that you’re in safe spaces whether you’re a person of color, have a physical imparement or are a part of the LGBTQ community. My guests Charnelle and Parker tell me all about it in Square State episode 41. I’ve included a link in the show notes.

Square State Colorado’s Top of the Town 2021 List

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