Thinking about a honeymoon or romantic getaway in Denver, Colorado? The Mile-High City offers couples plenty to do and see. Whether Denver is your ultimate destination or you plan to travel to the Rockies or beyond, these are activities and attractions that romantics are sure to love.
Getting From the Airport to Downtown
DIA, also known as Denver International Airport, is located way out of town. Fortunately, the A Line commuter train can whisk you to the airport or Union Station in the center of town in 37 minutes. Other options include renting a car, booking the SuperShuttle, taking a hotel shuttle or limousine, boarding a public bus, taking a taxi, or calling an Uber.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in all of Colorado, and the largest concentration of stores selling weed and edibles is in Denver. Find out where to buy up to one ounce at a time — but note that it is illegal to consume marijuana in public. Colorado Cannabis Tours can help provide venues.
Way before Ralph Lauren co-opted the cowboy look, Rockmount was manufacturing snap-button Western shirts. In fact, the company's iconic shirt design is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. At the store in Denver's LoDo district, couples can buy his-and-her styles that range from classic to elaborate ones with appliqués and spangles. Rockmount also sells hats, bolo ties, belts, and buckles. On Larimer Square, Cry Baby Ranch (love the name!) caters to cowgirls, with a smartly edited selection of cool boots, jewelry, apparel, and decorative items for the home. To shop where the locals do, head for the tony Cherry Creek Shopping Center, and bring plenty of cash.
One of the still-thriving independent bookstores in America, Denver's Tattered Cover, which has locations in LoDo, Union Station, and the Cherry Creek district, is a treasure trove for couples who love to read almost as much as they love each other. There are plenty of staff favorites to consider as well as best-sellers and used books to browse. If magazines are your passion, you'll find titles you've never seen before in addition to well-known ones. Overstuffed chairs and sofas make the Tattered Cover an inviting place to chill, and the in-store coffee and tea shop offers refreshments. Also check for special events while you're in town.
Offered at the end of the day, when all the other spa customers are gone, the two-hour Couples Spa Escape includes 50-minute side-by-side massages and full access to all facilities. The couples suite at The features two spa beds with Tempur-Pedic mattresses, ensuring guaranteed relaxation. Practiced hands provide tandem massages. Afterwards, relax in the adjacent room, which has its own couch, TV, wet bar, and bathroom. It's totally private, and set up just for two.
A stroll through the exceptional Denver Museum of Art is like taking a survey course in art history in a day. There's a little bit of everything to engage the eye, with work that ranges from Western Art to a Buddhist sand mandala. Whether your taste runs to African, American Indian, Asian, European, Spanish Colonial, Pre-Columbian, or textile art, you can find excellent examples of all. Two things we appreciated: photography is permitted and there are numerous places within the galleries to rest or reflect. There's also an expansive gift shop, a cafe, and a restaurant. The museum's Daniel Libeskind-designed extension dramatically pierces the sky at sharp angles; you won't miss this Denver attraction if you're driving.
For more than a century, Denver ladies and gentlemen (not to mention wildcatters and those of questionable repute) have seated themselves in the lobby of the Brown Palace for a mid-afternoon repast. Along with tea, drink in the history of this grande dame, known as the Western White House when former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower held court. Scones and tea sandwiches are served, and Devonshire cream shipped directly from England adds to the rich experience. Should your taste buds prefer beer, the hotel can provide a list of local microbreweries.
Known locally as "the Plex," this is mecca for Denver's most cultured citizens as well as couples visiting on a honeymoon or romantic getaway. Home to six theaters and an opera house, entertainments range from Broadway musicals and cabaret shows to symphony and ballet performances. Featuring an open-air atrium with views that extend as far as the Rockies, the Plex also displays several world-class sculptures that complement the surroundings.
At the 23-acre Denver Botanic Gardens, two miles from the downtown area, plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world are cultivated. Both self-guided tours and horticulturist-led adult group tours are available.
See Denver like its early arrivals from the east, in a horse-drawn carriage. Popular with honeymoon couples and other romantics, it's a good way to slow down and take in the scenery. Various companies operate, keeping prices of rides competitive. Horses and drivers go out in all seasons — although we think snuggled under a blanket in winter during the annual Parade of Lights has to be the most romantic trip of all.
Given its relatively small population for a major city, Denver supports an impressive number of restaurants. If you want romantic, opt for 1515, Rioja, or one of Kevin Taylor's restaurants, all suitable for honeymoon couples and others who want to to whisper sweet nothings over award-winning fare. For Italian-food lovers, Panzano in Hotel Monaco is a local favorite. Couples who don't want anything fancy yet would appreciate a change of pace ought to sink their teeth into juicy and uber-nutritious bison burgers at Ted's Montana Grill.
Did you know that Denver has eight professional sports teams? Whether you're fans of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, or rugby, there's a team for you to root for in town. The best-known athletes are the members of the Denver Broncos, who play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Coach and former quarterback John Elway has three eponymous restaurants in town; traveling sports fans including one at the airport and another in The Ritz-Carlton, Denver.
A magnificent natural amphitheatre where Denverites head for outdoor concerts, Red Rocks is open year-round. It's a gorgeous spot to bike, hike, birdwatch, learn more about history and geology, and picnic (there's also an on-site restaurant). Honeymoon couples and other outdoors lovers are advised to plan a visit that includes time to watch the sunset, breathtaking in its beauty.
Denver's Art Walk, held on the first Friday of the month, exposes travelers to a range of talents in its Santa Fe art district and you can meet the artists. For honeymoon couples, it's a great way to collect a meaningful souvenir that becomes part of their new home. Some of the work is amateurish, but venues' free wine and cookies make those pieces easier to swallow.
In fall, the annual Great American Beer Fest attracts lager lovers to Denver; at a recent event more than 2,400 different beers were available to taste. Of course, you can savor the suds any time you visit. Denver is not only home to the enormous Coors Brewing company; the city contains numerous microbreweries and brewpubs where thirsty honeymoon couples and others can slake a thirst.
Head for the Hills
For many couples on a honeymoon, Denver is a stopping-off point before they ascend to the Rockies. There's a smart physical reason to do so, especially if you're coming from a lower-elevation place: At 5,280 feet above sea level, Denver has 25% less oxygen in the air than coastal cities. It's unlikely you'll suffer altitude sickness, but you may feel more tired than usual. So unwind here to acclimate, and then head for Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, or any other of Colorado's world-renowned mountain destinations for snow sports in the winter and meadow hiking (and lower rates) in the summer.