Show off the Mile High City to out-of-town football fans

January 7, 2015

Out of town friends or family traveling here for the AFC Divisional game at Sports Authority Field Sunday?

Denver welcomes Colts and Broncos fans alike with suggested hotels, dining options and sightseeing venues. The Mile High City loves out-of-towners who spend their money here and go home, but if you’re betting on the wrong horse, let there be no doubt that this is Broncos country.

Visitors coming to see the Denver Broncos face off against the Indianapolis Colts at 2:40 p.m. Sunday can also see a priceless exhibition of jewelry, dine out in a restored train station, stay at new “historic” hotels, grab brunch in the trendy LoHi, Baker, or RiNo neighborhoods, or take a walk on the Denver Beer Trail in America’s craftiest beer city.

Here is a list of stay, dine and see spaces compiled by Visit Denver, Denver’s convention and visitors bureau.


There are 44,000 hotel rooms in Denver with 9,400 rooms downtown offering easy access to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Most of the downtown hotels are just a block or two from the 16th Street Mall, Denver’s mile long pedestrian walkway. Hop on a free bus to Union Station, and catch the Light Rail two stops to the football stadium. Or you can travel there by pedicab or join the parade of people who walk across two pedestrian bridges to the South Platte River and walk along a paved river trail to the stadium.

Some of Denver’s newest hotels include:

The Crawford Hotel

This historic 112-room property opened in August 2014 as the centerpiece of the newly restored 1914 Union Station and offers three styles of rooms. The Pullman rooms on the second floor are modeled after the luxury private sleeping cars of old. The Classic rooms on the third floor come with tall ceilings and large windows. The former attic area is now the Loft, featuring exposed wood timbers, vaulted ceilings and a more contemporary design. To make the most of the architectural features, most of the rooms in the hotel are one-of-a-kind designs and shapes. The hotel shares The Oxford Club Spa with the award-winning Oxford Hotel across the street.

Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center

This full-service, four-star, 221-room hotel opened in May 2014 in the restored Colorado National Bank Building, which was originally built in 1915 from the same white marble used in the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The hotel incorporates many historic details from the old bank, including three vaults with 33-inch thick doors that now serve as meeting rooms. The ground floor restaurant, Range, specializes in foods of the American West with many Colorado specialties, while the lobby bar is surrounded by huge, wall-size murals painted by local artist Allen Tupper True. Considered one of Colorado’s premier native-born artists, True focused his work on Western subjects. The murals in the hotel depict the lives of American Indians on the Plains region during the 1800s.


Football fans are lucky that Denver is hosting two world exclusive art exhibitions in January and is a year-round destination for professional sports and locally crafted beer.

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Tour at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

If you arrive a day or two early for the game, make sure to take some time to visit Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The stadium is home to the free Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which highlights the achievements of the great athletes who have played for the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies, Avalanche and others. You can also get a behind the scenes look at this state-of-the-art football stadium on a 90-minute guided tour (offered every hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Denver Beer Trail

The Mile High City brews more beer than any other city.  From the world’s largest single brewing site, Coors Brewery in nearby Golden, to small tasting rooms with only a dozen chairs, Denver has more than three dozen breweries in and near downtown and more than 100 in the metro area.  In 2013 and 2014, metro Denver opened a new brewery on average every other week. There are several beer tour companies set up that will drive you to several of the coolest – and tastiest – breweries near downtown Denver. Or, go out and explore on your own with some guidance from the Denver Beer Trail.

Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA), through April 14.

Organized by MCA Denver, this retrospective exhibition brings together the first comprehensive presentation of Mark Mothersbaugh’s art and music to date, from the beginning of his career in the early 1970s through the present. Though well known around the globe as a founding member of the popular band Devo, Mothersbaugh has been a prolific artist since before the band’s inception.

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum, through March 15.

This worldwide-exclusive exhibition at the Denver Art Museum includes an astonishing assortment of jewelry, timepieces and precious objects from the Cartier collection. Many of the pieces in the exhibition were owned by aristocrats, celebrities and royalty, including Princess Grace, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, J.P. Morgan and the Aga Khan, among other luminaries.


Before the game, explore some of Denver’s trendy neighborhoods, all of them accessible from downtown.

Denver Union Station

Denver’s historid Beaux Arts 1914 train terminal reopened with 10 new restaurants and bars in July 2014, as well as a selection of fine retailers including a branch of the popular Tattered Cover Bookstore. Local powerhouse chef Jen Jasinski (winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest) has opened Stoic & Genuine, a seafood-centric restaurant in the tradition of Grand Central Station’s Oyster Bar, while Alex Seidel (Food & Wine’s Top New Chef of the Year 2010) has opened Mercantile, featuring locally sourced, farm-to-table items from his sheep farm located in nearby Larkspur. For larger groups, The Kitchen Next Door offers community-style seating and casual atmosphere. Step up to the Terminal Bar, situated in the station’s old ticket windows, to order one of 30 Colorado beers on tap, or relax in the Cooper Lounge overlooking the station’s grand hall.

Lower Highlands (LoHi)

Connected to downtown by three pedestrian bridges, LoHi has become one of Denver’s most popular dining destinations. Linger is housed in an old mortuary and was selected by Travel + Leisure for having one of “America’s coolest rooftop bars.”  Sister restaurant Root Down has a menu dedicated to locally sourced foods, while Ale House at Amato’s has 45 local beers on tap, outdoor fireplaces and an expansive city view. The walls of Denver Beer Company literally “roll up” (it was once an auto repair shop) and the outdoor beer garden has picnic tables and food trucks. Nearby, Prost Brewing has copper kettles from Germany and a delicious selection of sausages. Colt & Gray, Old Major and Duo are local neighborhood favorites, while My Brother’s Bar is a Denver institution, once frequented by beat generation legends Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy.

River North (RiNo)

RiNo is a former industrial neighborhood that is exploding with art galleries, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and even a winery (with the grapes supplied from the Western Slope of Colorado). Swing by The Source, an old brick manufacturing plant that now houses a bakery, butcher, florist, the acclaimed Acorn restaurant, street tacos at Comida, Crooked Stave brewery known for their wide variety of sour beers and several shops. Work & Class, Populist, the Butcher Block, and Amerigo Delicatus are just some of the new restaurants gaining national attention. Down the block, Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery is building a name for its canned sparkling wines, while Epic, River North, Black Shirt and Our Mutual Friend are just some of Denver’s breweries located in this area.

South Broadway and Baker

Yet another hip neighborhood with new eateries, bars and nightspots is just one mile south of downtown along South Broadway. Check out the rooftop decks of the Historian Ale House or the Irish Rover, stop by for palm trees and umbrella drinks at Adrift Tiki Bar, or play a game of bowling, darts or shuffleboard at the massive 20,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social. From fine dining at Beatrice & Woodsley to homemade Sweet Action Ice Cream, Baker has a Brooklynesque feel with pizza shops next to bookstores on a street lined with one-of-kind clothing shops, galleries, original home furnishings and music clubs.

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