Hipster guide to Denver

Staying grounded in the Mile High City

Pack your skinny jeans and ironic T-shirts. You’re off to Denver, where the altitude is high, and so is the hipster quotient. It’s not just the mountain beards and craft beer that can feed your hip soul. As many Denver neighborhoods undergo a cultural renaissance, independent shops and offbeat restaurants are cropping up to serve your beatnik heart.

If you’re looking for things to do in Denver, dear hipster, let our guide light the way. With an old timey lantern, of course. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping small batch spirits and shopping for vintage accessories. Get around via Uber or forgo traditional transportation and opt for a sweet scooter rental in warmer months. Use our hipster travel guide to find a place where people don’t know your name, but they appreciate your suspenders.

Embrace the counter culture in Denver

Wake up in the Mile High City with a need for a caffeine fix? Head to Crema Coffee House in River North (RiNo) for a cup of coffee and a fresh quiche. The walls are outlet free, so you’ll have to cozy up on a living room couch, next to the exposed brick wall, and have a conversation.

Just around the corner and you’re at MegaFauna, a kitschy shop with locally sourced goods and an in-house screen printing operation.

Crema Coffee House Denver

Crema Coffee House via Yelp/Andrew K.

Travel 3.5 miles south

Head just a few miles to the South Broadway District, which some might say is one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Denver, and you’ll find yourself standing at the doorstep of Ironwood. Pick up a plant, peruse the crystals, and try on the vintage coats. Local artists and musicians often have their work on display, too.

Travel 30 miles northwest

Viewfinder Tip: If you can’t decide where to eat, check out The Source, where 15 artisan food makers share a restored 1800s factory.

Bohemian Biergarten via Yelp/Zdenek S.

If you have a car, the journey to Boulder pays off. It may not technically be one of the hip neighborhoods in Denver, but it’s a cool sister city. Boulder is a college town holding on to its indie vibe with both bangled arms, and there are plenty of ways to stay busy without serving The Man. Put some money into the caps of buskers on Pearl Street and get a pretzel and stein of beer at the Bohemian Biergarten. Stop by Into the Wind before you head back to Denver; you can pick up a new kite (who couldn’t use an extra?) and a Spirograph design tin.

Travel 26 miles southeast

Back in Denver, head for Union Station in Lower Downtown (LoDo). Sure, it’s still a functioning transportation depot. But you can also play shuffle board in the middle of the station. The station is full of hipster things to do in Denver. While you’re at the station, add a new title to your collection at the Tattered Cover bookstore and grab an artisan sandwich at the ACME Delicatessen. If you’re up for an afternoon cocktail or two, order a drink at the Terminal Bar, where old ticket windows serve as the spot to place your order. If you have a taste test in mind, go about 6 miles south to Laws Whiskey House to kick off a jiving and imbibing tour.

Travel 1 mile northwest

In just a few minutes from Union Station, the time it takes you to get to Lower Highland (LoHi), you’re standing at Little Man Ice Cream. This neighborhood is hipster-friendly, and the homemade ice cream and gelato is served from a restaurant shaped like a giant milk jug.

Walk a few blocks north, and you can end your day at Williams & Graham. Accessible through a bookshelf with a secret door, the speakeasy serves up craft cocktails with ingredients like blackberries, sage, and private stock bourbon. You can order pretzel bites and deviled eggs, and the staff encourages you to leave them notes on lined paper.

See? Denver isn’t all mountain biking and football. You can find your people in the independent bookstores and on scavenger hunt adventures. No one will look twice at your suspenders.

Where do you love about hipster vacations in Denver?

Header photo via Flickr/Jerry Huddleston

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