Nestled in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Denver is a vibrant city with everything from high-end shopping and dining to fascinating cultural attractions. Even if you only have a weekend in Denver, you’ll be able to see the best attractions. Here are some itinerary ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Denver and how to enjoy a memorable experience.

Friday Evening

Friday evening is the start of your 72 hours in Denver. The city is known for its green chile, so be sure to stop at Sam’s No. 3 to try the local version as a bowl, burrito, or burger. For something a little different, try Roxy on Broadway, an intimate live-music venue with delicious and unique small bites, classic cocktails, and a variety of performances.

To sample some of Denver’s thriving nightlife, head to Colfax Avenue. The street has a rich mix of taverns and bars, so get a crawl going to experience a little bit of Denver after dark. You could also check out a show at the Bug Theatre, a popular theatre that features comedy and musical productions, or catch a late movie at the Esquire Theatre, which has midnight showings of cult classics that are a great way to kick off your weekend and settle into your destination for the night.

golden triangle denver

Golden Triangle, Denver

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours in Denver for sightseeing. For breakfast, enjoy a little heat in the alpine environment with a spicy dish at Fritangas Mexican Restaurant. It boasts a warm atmosphere and a diner feel, which perfectly complements its enchiladas, chorizo, bean sauce, and other Mexican favorites. If you prefer something sweeter and more indulgent, the Habit Doughnut Dispensary has an excellent selection of rich, dessert-like breakfast options, such as brioche donuts and French toast, available with alcoholic beverages.

You can work off your meal with a stroll around the Denver Botanic Gardens, a vibrant space with a unique collection of plants, or get some shopping in at the 16th Street Mall.

For lunch, stop at Post Oak Barbecue for brisket, sausage, or pork shoulder cooked Texas-style in an old-fashioned smoker. You could also try Uncle, a ramen shop with unique variants on classic ramen dishes.

red rock amphiteather

Red Rock Amphitheater, Denver

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you can spend your time visiting some of Denver’s most notable attractions. If you’re bringing the kids, the Denver Zoo offers a fun and educational experience with an array of global animal species, wildlife shows, and shopping opportunities. You could also visit the Denver Art Museum, a Western and regional art museum with seven stories of paintings and other works, or the Clyfford Still Museum, which features the collective works of the revolutionary artist.

Saturday night in Denver is when the city comes alive. The downtown area is one of the best spots for nightlife at places such as Pon Pon, a bar that offers great music and cocktails with a lively atmosphere. There’s also Little Man, a late-night ice cream shop with an array of delicious treats, and the Denver Bazaar, a pop-up market with unique gifts, food, and alcoholic drinks for a fun twist on the shopping experience.

pikes peak colorado

Pikes Peak, Colorado

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Denver, you’ll have 24 hours left to explore the Mile High City. For breakfast, visit the Masterpiece Deli for truly delectable egg-and-cheese sandwiches. You have your choice of ingredients, such as sausage or bacon, in mouthwatering sandwich combinations.

The kids will like attractions like Elitch Gardens, a seasonal water park and theme park with amusement rides and carnival games, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, a fascinating museum with interactive science and natural history exhibits. If you’re looking for a quieter afternoon, you could visit the Downtown Aquarium to see aquatic species in stunning displays.

For lunch, visit Lou’s Food Bar for hot chicken. The casual counter-service restaurant serves various chicken dishes, such as salads and sandwiches, and delicious fried chicken. There’s also Safta, a modern Israeli restaurant with a huge offering of Middle Eastern cuisine such as hummus, pitas, and lamb ragu.

fox theatre denver

Fox Theatre, Denver

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you’ll have plenty of options for attractions and activities. You could visit the Molly Brown House Museum, the famed Victorian mansion of the Titanic heroine, or the Colorado State Capitol to see exhibits about the state’s history. Downtown Denver, a theater district with a mall and many shops and boutiques, is also great to visit.

denver botanical gardens

Denver Botanical Gardens

On Sunday night in Denver, you can have your pick of a wild night or a tame experience to top off your trip. Cart-Driver is a unique restaurant that offers wood-fired pizzas, fresh cocktails, and oysters, or you could visit the Mutiny Information Cafe to check out books, drink coffee, and hang out with some locals.

If you want something in between a dance club and a quiet bar, many of the bowling alleys in Denver offer late-night fun. You could visit Wheat Ridge Lanes, a retro alley, or Monaco Lanes for some lighthearted competition.

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

From its position in the stunning Rocky Mountains to its spectacular cultural attractions, Denver is a great destination for all types of travelers. If you’re planning your next trip, visit Expedia to check out deals on Denver vacations to make the most of your time in the Mile High City.