Amazing Denver Weekend Trip

Denver. The Mile High City. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and filled with art, culture, parks, and delicious food. With so much adventure to be had, a weekend Denver trip probably won’t feel like enough time, but we will help you make the most of it. And worst case scenario, you fall in love in love with Denver and return again to experience more of it!

This guide is best for first time visitors as we will help you fit in the highlights with our perfect Denver weekend itinerary. But not to worry! We’ll help you fit in time to just soak up the Denver vibe and take in the mountain views too!

Weekend Denver Trip: Day One

  • Downtown Walking Tour
  • Capitol Building
  • Union Station
  • Confluence Park
  • Denver Sporting Event
Union Station, Denver | Island + Alpine

We love to kick off our time in a new city with delicious breakfast and walk around the city to get our bearing and see the highlights.

You have a long list of choices to choose from when it comes to breakfast. Here are a few of our highest recommendations:

Bacon House: This tasty spot is sure to delight bacon-lovers everywhere. Check out their Bacon Flight with several unique flavors and scissors included so that you can share with your tablemates (no pressure to share!). The Carnitas Benedict would also be a great addition to your table – unique and delicious!

Snooze an AM Eatery: The Brioche Monte Cristo is super yummy and we have also had a great experience with the . We highly recommend splitting the seasonal Pancake Flight with your table mates for breakfast dessert. The pineapple upside down pancakes, strawberry, and blueberry danish pancakes are personal favorites.

Denver Biscuit Company: When you hear “biscuit,” don’t assume I am recommending a little breakfast snack! This biscuit sandwiches are super hearty and super yummy. I’m a fan of the DBC Club myself, but the Ellsworth also looks really appealing. Eat in house or take it on the go, but don’t miss out on this great little spot downtown.

Denver Capitol Building | Island + Alpine

After filling up with a hearty breakfast, take the time to explore downtown and see its highlights and historical spots.

The Capitol Building is a must stop spot. Both for its free tours of its gold dome (the gold was donated by a local mining company and gilded in 1908 as a symbol or Colorado’s historical origins) and so you can stand exactly one mile above sea level. Well…maybe not exactly one mile – it has been measured and corrected three times so far, so make sure to look for the first measurement and the current official one too!

Denver weekend itinerary - standing on the mile high square | Island + Alpine

Near the Capitol building is Civic Center Park. The grass is so lush and green, it is a gorgeous spot for a stroll or a rest on a bench. The architecture is lovely here and worth the observation.

Food trucks are parked here during summer on Thursdays for Civic Center Eats as well and make the perfect place to pick up a snack or a beverage. From Dude Bro Taco to Rocky Mountain Slices, there is plenty to choose from for everyone.

Next, head toward Union Station. It is approximately a 30 minute walk or you can hop on the 16th Street Free MallRide. It will take you close to 30 minutes to take the MallRide too, but you can rest your feet or catch your breath (Denver is too high, but you may still feel a bit of altitude here!).

The view from outside the station is worth the walk itself but the ambiance inside takes you back in time. The platform on the backside gives a great view that you won’t want to miss (don’t be like us – face palm)

. Inside you’ll find charming benches, delicious pancakes at Snooze an AM Eatery, ice cream sundaes from Milkbox Ice Creamery, and also the Tattered Cover Bookstore, which is a Denver icon.

No weekend trip to Denver is complete without a visit to Union Station! | Island + Alpine

For lunch, picking up a picnic and heading to Confluence Park would be a lovely choice. Feel free to bring your new book along from Tattered Cover too! You could grab something to go from Union Station or from one of these other delicious options:

ND streetBAR: Its location at Union Station makes this a convenient choice. The Peruvian Chicken Bowl is delicious and worth your cash. We’ve also heard great things about the mushroom tacos.

Snooze an AM Eatery: If you didn’t get enough breakfast for breakfast or you could just eat that meal over and over all day long (yes, please!), you have another chance to pick up that pancake flight in Union Station for brunch.

Whole Foods: Located outside Union Station, this grab n go spot is perfect if you are taking us up on the picnic idea. We love their salad car for a fresh, tasty, and healthy lunch.

Union Station, Denver | Island + Alpine

Denver is filled with beautiful parks (over 200 to be exact!) and Confluence Park is one of the best. Located on the banks of the South Platte River, the grassy area is a central spot to spread out your blanket and watch the water. You’ll often see tubers or kayaking whiz by on the rapids, and you can rent gear yourself if you’d like from Confluence Kayaks.

Confluence Park River in Denver - a perfect weekend activity! | Island + Alpine

Confluence Park is overlooked by the REI flagship store where you can pick up any hiking gear, jacket, or sunglasses that you may have left behind. Their rock climbing wall is great fun too – if you happen to stop by when they are offering climbs.

During the evening, take advantage of the fact that Denver has SO many sports teams to cheer on in every season. Whether you are a basketball fan or prefer hockey, there is a stadium for you to enjoy your nachos and ice cream and have a great time with the people of Colorado.

Coors Field, Denver at night | Island + Alpine

In the spring and summer, check out Coors Field for a baseball game with the Colorado Rockies. The Denver Broncos play football at Empire Field at Mile High in the fall and cheer for the Denver Nuggets as they play basketball at Ball Arena. Ball Arena is also where you can watch the Colorado Avalanche play hockey and the Colorado Mammoth play lacrosse. Soccer fans can find the Colorado Rapids’ games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Coors Field, Weekend in Denver activity | Island + Alpine

Denver Weekend Itinerary: Day Two

  • Aquarium or Nature Museum
  • Take a food tour
  • Art Murals in RiNo
  • Larimer Square
RiNo Arts District in Denver | Island + Alpine

In the morning, we suggest checking out one or more of Denver’s incredible museums. The Denver Aquarium is a beautiful spot and especially great if you are traveling with children.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a favorite among visitors and locals alilke.

Museum of Contemporary Art is located up by Union Station and is the perfect way to fill a few hours for art lovers.

Denver street art | Island + Alpine

One of our favorite ways to explore a city is by booking a food tour and with all the delicious places to eat in Denver, we highly recommend trying it out if you haven’t before! Try a Downtown food tour with Delicious Denver Food Tours and treat yourself to a full lunch while you explore the culinary delights at 5 different restaurants on your Denver weekend trip.

RiNo is short for River North Art District and this place is not to be missed. Filled with eclectic places to eat, music to experience, and gorgeous art gracing the alleyway walls, RiNo is surely a treat for all your senses!

Street Art in Denver | Island + Alpine

You have a few options here – you can take a self-guided tour and explore on your own, take a self-guided tour to learn more about the artists from someone who really knows, or (a personal favorite!) book a vacation photo shoot and take home some incredible memories! We voted for the latter and are thrilled to have had a professional photographer with Flytographer ($25 discount code here) capture both our trip as well as the beautiful murals that we got to see.

Family Photo Shoot, Denver Street Art | Island + Alpine
Photo Credit to Jenna with Flytographer in Denver
Denver Street Art Photo Shoot | Island + Alpine
Street Art Photo Shoot during a weekend trip to Denver | Island + Alpine

RiNo is also a great happy hour spot, so be sure to pop in somewhere that catches your eye. Cart-Driver RiNo or RiNo Beer Garden would both be great choices.

Larimer Square is small but mighty! This charming block located between 14th and 15th street downtown offers such an array of fabulous places to eat, that you are sure to find a new favorite. The numerous outdoor patios are so appreciated when the weather is pleasant and the twinkling lights are magical year round.

Choose from our list of delicious places for dinner for couples, families, and groups of friends:

The Capital Grille: If you are craving steak and lobster, this upscale dining establishment is sure to please. The crème brulee is to die for, so make sure to leave room for dessert! Don’t worry, the flourless chocolate cake is just as good if you are looking for something richer.

Bistro Vendome: The adorable bistro has everything from steak frites to French onion soup and is a sweet spot to spend the evening. If you are just looking for something light, check out their cheese board.

RiNo Street Art in Denver | Island + Alpine

Denver Weekend Trip: Day Three: Experience the Mountains

While you could spend another day (or several!) exploring all that Denver has to offer within the city, there are so many spectacular things to do and see within a short drive that it would be a shame not to check some of them out if time permits!

If your weekend is too short to rent a car and explore, be sure to make note of these treasures for next time. A few incredible choices for a day trip or just a few hours outside of the city:

Red Rocks

Red Rocks, Denver day trip | Island + Alpine


The mountain town of Breckenridge is a beautiful place to spend a day or two or three. Filled with charming shops and tasty restaurants on Main Street, plenty of easy hikes straight from town, the iconic Breckenridge Troll, and plenty of fun things to do, it is a must-visit location near Denver!

Check out our full post here with all the best summer activities in Breckenridge.

Breckenridge is about 2 hours from Denver with a gorgeous scenic drive from the city. Accommodations are plenty if you wish to stay the night. A few of our favorites:

Breckenridge Main Street | Island + Alpine

Rocky Mountain National Park – Estes Park

Denver Day Trip - Rocky Mountain National Park, Dream Lake | Island + Alpine

Head to Rocky Mountain for a day or two or five. Just an hour and a half from Denver, this National Park is one of the best in the west and you’ll want these things to do on your itinerary. You’ll need to make a reservation for a timed entry visit the month before your visit.

Top things to do:

  • Check out the gorgeous scenic views from the Ute Trail
  • Walk around Bear Lake
  • Have a picnic at Alberta Fallls
  • Drive Trail Ridge Road
  • Visit the Alpine Visitor’s Center
  • Hike to Emerald Lake or one of the other gorgeous lakes in the park
  • Look for elk in the fields at sunset
Rocky Mountain National Park | Emerald Lake Hike

Denver Weekend Trip at a Glance

Day One:

  • Downtown Walking Tour
  • Capitol Building
  • Union Station
  • Confluence Park
  • Denver Sporting Event

Day Two:

  • Aquarium or Nature Museum
  • Take a food tour
  • Art Murals in RiNo
  • Larimer Square

Day Three:

  • Red Rocks
  • Breckenridge
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – Estes Park
  • Georgetown Loop Railroad
  • Colorado Springs
Denver Weekend family vacation, outside Cherry Creek | Island + Alpine

Thank you for sharing!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *