DEN to Downtown Denver: A Business Travel Guide
When you arrive at Denver International Airport, you might initially be overwhelmed by the layout and design, but don’t fear, DEN has plenty of great things to offer, like delicious local eats, and is well connected to downtown.
For starters, located in Concourse C is the trendy eatery RootDown, a sister restaurant to the one located in downtown Denver. It’s a great place to meet up with colleagues to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a local Colorado microbrew beer before heading out. Even if you don’t land in Concourse C, DEN has an underground tram system connecting the different terminals and baggage claim.
Now it’s time to explore Denver; however, as you might have noticed on your descent, the airport is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Denver. Luckily, Denver has recently implemented a light rail system that can take you directly from the airport to Union Station for $9 each way. To catch the train’s A Line, head to the recently completed Westin that is attached to the south entrance, and some say is kissing the airport due to its unique shape. Alternatively, if you opt for your favorite ride sharing app, fares will average about $50 depending on where you need to go in Denver.
When you arrive at Union Station, you have officially made it to the heart of Denver! Serving as the cornerstone of the city, you will find hotels, restaurants, breweries, and anything you could need for your visit nearby.
Three main areas that are ideal to stay for a business trip: Union Station, LoDo – Larimer Square, and 16th Street – The Convention Center. All three of these areas are unique despite being relatively close to each other.
Union Station is a 100-year historical landmark, that was originally built in the Beaux-Arts style in 1914 and has since been renovated to accommodate for modern restaurants and bars, and even the embedded Crawford Hotel.
If you love breakfast, even if you’re not a morning person, this is the place for you. Snooze: an AM Eatery is a local brunch phenomenon with its first location in the Ballpark area of Denver. Known for their decadent pancakes and breakfast burritos the size of your arm along with a unique selection of Colorado-based cocktails.
For those afraid of missing fresh seafood in a landlocked state, don’t worry. Stoic & Genuine fills the gap with the best oyster bar and serves as a central location to gather in the city.
LoDo & Larimer Square
Lower Downtown, known as LoDo, is Denver’s oldest neighborhood making it a vibrant, historic area filled with restaurants, shops, and galleries. Larimer Square is the starting bookend of LoDo, consisting of one-of-a-kind businesses with a canopy of lights above the street. LoDo itself extends all the way down 15th street until it meets LoHi, the Lower Highlands.
Dining out amongst the lights is easiest with TAG, a Denver take on Asian, Hawaiian, and Latin flavors, combined with a taste of Colorado to get extraordinary dishes. Ask for an absinthe cocktail, and you will have your own cold water dripper for the perfect concoction.
Hotel Teatro serves as a modern reminder of classic details with each room tastefully designed with a play of Art-Deco. It sits right next to the Denver Performing Arts District for those that are inclined to an evening with a show.
Convention Center & 16th Street Mall
The 16th Street Mall is an outdoor, tree-lined pedestrian and transit mall that has shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The south end of 16th St Mall serves as the outlet to the Colorado Convention Center, which hosts 250+ events annually.
If you’re a part of one of those events, there are several options close by for lodging, including a recent addition, the AC Hotel located across the street and offering rooftop views above the crowd.
After your session ends, Stout Street Social is the closest hangout to decompress, but if you venture a few blocks further, Guard & Grace serves as a great non-chain steakhouse with vaulted ceilings. If you’re after a true Denver experience, you can stop over at La Loma. This historic Colorado institution recently moved downtown from LoHi after 37 years, serving traditional Mexican cuisine in a place that feels like your grandmother opened up shop.
Finally for those that want to get lost from the city center itself, check out the ballpark district. Yes, this area is home to the Colorado Rockies Coors Stadium, but this area has so much more to offer. From parks to restaurants to galleries, this area is a must if you want to get an edgy but fashionable view of Denver.
Based on the original in NYC, Death & Co. is a new bar bringing new and unique flavors to the Denver area in a grand lobby setting. Book a reservation here and enjoy one of their handcrafted cocktails.
If you want more of an eclectic,and vintage feel, than Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox is where you need to be. Enjoy American style food and diverse drinks while listening to live music in a 1970’s inspired restaurant.