Born and bred in Columbus, the arch city will always have a special place in my heart. But what is a life without adventure? After graduation I knew I had to broaden my creative perspectives and experience life in a different city, surrounded by different people and different influences. I packed my bags and headed for the mountains. Denver, to be specific.  After living here for one year, I haven't seen nearly as much of Colorado as I would like. There truly is never a dull moment and so much activity going on 365. And no, Colorado isn't just a state for skiing and snowboarding! There are plenty of bars, restaurants, music & arts, and city life to experience as well. And the Rocky Mountains are just one of the many perks. 

So, if you are ever in Denver for a weekend in the fall, here is how I would spend it. 

Friday 

MORNING Stop in Union Station for your daily coffee. The station is full of great restaurants, boutiques, Tattered Cover bookstore, and plenty of subjects for people watching. And if you are lucky you will be able to experience the seasonal decorations and live music. Right in the heart of LoDo, your afternoon can continue strolling down 16th Street taking in all of Downtown Denver.  

   Denver Cliff Original
Photo by the Crawford Hotel

AFTERNOON Tucked away in Cheeseman Park are the Denver Botanic Gardens, filled with a variety of themed gardens perfect for smelling the Colorado fall air. Spend a calming afternoon in the gardens to prepare for your wild weekend. 
EVENING Larimer Square is one of my favorite spots to spend the night dining with friends. My personal favorite,Tomayo. If you are a fan of excellent Mexican food and margaritas, Tomayo is for you. After dinner you can head to speak-easy Green Russell. And don't be fooled by the first diner-styled bar. Tell them you want to go in the back.
 

Saturday

MORNING Get your butt up, we're heading to Boulder. Mostly well known as a college town home to University of Colorado Boulder, this city located right on the edge of the Flat Irons lets you see the mountains up close and personal while only driving 30 minutes north. Most importantly, you get to experience one of my favorite views of the mountains. I am not going to spoil it for you, but you will know what I mean the second you get to the spot on i-25. Play your favorite car tunes and enjoy the drive. Then, once you get there, head to The Buff to indulge in their insane coffee bar, delicious breakfast tacos and $1 mimosas and tequila sunrises. Oh, and not to mention President Obama himself experienced The Buff, so that explains it all. 
   
Obama Denver Cliff Original
Photo by Boulder Daily Camera 
AFTERNOON Walk off your brunch by strolling through Pearl Street in the heart of Downtown Boulder. All while still at the edge of the Flat Irons, you can experience street performers, shopping, entertainment and a plethora of Colorado beer all on Pearl Street. Your day will easily fly by. 
   
Denver Cliff Original View
Photo by boulderdowntown.com
EVENING You may not be exactly in the mountains in Denver, but Forest Room 5 makes you feel like it. To continue your mountain-filled day, top off the night with cocktails and beers at Forest Room 5 in the Highlands. The bar, styled and decorated like yes, a forest, offers outdoor fires and tree houses. The perfect ending to your first Colorado Saturday. 

Sunday 

MORNING To keep the high that you have from experiencing the Rocky Mountains the day before, keep it going and treat yourself to bottomless Mimosa's at Root Down. With 75% of their menu organically sourced, you will be treated to the perfect environment for Sunday brunch, a cozy neighborhood in the Highlands, and good food. Pair your blood orange mimosas with one of many delicious egg benedicts and your Sunday is already off to the right start. 
AFTERNOON You're leaving Denver tomorrow. Obviously you are sad. So what better way to brush off the Sunday scaries than continuing with Sunday Funday right down the road from Root Down at Avanti. Avanti, also known as a collective eatery, is what I like to think of as a food startup incubator. Restaurants from around Denver test their menu in Avanti's adult cafeteria. Order your food downstairs, and then go scope out a spot on their infamous deck admiring the Denver skyline while enjoying all day happy hour. Yes, Sunday is all day happy hour.  
   
Patio Denver Cliff Original
Photo by Danielle Lirette, Westword 
EVENING As much as no one wants to, now it is time to wind down. Grab a blanket and head to one of Denver's many parks. Washington Park just outside of the city lets you get some peace and quiet and time to reflect on how much you love Denver and how badly you want to come back.
   
Denver Cliff Original Skyview
Photo by NIGHT OUT INC. 
It may seem like Denver can only offer good food, good beer, and good mountain views. But you simply can't explain this city without experiencing it for yourself. Stay tuned for more guides on how to tackle the ski resorts in the winter!