How to spend a weekend in Denver, Colorado

My brother lives in Denver, Colorado and has called it home for over 20 years! It’s crazy, right?! I asked him on my trip this past weekend how long he and his wife, Lesley, had lived there and his answer really surprised me. It just doesn’t feel like it’s been over half of my life. Before moving to Denver, Colorado, Sacramento, California was their place of residence and unfortunately I was never able to visit that beautiful state.

It really bothers me but I was too young at the time to make my own travel arrangements. I was barely in high school, had no job, and probably wouldn’t have been eager to jump on a plane alone. But that has all changed now. (HA) Anyways, since Matthew moved to Colorado, I have made my way to visit him at least ten times. There is always good food, awesome activities to do, and great company! Let me just give you a sneak peak into my last visit in the Rockies and show you a few ideas on How to Spend a Weekend in Denver, Colorado

A woman and man standing on top of a mountain in Colorado.

but before I do that… how about a trip down memory lane to our first visit to this beautiful place?

As a teen, my dad, my brother, and myself took our first trip to Colorado to see my brother. I don’t remember a ton about the trip but a few things have remained in my mind and stood the test of time. While skiing at one of the resorts, my dad was having some trouble. To be honest, I think all of us were a little concerned because he was trying his best but not being very successful at staying upright or stopping effectively. Both of those things could be dangerous at a resort in Colorado, but one would prove to be more dangerous than the other on that particular trip.

We managed to get off of the ski lift. Any newbie’s ability to survive the ski lift and get off without face planting right there on the ground is impressive.

That was the first challenge.

I know that we all failed miserably probably a dozen times or more, but eventually you kind of get the hang of hurling yourself off of a moving swing, veering in the direction of the downward slope, and breathing a heavy sigh of relief that you won’t be trampled by the amused locals behind you.

An older man and daughter sitting beside each other on the bleachers.

My dad was ahead of us on the ski lift. As we approached the top of the mountain my nerves had already built up. I had managed to escape the fear and humiliation of the ski lift exit, after executing it semi-well previously in the day. But now I was going to be coming right behind my dad, who had not been so lucky. My thoughts raced a little. “What if he falls and can’t get out of the way in time?” “What am I going to do?” “Will the ski lift operator stop the lift for us or will he yell for us to move quickly so that other paying customers aren’t irritated at our lack of experience?”

I would like to say that none of those things aforementioned are true, but that is not the case. Some people are gracious and willing to help you to safety while others just seem to be annoyed at your total lack of finesse.

Oh well, that’s the total experience, right?

I do not have total recollection of the ski lift exit. Maybe I blocked it out of my mind for traumatic purposes? (HAHA) But I do remember what happened afterwards. Once you exit the ski lift on this particular mountain, the path goes to the right. There is an area of land that is quite level. In other words, you don’t go from the ski lift to a straight downward slope and begin skiing. This is good news, especially for beginners.

This space of land that is almost flat, (not totally flat or that would kill your momentum and you would be stuck) is a great place to get your bearings. You are able to exit the ski lift and tighten your snowboard, adjust your ski’s, look at the mountain and evaluate, practice your stopping skills, or cry for your mother and beg to go back down to safety.

So here we are. Safely off of the lift, over to the side out of the way, and setting ourselves up for this run down the hill. And there goes my dad. I knew it was trouble the moment he went over the first slope. Mostly because he was standing dangerously upright and took off like lightning. I watched as he FLEW down the mountain with speed that I’m sure he wasn’t trying to achieve. And I realized quickly that he really didn’t know what to do or how to stop his momentum. I was worried.

It all happened pretty fast though.

The crash, the skis, the snow. I was just thankful that he was down and not firmly plastered to a tree or an innocent bystander. We skied to where he was laying and knew that he was hurt. He carefully got up, took off his skis, walked down that mountain, and waited for us to finish our day on the slopes. He was injured with at least a few broken ribs. But he was still happy to be there and enjoyed watching us have a good time.

A lot has changed since that visit. I’m a lot older now. I’ve hit those slopes numerous times in skis and snowboards. I have hiked mountains and I’ve rafted rivers. I’ve tasted some of the best food of my life and enjoyed some of the most breathtaking views that nature will allow. I love Colorado. I love the Rocky Mountains. And I love my brother.

what to eat when you spend a weekend in denver, colorado?

Okay, here is where the fun begins. I am a total foodie! Food is my happy place and I am willing to try all types of things! I like the street foods and I like the expensive stuff! I like Ethnic cuisines and I’m a lover of the American classics! I’m open to it all! So, every time I visit a place, I’m always searching for the local favorites, new takes on old recipes, or things that are WAY outside of my comfort zone. Food can really be one of the most adventurous parts of a trip!

Here are the places that I tasted on my weekend getaway including what I ordered and what else looked super tempting on the MENU!

we started with street tacos!

A tray of street tacos.

Renegado Tacos and Margaritas

  • This place was awesome! The art work and aesthetic were spot on! Lots of Day of the Dead references and a wait staff that was kind and prompt. The food was interesting, delicious, perfect for a light lunch!
  • What did we order?
    • As our appetizer, we got the chips and salsa. Unlike most Mexican restaurants near my home in Louisiana, you have to pay for the chips and salsa. It is neither free nor is it unlimited.
      • The Chips were homemade and crisp while the two salsas provided had a special depth of flavor from the charred tomatoes and tomatillos. At a price point of $3.50, this was not only delicious, but SUPER AFFORDABLE!
    • Matthew ordered two street tacos.
      • Classic Carnitas – Tender pork bites in a corn tortilla served simply with cilantro and diced onion.
      • Fried Shrimp Taco – A corn tortilla filled with fried shrimp and topped with a fresh mango salsa and marinated cabbage
    • I ordered two street tacos as well!
      • Island Carnitas – Tender pork bites in a corn tortilla with oranges, cojita cheese, fried shallots, pickled cucumbers and cilantro!
      • Classic Steak Taco – Tender steak is loaded into a corn tortilla along with tomatillo salsa, panela cheese and avocado.

a colombian lunch was a nice surprise!

A woman drinking a Colombian lemonade.

La Chiva Colombian Cuisine

  • I had never tasted Colombian food and I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to my eating, so my brother suggested we eat at one of his favorite Colombian restaurants. It was so good and oddly enough it wasn’t really that different from other things I’ve had in my life from other places. There was a familiarity to it that I liked!

What did we order?

  • So that I could taste as much of the menu as possible, we decided to order a combination platter. Here is what was on it and how it tasted.
    • We started with Limonada Cartagenera. This amazing drink consists of: freshly squeezed lime juice, pineapple juice, coconut syrup and a touch of cream. Y’all… it was so refreshing, tart, and just the right amount of sweetness at the end.
    • La Chiva Picada was out main course. It was served on a large cutting board and sectioned beautifully for our eyes as well as our stomachs!

Colombian Chorizo

  • This is a tasty sausage that has a distinct flavor/seasoning in it. I’ve eaten Mexican Chorizo before and found it to be quite fatty, but delicious. But the Colombian version of this sausage has it’s own unique taste.


  • This starchy ingredient is a lot like a potato. It is much denser than a potato and it was cut pretty thick like potato logs. There was a dipping sauce to help the dryness, which was evident but not a bad thing.

sweet and savory plantains

  • This is the dish that I never knew I needed in my life! The Sweet plantains were tender and so sweet that they are practically dessert! The texture is so chewy and wonderful. The other was they were prepared was beaten flat and then fried. It was a delicious crunch that the board needed and just the right texture to contrast all of the softer items.

Papa Criolla

  • This was a tender and delicious bite sized potato that was roasted to perfection but not heavy on the seasoning. As a matter of fact, it was simply salt and pepper.


  • No surprises here either! It was a juicy and delicious chicken leg that was minimally seasoned and perfectly cooked.


  • Okay, this was delicious but incredibly rich and impossible for me to eat a lot of. It is literally fried pork belly. It had a generous layer of fat on one side and a tender layer of meat on the other. Very delicious, but very greasy.


  • I was so excited to finally taste a traditional Arepa and I was so surprised at home familiar it was! This particular Arepa on the sample platter wasn’t stuffed with anything. I was hoping to have one stuffed with lots of cheese, because that is traditional and looks amazing. But this was cut into triangles and served with another delicious sauce. To me, the sauce was necessary because the Arepa was a little dry, but the more I ate I realized that it tasted just like our Hot Water Corn bead in the South! (Which tends to be on the drier side on purpose)

then it was time for some sweet treats!

A woman taking a bite out of a French Pastry.

La Patisserie Francaise

  • I had mentioned to my brother that we should swing by a local bakery while we were out and about to taste some new and interesting desserts and at that moment he remembered that he had a gift card to a local French bakery that was given to him by one of his clients! It was the perfect coincidence!
    • We grabbed a few items to taste right there in the car and then we got a few more desserts to bring back to the house for after dinner.
      • Salted Caramel Cake – This cake tasted just like you popped a Werther’s Original into your mouth! It was incredibly rich and delicious!
      • Tiramisu – This delicate Italian dessert is made with ladyfinger coookies, espresso, and mascarpone cheese. Personally, I was expecting a strong coffee flavor from this cake and I was a little disappointed in that. But it’s an Italian dessert and this is a French Bakery, so… maybe that’s why it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had?
      • Lemon Raspberry Cake – This was a nice tart bite in between the other two incredibly rich desserts. The lemon cake was moist and filled with a Raspberry jam.

pizza while watching the game!

Piccino Wood Oven Pizza

  • The National Championship Game was on and I had to be back at my brothers house to watch my home state play. (I’m from Louisiana and they went on to win it all!) I was also excited to see Caitlin Clark and Iowa beat South Carolina and I was chowing down on some excellent pizza, so it made for a GREAT NIGHT!
  • What did I order?
    • Testarossa – Marinara sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, calamata olives, caramelized onions, mushrooms, fresh oregano.
  • This pizza is so good and they give you a parmesan cheese and a little cup of chili oil to pour on your slice. Do it. Pour the chili oil on the pizza and thank me later!

cliff bars are a perfect bite before a hike

The MIGHTY Clif Bar is what kept us going on the mountain. What was supposed to be a short-ish hike, turned into a 5 hour trek with amazing views and incredible hunger pains! If we had not eaten the Clif Bar before we set out I don’t know what I would have done. They have so many different flavors and they are filling and great for fuel! My brother has a thing for peanut butter, so that is the flavor that we chowed down on!

a burger joint on the corner with the right vibe!

Woman and a man sitting outside eating a burger and drinking a coke.


  • This little burger place was not only delicious, but was situated on the corner of a neighborhood street. There was plenty of space to eat outside and a few seats inside if that’s your preference. (But I don’t know who wouldn’t want to look at the amazing mountain views while chowing down on some good eats!) The burgers were fresh, HUGE, and made to order!
    • It was SO, SO, GOOD!
    • We also split an order of “FRINGS”, which is both onion rings and French Fries.
A closeup picture of the SNARFBURGER.

a snack and a game to end the day!

  • We ended one of our busy days with a good ole’ game of Scattegories and my delicious Guacamole!
  • Click here for the recipe – The Best Guacamole Recipe EVER!

Mini rolls with a ton of options:

Woman eating a mini cinnamon roll

Duffeyroll Bakery and Cafe

  • On my last day in Denver, we decided to run by a local place for a quick bite before shopping. Lesley, my sister-in-law, suggested Duffeyroll Bakery and Cafe because they have mini cinnamon rolls with a multitude of flavors and we were looking for something small for breakfast. The mini roll that I got was just the right size and was good. If there is anything that I would have to critique it would be that the cinnamon rolls needed more cinnamon. (If you don’t know already, cinnamon is my favorite spice!) There was plenty of sugar but the slightest dusting of cinnamon needed to be increased for my taste preference. Also, the rolls were room temperature and if they had been piping hot, or at least warmed before serving, they would have been so much better!
  • Here are a few more flavors that they offer that I think would be worth giving a try!
    • Zesty Orange Cinnamon Roll – A little citrus and a little sweet
    • Pecanilla Crunch – Traditional cream cheese glaze with crunchy pecans
    • English Toffee – Decadently layered with toffee glaze and toffee bits

lunch with choices and a view!

Avanti Food and Beverage in Boulder

  • This cute eatery has several different restaurants inside of it so that you can choose whatever you would like to eat. There are tables around the sides and in the middle of the room so that you can enjoy your lunch or dinner with your friends or family. The options are listed below!
    • Boychik – A middle eastern-inspired restaurant that serves traditional cuisine with a modern interpretation. Naturally healthy, driven from fresh ingredients, and friendly to dietary preferences. Comforting and crave-able!
    • Lost City – Lost City serves up our own staff-roasted specialty coffee, gorgeous desserts from our in-house pastry chef, Little Man ice cream, and much more!
    • New Yorkese – New Yorkese draws inspiration from New York and Naples, Italy.  We take the best of both worlds to achieve our distinctive and unique style of pie where blistered and crispy New York-style crust.
    • Pig and Tiger – Pig and Tiger serves modern Taiwanese cuisine sourcing the best products from local Colorado farms. We are excited to showcase the bold and exciting flavors of Taiwan. 
    • Rooted Craft Kitchen – Rooted Craft American Kitchen focuses on American classic fare through sourcing from our local Colorado purveyors. With a focus on supporting local farms, our philosophy centers around providing the highest level of ingredients in the food that relates to everyone. From wagyu burgers and fried chicken, to an exclusive market menu featuring seasonal produce from local Boulder farms, Rooted has something for everyone.
      • I grabbed my fish and chips from the Rooted Craft Kitchen and it was the lightest, fluffiest crust that I’ve ever eaten! The lemon aioli and salt and vinegar “chips” are a nice burst of acid that the fried fish needs. This is a must try recipe!
A basket filled with traditional fish and chips with lemon aioli.

watch our adventure here!

what to do for fun outside in denver?


A picture of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
  • There are a ton of things to do outdoors in Colorado but the one thing I’m going to mention on this post is what me and my brother always try to do. We like to go hiking.
  • There are endless places to hike, but on this trip we decided to do a trail in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a college town and the trail was dog friendly so there were lots of people and their “best friends” joining us for the 8,800 foot trek to the top. The views were phenomenal and the 4 hours in nature with my brother wasn’t bad either! (HA)

indoor fun in denver?


  • If you are searching for indoor entertainment in Denver, this is THE SPOT! It has everything from bowling, ping-pong, and arcade games to darts, pool, air hockey, cornhole, shuffle board, and live entertainment!
  • And if you are looking for something to eat, then you are in luck! They have everything from wings, burgers, and street tacos, to salads, sandwiches, and even wood-fire grilled pizza!
A bowling alley with beautiful decor in Denver.

check out some of my other adventures here!

A Weekend of Fun in Dallas/Fort Worth

A Family Trip to Gulf Shores

Quick Day Trip To New Orleans

pin it for later!

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