4-Day Guide to Denver (and surrounding areas)


Bradee Felton

January 31, 2024

Welcome to my Colorado Itinerary Series! This first option is for the person planning a trip to Colorado who plans to stay around Denver and adventure locally from there. Here is a four-day sample itinerary of what I’d recommend someone do when visiting Denver who doesn’t want to drive too far but still wants to incorporate mountain adventure! Keep in mind you’ll still be doing some driving, and will definitely need a rental car to successfully do this itinerary. However no trips will be more than 1.5 hours and you’ll get to see a lot of different places surrounding the Denver Metro Area! 

*If you plan to spend more of your time in Denver, read my full guide to visiting Denver HERE*


Get an early start heading to Red Rocks Amphitheater. This is a Colorado staple. From there, head to Golden for breakfast + coffee. Cafe 13 or the Windy Saddle Cafe are great spots for a latte and good food. Then take a drive up to Lookout Mountain for some serious mountain views. You can hike around as well starting at the Windy Saddle Trailhead – listed on the All Trails app for navigation. 

OR during the summer months, tubing is available in Golden down Clear Creek, which is a fun alternative to hiking! You can look into tubing rentals here. After some exploring, you can head to New Terrain Brewing Company in Golden for some food truck snacks, beer and a great atmosphere. That evening if you still have time, head to the beautiful town of Evergreen and enjoy a walk around Lake Evergreen and dinner at a local spot. I recommend Lariat Lodge Brewing Co or Willow Creek Restaurant . Be sure to keep an eye out for some elk, as Evergreen has one of the largest elk populations in the world!


Hop in the car and head towards Dillon Colorado! You’ll pass through several other cute mountain towns along the way to stop + check out as well (Idaho Springs + Georgetown). This will be your biggest driving day, but the views are worth it. Be sure to walk around at Sapphire Overlook for beautiful views of Lake Dillon. There are also plenty of bigger hikes around this area if you’d like to spend more time hiking. Check out  10 hikes near Dillon for all skill levels! For the rest of the evening, I recommend stopping back in Idaho Springs on the drive back to grab a bite to eat at Tommy Knockers for a fun brewery with great food OR Beau Jos for classic Colorado pizza!


If you want to spend some time checking out Denver, do that this morning! I recommend grabbing breakfast at Union Station at a restaurant called Snooze. This is a great spot to walk around from to see a little bit of Denver. From there, head to Boulder Colorado for an afternoon of hiking + site-seeing! Bring your hiking boots to Chautauqua Park, where you’ll have several trail options depending on your desired difficulty level. I recommend the Flatirons if you are comfortable with some incline and easy scrambling. You can head to Pearl Street after that for some food or shopping, and if you are downtown on a Wednesday or Saturday be sure to check out the Boulder Farmers Market – see link below for season dates. To top off the evening, if you want a beautiful overlook spot nearby for sunset, head to Lost Gulch Overlook! 


This day you can pick your adventure! There are several State Parks + other picturesque locations within an hour or so of Denver you can choose from depending on what looks most appealing to you. Here are my favorite options: Eldorado Canyon State ParkGarden of the GodsCheyenne Canyon State Park, or take the scenic ride up Mesta’aehe Pass near Mount Evans. If you’d like to drive the highest paved road in America to the top of Mount Evans, be sure to look into a timed entry ticket (mandatory to enter) and their schedule. Make sure to take a warm jacket (temperatures are freezing even in summer) and watch for mountain goats! This road is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. If you opt for a State Park, just keep in mind that you will either need to pay the park fee or present a State Park pass when entering. Then enjoy one final dinner in Denver – I recommend the Lower Highlands area where you’ll find plenty of rooftop seating options, including one of my favorites – Avanti! Other fun spots to consider: Recess Beer GardenHappy CamperPostino Wine Bar, LingerLittle Man Ice creamEl Five

*If you plan to spend more of your time in Denver, read my full guide to visiting Denver HERE*


If you’re visiting Colorado from lower elevation, be sure to hydrate immediately upon arrival to avoid altitude sickness. Having plenty of water and electrolytes will literally save you from a miserable headache and unshakeable sleepiness. Avoiding intense exercise/activity in the first 48 hours is advised as well! If you want to arrive feeling your best for any hikes you may want to conquer, be sure to check out my free week of Fit for Hiking workouts!

Be sure to follow along for more Colorado itineraries with different options for exploring other areas! Have you visited Colorado or do you have plans to in 2023? 

Happy Trails,


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