As you enjoy unmatched educational content at the 14th Annual Conference, take some time to explore the beautiful city of Denver. From world-class dining and entertainment to breathtaking natural scenery, Denver has something to offer to everyone. Check out this robust list of restaurants, activities, and destinations based on recommendations from your own HOPA colleagues. Many thanks to Craig Furnish, PharmD, Cindy O’Bryan, PharmD BCOP FCCP, Kris O’Malley, PharmD, Pete Schlickman, PharmD BCOP, and Danielle Smidt, PharmD, for these recommendations!
Sam’s No. 3
This no-frills diner and Denver staple has served up large helpings of comfort food since 1927. Sam’s No. 3 is just a 5-minute walk from the convention center, making it an easy go-to for a satisfying meal in between or after sessions. Stop in and try the infamous green chili or choose from the endless selection of sandwiches and burgers.
Enjoy a unique variety of farm-to-table American meals in The Kitchen’s sleek and eco-friendly dining area. With produce sourced directly from American farmers, this spot is a short ride from the convention center and offers a plethora of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Sushi Den is a must-try for anyone craving authentic Japanese sushi. Fish is flown in daily from Tokyo so you can enjoy fresh, flavorful, and eccentric sushi rolls in the restaurant’s contemporary dining space. Reservations recommended.
Park Burger RiNo
Park Burger RiNo offers a robust variety of burgers and finger foods in a casual, family-friendly space located a short ride away from the convention center. The truffle parmesan fries come highly recommended along with the substantial selection of local craft beers on tap.
Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen
This high-concept tavern offers an eclectic variety of bar bites and an extensive beer selection. Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen boasts a unique industrial-style décor, making it perfect for anyone who enjoys eccentric spots for dinner and drinks.
Guard and Grace
Take a walk to one of Denver’s renowned upscale steakhouses by Chef Troy Guard. Guard and Grace has a modern ambience and features a menu of mouthwatering steaks and sea food, a raw bar, and a luxurious selection of fine wines.
This lively restaurant is the product of transforming and repurposing Denver’s historic Olinger Mortuary. Take a quick ride to Linger and enjoy some fresh air at the rooftop lounge while snacking on delectable small plates.
5280 Burger Bar
5280 Burger Bar is known for its juicy patties and creative burger toppings. The casual restaurant’s extensive menu features an array of comfort food options, including flavorful ice cream desserts that are made entirely in-house. Their buffalo burger is delicious and offers a leaner option. 5280 Burger Bar is only a 5-minute walk from the convention center.
Stout Street Social
Just around the corner from the convention center, you can enjoy an eclectic menu of classic bar food, over 40 craft beers on tap, and even a sushi selection. Stout Street Social offers a casual ambience that makes it an ideal go-to spot for an easy and comfortable meal.
Citizen Rail boasts a robust selection of dry-aged and smoked meats, including flavorful steak and seafood. The bright and airy dining area makes for a luxurious and pleasant dining experience.
If you are craving the dynamic flavors of Mexican cooking, this industrial-style cantina serves up a refined menu with an innovative take on traditional Mexican fare. Dos Santos is also known for its creative and refreshing house cocktails. The el quesito (add chorizo) is a must-try!
From creative and seasonal American fare to barrel-aged cocktails, beers, and wines, Vesta has a warm and inviting ambience that is perfect for a relaxing meal. The restaurant’s happy hour is popular among locals with substantial deals on select drinks and appetizers.
Sushi Sasa is a modern and minimalist Japanese eatery known for its sophisticated preparations of fresh sushi. Its food selection includes filling combo deals and an extensive sake menu.
Museums and Cultural Activities
Clyfford Still Museum
Clyfford Still was among the first generation of abstract expressionist artists. The museum houses over 3,000 artworks by the mysterious artist that was once unavailable for public viewing for more than 30 years.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the top botanic gardens in the nation. Take a relaxing walk through sprawling themed gardens and fields while enjoying the peaceful serenity of Denver's Cheesman Park neighborhood.
With 330 acres of namesake greenspace, City Park is home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Discover the unique activities that take place at the park daily and enjoy all that it has to offer.
Forney Museum of Transportation
The Forney Museum of Transportation showcases a one-of-a-kind collection of historical transportation artifacts. Discover a robust collection of old engines, cabooses, and trolleys along with cars, wagons, airplanes, buggies, and even oddities such as a 1967 German Amphicar.
Take a tour of the Denver Mint, which struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The facility is open to the public and provides free guided tours.
Dinosaur Ridge is a national natural landmark located west of Denver. It has been ranked as the top dinosaur track site in the United States and one of the top such sites in the world.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Surround yourself with majestic mountains, tundra flowers, and unmatched natural scenery. The infamous Rocky Mountain National Park boasts over 350 miles of trails for hikers at any level to enjoy.
Royal Arch Trail
The Royal Arch Trail is a 3.4-mile hiking trail that ends at a stunning natural arch in the foothills. If you have some time to get out of Denver and take in Colorado’s panoramic landscapes, be sure to pack warm and wear sturdy shoes as some paths may be icy.
Pepsi Center Events
The Pepsi Center is home to some of Denver’s most anticipated events, including NBA and NHL games, shows, concerts, and more. Catch a Colorado Avalanche game on Thursday, March 22, or Saturday, March 24.
Bar and Nightlife Activity
Located in the heart of downtown, LoDo is Denver’s oldest neighborhood and is considered to be the center of the city’s nightlife. Explore a plethora of bars, breweries, and restaurants and experience the historic essence of the neighborhood.
River North (RiNo) Art District
The RiNo Art District is a part of north Denver that encompasses four neighborhoods: Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points, and Cole. The aftermath of a grassroots artistic movement brought about an endless array of murals and public art. With an endless number of bars and breweries, RiNo’s nightlife is perpetually bustling and energetic.
Larimer Square is home to some of Denver’s most iconic bars and restaurants, only a stone’s throw from Union Station. You are sure to find a bar that suits your style just by strolling through the neighborhood.
Falling Rock Tap House
Hailed a must-visit for beer lovers, Falling Rock Tap House has a rotating selection of over 75 beers on tap. Experience the warm ambience of this famous Denver spot while enjoying a great selection of bar fare.
Terminal Bar is located in the historic ticketing office inside The Great Hall next to the Crawford Hotel. It serves a wide range of craft beers from Colorado breweries and microbreweries.
Additional Recommendations from your HOPA colleagues
“If you want some unusual cuisine, head to Buckhorn Exchange in Denver, but you would probably have to Uber or Lyft it over there. They have different species on their menu (elk, bison, alligator, rattlesnake, etc.) with a bunch of paraphernalia on the walls. If you want something similar, but have the time and want to get out of Denver, The Fort is located just outside of Morrison—the foothills of Colorado. They have evening hours, and we LOVE the food! Morrison is a super cute town with some little shops, too. ”
—Kris O’Malley, PharmD
“The Highland just across the river from the baseball stadium is an up-and-coming area with tons of great restaurants and bars to choose from. Whether you are looking for happy hours with stunning views of the city to pizza to a good burger, definitely include the Highland in your searches for things to do.”
—Craig Furnish, PharmD
“Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is the world's most renowned concert venue carved from towering red rock monuments. There is a free visitor center with a museum as well as plenty of hiking trails in the surrounding park.”
—Danielle Smidt, PharmD
“Stout Street Social is close to hotel and convention center. The RiNo area of town has lots of breweries, bars, and restaurants and is just a short 8–10 minute drive from convention center. Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, and Boulder are great places to visit for hiking, shopping, food, and drinks.”
—Pete Schlickman, PharmD BCOP