No matter your station in life, this former Wild West mining town will take you in and treat you like gold. After breakfast at American-style diner Sam's No. 3 (samsno3.com; $11), explore 16th Street Mall using the MallRide bus (16thstreetmalldenver.com; free). Uncover the truth about Titanic's "unsinkable Molly Brown" (mollybrown.org; $9), then find comfort food in Steuben's Food Truck (steubens.com; $17). Beer is king in Denver so tour Wynkoop Brewery and do try the bull testicle-flavoured Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout (wynkoop.com; free). Roll on for happy hour at repurposed mortuary Linger (lingerdenver.com; $6) and after you've sampled the "street food" dinner menu, you'll never want to leave ($17). The city's longest running hostel, Denver International, is centrally located and only moderately dodgy (denverinternationalhostel.com; $22).
EASY DOES IT
If you're in Denver on a summery Saturday then rise early, drive to Red Rocks amphitheatre and "downward dog your tail off" with more than 1000 others at Yoga on the Rocks (avis.com; from $63/day, redrocksonline.com; $11). On any other day of the week, hit snooze before heading to Beast + Bottle in a city that really knows how to do brunch (beastandbottle.com; $27). Spend the rest of the day roaming art galleries and museums on your Mile High Culture Pass (denver.org; $42), then drive over to American bistro Table 6 for its innovative meat-rich menu (table6denver.com; $49). Have a nightcap at Prohibition-style speakeasy Williams and Graham, concealed behind a bookshop facade (williamsandgraham.com; $14). Hit the hay at Capitol Hill Mansion B&B, which is run by a charming Texan cowboy (capitolhillmansion.com; $226).
It's hard to blow the food budget in Denver, but you can try by over-ordering on sides at Edge (edgerestaurantdenver.com; $40). Walk your elk sausages off on the way to Rockmount for genuine cowgirl and cowboy clothing (rockmount.com; $200 for shirt, belt and hat). Have a post-spree lunch at nearby Rioja (riojadenver.com; $44), but save room for afternoon tea when you check into the city's oldest functioning hotel, Brown Palace (brownpalace.com; $57). Spend the rest of the afternoon meeting chefs and licking plates at Denver's top restaurants on a Culinary Connectors tour (culinaryconnectors.com; $113). From front row seats, enjoy a Colorado Ballet performance at Ellie Caulkins Opera House (coloradoballet.org; $176). Before retiring to your royal suite (brownpalace.com; $647), puff on a cigar in the hotel's Churchill Lounge . . . because you still can.
The writer was a guest of Visit Denver.