Essential guide: the best of Denver, Colorado, America’s winter playground

by James Wilkinson

With exciting museums and galleries, boutique hotels, top restaurants and some of America’s best skiing an hour away, Colorado’s largest city of Denver makes for a fantastic stopover or a few days away.

Denver’s renovated historic Union Station


When it comes to immersive art playgrounds, Meow Wolf Denver is something truly spectacular and unique – it’s a venue that transports audiences of all ages to fantastic realms of story and exploration. Created by more than 300 collaborating artists, the ‘Convergence’ at Meow Wolf Denver is home to psychedelic mind-bending art throughout four worlds.

The experience is not only immersive, but home to some of the most creative work ever seen in America. Here you will commute via the Quantum Department of Transportation to the ‘Convergence’, a bustling city created by a rare cosmic event that joined four alien worlds.

Expect psychedelic mind-bending art at Meow Wolf

When you’re not trading memories as a form of currency, you and your fellow inter-dimensional travellers can venture out into four floors of surreality featuring Meow Wolf’s most epic immersive art to date.

Tucked away in the heart of the nostalgic Lowry neighbourhood, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum allows guests to step back in time in a WWII-era hangar. Founded in 1994 and housed at the former Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Wings is dedicated to educating and inspiring all people about aviation and space endeavours of the past, present, and future.

Check out the B-52 and more legendary jets at Wings over the Rockies

Visitors can also enjoy the observation tower and patio that overlooks a B-52 Stratofortress, or the mezzanine, which offers a bird’s eye view of the hangar and also find more than 50 aircraft on display, thrilling flight simulator experiences and an enrichment program dedicated to the expansion of aerospace education in Colorado.

For more than 100 years, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has been at the heart of cultural experience in Colorado’s largest city. Here, you can explore the cosmos, uncover dazzling gems and minerals, see a film on the giant screen and a planetarium show and get up close to some of America’s largest collections of dinosaur bones, including the great T-Rex.

There’s plenty on offer for the kids at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science regularly has several exhibitions running and one showing now is ‘Wild Color’, where you’ll learn how to decode the hidden messages that different colors can send.

Delve into the color spectrum as you make your way through immersive rooms, each representing a color of the rainbow. Then, explore some of nature’s mysteries that are hidden in plain sight: creatures that change color, plants and animals that give off an eerie glow, and shades of color that the human eye can’t detect.

Red Rocks is legendary for hosting some amazing concerts

Rolling Stone magazine calls it America’s best amphitheater. Musical legends including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones have raved about it. And many a music fan will wistfully recount their first-ever Red Rocks concert.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre‘s reputation may precede it, but there’s no replacement for experiencing this acoustically impeccable, naturally stunning marvel of ochre sandstone yourself. Designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and Department of the Interior, the amphitheater is a top destination for Colorado residents and tourists from around the world.

Expect epic runs on offer at Vail


Denver is known as one of the world’s premier winter playgrounds for good reason – the city is less than a two-hour drive from several world-class ski fields, including our favourites Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, and a short flight from Aspen, Snowmass and Steamboat.

If you choose to drive to the resorts, book an AWD, such as a Ford Escape, from Alamo, which offers good quality cars at great rates a short shuttle ride from Denver International Airport.

Should you wish to fly, United Airlines has quick flights to Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat Springs and more at very competitive prices and on convenient schedules to maximise your time on the hill.

The Maven is one of Colorado’s best boutique hotels


Located in Denver’s newest micro-district, the Dairy Block, boutique hotel The Maven stands tall as one of the city’s best new properties in recent years. Here you can expect 172 comfortable and spacious rooms, some with balconies and loungerooms, alongside large flatscreen TVs and well-appointed bathrooms.

Perfect for families and larger groups, the hotel offers 48 double queens and 10 bunk rooms alongside 11 expansive suites, including a diamond suite dedicated to baseball.

Spacious, stylish rooms are on offer at The Maven

The Maven also has a fantastic bar (Poka Lola) and restaurant (Kachina Cantina), both off the lobby, and the best thing about staying at what is what’s on offer across the Dairy Block, once home to Windsor Dairy and now a vibrant micro-district that boasts 15 shops, 19 restaurants, seven bars, and a luxury coworking space.

At the Milk Market, inside the Dairy Block, find fashion stores, cafes and fantastic takeaway offerings from pizza to burgers, seafood and wings.

In addition to the Dairy Block, The Maven hotel is also close to the popular neighborhoods of LoDo, LoHi and RiNo, meaning you will find everything from Union Station, historic Larimer Square, Coors Field and local colleges all within walking distance.

At the Dairy Block, Milk Market and The Maven, it’s about great food and drinks


Colorado is home to some of America’s finest produce, particularly from a farm-to-table perspective and the meals on offer at Guard and Grace Denver are some of the best in the state.

Guard and Grace Denver is popular Chef Troy Guard’s most ambitious restaurant to date and it’s a spectacular 9,000 square foot space, located in the heart of Downtown Denver’s business center on the street level of the 56-floor Brookfield Building.

Guard and Grace is known for its fantastic food and stylish setting

Named after the chef’s daughter, Guard and Grace is a take on the big modern American modern steakhouse – expect fiery grills and charcuterie, an oyster bar and bar tops, private rooms and a walk-in, floor-to-high-ceiling glassed wine cellar – yet the atmosphere is both comfortable and enjoyable without being stiff.

Located inside Denver’s renovated historic Union Station, Stoic and Genuine is known for its fantastic seafood menu loaded up with fish, oysters and shellfish from some of America’s top producers.

Stoic and Genuine is located inside Denver’s renovated historic Union Station

This brilliant restaurant is from the Crafted Concepts team of James Beard Award Winning Chef Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, who have also made their mark on Denver with Rioja and Bistro Vendôme.

They have created an enjoyable and stylish multi-coastal seafood house and oyster bar that team say is committed to impeccably-sourced, sustainable and creative seafood preparations. Also expect a fantastic list of American wines alongside wonderful hospitality.

Order the 12-day, dry-aged Pastrami Reuben at Leven Deli Co

Denver’s best sandwiches are found at the Leven Deli Co, where you can enjoy homemade Jewish Deli classics, like their famed 12-day, dry-aged Pastrami Reuben, or an original Smashed Chickpea.

Located right behind the Denver Art Museum in the heart of the Denver Museum District, the deli is known for its use of Mediterranean ingredients and fresh vegetables, alongside great quality drinks to take home including European wines and fantastic coffee. Happy Hour specials are offered daily, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and include half off all bottles of wine, $1 off beers and appetizers.

United’s fantastic new United Club at Denver B Gates


As the leading airline flying to Colorado, United Airlines has significantly invested in its lounge product at Denver International Airport.

United recently opened its largest United Club at Denver International Airport, a 35,000 sq.-ft. space that seats 600 across three levels, making it the largest in the carrier’s global network.

The new Club is located in the B Concourse and according to the carrier, It provides a modern take on the United Club experience with a new feature bar offering beer flight boards to taste a seasonal rotation of premium local and craft beers.

This club is the second in a series of new locations to open in Denver this summer. Recently, a new 24,000 sq.-ft. United Club opened in the A Concourse, featuring a luxurious ski lodge aesthetic and thoughtful design touches inspired by the Colorado outdoors.

The bar at the new United Club at Denver B Gates

Up next, the carrier will open an additional revamped club location in 2025, and once open, Denver International Airport will feature more than 100,000 sq.-ft. of United Club space – nearly the size of two football fields – across three United Club locations and United Club Fly, a unique grab-and-go concept offering enhanced food and beverage for United Club members with quick connections.

“With more than two-thirds of United customers connecting to other places in Denver, the new clubs are expected to accommodate more than double the number of travellers than before,” according to United’s Head of Clubs and Lounges, Alexander Dorow.

He said the opening of these new clubs comes on the heels of United unveiling a new club concept, United Club Fly, in Denver last year, that is a first-of-its-kind concept for a U.S. airline.

The stylish new entry at United Club at Denver B Gates

Since opening, United Club Fly has been visited by more than 100,000 travellers who’ve enjoyed the elevated convenience to grab food or beverages on the way to their flight.

“The new United Club locations are designed and operated to reflect feedback from our customers and match the way their travel has evolved in recent years,” Dorow said.

“We’re growing our hub in the Mile High City, and the expansion and renovation of United Club locations represents our commitment to Colorado and our customers’ experience.”

There is plenty of seating on offer at the new United Club at Denver B Gates


Located on the eastern side in the B Concourse near gate B44, this new club location touts 35,000 sq.-ft. across three levels and more than 600 seats, making it the largest club in United’s network.

The space reflects Denver’s beer scene with brewery-inspired elements and a new beer tasting experience at the feature bar on the mezzanine level.

At the feature bar, travellers can choose from a seasonal rotation of 10 local and craft beers on tap, with selections from Colorado breweries New Belgium, Great Divide, Denver Beer Company, Upslope, among others, to enjoy from United customized tasting boards and beer glasses.

The feature bar area is distinguished by five Vestaboards displaying personalized messages and menu offerings and a custom, vibrant blue mural by visual artist Charlo Garcia Walterbach that explores the joy and discovery of new places that travel brings to life.

The craft brew themed bar at the new United Club at Denver B Gates

Inspired by Denver’s urban areas, the space features details such as concrete flooring, hand-crafted decor and exposed ceilings for a sleek and modern design.

Throughout the space, guests can enjoy a variety of locally-sourced furnishings and artwork, including photography, paintings, sculptures and murals that reflect the Denver community. The entryway features a sculpture inspired by the cones of the Colorado Blue Spruce.

Made by Will Schlough, the piece is crafted from dozens of skateboards meant to resemble colorful pinecones. An additional statement mural by local artists, Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios, tells the story of Denver through highly-visual, street art inspired geometric shapes.

The buffet at the new United Club at Denver A Gates


Influenced by the Colorado Rocky Mountains, travellers visiting the new club location on the western side of the A Concourse near gate A26 can experience a sense of place among locally-sourced furniture and decor that reflects Colorado’s outdoor landscapes and experiences.

Designed to feel like a ski lodge, two fireplace lounges, stacked wood, flannel patterned cushions and vintage ski decor make travellers feel like they’re nestled deep in the woods on a Colorado retreat.

This 24,000 sq.-ft club offers two premium bars and 400 seats across two levels of club space. There’s room to grab food and drinks, play a few rounds of shuffleboard in the game lounge or relax near the fireplaces.

The stylish bar at the new United Club at Denver A Gates

The space features hand-crafted, custom artwork from local artists, including a sculptural installation from Colorado-based artist Amy Hoagland that uses glass rods to form a topographic-inspired piece that creates an optical illusion from different vantage points.

A custom ‘Come Fly With Us’ mural by Denver-based multidisciplinary designer Adam Vicarel is prominently displayed in the club’s game lounge, and it showcases a combination of colors and shapes that exemplify travel and the Colorado landscape. Additional local artwork includes a glass sculpture, mixed media collages, photographs and paintings inspired by Colorado nature.

Both club locations include enhanced amenities, such as free high-speed Wi-Fi, self-scan entry gates for seamless club access, agent on demand kiosks for any travel planning questions and wellness rooms.

Some of the art to be found at the new United Club at Denver A Gates

Each club also serves premium culinary offerings with local flair, including oatmeal paired with Colorado honey, egg frittata inspired by the Denver omelet (ham, bell peppers, red onion, spinach and cheddar cheese), Colorado Club sandwiches and pork green chili.

This expansion is part of the carrier’s nearly US$1 billion investment to further improve the customer experience in Denver.

Earlier this year, United announced new non-stops to six destinations including four not served by any other Denver airline and local infrastructure improvements such as 12 new gates set to open in the A and B concourses by the middle of 2024 – giving United 90 total gates, the most at Denver International Airport.

Scan to read your free copy of Wayfarer at all United Clubs


The full catalogue of Wayfarer magazine is available to read in the new United Clubs at Denver International Airport and over 45 United Clubs across the USA for free thanks to United’s partnership with publishing app Readly.

The move significantly boosts readership numbers for Wayfarer, the only Asia-Pacific business or executive travel magazine with current editions available on Readly, and offer topical news and features for members and guests of the United Clubs and Polaris Lounges across the USA from Austin to Washington.

In each edition of Wayfarer, readers can expect travel news, global, destination guides, hotel and airline reviews, plus restaurant, bar and bespoke drink features, the best in technology, motoring, travel accessories and much more.

Readly offers a digital subscription service in over 50 countries and 17 languages where customers have unlimited access to 7,500 magazines and newspapers.


The best way of getting to Denver in comfort and style.

United’s brilliant Polaris Business Class cabin

WAYFARER recommends flying to Denver, Colorado on United Airlines, which offers daily flights to the city from across America (including New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more) and around the world.

Book a ticket on the long-haul sector in United’s Polaris Business Class cabin, which features flatbed seats, pyjamas (on flights over 12 hours), all-new Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and onboard amenities from Therabody – including a kit that features an eye serum, face spray, hand cream and cleansing towelette exclusive to United customers – alongside fantastic inflight food and drinks (including an a new, brilliant wine menu), premium noise-reducing headphones and fantastic inflight hospitality.

It’s an exciting time for United, with the carrier dramatically increasing Australian services and debuting new United Clubs across the network, including in Denver.