Five Points, Cole, Globeville and Swansea are some of the oldest neighbourhoods in Denver, Colorado, yet a corner of each make up the trendy district of River North Art District that goes by the nickname RiNO.
Not only is RiNO the epicentre of the city’s burgeoning creative community, but it’s also home to plenty of local breweries, restaurants, street art, live music, and legal dispensaries that will make you want to put Denver on the must-visit list the next time you plan a North America trip.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly makes RiNO possibly one of the coolest places to visit when you’re touring the Mile High City.
Each year the RiNO district plays host to CRUSH, a week-long free public graffiti and street art festival where the streets are taken over by street artists and their spray cans. There are now over 100 photogenic, large scale murals and street art installations on display. A majority of them can be found in the alleys between Larimer and Walnut Street, as well as long Larimer Street.
The Denver Central Market
The Denver Central Market is one of many food halls that have popped up around the city. It brings a combination of casual and affordable eateries under one roof. There’s a bakery, coffee shop, a salad bar, a place to get wood-fired pizza, a hand-crafted chocolate shop, and a hard to resist ice-creamery. There’s the option to sit-in at any of the eateries or to grab a seat at one of the communal tables before grazing your way through the options, accompanied with a cocktail in-hand from the in-house bar, Curio.
Go between 2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday during happy hour for US$3 (AU$4.15) house wines, US$5 (AU$6.90) house beers, and US$2 (AU$2.80) off classic cocktails
Where: 2669 Larimer Street; open Mon to Sun 8am–10pm
On the outside, it looks like any other regular dive bar, but every night there’s always something happening at Larimer Lounge. This long-standing live music venue is often the first-stop for up and coming rock and alternative bands. Bands that have played in the past include Arcade Fire, Bat for Lashes, The Killers and The Lumineers.
Ticket prices vary but can start from as little as US$10 (AU$13). It’s also a spot to score cheap drinks, especially during happy hour from Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm where you can get a boilermaker (a beer and a shot) for US$5 (AU$6.90).
Where: 2721 Larimer Street; open Mon to Fri 4pm–1am and Sat and Sun 12pm–1am
Breweries, wineries and bars
When there are microbreweries and urban wineries popping up, it usually signals that you’re in a pretty hip neighbourhood. A majority are clustered within walking distance of each other. Start at Ratio Beerworks that’s housed in an industrial garage-style space, before moving down to the friendly taproom of Our Mutual Friend. Knock a few back at the First Draft Taproom that features a self-service pouring system where you’re charged per ounce (prices vary from beer to beer), so you can pour as much or as little as you want. If beer isn’t your style, there’s a cider brewpub, Stem Ciders, and an urban winery, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, just around the corner.
While you’re in Colorado, also check out this epic beer train adventure.
[qantas_widget code=DEN]Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure in Denver.[/qantas_widget]
(Lead image: @denverbcycle / Instagram)
Aimee Chanthadavong is a Sydney-based journalist and content producer. When she’s not writing about politics and technology, she spends her time consumed in food, travel and lifestyle stories. Find her occasional tweets at @achanthadavong.