2 Days On 2 Wheels Denver
Denver, Colorado, is a city that comes to mind for many folks when they think about great biking. An amazing climate (with more than 300 days of sun a year!), generally flat topography and outdoorsy residents all make for the perfect place to traverse by bike. Denver tripled the pace of construction on its planned “Denver Moves Bicycle Network” over the last three years, adding 100 miles of bikeways, and expects to add even more by the end of 2024. Our 2 Days on 2 Wheels adventure across Denver uses a bunch of new and existing bike lanes to explore the heart of the city — Cheeseman Park, Capitol Hill, Historic Five Points, Downtown and Uptown.
Denver’s Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, home to a huge array of plant species. The Tropical Pavillion is especially impressive when you consider how dry Denver is compared to other cities. The other area to check out is the native and alpine gardens, representing plants local to the high desert plains that Denver calls home. The Botanic Gardens is also home to artists and concert series — definitely worth checking their schedule of events to get in on the best cultural experiences during your visit.
On 13th Ave., you’ll find more of the cultural hub of the city: Wax Trax and Kilgore books. Wax Trax is a music store with deep roots in the city. Rumor has it they have a cellar FILLED with incredibly rare vinyl records stashed just for those looking for the most limited items. Kilgore (named for protagonist Kilgore Trout in Kurt Vonnegut’s works) houses a wide collection of used books. The small space is a must-visit for those spending time in Denver. Across the street, grab a coffee at Hudson Hill before making your way into Uptown to cross into Five Points.
Historic Five Points was known as the Harlem of the West. Featuring jazz clubs, restaurants and unique Denver architecture, it was the home to many of the most notable Black citizens of Denver over the years. Larimer Street is now a designated slow street thanks to changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring al fresco dining, restaurants, shopping and more. We stopped at the Brutal Poodle Food Truck, serving classic American food truck snacks as well as vegan options!
Our Mutual Friend Brewery is a great place to grab a beer — ask nicely and you can sample a few of their offerings!
Round out your time on Larimer by shopping at local businesses like Modern Nomad, a market featuring a number of retailers showcasing furniture, home goods, handmade and vintage clothing, plants and more. Grab a cocktail at Gold Point and sit at the open garage door to enjoy the weather and take in the view.
For lunch or dinner, make your way to the Dairy Block downtown. Kachina, a modern take on tacos, features tons of options for the adventurous eater, including fry bread tacos inspired by the Navajo tradition of fry bread. Milk Market and the other Dairy Block shops are a great place to spend an afternoon checking out local clothing, health and beauty shops and more.
The Museum of Contemporary Art — at 15th and Delgany — showcases some of the best art in Denver. An emphasis on underrepresented voices and new artists brings vibrancy to the museum. On the top floor, the little cafe is a great place to have a snack, get some sun and relax.
Before you head back towards Cheeseman Park, be sure to stop at Retrograde in Uptown, a speakeasy bar hidden behind a walk-in freezer door at Frozen Matter Ice Cream. Innovative cocktails, inspired by throwback movies, video games and TV shows await, along with a great staff to lead you towards the perfect cocktail or mocktail.
Closeout your day with a leisurely neighborhood ride back to wherever you’re staying.