bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background
Two and a half days in Denver, CO (visit #1)–Big Trip #1

Two and a half days in Denver, CO (visit #1)–Big Trip #1

We visited Denver in May 2016 during Big Trip #1. Read about our second visit in 2018 during Big Trip #2, and third in 2020 during Big Trip #3.

bugsy sleeping on her toys

We have intentionally skipped big cities on this trip, but we made an exception to see some friends in Denver, and had a blast. I love Denver, can see myself living there. It is full of neighborhoods with distinct character, with parks sprinkled everywhere around town, and it’s big enough to have lots going on but small enough to feel manageable (except for the big-city traffic). And, obviously, the mountains are right there.

airstream boondocking in denver

We actually stayed in the Airstream while in the city, in order to keep an eye on it, as we weren’t sure if anyone would try to mess with it or try to tow it. Boondocking works on a street as well as in the woods–we had the solar panels for power, and filled the fresh water tank before leaving Buena Vista. We parked on a quiet side street near our friends’ house and nobody seemed to mind (we kept the curtains drawn and tried not to advertise that we were living there)–and we thought it was hilarious each time we saw it sitting there. So that was fun.

A couple days later, we returned for a night to pick up a delayed shipment we’d had sent to our friends’ place, but to avoid driving extra miles with the Airstream as we backtracked, we left it overnight north of the city in a campground storage area for $10. Great deal!

I won’t share our entire itinerary, but here are some of the things we enjoyed during our two visits to Denver. I would recommend any of the food and drink below, and you can read J’s Denver beer thoughts here.

Really good dinner outside at Tag, served with top-notch people-watching on hipster Larimer Square

A drink at a super-chic speakeasy, Green Russel, which doesn’t advertise its location, and is fronted by a fake pie shop

voodoo doughnut denver

Late-night box of 900 donuts at Voodoo Donuts

Breakfast at Four Friends Kitchen

Attempted visit to Red Rocks—they were closing it for an event as we walked up

station 26 denver
station 26 pizza denver

Beer at Station 26 Brewing Co. and tasty pizza from the visiting food truck of the day

crooked stave artisans

Beer at Crooked Stave Artisans in the Source artisan food market, where we watched the Kentucky Derby

Rainy-day Indian delivery from Little India

Breakfast at Olive and Finch

boulder pearl st mall

Lunch and a beer at a brewery in Boulder, on the way back to Denver (we also strolled Boulder’s Pearl Street pedestrian mall, and much prefer Charlottesville’s longer, less chainy Downtown Mall)

cerebral brewing denver

More beer at Cerebral Brewing Co

Excellent Ethiopian feast at Nile

snooze brunch denver

Recovery and refueling breakfast at the fun, funky, retro Snooze


9 responses to “Two and a half days in Denver, CO (visit #1)–Big Trip #1”

  1. Uncle Jim Avatar
    Uncle Jim

    You love that place because its the “mile high city” for more than one reason… Leave the Gonja and get your butts home.

    1. bugsy Avatar
  2. […] with a grill, firepit, and glider chair, close to the rental cabins which would be a plus when our Denver friends came up for an overnight visit. Internet was decent. The “resort” has a million […]

  3. […] love it when friends let us park the Airstream at their houses, like we did in Denver and Burlington. We’re basically as close by as if we were sleeping in the house, but we […]

  4. […] ‘n’ Bake Donuts in a strip mall. We ate a bunch of them, but they weren’t the most impressive doughnuts we’ve found on our […]

  5. […] tell from the terrible photo, sorry. We first enjoyed Snooze when urban camping in the Airstream in Denver and didn’t hesitate when we saw one nearby. See you soon, Charlotte! Next stop, […]

  6. […] our third time urban boondocking near our friends’ house in Denver (read about our 2016 visit here and 2018 here), and due to time pressure and Covid we didn’t get out to explore much. […]

  7. […] guess what we found in downtown Austin! Voodoo Doughnuts!!!! Voodoo got us hooked on doughnuts in Denver; since then, we’ve done a fair amount of doughnut research in our travels, and no doughnuts […]

  8. […] on our first Big Trip: camped in the Airstream beside our friends’ house in Northeast Denver. Like, in the city! It was a blast both times. We ate a ton, drank good beer, and had some […]

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