The number one mistake we made during our girl’s trip to Denver was going ziplining and on a hiking excursion the day after we arrived in town.
The zipline course was up a mountain and involved some hiking. Normally, that wouldn’t be such a big deal, but when you’re not used to the altitude, it suddenly becomes a really big, literally breathtaking deal. I would have felt a whole lot worse about myself had we not been with a group of incredibly athletic young men who were also blaring into town on the struggle bus.
We had big hopes for a moderately difficult hike in the Rockies, but after our experience ziplining, we settled for an easy hike with some sweeping views, and even that hike was a little rough. The trip to Red Rocks was a welcome reprieve.
There’s nothing in the world that will make you feel as out of shape as hiking the day after you arrive in Denver.
If you’re not used to living above sea level, here are some tips that should help you thoroughly enjoy your vacation to Denver without making the same mistakes we did.
Schedule down time for your first two days
- Use this time to go shopping in downtown Denver or nearby Golden, Colorado which has a fun and rich history.
Visit a few dispensaries
- Even if you’re opposed to recreational marijuana or don’t partake in the activity, take the time to visit a dispensary or two. We visited a few while we were there and I learned so much about cannabis, its different strains, and many uses and forms of consumption. It was interesting and each dispensary had different things to educate us on. You don’t have to buy anything to learn something. It was a fun activity and something you just can’t do everywhere else.
Don’t Drink Alcohol and Stay Hydrated
- I know, for some of us it’s difficult not to want to jump right into local craft brew and visiting distilleries when visiting new locations, but Denver is NOT the place you want to get tipsy your first couple nights. Drink lots of water and plan to stay sober those first couple of days. I promise it will make adjusting to the altitude much easier.
- Believe me, I have the absolute worst time with this when I travel. I want to be going and doing and making the very most of every possible minute. When in Denver, sleep. Make sure you’re getting about 8 hours of sleep those first two nights. The sleep will help your body have the energy to acclimate to the altitude and keep you going when you’re having trouble catching your breath.
Catch a Sporting Event
- As long as you’re not opposed to going to a sporting event without drinking, and assuming you’re in Denver during Baseball, Basketball, or Football season, catch a game! We went to a Denver Rockies game our third day there and wish we had done it the first day. We had a lot of fun and didn’t tax our lungs by having to scale a mountain or by doing something thrilling. Make this one of your day one or day two activities.
Enjoy the Local Food Scene
- Denver is full of locally owned farm to table restaurants, and one of our favorite finds was Avanti F&B. It is a food collective set up like a flea market of food. The offerings are ever-changing, affordable, and delicious, and the atmosphere is super hip and energetic.