denver
Colorado’s capital city of Denver, also known as the Mile-High City, is a thriving metropolis boasting a population of approximately 650,000. Offering a plethora of entertainment and recreational opportunities, Denver is ideal for a quick fix of big city culture before winter arrives. With more than 300 days of sunshine, the high plains’ cold, semi-arid climate is ideal for exploring nearby mountain towns, which offer prime biking, hiking and skiing opportunities.

Getting there: Drive – 11 hours southeast on I-25 though Wyoming – not recommend when the snow is flying. Wyoming’s open landscape is notorious for wind, snow and ice, and roads aren’t well maintained in winter.

Fly – Frontier Airlines offers nonstop flights out of Bozeman for as low as $150. With airtime at just 1.5 hours, it’s a no brainer. Book early for the best rates.

Lodging: The Curtis

The Curtis – a DoubleTree hotel by Hilton – is a modern, funky pop-culture themed boutique hotel located in downtown Denver. Across the street from the Curtis is the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and within walking distance are a number of restaurants and bars. The chic rooms are affordable, comfortable, and very entertaining. Before booking, make sure you check out the different themed floors – ranging from big hair to dance, to the pet-friendly sci-fi floor – and select the one that suits you. Whether you’re on business, attending a concert, or just getting away with friends, The Curtis makes it easy to enjoy yourself and leave your worries at home.

OMG_french_toastDining: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Snooze takes the breakfast experience to a new level. Be prepared for a long wait on weekends, but it’s worth it. Once seated, you’ll receive excellent customer service and a deliciously innovative menu. Making a decision can be hard, so share pancakes with friends (options include peanut butter, blueberry and cream cheese, sweet potato, cinnamon roll, and even red velvet) and leave room to enjoy new takes on breakfast classics like the OMG French Toast and eggs Benedict. Wash it all down with a spicy Bloody Mary.

Don’t Miss: Music at the Ogden

Denver is known for its expansive live music scene, and odds are that a band you like will be playing here. Home to a number of venues from bars to small theatres to the Pepsi Arena, Denver has options for any music fan. The historic Ogden Theatre is a favorite among locals, as the midsized space gets a wide variety of artists like Lucinda Williams, the Motet, and Cherub. The Ogden charges general admission only and offers open dance space on the first floor, as well as a wrap-around upstairs balcony with bar seats for those looking to take a break from dancing.