Denver, Colorado| Mountains cascade in the distance, snowcapped even on a warm Saturday in May. It nears 90 degrees in the city center, as the town comes alive with outdoor diners, baseball aficionados ready for the Rockies game, and weekend warriors hopping from one microbrewery to the next. Hikers don large backpacks and even larger dogs as they fuel up in town before driving out to the Rocky Mountains just an hour and a half outside of the city. It’s hard to believe that in such a short distance, an otherworldly hike or two await you in the mountains. Snow falling through the thicket of tall pines gives way to paths covered in knee-deep fresh powder, feeling a lot more like Narnia than a spring day in the States. You may question what season it is, but when you’re 12,000 feet above sea level, just remember to pack an extra jacket 🙂
I’ll leave you with a few fun facts I learned about the city, in case you find yourself adventuring out there soon.
- Denver is nicknamed The Mile High City for its elevation, exactly 1 mile above sea level (5,280 feet). The ironic nickname can also be attributed to its sales of legal marijuana now as well.
- Dispensaries – they’re everywhere. Don’t expect a ton of coffee shops like Amsterdam, but it is very much legal to purchase marijuana here, in many different forms. And speaking of irony, you get drug tested before you can work at a dispensary. I suppose marijuana just “doesn’t count” for these drug tests.
- The owners of these dispensaries have made so much money, but since federally, marijuana isn’t yet legal, they can’t invest their money in the bank. So what have they done instead? Bought lots and lots of real estate.
- Denver has so many cranes. There are obvious signs of growth all over this city. All those dispensary owners are building sky scraper apartment complexes left and right. By 2020 it may not even be the same place.
- The air is very dry. And the elevation will probably get to you. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. On the plus side, you won’t feel sticky and your hair won’t frizz up. On the down side? You may get a nosebleed completely out of nowhere at the bar (speaking from experience). REALLY THOUGH, STAY HYDRATED.
- Men’s restrooms have a way longer line than women’s rooms at nearly every bar/restaurant/hang out for millennials. It’s a welcome change of pace (for the women anyway) because there are just so. many. dudes. (Great place to be a single woman!)
Last fun fact from me – I got my flights out to Denver for $130 RT out of pocket. I used a combo of points and $$$. I didn’t have enough points in my JetBlue account yet for the round trip airfare (It’s not a partner of the Chase Sapphire card so I couldn’t transfer those points into my account). So instead, I booked two one-ways. FYI – JetBlue doesn’t charge extra if you do that.
So for the first flight (JFK – DEN) I used 6,880 JetBlue points and paid a $5 fee to use those points, but negated that with a $25 credit they had added to my account. (I was once on a direct flight that got diverted, delaying us ~3 hours). Those 6,880 points probably took me 6 flights to earn? For the second flight, I paid $130 flat. I hope this helps show you that you only need a day or two off work and a savvy interest in finding cheap airfare – it really is just that simple.
Ever been to Denver? Comment below with your favorite hike in the area, ’cause I know I’ll definitely be back soon! 🙂