Explore Cities,  Weekend Trips

48 Hour Trip to Denver, CO

My husband and I had flight credits with Frontier that were expiring soon, so we had to decide where we wanted to go for a quick 48 hour trip. With limited direct flight options from Cleveland, it was basically somewhere in Florida or Denver. We took our chances knowing the weather is unpredictable and chose Denver. It’s been several years since either of us had been there. Even though it was only a 48 hour trip to Denver, we still jam packed as much as we could in our limited time. Here’s all the details from our 48 hour trip to Denver:

For lodging, we stayed downtown at Hotel Teatro. It was a great location and the room was great. A nice breakfast spot, too!


We started the day by grabbing coffee at Little Owl in downtown right by the hotel. The cortado hit the spot.

We couldn’t come to Denver and not spend a day at Rocky Mountain National Park, so we picked two trails ahead of time. It was about 1:20 drive. The trails we hiked were Emerald Lake (3 miles) and Deer Mountain (6 miles but we didn’t finish it). On our way back we grabbed late lunches at Bird’s Nest in Estes Park.

The Emerald Lake hike truly felt like a dream. It was completely snow covered, but microspikes were all we needed. We checked trail conditions ahead of time to ensure we didn’t need snowshoes (we use the AllTrails app, which was SO helpful). People can leave reviews, so you know the trail conditions almost in real time.

Once we arrived back to our hotel, we washed up then explored downtown Denver before dinner. We walked to Union Station, perused a book store and just walked the streets before making a stop to enjoy some kava at Kavasutra.

We made dinner reservations at Root Down and I am still dreaming about that meal. It was one of the best meals we’ve had in a while.


There was breakfast at the hotel so we kept it simple ate there. Then we drank some of the BEST coffee (we just got a bag shipped to us) from Corvus Coffee. The original plan was to hike the Flat Irons but we checked the AllTrails app beforehand and saw it was closed due to mud, so we had to pivot our plans.

Honestly, I’m so glad it didn’t work out with the Flat Irons because we ended up at El Dorado canyon instead (about a 40 min drive) and what a gem this spot was! You have to drive through the smallest little “town” before entering the park. We hiked the canyon trail and it was about 5 miles. The trail goes further down to a creeak, but we stopped at the overlook spot where you could see downtown Denver. There was no snow on the trail, and the sun was shining all day. It was so different from our hike the day before.

It’s been on my bucket list to see the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, so we made that our last destination. We found a lunch spot (Guapo Taco) on the way there.

Once we got to Red Rocks we walked up and down the theatre itself, sat in the seats for a while, then hiked along a few trails around the perimeter.

On our last night we actually stayed with some family, so we grabbed dinner at Denver Beer Company near their place. It was a great atmosphere and offered your typical bar food.

And that’s it! It was a quick 48 hour trip but we jam packed as much as we could into that time. Planning ahead was critical, was using AllTrails to check trail conditions before we made our drives.

We love these type of quick trips! If you’re looking for more inspiration on other places to go, check out my post on hiking West Virginia in a weekend, how to spend a weekend in Pittsburgh or a weekend in Minneapolis!

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