Denver

The 10 Most Exciting Suburbs Near Denver

These are the best suburbs to move to or or just for a quick weekend getaway.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Generally speaking, Denver proper has all the fun you’d ever need. But what makes a big, metropolitan area so rich and enjoyable is the mix of offerings between bustling downtown and quieter, suburban outskirts. The greater Denver area is made up of many suburbs and surrounding towns in all directions, each proudly inviting visitors and neighbors to wander its charming, historic streets, pop into local shops, or sample tantalizing fare that only it can claim. And that’s not even mentioning the unique attractions of each suburb, from lakes and golf courses to butterfly sanctuaries, food halls, sprawling entertainment facilities, and more. The next time you’re feeling like you’ve “Been there, done that” in Denver, consider taking a short trip to one of these vibrant suburbs; you won’t be disappointed.

Olde Town Arvada
Olde Town Arvada
Olde Town Arvada

Arvada

Distance from Denver: 15 minutes
Not far west out of the heart of Denver will land you in quaint Arvada. Expect lots of parks and green spaces, and the historic charm of what some may call the city’s most delightful aspect: Olde Town. Centered on Olde Town Square, this is the place to stroll in and out of independent shops and boutiques, pubs and eclectic bars, and through the seasonal Farmers Market. As you might expect, there are a ton of worthy eateries to check out, too (and definitely don’t skip dessert). Got a furry friend? The West Arvada Dog Park has plenty of space for zoomies.

Pindustry
Pindustry
Pindustry

Greenwood Village

Distance from Denver: 25 minutes
Once viewed as simply the affluent neighbor of Cherry Creek and host of the buzzing Denver Tech Center, Greenwood Village has made a name for itself in recent years as less of a suburb and more of a destination. It’s home to the array of flavors at Grange Food Hall, which is mere steps from the bowling, big games, and entertainment epicenter that is Pindustry, as well as Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, where you’ll find some of today’s best artists year-round.

Belmar
Belmar
Belmar

Lakewood

Distance from Denver: 15 minutes
Lakewood is, among other things, huge. Spanning just west of the core of Denver right up to the base of the Front Range, it’s a huge area that’s primarily residential but with a few key draws. There’s the Belmar shopping district with its regular rotation of shops, plus the outdoor adventure of Bear Creek Lake Park. And in addition to the commercial streets of Kipling, Wadsworth, and Sheridan having everything you could need, there’s also the thrill (and potential risk) over at Lakeside.

Old Town Lafayette
Old Town Lafayette
Old Town Lafayette

Lafayette

Distance from Denver: 35 minutes
Lafayette has small-town appeal and then some to keep you busy on any given morning, afternoon, or night. A half-hour north of Denver puts you in the heart of this historically agriculture-driven city, specifically in Old Town where you’ll find the superbly roasted beans of East Simpson Coffee and Ghost Box Pizza, among a number of other great restaurants. Take your treats to go as you picnic in Waneka Lake Park, get a few rounds in at Indian Peaks Golf Course, or skip the takeout altogether and dine at one of Three Leaf Farm‘s farm dinners for an unforgettable and enchanting evening.

Town of Parker, Colorado
Town of Parker, Colorado
Town of Parker, Colorado

Parker

Distance from Denver: 30 minutes
Head southeast of Denver and you’ll hit Parker, a town full of commuting residents and folks who love where they live. Why? For one, Mainstreet is charming and full of fantastic shops and restaurants, like date night and special occasion favorite Parker Garage. For another, there’s an abundance of local trails and parks to get your fresh air on as well as an engaging art scene-be sure to check out the Parker Arts, Culture & Events Center for what’s going on when you visit. And in the summer, take the kiddos (or go by yourself) to the H2O’Brien Pool with its epic water slides, water features, and lap pool.

City of Westminster Parks, Recreation & Libraries
City of Westminster Parks, Recreation & Libraries
City of Westminster Parks, Recreation & Libraries

Westminster

Distance from Denver: 25 minutes
A hop, skip, and jump slightly northwest of Denver, Westminster is another popular residence for commuters but with its own special appeal. It’s where you’ll find the stunning, fluttering colors of the Butterfly Pavilion, the kayaking and fishing potential of McKay Lake, and Westminster Castle, which at one time hoped to be the “Princeton of the West.” (Things didn’t work out that way, but it is a historic landmark and still really cool.) And when your stomach rumbles, plenty of top-rated options like Sakana Sushi and Ramen, Hideaway Steakhouse, and Big Mac & Little Lu’s Seafood Restaurant are well within reach. There’s even a Polish restaurant, Cracovia, if you’re fiending for some homemade pierogi or tender, spiced gulasz.

Visit Golden, CO
Visit Golden, CO
Visit Golden, CO

Golden

Distance from Denver: 25 minutes
West of Denver, Golden is best known as the home to Coors Brewery, the largest single-site brewery in the world. In addition to the revived brewery tours, there are a ton of reasons to visit Golden. For example, a drive up Lookout Mountain offers sweeping views of the Front Range and a visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is where the Old West comes to life. Back downtown, take a walk along Clear Creek which runs through Golden and, in the warmer months, is a popular tubing spot. If you work up an appetite, the town’s home to some stellar food options like Bob’s Atomic Burgers and D’Deli, where sandwiches come loaded with anything and everything, from house-made smoked and corned buffalo and elk to marshmallows and bananas. And we’d be remiss not to mention the forever fun, busy, and dog-friendly Golden Mill, where the beer is plentiful and the vibes are A+.

Aurora

Distance from Denver: 30 minutes
Denver’s eastern neighbor sometimes gets a bad rap but if you skip out on spending time here you’re missing something pretty major: Some of the best international cuisine aross the Front Range. Like let’s talk about the epic feasts awaiting you at Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot, where you should definitely bring friends and opt for one of the combos. Or well-known local favorite, Cora Faye’s Soul Food Cafe, where heaven awaits in the form of crispy fried chicken, chop-licking BBQ rib tips, and a sweet slice of peach cobbler for dessert. Then there’s the ropa vieja at Cuba Bakery & Cafe, and Colorado’s first Burmese restaurant Urban Burma, and $1.50 tacos at Tacos Selene, and tajines at Cafe Paprika, and‚Ķ you get the point. Now start eating.

Cliff House Lodge
Cliff House Lodge
Cliff House Lodge

Morrison

Distance from Denver: 20 minutes
Why is this small foothills community (only 20 minutes west of Denver) a must visit? Two words: Red Rocks, aka one of the best music venues in the world, which also happens to be a free public park maintained by the city of Denver. So it’s both an amazing place to see live music but when the schedule’s clear, you can also spend time hiking among the giant red sandstone formations and even stand on the stage where some of the world’s best musicians have played. Want to make a mini staycation out of your Morrison adventure? Check out Cliff House Lodge in the quaint downtown area where you can stay in a cottage with a private hot tub.

Farm House Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery
Farm House Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery
Farm House Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery

Littleton

Distance from Denver: 20 minutes
Just 20 minutes south of downtown Denver is this suburb with historic small town vibes and lots of independently owned shops. Littleton has maintained many of its historic buildings, which you can see on a walking tour that will take you by sites like the Columbine Mill, the Coors Building, and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad depot. While you could spend the better part of the day exploring Main Street, Littleton’s also got a few hidden gems outside of its downtown area, including the Greenway Foundation trail that runs along the South Platte River, Hudson Gardens where you can enjoy the free walking trails around features like the rose garden, turtle pond, and honey bee apiary, and Breckenridge Brewery‘s expansive outdoor beer garden.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on¬†Instagram,¬†Twitter,¬†Pinterest,¬†YouTube,¬†TikTok, and¬†Snapchat.

Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.

Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

Denver

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Denver This Year

For a successful St. Patrick's Day, hit these parades, barcrawls, parties, and festivals.

VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER

Grab your green and your Guinness-St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and there’s fun to be had. In addition to being the first big celebratory holiday after New Year’s, St. Paddy’s is also a signal of spring; more hours of sunshine, T-shirt temps, and filling Blake, Market, and Larimer with drunken revelry make up a particularly Denver type of equinox. However you plan to celebrate-with family friendly activities or for those over the legal drinking age only-there are parades to be watched, playful drinks to be sipped, and a whole lot of shamrock-ing to do.

Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits

Dance a jig or two at Mile High Spirits’ Shamrock Shenanigans

March 17
If you’re ready to put your dancing shoes to good use, wiggle your way on over to Mile High Spirits-doors are opening at 12 pm and there’s no cover ‚Äėtil 10. Enjoy MHS’ drinks, big dance floor, and even bigger outdoor patio for all the Irish pride and shenanigans you can handle.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

Whip up steak for a St. Paddy’s Date Night

March 17
Cook Street’s special St. Paddy’s Day class involves making the perfect steak while sipping on Irish whiskey. On Friday only, learn about proteins, cooking methods, and choosing side dishes carefully while cooking up traditional Irish cuisine.

Crawl around town. You know, figuratively…

March 17 – 18
Is it a drinking holiday in Denver if there aren’t a handful of bar crawls happening? Probably not. St. Paddy’s Day is no different; you can start crawling from a number of bars, but a few in particular have everything plotted out for you (for a small fee). Start at the Ginn Mill and receive a map of over 10 pub locations you’ll be crawling to either Friday or Saturday, plus drink special vouchers. There’s also a crawl departing from Nola Jane (Friday only) with its own food and drink specials, plus a scavenger hunt and some St. Paddy’s merch, too.

The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat

Visit one of Denver’s Irish Pubs

March 17 – 18
If you can’t think of a better place to spend St. Paddy’s Day then at a local Irish pub, we salute you-just be prepared to throw a few elbows making your way to the bar. Denver’s got several good ol’ pubs from Broadway to Larimer Square that’ll be in full swing this weekend, pouring fresh pints as far as the eye can see. Check out Scruffy Murphy’s, Nallen’s, The Irish Rover, Finley’s, The Celtic on Market, or the Fainting Goat for that SPD revelry you know, love, and trekked out for.

Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square

Sip and savour St. Paddy’s themed bevvies

Through March 17
Everyone pulls out the green food dye and mint flavouring for St. Paddy’s, but there are some other creative drink specials to sample, too. The OG’s got a boozy milkshake for the occasion, aptly named “Who’s Your Paddy,” a mix of vanilla ice cream, Cr√®me de Menthe, Tullamore Dew, Bailey’s, and whipped cream. BEZEL’s Irish Matcha Man is pretty unique, with Teeling Small Batch whiskey, lime, thyme-infused honey, and matcha powder. And then Slater’s 50/50 takes it to another level (unsurprisingly) with its Lucky Mint Green Shake: mint-flavored ice cream in a frosting-rimmed glass with Lucky Charm marshmallows, rainbow stripe sour strips, whipped cream and green sprinkles. Other notable specials can be found at Poka Lola Social Club, Dairy Block’s Moo Bar, and Seven Grand.

Sing along and cheers to live music

March 17
Denver’s The Monkey Barrel is known for its regular live performances, and this St. Patrick’s Day you can tune in to Elijah Petty & The Part-Times and other musical guests if you’re in search of a chiller spot to sip your Guinness. Or, have one of the best burgers in town while relishing the shenanigans and live music of Cherry Cricket Cherry Creek this St. Paddy’s Day. Food and drink specials will also be available through the holiday weekend, so leave extra room or wear your stretchy (green) pants.

HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series

Show your St. Paddy’s spirit by‚Ķ running?

March 18
Feeling restless? Or maybe you’re itching to get a few laps in before hammering down several pints this Saturday? Either way, Highlands Ranch is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day 5K where finishing the race gets you St. Patrick’s Day merch, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and of course, a complimentary pint courtesy of Living the Dream Brewing.

Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company

Drink and do good at Holidaily Brewing Co.

March 17
This St. Paddy’s Day, Holidaily and the Gluten Intolerance Group are putting on their Raise a Pint, Lend a Hand fundraiser. A special glitter and green Firkin tapping is happening at 4 pm at both taprooms, with special (and gluten-free) treats available at the Golden location, thanks to Farmhouse 5280 and Waive the Grain bakery. 10% of all St. Patrick’s Day sales will be donated to the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery

Party at a local distillery

March 17 – 18
Talnua Distillery is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day bash to remember this year, featuring food trucks, live music, special themed cocktails, and more. Limited bottles of Talnua’s exclusive Olde Saint’s Keep whiskey will be available for purchase, which you can hang onto while you dance along to pipe bands or eat a brat or two from El Jefe’s.

Watch some Irish step dancing

March 17
Head on over to Stanley Marketplace to witness the talent and skill of the students at the Wick School of Irish Dance at 12 pm, and follow it up with a green cerveza at Cheluna Brewing Co. Of course, plenty of tasty lunch and dinner options are available around the marketplace so you can soak up a bit of that beer.

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Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

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