If you love the cold and lots of snow, winter starts in Denver.

With 300 days of sunshine, world-class dining, a thriving cultural scene, and endless outdoor adventure, Denver is the perfect destination to begin your Colorado winter vacation. Below is a list of new restaurants, hotels, and attractions to check out this season, as well as an overview of can’t-miss winter favorites, according to a news release.

Restaurants

MICHELIN recognized 26 Denver restaurants in their inaugural and highly anticipated Colorado-based Guide this past September. The famously anonymous MICHELIN Guide inspectors selected a diverse range of restaurants across the city that exude culinary excellence, including longtime Denver favorites such as BeckonAsh’KaraMister Oso, TavernettaA5 SteakhouseGuard and GraceMercantile Dining and ProvisionsNoisetteSafta and many more.

Denver joins BoulderAspen and Snowmass Village, the Town of Vail, and Beaver Creek Resort in the Colorado MICHELIN Guide, the eighth Guide destination in North America.

Of course, long-time favorites such as downtown TavernettaCherry Creek’s Barolo Grill, and many more serve up delicious meals in cozy environments this season and are a staple on any Denver itinerary. For a complete list of Denver’s best restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and more, head to the website.

Hotels

Denver’s Kimpton Hotel Born was rebranded as the Limelight Hotel in spring 2023. The Limelight Denver is under the operation of Aspen Hospitality, the hospitality division of Aspen Skiing Company. Conveniently located adjacent to Denver’s Union Station, the hotel is the first urban location for the Limelight brand and joins the existing Limelight portfolio in Aspen and Snowmass, CO., and Ketchum, Idaho making it the perfect complement for a Colorado winter vacation.

The new Acoma House, Denver’s premier boutique art hotel, is in the vibrant Golden Triangle district. Guests can immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind experience as they step into 24 custom rooms, each thoughtfully designed by a unique artist.

Head to the Halcyon in Cherry Creek for Denver’s new rooftop skating experience complete with breathtaking views of the Mile High City. Guests can also gather for a dip in the rooftop hot tub, enjoy hot beverages and bites, warm blankets, and more.

Arts and Culture

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) boasts an impressive calendar of performances and events this season including Jesus Christ SuperstarChicago, Cebollas, and more. And do not miss DCPA’s Off-Center’s Space Explorers: THE INFINITE at the Hanger in Stanley Marketplace Feb. 3- May 5.

The Denver Art Museum‘s (DAM) exhibit, Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks is on display through Feb. 19. This is the debut solo exhibition for Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, featuring more than 30 of Boafo’s creations between 2016 and 2022 telling stories about the beauty and complexity of Black life. While you are at the DAM, check out the All Stars: American Artists from The Phillips Collection through March 3, which highlights some of the best American art from one of the most celebrated collections in the United States. See landmark works by more than 50 artists, including Jackson PollockGeorgia O’KeeffeJacob Lawrence, Childe Hassam, and more.

Meanwhile, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MCA) exhibit Cowboy speaks to the museum’s ambition to challenge, revise, and reconceive how such a myth originated and might be probed in exciting, courageous, and nuanced ways. It brings together loans and new commissions from 27 artists representing a wide range of perspectives, including Asian American, Latinx, and Native American/Indigenous.

The Museum of Illusions is new to downtown Denver. The space offers an intriguing visual, sensory, and educational experience with illusions ranging from tried-and-true classics to the never-before-seen. Guests will enjoy more than 80 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms that are designed to tease the senses and trick the mind.

The season brings many blockbuster concerts to Ball Arena including Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, and Ricky Martin on Feb. 13, Nicki Minaj on March 3, and Madonna on March 19. For more intimate concerts, check out Denver’s GothicBluebird, or Ogden theater’s line-up. There is something for every music taste. And don’t miss Icelantic’s Return to the Rocks on April 19, 2024, with IceCube, The Game, BoneThugsNHarmony, and Living Legends. Learn more here.

Learn more and check out additional new things on the VISIT DENVER website.

Additional Winter Favorites

Alongside new things in Denver, there are many beloved winter activities, events, and traditions perfect for the whole family.

Feel the energy at Ball Area this season with the 2023 NBA Finals Champions, the Denver Nuggets, the 2022 Stanley Cup winners, the Colorado Avalanche, or the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team.

Denver’s personality is exemplified in its neighborhoods. From shopping in Cherry Creek to exploring street art in River North (RiNo), each neighborhood offers unique ways to enjoy the season. Check out an interactive map on the VISIT DENVER website to learn more.

Bring the whole family along for your Denver adventure with a wide array of kid-friendly activities. Head to the Denver Zoo to see more than 3,000 animals including elephants, orangutans, lions, and more. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to explore fossils and dinosaurs, ponder the mysteries of space at Gates Planetarium, discover Egyptian mummies, and watch larger-than-life films at the Phipps IMAX 3D Theater. The Downtown Aquarium is a perfect spot for kids to awe at astounding marine life, feed the stingrays, pan for gold, see a mermaid show, or become a marine biologist for a day.

Outdoor Activities

Denver is the perfect winter destination, with a backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Head northwest to the Boulder Flatirons or Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy iconic stretches of scenic trails and spots that offer spectacular views. Try out cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in nearby Idaho SpringsEstes Park, or Golden. Or hop on the Winter Park Express Ski Train to enjoy mountain adventures without the hassle of renting a car and driving on mountain roads. Service for the seasonal train began Friday, Jan. 12, and will run through the weekend of March 29 with departures each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The train leaves from downtown Denver at Denver Union Station at 7 am and arrives at the mountain at 9 am. The return trip departs Winter Park at 4:30 pm and arrives in Denver at 6:40 pm, so it is a great option for a weekend or day trip. Bring the whole family because kids ride for 50% off!

After a full day of outdoor adventures, return to the city and have a feast at an award-winning restaurant, grab a craft beer along the Denver Beer Trail, or explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, teeming with arts, culture, and urban flair.

Source: VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau