With 300 days of sunshine, a downtown that’s easy to explore on foot, and an abundance of dog-friendly places to eat and play with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Denver, CO is a great destination for a weekend jaunt with Fido. Discover parks, tours, hiking trails, breweries and places to eat where your canine companion can join in the fun.
Posted by Erin Ballinger
4 p.m. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver
Check in to your pet-friendly digs in the heart of downtown Denver. Your furry family will be greeted by name and welcomed with loaner beds, bowls and mats in the room. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco really spoils pets, and you’ll also enjoy creature comforts like an inviting bed with luxurious linens, a gourmet minibar to satisfy any late-night cravings, and your own yoga mat so you can stretch in the downward dog pose.
5 p.m. Yappy Hour
Join the gathering in the hotel lobby for a dog-friendly happy hour featuring complimentary wine, beer and appetizers from Panzano, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. It’s a fine opportunity to mix and mingle with other two-legged and four-legged hotel guests.
6 p.m. Dinner at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Grab a bite and treat your pup to a night out on the town at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in the Union Station neighborhood. This dog-friendly restaurant serves up delicious burgers, salads, sandwiches, shakes and more. Fido will be greeted with a bowl of water and dog treats once you're seated on the outdoor patio, but you can also order him his own plain burger if he's hungry for more.
8 p.m. City Park
Denver’s 850 miles of paved and off-road trails make it easy to get out on two wheels. Rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals and explore City Park. With 7.5 miles of bike paths, City Park offers one of the longest trails in the city. You and Fido can burn off some steam with an evening ride that takes you past duck ponds, civil rights memorials and lush foliage. Pedal with your pooch in a four-wheel Surrey cycle or get out on the water in an illuminated Swan Boat.
9 p.m. Skyline Park and The British Bulldog
If you’re not ready to turn in just yet, walk the dog through Skyline Park, conveniently located two blocks from the hotel. The highlight of the park is a landmark clock tower that is lit up at nighttime. Stretch Fido’s legs a little more with a loop from the park to The British Bulldog. Find a seat with your beloved Bulldog on the pet-friendly patio and enjoy a pie and a pint to celebrate your first night in Denver.
7 a.m. Coffee Time
Get your caffeine fix for free this morning in the hotel lobby. Complimentary coffee, tea and infused water are available in the hotel’s living room, where your dog is always welcome. Fuel up on energy bars, jerky and plenty of water from the convenience store on your way out, and hit the road for an early start in the mountains.
8 a.m. Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park
Red Rocks Park, a Denver Mountain Park, is named for its towering 300-foot sandstone rock formations. Start your adventure on the park’s most popular hike, Red Rocks Trading Post Trail. This moderate loop hike weaves around 10 of the park’s giant red rock formations, taking hikers through meadows full of wildflowers during the season, and treating them to Front Range views along the way. Or, for an easier hike, Mount Vernon Creek Trail Loop will give you a chance to see the famous amphitheater. If you just want to take it all in without exercising, find a seat in the amphitheater and snap a few pics of your dog checking out the incredible vistas (don’t forget to #BringFido).
11 a.m. Dinosaur Ridge
Drive seven miles to Dinosaur Ridge and the Triceratops Trailhead, located one block east of 6th Avenue and 19th Street in Golden, CO. Take a walk back through time to 68 million years ago during the Age of the Dinosaurs on the Triceratops Trail, the only dog-friendly trail in the landmark park.
This 1.5-mile hike has a gravel path and will take about an hour and a half to complete. The trail winds between sandstone walls and into reclaimed clay pits with many viewable dinosaur tracks including those left by three-toed Tyrannosaurs and four-toed Triceratops.
1 p.m. Lunch at Tap on the Rocks
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dine with your dog on the covered patio at Tap on the Rocks. Located right off Bear Creek Lake Trail, this delightful pizza restaurant is the ideal place to grab a slice and a brew with a view of the creek. There’s even a dog-friendly AstroTurf area for your pooch to sniff out before you leave.
2 p.m. Biscuits and a Break
On your drive back into Denver, make a pit stop for freshly baked dog treats at Three Dog Bakery. Fido will have to make the tough decision between a Pupcake, Peanut Mutter Cup, Bulldog Bar, Woofie Pie or Carrot Cake. Or buy one of each! The dog bakery also sells Lickety Split doggie ice cream, Snickerpoodles cookies and birthday cakes. Your pup’s tail will be wagging with whatever you choose!
Back at the Kimpton, relax and allow Fido to rest his weary paws. You’ll both want to freshen up after all that exploring.
5 p.m. Brewery Hopping
No trip to The Mile High City would be complete without a visit to a few of the approximately 150 breweries that call Denver home. Most of the ones that offer outdoor seating welcome dogs. Among our favorites are Great Divide Brewing Company, Banded Oak Brewing Company, Call to Arms Brewing Company and Goldspot Brewing Company. End your tour at Denver Beer Co. where Fido can sample a dog “beerscuit!” After spending your Saturday hiking and drinking craft beer with your dog, you can practically call yourself a Denverite!
8 p.m. Dinner at Forest Room 5
Just a few steps from Denver Beer Company, Forest Room 5 is the perfect choice to end your day with a tapas-style dinner. Try to snag a seat by the fire on the restaurant's pup-friendly patio. Warm fry bread, elk sliders, truffle fries, fish tacos and gouda-bacon mac and cheese are sure to please. If you have a larger appetite, order the bison short rib or flatiron steak. Your waiter will bring his four-legged customer a bowl of fresh water.
8 a.m. Gattara
Fido may not like the theme of your breakfast restaurant of choice, but he’ll enjoy the welcoming patio. Gattara, which is an Italian word for ladies who care for cats, is a feline-themed restaurant that welcomes well-behaved dogs to join their owners for a nice breakfast. Sink your teeth into a breakfast burrito, buttermilk pancakes and other breakfast classics to fuel your last day in Denver.
9:30 a.m. Mile High Marker at the Colorado State Capitol
Your next stop takes you to the historic, gold-domed Colorado State Capitol, which was modeled after the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. This is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the city, thanks to the 18th step that leads to the building. Take a photo of your furry friend at the Mile High Marker, which lies exactly 5,280 feet or one mile above sea level.
10 a.m. Denver Walking Tours
Look for the guide in the neon yellow shirt at the front steps of the Colorado State Capitol before 10 a.m. for the free, pet-friendly Denver Walking Tour. You’ll visit the city's main sights, learn about its storied history, and cover 1.7 miles during this 2-2.5 hour walk. It’s a free activity but works on the pay-what-you-like tipping model, so bring some cash, too!
1 p.m. Depart Denver with a Dog-Tired Fido
Hikes, walks, yappy hours and beerscuits make for a full weekend for even the most active of dogs. We’re sure your pooch will give Denver a five-bone rating on his way out of town, and will soon be dreaming of the day he gets to come back for more!