Tuesday, December 1, 2015

From bad Mexican food to overpriced tourist
traps, here's a local's guide to what to avoid in the Mile High City.
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, an amazing
location near the mountains, and a revitalizing urban core packed with
restaurants and breweries, Denver is on the rise (T+L even named it one of the
Best Places to Travel in 2016).
But some of the city's most popular activities
don't deliver in the same way.
Take a hint from the people who live there, and
skip these seven overrated attractions.
1.
A Stroll Down 16th Street Mall Lured by the free shuttle ride that
runs on this pedestrian-friendly downtown street, visitors' first stop in
Denver is often the 16th Street Mall.
Take the shuttle if you need to get
around town, but unless you love chain restaurants and vagrants, stay north of
Curtis street.
Looking for Denver's best shops and walking areas? Opt instead
for the picturesque Larimer Square, or head to Denver's recently renovated
Union Station, where you'll find great restaurants and plenty of fine people
watching.
2.
Casa Bonita Just because it was featured on Comedy Central's South
Park doesn't make it cool in real life.
Yes, this historic establishment
boasts cliff divers and an arcade, but the mariachis are irritating and the
food is a far cry from the real deal if it's Mexican food you're craving.
If
you want authentic eats but don't care about aesthetics, head to El Taco De
Mexico for excellent green chile and an array of satisfying tacos.
3.
Pretending to be a Cowboy It's been decades since Denver was a cow
town.
No one rides horses to school and the only time cattle run through the
streets is for the city's annual National Western Stock Show Parade in early
January.
No matter how many people try to convince you to buy that cowboy hat,
don't do it.
Denverites are more likely to sport yoga pants or Patagonia down
jackets than cowboy boots, so pick up a pair of running shoes from Boulder
Running Company and join the locals at Washington Park for a 2.3 mile run.
4.
The Coors Brewery Tour It may be the world's largest single-site
brewery, but the beer is stocked nationwide.
In a city that consistently tops
the charts for its number of microbreweries per capita, it's a shame to waste
your time on brews you can get anywhere.
Opt instead for one of Denver's
award-winning breweries, like Great Divide (don't miss the Collette Farmhouse
Ale or the Titan IPA) or Prost, where you can sample traditional German beers,
like the gold medal-winning Weissbier.
5.
Eating at "Historic" Denver Restaurants Despite a buzzing culinary
scene that's attracting top-notch chefs from around the country, gullible
visitors still flock to the city's not-to-be-named "historic restaurants."
Bland food, high prices, and awful menu items like Rocky Mountain oysters
(bull, pig, or sheep testicles) are better left avoided.
Follow the locals to
more unique (and far more delicious) places to dine in Denver.
Adventurous
eaters should try Acorn in the hot RiNo neighborhood for oak-fired
specialties, or Work & Class, where you'll find well-priced meats (goat,
anyone?) and addictive side dishes.
Hankering for a steak? Try Guard and Grace
downtown.
6.
A Tour at the Denver Mint Most residents are rather perplexed by the
tourists' fascination with the historic Denver Mint.
Reservations,
airport-style security, and a large-group, impersonal tour make the Mint more
of a hassle than a good time.
Coin collectors may enjoy it, but everyone else
should consider a visit to History Colorado instead.
Opened in 2012 and
conveniently located near other popular attractions like the Denver Art
Museum, the History Colorado Center has a range of permanent and temporary
exhibits that will appeal to all ages.
7.
Recreational Marijuana Pot tourism may be all the rage right now, but
it's mostly a novelty for locals in Denver.
If trying cannabis is on your
must-do list, be aware of the regulations.
Visitors can only purchase 1/4
ounce at a time, no one can smoke in public, and the marijuana can't leave the
state.
Or just do what the locals do, and spend your evening at a wine and
cheese bar instead.
From bad Mexican food to boring tours, what to avoid in the
Mile High City.

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