Welcome to Denver, Colorado. You’ve got 8 hours to explore the city before a Colorado Rockies game, and there’s a lot to see. Your agenda: gold, beer and burgers.
First stop: gold.
Start at the Hidee goldmine, about 45 minutes out of town. More than 5 billion dollars in gold has been taken out of these hills since the 1860s. Why visit Hidee? Because it’s authentic. You can go 150 feet underground and mine your own gold here. This isn’t something you can do back in New York on your way to a Yankees game.
The mine is at a fractured fault line, and fractures allows the iron, silver, copper, gold, sulfur solution. Keep an eye out for “Tommyknockers,” small gnome figurines that miners bring along for good luck. Leave some of your spoils and pay for a good treat.
Next stop is Coors Brewery. Use your MapQuest app for directions; you’ll see it’s less than a half hour away. On the way, check out Buffalo Bill Cody’s grave.
Coors Brewery is the largest single site brewery on the planet—300,000 people take the awesome tour every year.
Take the tour to learn about the production and packaging—you’ll enjoy your beer more at the end. There are 50 copper kettles at the brewery. They use copper because it’s a great insulator and won’t change the flavor of your beer. Take note of the fresh beer room; this beer is 3 to 5 days old, which is the absolute freshest you can ever have Coors beer. The brewers check everything from the barley to the filtering process, all right here in the brewery.
Now that you’ve done the tour, it’s time to see what you’ve learned. Try a Coors Banquet—you know it as Coors. The beer is referred to as a “banquet” because when the miners would come and eat together at banquets, Coors is the only kind of beer they would serve.
At this point you’ve seen the gold, you’ve tried the beer. Before you get to the burgers, let’s skip to dessert. Stop at Hammond’s Candy Factory, which has been in business since 1920. They give free tours—yes, FREE tours of a candy factory—where you can see how candy is made, and even create your own.
After you’ve made—and eaten—your dessert, it’s time for dinner. Head to Cherry Cricket, best burger in town, only 25 minutes away.
The restaurant began as a bar that operated out of a guy’s living room. It now dominates Denver’s best burger lists over and over again. Try the Cricket burger with jalapenos, pepper strips and cheddar.
It’s almost game time, but you have time for one last stop: View House, across from Coors Field. They have volleyball and bocce in the yard and a rooftop bar where you can gaze at the stadium. Grab a beer—maybe a Coors now that you’ve seen it made—and get ready to cheer on the Rockies at Coors Field.