photo.ua/ShutterstockWelcome to Denver, the Cultural Cowtown that Has It All (Leave Your Skis at Home) Katrina Koski May 20, 2015 Adventure Travel, Arts & History, Family Travel, Family Travel, Food & Drink, Interests, Photography, Shopping, Travel Tips, Trending Stories, Weddings and Romance So, you’re looking for a getaway that’s equal parts cultural and outdoorsy, hip and old-fashioned, affordable and swank—and you don’t want to venture too far away to find it. Folks, we’ve got a curveball for you. You should go to Denver. Surprised? We were too! This Rocky Mountain city doesn’t have a reputation for being exotic or unusual, but beneath its understated reputation, the Colorado capital is actually one of the US’s best-kept secrets. Whether you’re all about Old World charm (as much as that can apply in a country as young as the US), or you’re a brew pubs and music fest junkie, an antique lover, an athlete, or a sucker for the great outdoors, you’ll for sure find all of that in Denver. Don’t believe us? Settle in for a breakdown of all the awesomeness Denver has to offer, spread out across its many neighborhoods. Each has its own unique feel and flavor, but no matter what you’re looking to get out of this vacation, we guarantee that Denver has something for just about everyone. If you want to drink, eat, or shop ’til you drop: Arina P Habich/Shutterstock With its Victorian architecture and turn-of-the-century charm, Lodo (Lower Downtown), Larimer, and Riverfront are packed with creative techie types. It’s the perfect spot to bar-hop or just sit in a cafe and blog your way through the weekend. Or, if it’s your turn to find a book for the book club back home, spend a few hours in the Tattered Cover. It’s one of the largest independent bookstores in the world, and is loved by locals and visitors alike. If you’ve got a craving for sports and/or nachos: Nick Lamb/Shutterstock When you’ve had your fill of boozy brunches (or just have a craving for hot dogs and nachos) head on over to Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies play ball. If you’re feeling a little crunchy: a-image/Shutterstock During the summer months (mid-May through October), South Pearl offers up a farmers market every Sunday, where you can buy crafty goods from local artisans, or bring healthy snack options to get you through the day. You’ll also find a lively culture in South Pearl. Denver plays host to music festivals like Brewgrass and Blue and Brews, plus an art walk every first Friday (April through December). If you LOVE antiquing: mubus7/Shutterstock Forget mapping out the weekend’s estate sales – just this once – because you’re about to stumble right into antique mecca. South Broadway (SoBo, if you’re cool like that) has a strip of shops that’s 18 blocks long, called Antique Row (swoon!) You’ll find nearly 100 antique stores, perfect for picking out that new (erm, old) turntable-turned-tv-stand, and all the dolls, coins, and collectibles you could ever hope to find. You can almost smell the history, can’t you? If you need a little jazz in your life (and who doesn’t?): Horiyan/Shutterstock Speaking of history and culture – one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, Five Points, has a rich jazz history, and was frequented by jazz legends like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald. Though the neighborhood’s soul has quieted a bit since its jazzy peak during the 1920s through the 1950s, Five Points still plays host to its annual Five Points Jazz Festival each May, and draws a crowd of thousands from all over to celebrate Juneteenth. If you want to learn all about the Wild West: welcomia/Shutterstock Fun fact: Golden is the birthplace of the Jolly Rancher. More of a suburb than a section of Denver, Golden, Colorado lies at the foot of the Rockies and is one of the most historical sites in the state, as it was the territorial capital until 1867. But if you’re looking for something to do, Golden offers a little taste of everything, playing host to six museums, the Coors Brewery, and all the outdoorsy activities you could hope for (think kayaking, hiking, and biking). Or you could just lie in a field and immerse yourself in all this natural beauty: Zach Dischner/Shutterstock For all its fun and games, Denver is clearly not kidding around. Bring your kids, your friends, your parents, or that stranger you sat next to on the plane (no judgement), and take advantage of all that this city has to offer. But first, leave us a comment to share all about your favorite Denver ‘hood!