I was able to connect with Zhenya, a friend I made while living in Samara, in Denver! It was the perfect place to meet up. It’s mild in the summer and an urban center with a lot to do. Zhenya and I spent many late nights talking and eating (she’s a chef!) in Samara, and Denver’s is a city all about good times and eating with friends.
Despite being in the southwest, their new rail system makes it incredibly easy to navigate without a car. They also have daily buses to other Colorado cities.
My favorite things about Denver was experiencing the artwork of Justin Favela at the Denver Museum of Art. It was an immersive and colorful exhibit. Justin Favela also makes the Latinos who Lunch podcast, which is unique and hilarious.
Awesome hostel: 11th Avenue Hostel
Mostly a hotel but with a single room converted into a “hostel”. Next to some hip coffee shops and walking distance from the public library, numerous breweries, and the 16th Street Mall. I stayed there with a close friend. Experiences at hostels vary based off of who is there at the time you’re there… but we had good luck and had the place mostly to ourselves. Much of the hotel has maintained the old architecture, including the shelf where they keep keys, it’s old-timey and kitschy.
Off the beaten path find: Red Chair Bookstore
This is a small used bookstore inside of Denver Public Library Central. They had a huge selection of large art books, which is pretty unique. While browsing, I found some great books you probably can’t find in a big corporate bookstore.