The Best Things to Do in Denver During the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show

As Outdoor Retailer makes its Denver debut (from Jan. 25 to 28), attendees will be just as busy exploring the city itself as navigating the show venue. Between Denver’s cultural and dining options, as well as miles of recreational trails, there are ample attractions to pass the time in the Western region. For what’s hot, Footwear News turned to a few local in-the-know pros.

Culture & Shopping


Denver Art Museum

“One of the largest in the West, this museum is in Denver’s vibrant Civic Center and hosts a variety of interesting, rotating exhibitions. The museum’s Western American Art is a beautiful tribute to the region’s people, history and landscape,” said Janelle Huelsman, associate PR director at Backbone Media.

100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver; (720) 865-5000; denverartmuseum.org


“Action-sports and lifestyle retailer Evo has a stunning retail space on Broadway. They started in the ski and snowboard world but have grown to be a standout lifestyle retailer with a great footwear selection. Aside from its huge retail selection, the store features a rotating art gallery and regular events, so it’s a great base camp if you’re landing in Denver and need some recommendations for skiing, biking and more,” said Bryson Ross, senior PR account manager at Backbone Media.

860 Broadway, Denver; (303) 831-7228; evo.com

Quick Bites


Biju’s Little Curry Shop 

An original spin on South Indian food in Denver using fresh, hand-chopped ingredients daily. “Biju offers freshly prepared curry dishes inspired by chef Biju Thomas, a legend in the endurance sports world,” Ross said.

1441 26th St., Denver; (303) 292-3500; littlecurryshop.com

Beast & Bottle

A rustic American restaurant featuring locally sourced and fresh ingredients on a seasonal menu. “I go to this place all the time — it’s right down the street from the convention center,” said Jonathan Lantz, president of La Sportiva North America.

719 E. 17th Ave., Denver; (303) 623-3223; beastandbottle.com


A casual and friendly coffee shop with fresh food made daily and featuring works by local artists. “This place is a coffee mecca, with great beans from delicious local roasters. It has solid food options, too,” Huelsman said.

2862 Larimer St., Denver; (720) 284-9648; cremacoffeehouse.net

Southern Sun

“It’s a small craft brewery and has a delicious offering of pub grub — a Front Range staple,” said Mike O’Brien, GM at the Neptune Mountaineering outdoor shop in Boulder.

627 S. Broadway St. E., Boulder, Colo.; (303) 543-0886; mountainsunpub.com

Wine & Dine


The Populist

This communal dining spot offers a regularly changing menu of new-American dishes. “It’s a charming restaurant with tasty cocktails and
excellent wine list. The patio is one of my favorite places in the city,” said Huelsman.

3163 Larimer St., Denver; (720) 432-3163; thepopulistdenver.com

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We are ready for ya. See you at 5:00!

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Homestyle Japanese fare is complemented here by tree-trunk seating, a Japanese country museum and a traditional Japanese garden. “This is one of my favorite places — it’s sushi with a cool vibe to the restaurant,” said Lantz.

1365 Osage St., Denver; (303) 595-3666; domorestaurant.com

Los Chingones

For drinks, Ross recommends this lively taqueria with a larger rooftop patio. In addition to its tapas menu, the restaurant has creative cocktails
and stocks an extensive selection of tequilas.

2463 Larimer St., Denver; (303) 295-0686; loschingonesmexican.com



Boulder Theater

Historically an opera house, the present-day concert venue is also host to several film festivals. “Arguably, it has one of the best annual lineups you’ll see at any music venue, and it only seats 850 people, creating a very intimate experience with your favorite bands,” said O’Brien.

2032 14th St., Boulder, Colo.; (303) 786-7030; bouldertheater.com

Boulder theater, colorado
Boulder Theater.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Boulder Theater


For late-night entertainment, Ross suggests a visit to this supper club and lounge featuring live jazz music each night 7-10 p.m. And on Fridays and Saturdays, the performances extend until 12:30 a.m.

1330 27th St., Denver; (303) 295-3333; nocturnejazz.com

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

Lantz recommends this live-music venue, which has a restaurant and bar, and a boudoir-inspired atmosphere. On Thursday, Jan. 25, it will present funk band Intuit, while Friday, Jan. 26, brings a rock-flamenco show with El Javi. Both shows start at 9 p.m.

1215 20th St., Denver; (303) 998-8023; opheliasdenver.com

Getting Active


Eldora Resort

To catch some time on the slopes, check out this resort, which offers 680 acres of skiing and a variety of options, from day tickets to season passes. “It’s a great local resort just 18 miles from downtown Boulder and has new lifts and terrain,” said Ross.

2861 Eldora Ski Road, Nederland, Colo.; (303) 440-8700; eldora.com

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Groomed to perfection. #FreshCorduroy #Eldora6 #closertoyou

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Rocky Mountain National Park

For an excursion outside of Denver, Ross names this national park as a must-see destination featuring 355 miles of hiking trails, 147 lakes, 77 mountains taller than 12,000 feet and wildlife viewing.

Estes Park, Colo.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Colorado, outdoor retailer tradeshow 2018
Rocky Mountain National Park.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Hessie Trailhead

“The best place for a winter hike is the Indian Peaks, specifically the Hessie Trailhead,” said Lantz. The trailhead is a key access
point to an abundance of lands and trails operated by the U.S. Forest Service.

1104-1120 Hessie Road, Nederland, Colo.

indian peaks wilderness, denver, colorado, outdoor retailer tradeshow 2018
A camper at the Indian Peaks.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock


“[The National Historic Landmark] has access to multiple hiking trails and climbs for all levels. You’re guaranteed to see a lot of Colorado wildlife and amazing vista views of the Colorado Front Range,” said O’Brien. The park also features auditorium spaces, lodging and events.

Baseline Road & Ninth Street, Boulder, Colo.; (303) 441-3440; chautauqua.com

chautauqua park, boulder, colorado
Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Earth Treks 

“For an intense  — or introductory — indoor rock gym, this spot isn’t far from downtown but puts you on the edge of the Rockies, brushing shoulders with Colorado’s strongest climbers,” said Ross. The gym features 28,500 square feet of climbing space and over 400 roped routes and boulders.

700 Golden Ridge Road, Golden, Colo.; (303) 222-9564; earthtreksclimbing.com

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