Last month, I wrote about Oakland as my first cannabis-friendly tourism spotlight article for Puff, Pass & Ponder. I live in Oakland now, but I spent the first four years of my cannabis career living, hiking, eating, and smoking my way through Denver, and several years before that when cannabis wasn’t legal yet. I think that Denver is similar to Oakland in a lot of ways— there are a lot of great pockets of different neighborhoods, all with their own original vibe, the food is fantastic, the weed is great, and there is a lot to do outdoors. Really, the main difference is that in Denver versus The Bay, you trade in the oceans and get the mountains instead, not to mention that you’re going to see more people wearing Tevas as “going out shoes” if you’re in the Mile-High City.
Just as with Oakland, when you’re booking your 420-friendly vacation to Colorado, you’re going to need to consider the regulations for public consumption and that most hotels and even private residences do NOT allow you to smoke, even weed (which in my humble opinion is way less pervasive than cigarette smoke). The quickest way to ruin a great trip is to start off with getting slapped with a $500 smoking charge, and worse, no longer having a spot to consume all of the great product you just bought. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re booking a cannabis-friendly AirBnB or hotel so you can blaze to your heart’s content. Also, make sure you’re aware of WHAT exactly you can consume, as many lodging options are vape-friendly only, and some even offer vaporizer rentals for pick-up at the front desk or waiting for you in your room. I recommend searching for “420 friendly” on AirBnB, or booking through cannabistours.com (shameless plug) so you know exactly what you’re getting from the get-go.
The Denver airport is in Stapleton, so it is a bit of a hike from the city (PLEASE don’t stay near the airport, it’s desolate out there!), but you can jump right on the light rail and get downtown for just $9. If you’re craving some of that infamous Colorado Kush as soon as you get in, Medicine Man is my favorite dispensary on the way to downtown Denver from the airport. L’Eagle Dispensary is my all-time favorite Denver spot… their product is 100% organic, long-cured, and pesticide free, not to mention absolutely delicious, and I HIGHly recommend the L’Eagle Eagle.
Just as with city life, you aren’t technically supposed to consume weed in national and state parks (I can’t tell you to do that, but I also can’t stop you, wink wink!), but that shouldn’t keep you from experiencing the beauty of the Colorado mountains and taking a day trip or even a half-day trip to hike. One of my favorite spots to hike is around Red Rocks, which is one of the largest and most incredible natural amphitheaters in the world. If there isn’t a concert going on, you’re able to walk down right onto the stage and pretend you’re Dave Matthews Band or Snoop Dogg or Willie Nelson, whatever your preference may be. My favorite loop is the Red Rocks Trail (inventive name, I know), which leads you for anywhere from 3-7 miles around the amphitheater and through beautiful scenery with awesome views of Denver, starting out by a dilapidated old cemetery from settlers in the 1800s… which if you’re into spooky stuff like I am, is pretty cool.
Because Denver is our biggest operating base for Cannabis Tours, we have a wide variety of classes, tours, and events there, including our Original and Essential Cannabis Tours, our Hash Making Class and Tour, and our Brewery and Grow tour, (because in Colorado, we celebrate our beer JUST as much as we love our weed). Puff, Pass & Paint has classes almost every night, as well as Puff, Pass & POTtery, but if you’re not sure if you’re into art, you can also learn how to make your own edible creations in our Cooking with Cannabis class or the Concentrates and Terpenes class.
As usual, most of my “stoned attractions” involve eating food in some capacity, and there is no shortage of great restaurants in Denver that are both classy and delicious, as well as tolerant of the overwhelming scent of weed when you walk in. My favorite is Linger in Denver’s Highlands area. It’s an old mortuary turned restaurant that boasts incredible drinks, great small plates, and if you’re there on a seasonal day, an incredible view of Denver’s downtown from the rooftop patio. If you’re not super hungry and you have the afternoon off, it’s happy hour is one of the best in the city, and you should absolutely, positively, ALWAYS try one of their infamous duck buns. Afterwards you can walk over to Avanti, also in the Highlands, for a drink on their rooftop patio, and if you’re still hungry, you can grab a snack from any one of the food trucks that have a permanent home in their downstairs eatery space. If you’re more in the mood for a brew, stop into Great Divide Brewery downtown, grab a pint and join them them for a free tour.
Man, I’m getting sappy just listing all of the great spots that Denver has to offer… it really has been my home city for a great deal of my adult life, and it has only gotten better and better with all of the funding that cannabis taxes have brought in. We’ve been able to repair roads, build infrastructure, improve schools, and add classes and teachers to the education system, because us fools love to smoke legal weed and do fun things while we’re at it… to the tune of 1.5 billion per year in cannabis revenues for the state of Colorado. Let’s be honest… we do it for the kids, right? 🙂
To read more musings to make you ponder, click here.