Elect to see these 10 great places in Denver

Looking for a place to join the party in Denver? With the Mile High City hosting the Democratic National Convention next week, Tamra Monahan, manager of the Tattered Cover Book Store and contributing writer for Colorado's Best: The Essential Guide to Favorite Places, can offer plenty of advice on where to go. She shares her picks with USA TODAY.

Denver Art Museum

"This museum is a work of art itself," Monahan says. "Architect Daniel Libeskind designed the DAM's new addition, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, with the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains in mind, and what he created is architectural art, inside and out. The building, which resembles geometric rock crystals, features artistically designed staircases and spaces that accentuate the museum's wonderful art collection. Outside, a mixture of striking angles and complex geometry create a visual masterpiece." 720-865-5000; denverartmuseum.org

Trios Enoteca

"Slip into this intimate wine bar for great live music, no cover charge and over 40 wines by the glass," Monahan says. There's a local following for the wood-oven pizzas and happy hour at this destination in the city's Lower Downtown. 303-293-2887; triosenoteca.com

Comedy Works

"Spend the night laughing at Denver's oldest and most notable spot for stand-up comedy," Monahan says. Many rising stars, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Rosie O'Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Allen and Roseanne Barr, honed their craft here in the '80s. The intimate basement atmosphere is a contagious place for laughter. Big stars, from Dave Chappelle to George Lopez to Carlos Mencia, perform on one of the nation's most notable stages for stand-up. 303-595-3637; comedyworks.com

Cherry Creek North

"An afternoon of shop-till-you-drop must include Cherry Creek, Denver's Rodeo Drive," Monahan says. This 16-square-block area has dozens of galleries, boutiques, restaurants, spas and an adjacent mall with upscale Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Round out the day with a drive to Larimer Square. "Denver's most historic block was transformed into a shoppers' paradise with local favorites that include Cry Baby Ranch, a clothing, boot and gift shop; John Atencio Designer Jewelry; and Z Gallerie," Monahan says. 303-394-2904; cherrycreeknorth.com

Coors Field

"In the world of beer, Colorado is known for Coors, so it's fitting to spend an evening at Coors Field sipping an ice-cold beer watching a Colorado Rockies baseball game," Monahan says. "This state-of-the-art baseball stadium has a view of the Rocky Mountains — and terrific ballpark food. Aside from traditional hot dogs and pretzels, feast on Blue Cheese Potato Chips and Rocky Mountain Oysters (Hint: They're not seafood)." 303-762-5437; rockies.mlb.com

City Park

Denver's premier park, about a mile from downtown, has Sunday concerts and postcard views of the city skyline with the Rocky Mountains for a backdrop. "You can bike along the trails, row a boat on the lake, picnic on the lawn, golf or visit the Denver Zoo in this expansive park," Monahan says. "Wander through dinosaur exhibits, moon-rock and outer-space displays at the Museum of Nature & Science and Gates Planetarium, also in the park." denvergov.org/parks


This is consistently ranked as the top restaurant in the city, Monahan says. "Chef and owner Frank Bonanno is synonymous with great food in Denver. His other restaurants, Luca D'Italia and Osteria Marco, offer some of the best culinary experiences in the Mile High City." Bonanno cures his own pancetta, sopressata and a variety of other Italian meats. He also makes his own burrata, a creamy mozzarella-based cheese. All the pasta, including ravioli, is homemade. 303-832-4778; mizunadenver.com

Molly Brown House Museum

"Denver's history is full of gunslingers and gold miners who tamed the Wild West. Come here for a sense of the Mile High City's rowdy past," Monahan says. "Socialite and suffragist Molly Brown's survival of the Titanic voyage inspired the Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown." 303-832-4092; molly brown.org

Denver Performing Arts Complex

"If you need a cultural fix, head here for an evening of dining and drama," Monahan says. "Book a table at Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House, one of Denver's most elegant restaurants. After dinner, walk upstairs and take your pick of opera in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House or musical and dramatic productions at the Denver Center for Performing Arts." 720-865-4220; artscomplex.com

United States Mint at Denver

"The United States Mint at Denver is one of two facilities that produces our circulating coins, so take a free tour and find out how our money is made," Monahan says. "It is located in the heart of the city, and inside this grand building you'll learn about money in the U.S., production and packaging of circulating and collectible coins, and the history of the United States Mint system. Reservations are required, and tours have strict regulations." 303-405-4761; usmint.gov