Breathe the Rocky Mountain air
NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Denver article click DailyXtraTravel
David, your well-illustrated bartender at Compound
Denver will surely take your breath away. Be prepared for the change in altitude here in the 'Mile High City.' The attitude's different, too: you'll meet some of the friendliest and most helpful folks you may ever encounter.
Denver preserves a vibrant downtown, one of its great charms. Here, you'll find hotels, the city's convention center, a performing arts complex, and a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and nightspots. Also here are some of the city's top attractions, including the U.S. Mint, the Denver Art Museum, and the Colorado History Museum. Getting around by car is likely to be your best option.
Denver's Pridefest takes place in June, and there's an AIDS walk in September.
Ramada Inn (1150 East Colfax Ave) is located in the historic Capitol Hill district of downtown; it's just minutes from many tourist attractions as well as local gay clubs. An outdoor heated pool, whirlpool, and fitness center enhance your enjoyment. Free shuttle service is also provided to local gay bars and baths.
Holiday Chalet Bed & Breakfast (1820 East Colfax Ave) has accommodations in the Wyman District in their Victorian brownstone, with elegant period decor. Their full breakfast of pancakes and quiche, lox and fruit get you nicely started.
The Gregory Inn (2500 Arapahoe St) is a small B&B in the downtown LoDo district is classic Colorado decor with all the modern upscale features and hearty food.
Capitol Hill Mansion (1207 Pennsylvania St) in the Capitol Hill district downtown, combines turn of the century opulence with every modern convenience in this eight room B&B.
Bars and clubs
Charlie's (900 East Colfax Ave) for over a generation, this seven days a week, 365 day/year bar is one of the nation's finest. Charlie's is among Colorado's highest sales volume bars of any kind. There are pool tables, video games, dart machines, outdoor patio, and an almost non-stop calendar of events and benefits here. There are big beer busts on Sunday afternoons, karaoke two nights a week, and on Undie Mondays guys in briefs get big drinks discounts, with similar deals for shirtless guys on Fridays and Saturdays. On the ground level dance floor they live up to the Country Western theme, but on the second level party bar floor they play a wide variety of music. In support of the gay community, Charlie's fund raising efforts are generous and sustained.
Compound (145 Broadway) since 1987 this six-time "Best of Denver" winner is a delightfully funky place with patio and dance floor. There's dancing here five nights a week with great DJs and state-of-art lighting and sound, with no dress code -so anything goes from Levis to drag. "Prepare to party" here, especially on Saturday and Sunday nights for the beer bust from 6pm. The Compound opens early, 7 days a week at 7am.
The Wrangler (1700 Logan) home to the Front Range Bears, is known as Denver's number one men's cruising place. The Wrangler's legendary Sunday beer busts are every Sunday 4 to 8pm, when it's wall-to-wall men and a line out the door.
Denver is known for it's strippers, and this is the specialty of BoyzTown (117 Broadway) where there's never a cover and lots of hot men six nights a week. Tuesday through Sunday, 10pm to 1:30am are performance times, with Wednesday amateur strip-offs for cash prizes.
Denver Detour (551 East Colfax Ave) mixes everyone together for darts, pool, karaoke and live bands on Saturdays. Everyone's welcome, but Wednesdays are women's pool tournament nights and Thursdays are Men's Night. Their restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week and breakfast on weekends. The mouth-watering burrito is a must-try. Watch the Pride Parade as it goes right by Detour's front door.
Other bars to check out include:
Atrium (554 South Broadway) mixed crowd dance club and showbar;
Barker Lounge (255 South Broadway) older but welcoming neighborhood bar;
Broadways (1027 Broadway) small bar with easy-going folks;
BJ's Carousel (1380 South Broadway) longtime restaurant, showbar and lounge, with weekend drag shows;
Denver Eagle (3600 Blake St) Levi and leather men's bar;
JR's Bar and Grill (777 East 17th) mostly younger guys video bar with dancing and shows;
Mo's (1037 Broadway) neighborhood bar with patio, game room and dancing;
Mozart Lounge (1417 Krameria St) gay and straight neigborhood piano lounge;
There (11526 East Colfax Ave) a self-styled "lebian Cheers," with espresso from 7am; and
Tracks (3500 Walnut) Thursday through Saturday dance club with 18+ dance nights.
Midtowne Spa (2935 Zuni) has fantasy setups such port holes, glory holes, a cell block and basement maze with 14 booths, video-arcade booths, ramp room, and large group room. The wet area has a steam room, dry sauna, hot tub, and showers. Both porn and general entertainment are shown and their backyard deck has a hot tub, all open 24 hours. Specialty rooms can be rented, such as a deluxe dungeon room with double bed, TV, sling, St. Andrew's cross, and private glory holes; a sling room; and a third room has mirrors galore. Hot JO parties are on Thursdays, and on Sunday there are strip shows, with free food and beverages. Free STD and HIV testing is available and their website lists the monthly parties.
Other baths, both open 24 hours a day, include:
Denver Swim Club (6923 East Colfax Ave) with outdoor pool, nude sunbathing and heated indoor poll along with their many sauna and cruising facilities; and
Triple C (2151 Lawrence) a large gay sauna with all the amenities.
For some of the best Mexican food anywhere try Denver Detour (551 East Colfax Ave).
Geez Louise (4924 Colfax) is Denver's gay-owned coffeehouse with panini, WiFi and an unconventional atmosphere.
At Denver's Hamburger Mary's (700 East 17th Ave), you'll find them up to the usual standards of this campy chain. Their Club M bar adjoins the restaurant.
At Irish Snug (1201 East Colfax Ave), across from Ramada Inn there's good Irish pub grub.
At Racines (650 Sherman St) from 7am weekdays there's breakfast, lunch dinner and weekend brunches from 8am. This comfortable gay-frequented restaurant is a favorite meeting place.
Shops and entertainment
Needz (135 Broadway), close to Compound, carries a variety of novelties, sexy underwear, fetish toys, and other fun items.
Crypt (131 Broadway) has leather goods, bondage and fetish gear and plus cards, gifts, lubes, dvds and other erotic needs and whims.
Don't forget CJ's Leather (212 S Broadway) for
leather clothing, bondage and S&M gear, all at a good price.
For a unique gifts, be sure to visit Heaven Sent Me (116 South Broadway).
Tattered Cover Bookstore (1628 16th St) is an indie bookseller with four area locations.
The local gay presses include and Out Front and Gayzette: both offer news and events as well as bar maps and listings. Dive into gay life here and you'll catch a Rocky Mountain high among the great people of Denver.