Insider’s Guide to Surviving Denver during #GABF

**This will be a continually updated post as more ideas and news comes in**

The good part of GABF? Lots of out-of-towners. New folks to play with. Responding to a lot of the questions I see on the twitter GABF tag, here’s a few answers to questions

General Transportation Options:

Parking, like in any downtown area, will be limited. Garages and lots will be expensive. And if you’re driving while enjoying this town’s beer, you’re gonna have a bad time (we don’t have the greatest record with the whole “nice-guy police force”). There are some car share programs in the area, most notably Car2Go (just showed up this week) and GoCarShare.

Options: RTD. Lots of routes, lots of stops. Looking to hit up Boulder or one of the suburb bars? Plenty of regional options for that. 90% of all the regional buses leave from the Market Street Station at 16th and Market. Just about every light rail line stops at the Convention Center as well (in case you opt for a cheaper hotel just off the train line). RTD even has a few user-friendly mobile apps to download.

Taxis – easy to remember numbers:

YellowCab – 303-777-7777

MetroTaxi – 303-333-3333

We also have Uber here, if that’s more your style

BCycle – Denver’s Bike Share program. Easy to use, very cost effective, and works on a station-to-station model, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting the bike stolen when you lock up outside a brewery.

Where should I stay?/What hotel? 

The time stamp after each hotel is the amount of time it would take to walk/bike from the hotel to the convention center (approximation, I have long legs. But I also have  a busted knee. Plan accordingly.)

In the downtown area

On Colfax – one of the longest continuous east-west streets and, for a good while, entertained a lot of Denver’s shadier elements. Many stretches have cleaned up quite a bit and are very welcoming to tourists and drinkers alike.

Ramada on Colfax (15 mintues) and the Econolodge (12 minutes) are located about a block apart and both guaranteed to give you a great Denver experience. While here, see if there is anything good playing at the nearby Ogden and Fillmore concert venues.

Nearby Drinkability Scale: Loads. Cheeky Monky, Irish Snug, Streets of London, and a dozen other bars dot this area. Slightly classier joints are two blocks up on 17th Avenue.

Transit options: The bus! The 15 is a classic. You’re sure to disembark with a story. A few blocks in any direction will plant you near a BCycle Stop


Downtown/ Eastern Uptown Area-ish

Cheaper options include the Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn, the Quality Inn on Sherman (all a 15 minute walk). There is also the Residence Inn (15 minutes). All three are sure to keep you pretty central to the downtown area as well as a quick walk to some awesome dining along 17th Ave, Capitol Hill Bars, and more.

Not-as-cheap options include Embassy Suites (5 minutes), The Curtis (1 minute), Hotel Monaco (5 minutes), Residence Inn (5 minutes) The Hyatt (1 minute). The Courtyard by Marriot is also adjacent to the Convention Center

The “someone else is paying for my trip” options: Four Seasons and the Hotel Teatro, both adjacent to the Convention Center. Also: Ritz Carlton, The Brown PalaceOxford and Hotel Monaco – all within 5-7 minutes of the beer hall

Nearby Drinkability Scale: also pretty high. Market/Larimer streets have dozens of stops worth looking into (more on this later)


Not-Sow-Downtown Area

If you look near Colorado Boulevard between Alameda and Florida Aves, there are a ton of reasonably rated and priced hotels including: Hampton Inn Suites, Hilton Garden, Staybridge Suites and more. Are these going to be in the thick of things? Not likely. But if you’re budget minded and not afraid of the bus, you’re golden.

Most of these hotels will be about 40-50 minutes by bus away from the Convention Hall (take any #40 bus north, get off on Colfax and then take any #15 bus west. Reverse to get back). If you can catch a ride South on Colorado Blvd for a bit and catch the Light Rail from Colorado and I-25, then you can take the E, F, or H lines right into downtown. Either way, you’re looking at about an hour.

Nearby Drinkability Scale: Pretty low. Unless you’re the type who can have a rip-roarin’ good time at a place like Shotgun Willies. Beyond that you’re pretty much limited to the bar at the nearby Chili’s, Applebee’s, Old Chicago, and a few smaller, locals-only joints.




About David Pennington

Denver based writer and editor. Managing Editor of Denver Off The Wagon. Usually up to some kind of delinquency. Photos of dogs, beer, and gnarly knee scars over at