The state Capitol and a packed Civic Center Park on an April 20 from years past. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Welcome to Denver: Visitors’ 4/20 cheat sheet

Now that April has arrived, it’s essentially 4/20 all the time here at The Cannabist. With only two weeks until Denver’s first hash holiday since the legalization of marijuana, it’s shaping up to be the biggest celebration in history.

We’ve already supplied you with the bible of weekend festivities, and our friends at Reverb are keeping tabs on the growing list of weed-themed concerts. But what about a little help for the thousands of visitors heading to town to partake? (We’re looking at you, Colorado virgins.)

Here’s a guide to everything in between the official festivities so you can get the most out of your Rocky Mountain High.

Map: Colorado medical dispensaries and recreational marijuana centers


Surprisingly, there are plenty of downtown hotel options still available. But since that could change quickly and no property is publicly 420-friendly, stay like a local and book a spot on Airbnb. For proximity to the Cannabis Cup, Denver’s Highland, LoHi (Lower Highlands), Five Points and downtown neighborhoods are most convenient, but Uptown and Capitol Hill also have plenty of options. Smoking rules vary by host, which is where AirTHC comes in.

Developed by a group of local business professionals, AirTHC’s goal is to create a similar platform to Airbnb, offering out-of-towners a resource for marijuana-friendly vacation rentals throughout Colorado. An indiegogo campaign is up and running and the website has gone live; they’ll be open for bookings just after 4/20. Stay tuned for more on this one.

Meanwhile, a couple of other sites to explore for lodging possibilities include the Colorado Pot Guide and Green Tripz.

Definitive 4/20 guide: Figured out a plan yet? Our Colorado events list has many options.

Welcome to Colorado: The out-of-towners guide to 4/20
When the weather is nice, so are the patios. (Provided by Buchi Café Cubano)


Sure, Denver’s restaurant scene is impressive, but you’re here to smoke and we all know what comes next. Post-sesh, try any one of these meccas for the munchies.

Buchi Café Cubano
Stop here in the morning en route to Cannabis Cup events for the best café con leche outside of Cuba. Highlands: 2651 W 38th Ave.

My Brother’s Bar
Order the Jalepeno cream cheese burger a.k.a. J.C.B. in Jack Kerouac’s old haunt. LoHi: 2376 15th St.

Tom’s Home Cookin’
It’s lunch only and cash only for some serious soul food. #friedchicken Five Points: 800 E 26th Ave.

Welcome to Colorado: An out-of-towners guide to 4/20 around Denver
One of Masterpiece Deli’s meaty sandwich options. (Provided by Masterpiece Deli)

Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
What dogs? Take your pick from reindeer and wild boar brats, rattlesnake and pheasant, to elk and antelope, yak and buffalo – all charred to perfection and topped with grilled onions and a secret sauce. RiNo: 2148 Larimer St.

Masterpiece Deli
They claim their sandwiches can possibly knock your pants off, so it’s obviously worth a shot. LoHi: 1575 Central St. (Uptown location closed on weekends)

El Taco de México
Denver does green chile damn good and this is where to get it. Santa Fe: 714 Santa Fe Dr.

Sweet Action Ice Cream
This vegan-friendly creamery scoops out a wild variety of flavors handmade with locally sourced dairy. South Broadway: 52 Broadway

Edibles 101: Eight tips for getting the right dose


Welcome to Colorado: The out-of-towners guide to 4/20
Taps a-flowin’ at Denver Beer Co. (Art Heffron Photography)

It can’t be all about the green, can it? Break up your indica intake at one of Denver’s local craft breweries. Our Mutual Friend, Great Divide, Denver Beer Co., Strange Brewing Company and Black Shirt Brewing Co. top our list. 

A stop at Sancho’s Broken Arrow is also in order to get your Grateful Dead fix. The jukebox is stocked with your favorite jam bands, PBR is $3, Jerry memorabilia covers the walls and it reeks of dive bar in the best way possible — a perfect end to those Denver nights.

Strain Theory: Check out our marijuana reviews organized by type — sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids, ditto with indicas.


Welcome to Colorado: Out-of-towners guide to 4/20
(Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file)

We know, you’re here to smoke. But there’s a few can’t miss spots to take a stoney stroll through. The Tattered Cover Bookstore is a Denver institution with a historic downtown location housing both the bestsellers and the hard-to-find among 20,000 square feet.  

Next door to Tattered Cover’s additional location on East Colfax is Twist & Shout, touted as one of the country’s top 25 record stores according to Rolling Stone. Plenty of vinyl lies among among hundreds of thousands of new and used titles.

And because when in Rome, you should snag a classic snap-button plaid at Rockmount Ranch Wear – the standard in Western style since 1946. The likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh, Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Woody Harrelson, Robert Redford and Trey Anastasio have all stocked up here while in town.

Travel: Bag of weed in your luggage? How airport security deals with carry-on pot


Welcome to Colorado: An out-of-towners guide 4/20
(AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)

Like most major events in town, Uber is on the scene offering up drivers on demand. First timers can get a free ride up to $20 with the promo code: CUP2014. Both Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Denver Mart are a slight hike from downtown, so a designated driver, Lyft, taxi or RTD route is required. 

For the rest of the weekend, hop on one of 700 bikes available through Denver’s official bike-sharing system, B-Cycle. With stations on almost every block (in operation from 5 a.m. – 12 a.m.), it’s the easiest way to get around — weather permitting.

Kitchen Kush: Learn about cannabutter and canna-oils, and find many recipes for appetizers, entrees and desserts