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By: John Carpenter

John CarpenterCome to the 2016 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in November and see for yourself why Denver is one of the top travel destinations and fastest growing cities in the U.S. Millennials (and plenty of older folks, too!) are flocking to downtown Denver for work and a whole lot of playing. As you walk through the city, you will quickly experience the vibrant, lively culture and the friendly, welcoming western way of life. Admittedly, these days there are lot more hipsters than cowboys in downtown Denver, but the city’s western heritage and pioneering spirit are evident in both the newest and the oldest parts of the city. And, of great importance to conference attendees, Denver has become a major center for outstanding chef-owned restaurants and other eateries and, of course, is world famous for its numerous craft breweries. Here’s an overview:

Carpenter photo1Entertaining Overview of Denver from Huffington Post

For a fun introduction to Denver, read Sarah Bourassa’s article, “15 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Visit Denver.”

General Information and the “Best of Denver” from 5280 Magazine

A helpful place to learn about the “Best of Denver” and see what is happening in town is 5280 Magazine. Look at the pull down tabs to access many valuable and informative articles, and lists of the “bests.”

Denver Airport (DEN) to AAPS Headquarters Hotel for $9 on Light Rail

There is great news for transportation from the airport to downtown Denver. The newly opened University of Colorado A Line will take you directly from the airport station to Union Station in 37 minutes, for only $9. A train leaves the airport every 15 minutes.

Carpenter photo2Fun Fact: When you go into the beautifully restored Union Station, check out the Pigtrain Coffee Co. If you buy one of the artisan pastries or other house-made baked goods, there is a good chance that it will have been made by the one of the top pastry chefs in Denver (at least one dad’s opinion), my daughter, Sarah Carpenter.

Carpenter photo3From Union Station you can take the free 16th Street Mall shuttle to get to the stop near the Hyatt Regency.

Denver’s Sunny Weather

There are more than 300 days of sunshine a year in Denver. In mid-November the average high temperatures are around 52°F, and lows are around 25°F. But it is not unusual to have day-time highs in the 60’s, and with the bright sunshine, even 50°F feels warm and pleasant. Yes, it does snow in Denver, but the heavy snows are typically further west in the mountain ski areas. In Denver, there are usually around 5 days with snow in November, and the total snowfall for the entire month is less than 8 inches.

Fun Fact: Denver also has very low humidity. So please keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Great Restaurants

Denver has become a hot-spot for fantastic chef-owned restaurants and other outstanding eateries. It will not be a problem to answer the number one question asked among colleagues at AAPS meetings: “Where should we go eat tonight?” In later blogs I will provide a list of personal favorites of the School of Pharmacy faculty. For now, check out the “Best of Denver.”

Fun Fact: Just blocks from the Convention Center, you can enjoy a Pisco Sour and fantastic South American food at the Peruvian restaurant Los Cabos.

Numerous Breweries and Taphouses

Denver has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top locations for outstanding craft breweries and taphouses.

Carpenter photo4Fun Fact: Our current governor, John Hickenlooper, was one of the original owners of the first craft brewery in downtown Denver, Wynkoop.

And wine lovers are not left out either, as there are several excellent wine bars in the downtown area.

 See “The Denver Beer Lover’s Guide” and “Wine Bars – Best of 2016” for more insight.

Carpenter photo5Performing Arts and Museums in Denver

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is located just blocks from the Convention Center and is the home to numerous theaters, the Colorado Symphony, and the Colorado Ballet. This is a cultural gathering place for the city that features plays ranging from local premiers to Broadway shows, as well as concerts and ballets.

There are also several great museums in Denver. In future blogs, I will provide descriptions of some of the highlights at the local museums.

But for now, here is a Fun Fact: One of the favorite places for parents to let their toddlers and children explore and “run free” is the diorama halls in the Museum of Nature of Science. Many Denver children grew up checking out the stuffed wild animals of the Rocky Mountain region and the world at the museum.

In latter editions of this blog series, I will highlight some personal favorites and provide more details about food, drink, sights, arts and culture, sports and outdoor activities, and local history.

John F. Carpenter, Ph.D., is a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy and a cofounder and codirector of the University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. His research interests include mechanisms for protein degradation and stabilization in pharmaceutical formulations during bioprocessing and in delivery systems.