Don’t let the Rocky Mountains steal the thunder from Denver’s vibrant art scene. A pixelated blue steel rhino sculpture welcomes you to the River North Art District (aka RiNo), where 100+ artists are represented in galleries and studios within a mile-square area. rivernorthart.com
Best time to go: December, for artistic one-of-a-kind holiday shopping.
Stay: The historic Hotel Teatro (hotelteatro.com) in the theater district has luxe touches like a chauffeured courtesy vehicle, new beds, drawn baths, and destination-worthy food at its Restaurant Kevin Taylor ($$$$). From $239.