A Lovely Date Suggestion, DIA Date Night
Updated: April 2020. Please note, in the time of COVID, please enjoy this article for information only. When shelter in place orders are lifted, return to the article for a fun way to enjoy our city once again.
Denver International Airport, out in the middle of no where and plagued with conspiracy theories of anarchy and world dominance, is the perfect place for a romantic date night. When you’re looking for something new and different to do on a Saturday night, or any other night, taking a trip to DIA might be exactly what you need. There’s plenty there to entertain and enjoy.
Take the Train to the Plane
There are many ways to get to DIA, but the best is to take RTD’s A Train. Contrary to popular opinion, the A train is easy, quick, and reliable. You can pick it up at Union Station or any of the other 6 stops on the way to the airport. An $11 ticket expires at 2:59 AM and gives you access to the entire RTD system for the day. So if you’re not staying the night at DIA, you can use it as your round-trip ticket too.
First Stop, A Drink at the Westin
Once you get off the train, take the escalators straight up all 5 floors to the concourse between the Westin and the terminal. But instead of entering the airport, enter the Westin and head for the lobby bar, Sky Lounge. Grab a delicious drink (menu!) while watching the sun set to the west or the airline passengers scramble in the terminal. Say hello to the many visitors taking a break between flights, or grab an intimate spot near the windows or the fireplace and relax. Grabbing a drink, alone, might be “date enough” for our trip.
I wear these shoes and I get them from REI, where you can return shoes for up to a year.
Next Up, an Art Tour
Although constfuction is happening throughout the grand lobby, you can still find many of the amazing art pieces hanging throughout the airport. You may not have a boarding pass to get to the terminals, so here’s how to enjoy the grand lobby.
Despite rumors of secret tunnels (there are tunnels and they aren’t secret), a mysterious bunker (it was the automatic baggage system that failed) and anarchic doom (the large artwork is actually a story of goodness taking over the world), the DIA terminal moves more than 54 million people past its wonderful gallery of quirky, bizarre, and mythical artwork.
To enjoy the artwork, leave the Westin, through the outdoor lobby where you might find free rock climbing, mini golf, or ice skating, and walk into the terminal. When you enter, you’ll be at a TSA entry point. Walk around to the right and start your walking art tour.
From Gold Panning to History of Flight
As you walk the perimeter inside of the terminal, you’ll pass La Memoria de Neustra Tierra. Continue along the perimeter, making sure to look up at the Balustrade, eyeing the powerful Children of the World Dream Peace (a multi-panel extravaganza), and walking into the baggage area to find the baggage wizard, Notre Denver. Don’t miss the Jeppesen statue and the bronze artwork in the Great Hall floor. Make sure to walk all the way to the northern end of the terminal, passing the wonderful Spirit of the People collection. Make time to check out the rotating exhibit on the A Concourse bridge on the way to the international TSA check point. By the way, be sure to follow any detour signs and be cognizant of temporary changes due to construction.
Make your way back to the Westin via the western side of the terminal’s perimeter. You’ll stop in the Art Gallery, see additional panels of the Children of the World Dream, and ultimately finish at the Time Capsule. Walk through the outdoor concourse, enjoying the Field of Air. Proceed all the way to the southern end, looking over the A Train bay. On the east/west sides of the train, enjoy the Shadow Array.
A Neighborly Place to Eat
Once you’re back in the Westin, grab a bite at the Grill & Vine, which is the best place to eat at DIA without having a boarding pass. (If you do have a boarding pass, head straight to Terminal C’s Root Down…and enjoy some more artwork along the way behind the TSA check points!) I love the Grill & Vine because it features Denver’s neighborhoods as map outlines in its table tops and as neighborhood names etched into its windows.
Romantic Roof-top Views
If your dates turns into a weekend get-away, be sure to book a room at the Westin. The secret to a good room there? If you want to overlook the airport roof and its amazing white–peaks representing the Front Range 14ers–find a room with odd numbers. Or, if you want amazing infinity views of the plains with peeks to the range, book an even number room. Either way, you’ll have a luxurious night on a heavenly bed.
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Finally, if you need any help while in the airport, the Guest Services folks are amazing. You can also check the Denver Airport Guide for additional information. And one of the best treats of the aiport is the CATS–a team of volunteers and their dogs, ranging from tiny dachshunds to giant Newfoundlands, who invite you to pet them and hug them to help ease any travel anxiety.
Have fun on your date night at DIA. Post some shots of your fun time!
Here is the route to roughly follow. Please be flexible to account for construction. Click for interaction.
Date Night at DIA and Supporting Denver By Foot
If you’ve enjoyed this info about the High Line Canal Trail and how to hike it, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.
What did you like about this walk? Post it on Facebook and tag your posts with #denverbyfoot so I can find them.
See you on the trail!