Despite what some out-of-towners may think, Colorado is not just a winter destination. Once the snow melts and the trees turn green, this city’s beauty is truly something to behold. With more than 300 days of sunshine, things can really heat up in the summer months in Denver. Why not enjoy those sweltering summer days in a cool bar with cold drinks? A good measure of a proper summertime bar is its ability to cool you down or let you soak in the sunshine as you relax and have fun. Here are Denver’s top summertime hotspots.

Photo Credit: Meadowlark via Facebook

2701 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 293-0251

Click here for a calendar of events

What’s better on a warm summer night than a rocking live band? Dubbed as Denver’s “most intimate venue,” the Meadowlark can be found tucked away just north of the busier LoDo area. Walk down the stairs to be transported to an eclectic, cozy mix of industrial decor with exposed ceiling beams, stone walls and wooden stools. If the night has begun cooling off, step outside to get a glimpse of one Denver’s most unique and little-known outdoor patios. It’s a little oasis you won’t expect to find in an underground bar, and on summer nights, you can catch live bands playing on the outdoor stage. Catch jazz every Monday, open mic night Tuesdays or check out the events calendar to see who’s stopping by to perform on other nights.

Related: Top Biker Bars in Denver 

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Giggling Grizzly
1320 20th St.
Denver, CO
(303) 297-8300

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If you are looking for a seriously fun summer joint, try the Giggling Grizzly on for size. With a different special for every night of the week, this is a terrific summer hangout for the younger crowd. You’ll find DJs spinning rockin’ tunes or live music by “some guy who plays covers” on most nights. Customers love the bartenders here, and you can even find out what nights your favorite mixologist will be stirring drinks by taking a quick glance at the bar’s website. The Giggling Grizzly opens two hours before Rockies home games and is just under a five minute walk from Coors Field, so this is a great spot to grab a beer before the game or watch it live on TV. In terms of energy, fun and tasty food this is the place to be.

Photo Credit: Funky Buddha Lounge via Facebook

Funky Buddha Lounge
776 Lincoln Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 832-5075

The Funky Buddha Lounge straddles the gap between club, lounge and bar. You can’t go wrong with a summer evening spent at this split level bar. The music and dance scene here is a definite plus with the most compelling feature being the roof top bars. Rocking out on a rooftop is highly underrated – especially in the summer time. The food here is pretty good and happy hour runs late until 8 p.m., with half off well drinks and appetizers, which makes it perfect for people who don’t get off work until 5 p.m. Park carefully; some of the nearby lots are bogus, so try to find street parking.

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The College Inn
4400 East 8th Avenue
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 329-9532

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Not only is the College Inn a great sports bar, it’s a great summer hangout, too. There is a trivia night, lots of specials and some pretty decent bar food. Late night happy hour is every night 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. with $2 domestic drafts, $3 microbrew drafts, well drinks, wines and Jim Beams. The bar’s recently updated patio now features a great fire pit in the center, which is perfect for the chill that can hit the air once the sun goes down. There’s also a huge garage door that opens the bar up out to the patio, creating an indoor/outdoor feel that’s perfect for summertime.

Related: Bars with the Coolest Trivia Nights in Denver

Photo Credit: The Fainting Goat via Facebook

The Fainting Goat
846 Broadway
Denver CO
(303) 945-2323

Click here for a calendar of events

The Fainting Goat is a fine Irish Pub with a friendly atmosphere and tasty food. Try the homemade Irish nachos or amazing fish and chips on the rooftop dining area. If you’re in the midst of one of our frequent afternoon summer thunderstorms, the indoor atmosphere of The Fainting Goat is just as fun with great bartenders and shuffleboard to occupy your time while you wait out the rain. This spot makes for a cool summer hangout for those who prefer their beer with an easygoing vibe.  Try the brunch – The Fainting Goat has bottomless mimosas.

Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion. He currently resides in Denver and his work can be found at