We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Denver International Airport (DEN).
The Denver Airport, often referred to as DIA, is the largest airport in the U.S. by land area and longest public runway. It’s also the fifth-busiest in passenger traffic. Located in Northeast Denver (35 minutes from downtown Denver), near Aurora, it’s often been voted and named one of the best airports in America. Featuring three concourses that can be reached by passenger bridge or train from Jeppessen Terminal, DEN is a hub for Frontier and United Airlines, and is a focus airport for Southwest. With its location 25 miles from Denver, most people get to and from the airport by taxi, although buses do serve the airport. Rental car agencies are located on property, with shuttles picking passengers up and dropping them off at Jeppesen Terminal. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout Denver International Airport. The Denver airport is also equipped with CLEAR lanes so members can breeze through security.
Travelers to Denver International Airport have a lot of food options to choose from, not the least of which is Root Down (Concourse C), one of the best new airport restaurants in the U.S. Paying homage to the great 1960s jazz musician, Jimmy Smith, Root Down’s menu is internationally-influenced, featuring sandwiches, salads, bento boxes and larger entrees, including vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. Other standouts include Chef Jimmy’s Bistro & Spirits (Concourse A), as well as Denver-influenced restaurants such as Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs and Elway’s, a more upscale Colorado-themed restaurant (think steak and rack of lamb), both of which are in Concourse B. Elsewhere there’s Denver ChopHouse (Concourse A), Mesa Verde (Concourse A) for Tex-Mex, Crú Food and Wine Bar (Concourse B), Pour La France! (Concourse B), Timberline Steaks & Grille (Concourse C) and Tamales by La Casita (Concourse C).
A good drink at DIA first begins at some of the aforementioned restaurants such as Root Down which features a long list of Colorado-brewed beers and ciders, wine and their own craft cocktails. The same is true for Elway’s, which features a variety of classic and signature cocktails (like the Elway Margarita), beer and a long wine list. Lounge 5280 (Concourse B) is one of the best airport bars in the country, characterized by more than 50 hand-selected wines, locally-produced spirits (like Leopold Brothers), and Colorado- and globally-inspired cocktails, many of which use Colorado products. Boulder Beer Tap House is located in Jeppesen Terminal, featuring beers from Colorado’s first microbrewery. Other spots include Vino Volo (Concourse A), New Belgium Hub (Concourse B) and Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery (Concourse C).
Being one of America’s busiest passenger airports, Denver has a variety of local and designer shops like you’ve probably come to expect from international airports such as MAC, Brookstone and Sunglass Hut. Beyond your staple airport features, DEN has some unique amenities, including one of the largest collections of public art among American airports, featuring both permanent and temporary exhibits. This includes the Open Windows light display in Concourse B, which is an 11-foot-tall interactive tower of LED lights that reacts to your movement. To de-stress between flights, XpresSpa has locations in Concourse C, where you can choose from a variety of different treatment options.
Denver Airport’s lounges are largely available for frequent flyers of some of the major domestic airlines. This includes American Airlines Admirals Club and British Airways Terraces lounges in Concourse A, and United Club in Concourse B. TripIt users can easily access information and whereabouts of DEN’s airport lounges thanks to the new LoungeBuddy feature in the TripIt app.
Note: TripIt Pro’s LoungeBuddy perk will end on April 15, 2019. If you have redeemed your $25 credit, you will need to use it through the LoungeBuddy app. For information about when the credit expires and how to use it, please contact LoungeBuddy customer support.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.