This post is dedicated to helping you determine where to stay while visiting the National Western Stock Show. Denver is a sprawling metropolitan area, so it can be hard to choose a hotel that is near the venue but also close to interesting urban centers. The Stock Show is held at the National Western Complex, located in an area that’s about a 10 minute drive or an hour’s walk from Union Station in downtown Denver.
There’s not a lot of activity in the immediate vicinity of the National Western Complex. Accordingly, you’ll need to decide if you want to be near the venue or perhaps a few miles away, closer to other activities and restaurants. Having grown up and lived in and around Denver for most of my life, I wanted to share the guide I’d send friends who were planning a trip to the Stock Show.
Note: if you’d prefer to stay in Boulder, I wrote a similar post outlining the best hotels in that area.
Where to stay during the National Western Stock Show:
Best Denver areas
Here are my top recommendations for hotels and places to stay near the National Western Stock Show.
I organized this post into three sections: the immediate vicinity of the National Western Complex, downtown Denver, and the suburbs outside of Denver. Within those areas, I’ve recommended a few hotels worth considering and some ideas about what to do while you’re there.
1. Near the National Western Complex
The National Western Complex is admittedly not located in the most exciting part of Denver, so don’t expect much nightlife or excitement near these hotels. However, if your only goal is to see the Stock Show or spend as much time at the event as possible, these hotels are perfect.
When I used to travel to work, I adopted a strategy of always staying at the closest acceptable hotel to my first morning appointment. Both of these hotels will definitely fit that bill!
Where to stay near the National Western Complex
There are two hotels very close to the National Western Complex, the Radisson Hotel Denver and the Clarion Hotel Denver. Neither hotel is exceptionally well rated, but the Radisson received much higher marks than the Clarion. If you want a place to sleep and to be near the action, either hotel will work for you.
These hotels are further from the center of Denver, so you’ll want to take a rideshare or drive downtown if you want to see other parts of the city.
📍Radisson Hotel Denver
Of the two hotels close to the National Western Complex, the Radisson received better reviews from travelers. The rooms are reasonably priced and the location is very close to the venue, a 6 minute drive or a 35 minute walk. Although there aren’t many restaurants in the area, you would be close enough to try the Butcher Block Cafe, a retro style diner with great cinnamon rolls.
Breakfast is included and pets are allowed, so if you’re just trying to get out the door and to the Stock Show, this could be a great choice. There is also free parking, which is not a given for Denver area hotels.
✅ Book your stay at the Radisson Hotel Denver
📍Clarion Hotel Denver
The Clarion is located directly across the street from the Radisson, so it is also very close the National Western Complex. If the Radisson is booked, or if you find significantly better rates, consider the Clarion Hotel to be close to the venue.
This hotel features free parking, a fitness center, and pets are allowed. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast.
✅ Book your stay at the Clarion Hotel Denver
Best things to do near the National Western Complex
Just because you’re north of downtown doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time! Denver has been expanding in all directions for many years, so you’ll have a chance to see both a Denver landmark (the Grizzly Rose) and a relatively new, but very popular venue (the Mission Ballroom).
✔ Visit the National Western Stock Show
✔ Practice line dancing at the Grizzly Rose
✔ See a concert at the Mission Ballroom, one of Denver’s live music venues
✔ Try a cinnamon roll at the Butcher Block Cafe
2. Downtown Denver
If you’re planning to stay in downtown Denver and want to stay near the action, choose a hotel or rental property in the River North Arts District or the Ballfield neighborhood. Both of these areas are within walking distance of the free event parking.
Alternatively, you can stay in the Highlands, an area just west of downtown. The Highlands are also trendy, with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from for nightlife. You could technically walk to the free parking from the Highlands, but you might prefer to take public transit or just drive to the National Western Complex.
Where to stay in River North District (RiNo)
River North (known locally as RiNo) is the artsy, hip part of Denver that is full of breweries, trendy restaurants, and graffiti. There are two highly reviewed hotels that would be great choices for a stay in RiNo. Both hotels would be a very quick drive to the Stock Show and close enough to the center of Denver to enjoy all of the nightlife that the city has to offer.
If you want to get a little exercise, my favorite yoga studio in Denver is located in RiNo, called BIG Power Yoga. My favorite coffee shops in RiNo are Crema, an adorable and lightly grungy cafe with great food, and Portside. Portside has wonderful breakfast sandwiches, super tasty hot sauce, and plenty of options for different dietary restrictions.
The moderately priced Catbird Hotel is surprisingly close to the National Western Complex – only a 21 minute walk, according to Google. This beautiful and modern hotel allows pets and some rooms are outfitted with kitchens so that you can cook your own meals while traveling.
A very basic complimentary breakfast is included, but the hotel offers options to upgrade the meal. Note that parking is not included, but you could probably find a free spot if you were willing to walk a few blocks.
The Catbird Hotel would be a charming place for a couple to stay while enjoying the National Western Stock Show and all of the fun and amenities of a stylish Denver neighborhood.
✅ Book your stay at the Catbird Hotel
The Ramble Hotel is a luxurious option for people looking to visit the Stock Show. This hotel is tastefully designed, with thoughtful touches throughout. Guests raved about the fabulous customer service, great cocktails in the hotel bar, and fabulous location of the Ramble within RiNo.
A complimentary breakfast is included, with parking on site for an additional fee. As with the Catbird Hotel, you could probably find free parking nearby if you were willing to walk a few blocks.
✅ Book your stay at the Ramble Hotel
Where to stay in the Ballfield Neighborhood/City Center
Alternatively, the Ballfield Neighborhood, which earned its name for its proximity to the city’s baseball field, is a central and active spot in Denver. There are restaurants, bars, a few breweries, and some boutiques in the Ballfield neighborhood, and it’s very close to the nightlife at Union Station and in LoDo.
Although central hotels are usually pricey, I found two options that seemed surprisingly affordable. If you’d like to stay downtown, most hotels will come with a heftier price tag.
📍Slate Denver, Tapestry Collection By Hilton
One surprisingly affordable hotel near downtown Denver is the Slate Denver, Tapestry Collection By Hilton. Guests love the location, right off the 16th Street Mall, and the chic style of the hotel’s interior. You’ll need to take a rideshare or public transit to get to the Stock Show, but this hotel would be a great option.
The Slate Denver is located in a renovated public school building, and guests report that the hotel retains some of its original features. The staff is said to be wonderful and knowledgeable about the area. Breakfast and parking are both available for an additional fee.
✅ Book your stay at the Slate Denver, Tapestry Collection By Hilton
If you’re a young solo traveler, Hostel Fish could be a great choice – with some of the lowest prices for a bed in the city. Note that hostels are probably not a good choice for families, and this style of accommodation includes shared, dormitory-style rooms, where it can sometimes be loud and rowdy. If you’re not sure if a hostel is a good choice for you, read my accommodation guide for more information.
Like most hostels, Hostel Fish features a shared lounge area and kitchen space. The beds have curtains added for privacy, along with a small shelf and lamp for travelers’ convenience. The location is very central – only a 5 minute walk from Coors Field and a 16 minute walk from the free parking for the Stock Show.
✅ Book your stay at Hostel Fish
Where to stay in the Denver Highlands
A third option is to stay in the Highlands, which is also trendy and hip, with locally famous restaurants like Linger and Root Down. The Highlands are a little further from downtown – still walkable to the downtown area during the daytime, but probably better suited for a rideshare later in the evening because you’ll need to cross a large, poorly lit city park.
Don’t worry too much, you can find plenty to do in the Highlands without going downtown!
📍Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard
The Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard would be a good choice for a reliable hotel in the Highlands neighborhood. It won’t have the luxuries of the more expensive hotels, but the rooms will be clean, with all of the standard amenities of the Hilton brand.
This hotel features free parking, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a complimentary breakfast each morning. Guests noted that the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard is very clean, with friendly and helpful staff. Note that pets are not allowed.
✅ Book your stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard
If you’d like to be in Denver Highlands area and stay somewhere with a bit more personality, the Berkeley Hotel on Tennyson Street would be a good choice. The location is fabulous, near plenty of great local restaurants like Tocabe – An American Indian eatery with classics like buffalo meat and fry bread or Hops & Pie, a fabulous local pizza joint with beers on tap.
The Berkeley Hotel has several types of suites, many of which include functioning kitchens. Pets are allowed for an additional fee, and each room comes with a complimentary parking spot.
✅ Book your stay at the Berkeley Hotel
Best things to do in the Denver Highlands
✔ Try international street food at Linger
✔ Eat delicious Mexican food at Taqueria La Familia
✔ Order a classic cocktail at Williams & Graham, a Prohibition-era speakeasy
3. Surrounding Suburbs
If you have a car and want to save money on your accommodations while in Denver, consider a hotel in the suburbs near Denver. Some larger suburbs include Littleton, Lakewood, Wheatridge, Golden, Thornton, and Stapleton, all of which should be less than a 45 minute drive to the National Western Complex.
As a general rule, the Denver area suburbs are difficult to navigate without a car or utilizing a ride share. Plan to drive or a rent a car if you’d like to stay outside of Denver’s urban areas.
Where to stay in the Denver Suburbs
If you expand your hotel periphery to include the Denver suburbs, you have a much larger number of choices. Great suburban areas to consider include: Littleton, the Denver Tech Center, and Golden. Although there are cheaper hotels near the Denver International Airport, I intentionally excluded them because the traffic can be absolutely deadlocked during some parts of the day and the drive is generally unpleasant.
📍Hampton Inn Denver Tech Center South
The Tech Center is an area south of Denver that is headquarters for a number of large companies. Located along I-25, the Hampton Inn Denver Tech Center South is about a 30 minute drive from the National Western Complex. If you plan to make the commute from this hotel to the Stock Show, try to avoid peak rush hour times (6-9am; 3:30-7pm).
This hotel is not centrally located, but it does feature an indoor pool, a hot breakfast buffet, free parking, and a fitness center. The hotel is within walking distance of several chain restaurants and a Walmart, and a short drive from plenty of other options. Overall, this would be a great choice if you don’t feel the need to be in the middle of the action in Denver and don’t mind some driving to/from the event.
✅ Book your stay at the Hampton Inn Denver Tech Center South
📍Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Littleton
If you’re willing to drive, you can save some money by staying somewhere like the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Littleton. It’s about a 30 minute drive from the Stock Show, but guests love the friendly staff and proximity to the mountains. There are other hotels that are even more affordable, but the Denver Littleton Hilton received especially high marks from guests so I’m including it here.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Littleton features free parking, BBQ facilities, an indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast.
✅ Book your stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Littleton
Best Things To Do In the Denver Suburbs
✔ Visit Golden, Colorado and walk the main street
✔ Have breakfast at Lucile’s Creole Cafe (locations in both Littleton and Denver)
✔ See the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater (watch for ice!)
Visiting Denver, Colorado: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about visiting Denver, Colorado.
How far is Denver from Boulder?
Many travelers to Colorado have to make a tough call: should they stay in Denver or Boulder? Luckily, they’re not far apart; it’s about a 40 minute drive from Denver to Boulder if you avoid rush hours. If you wanted to, you could stay in Boulder, Colorado and visit the Stock Show on a day trip.
Do I need a car to visit Denver?
Yes, you’ll want a car to visit Denver unless you plan to use ride shares. The city is not very walkable, nor is the public transit particularly easy to use or convenient. Whenever possible, I tried to include information about traveling without a car, in case you’re not able to drive.
Which hotels near National Western Complex in Denver are the most romantic?
The most romantic hotels near the National Western Complex are the Catbird Hotel, the Ramble Hotel, and the Slate Denver, Tapestry Collection. Each of these hotels would make for a wonderfully romantic weekend.
Conclusion: Where to stay near the National Western Stock Show in 2023
If you’ve never visited the National Western Stock Show, you’re in for a treat! It’s one of the things I’ve missed most since moving abroad, and I think it’s one of the most special and unique parts of living in Denver. In case you’re interested in Denver’s nightlife, I have previously shared a list of my favorite happy hours in the Mile High City.
Each of these hotels would probably make for a great experience. The key to choosing a Denver area hotel is to decide where you’d like to be in the city, then choose the best option in your budget. I’ve tried to include hotels at various price points and locations to offer a holistic overview of the options. If you think I missed a hotel, let me know!
Most importantly, enjoy your visit to Denver!