Downtown Denver on Wednesday was named to the New York Times’ list of the “52 Places to Go in 2018,” a nod to the city’s growing art scene and the Golden Triangle Creative District. Described as “a new art epicenter,” Denver ranked number 30 among cities, regions, and countries across the globe—like Prague, Switzerland, and India—on the annual list.

The Times called particular attention to “high-caliber museums” like the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art (reopening in March) and the Denver Art Museum, and praised the city’s “push for artists to make their gallery-worthy works viewable to the public through street art.”

(Read our guide to the Golden Triangle neighborhood)

New Orleans—which turns 300 this year—topped the list because of its unique ability to transform “centuries of trauma…into joy and wonder.” The other American cities that ranked ahead of Denver were Cincinnati, Ohio (8), Baltimore, Maryland (15), Branson, Missouri (21), and Chattanooga, Tennessee (25). The American destinations Denver rose above include Buffalo, New York (37), Disney Springs, Florida (41), Seattle, Washington (44), and Montgomery, Alabama (49). The top-ranked international destination this year was Colombia, which after a half-century of civil war is becoming an “adventurous, cosmopolitan hot spot.”

In order to compile the list, the Times aims for “geographic and thematic diversity” and looks for a mix of destinations, “both well-known and off the beaten path.” And for the first time, the Times hired a 52 Places Traveler, Jada Tuan, who will travel to each of the destinations—beginning with New Orleans—throughout 2018.

Jada, if you’re reading this, give us a call. We’re happy to show you around.

Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.