Destination: Denver, Colorado
Known as the “mile high city,” sitting at 5,280 feet above elevation, and home to eight professional sports teams (only one other US city can tout the same), Denver was rebuilt twice! Despite being forewarned by local indians to not build a city at the site of the now known Denver, settlers did just that. Leveled once by fire and once by flood, the mile high city was built rebuilt where the first flakes of gold were found in 1858. Once just part of the wild wooly west, Denver has matured. It’s fitting that the first building was a saloon as now Colorado is one of the top beer brewing states in the US, both craft brews and large scale breweries. But ladies you don’t have to gulp beer alone (you are beer drinkers, right?)! Fine food pushed by a slow food movement grace the dining establishments of Denver big and small. Healthy dining and healthy lifestyles are core to the active population. And active Denver is…! Whether you are a skier, boarder, biker, stand up paddler or more, you can experience it all in and around Denver. But don’t just think of Denver as winter’s playground, Denver’s got it all, year round-especially in the summertime!
Denver trip planner:
When you are ready to experience downtown Denver and pull the trigger on travel plans, we’d highly suggest the Larimer Square area as the hub to your stay! Larimer Square is located in the “LoDo” (lower downtown) district of Denver and has all you need to experience the great outdoors, theater productions, shopping, and is my dears, a foodie’s heaven! We love the Hotel Teatro. Just blocks from Larimer Square- the chic, theater themed boutique hotel has 109 rooms tucked inside the 1911 historic property. One of our favorite things about the hotel is that it is pet friendly!!! Woohoo! Denver is a very pooch friendly city and HT was named “The Best Hotel in Colorado” by Canine Colorado. Their pet amenities go beyond milk bone dog biscuits…they offer a “Bone Voyage” amenities package complete with personalized dog dishes with chilled Fiji water, gourmet biscuits and a special HT tags in the event Rover decides to roam. Not enough, appointments can be arranged with a certified canine massage therapist while you enjoy their state of the art gym, or award winning Kevin Taylor restaurant. Want to spread your wings? Less than 2 miles away is Root Down. (One of Jane’s top 15 dining experiences…ever) Known for a predominantly locally derived menu, this foodie’s haven doesn’t stop there. RD was given the Mayor’s award for “Reclaimed Splendor” in architecture. Built as a 1950’s service station the owners have (magically, we might add in our eyes) merged a quirky garage aesthetic + mid century modern + with current design elements…all of this is simply the gravy on top of phenomenal food. A reclaimed bowling alley surface caps the bar, serving creative mixed cocktails & reverse osmosis sourced water. All areas are illuminated and powered via wind power (kitchen and dining). Our favorites not to miss, Hoisin Duck Confit Sliders, Moroccan Carrot & Spiced Black Lentil salad, Pan Seared Scottish Salmon & Banana Crème Brulee Pie. Yep, eat all of them! Don’t feel bad, because on Day 2 you should rent a bike at one of 53 Denver B-Cycle stations. If that still didn’t fill your lungs with enough fresh air, head 30 minutes north of the Hotel Teatro to explore the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is one of the largest urban Refuges in the country, and is perfect for a mid day hike!
Gear review: National Parks Pass
A key element to a fun summer is visiting parks, right? While your in Colorado, you’ll for sure want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, it’s beautiful and knocking right on the door of Denver. Over the course of the year, you visit several parks so why not invest in a National Parks Pass? We love that you can buy yours at Rei.com and they always have free shipping. The “America the Beautiful National Parks Pass” is honored at sites managed by the National Parks Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and BLM Reclamation. If you are ever stumped on what to give for a great wedding or birthday gift, this is always spot on. Pick up a great coffee table book or guide book pair it with the pass, and voila, the perfect gift! (This is one of Jane’s favorite gifts to give!)