Travel Guide: Denver, CO
This travel guide recap of our trip to Colorado is a little bit belated, but too good not to share! This weekend we're headed on another mini Wisconsin weekend adventure, to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. A month later and we're still talking about the amazing design, food, and scenery we saw during our time in Denver while we stayed in the LoDo neighborhood.
We're sharing a few of the can't miss restaurants, shops, and a highlight of Red Rocks - an amazing outdoor concert venue, a quick shuttle ride from the city! We loved how it was a very walkable city, with amazing public transportation (Union Station is a concept other major cities could take note of). It also had a great outdoorsy vibe, since it's surrounded by breathaking mountain ranges.
TRAVEL GUIDE: DENVER
WHERE WE STAYED:
- Hotel Indigo: This hotel was one of our favorites we've EVER stayed at together. Not only was the architecture and design spot on rustic modern, but there's a beautiful & delicious restaurant & whiskey bar downstairs (Hearth & Dram). It also is directly across the street from Union Station, which is where we ended up spending most of our time during our short stay. Check out TripAdvisor for their amazing reviews/deals)
FOOD | COFFEE | COCKTAILS
- Hearth & Dram: This restaurant had the most stunning rustic modern design that felt like a very sophisticated take on mountain modern from it's striking black walls, floor to ceiling bar, and leather chairs. They smoke their own meats, so as soon as you walk in, it sets the mood!
- Urban Farmer: We stopped in for a cocktail because we were drawn in by the open-air windows, comfy leather couches, and farm to table menu. We kept saying that the decor/vibe of the restaurant was exactly what we'd want to incorporate into our future home.
- Tupelo Honey: We had our Saturday brunch here because we were drawn to the southern fried menu. I had the Frosé which was the perfect way to start the day since it was a balmy 95 degrees that day!
- Mercantile Dining & Provision: We celebrated Kyle's official 30th birthday dinner here and it was, no exaggeration, one of the best meals we've ever had. They started our dining experience with a glass of sparkling wine. We ordered a market provisions charcuterie & pickles board and enjoyed the most buttery & delicious sweet corn risotto, and pot de creme dessert. Still dreaming about this meal!
- Denver Beer Co: The weekend we were in Denver, temperatures were pushing 95 by noon, so stopping in to Denver Beer Co. felt like a mirage. They had a cool garage door style open-air (with fans!) set-up and really unique tap beer list. I made Kyle buy a souvenir shirt!
- Terminal Bar: Terminal is located directly inside Union Station and it perfectly marries vintage and modern with amazing craft cocktails and a great local tap beer selection. We were able to meet one of my friends from high school here for a drink before our dinner reservation!
- Little Owl Coffee: We grabbed coffee here while walking around the city and loved the minimalist marble & wood decor and had an amazing up of joe to kick off our day in the city!
THINGS TO DO:
- Union Station: This place was an inexperience in itself! It is a working train station, which you can take straight from the airport or local suburbs. It is home to dozens of restaurants, shops, a fresh flower market, and even a weekend farmer's market!
- Larimer Square: This charming street is full of vintage buildings, shops & restaurants. Our favorite? Mountain Khaki (pictured below) full of goods for outdoorsmen & women!
- REI Flagship Store: This may seem like an odd thing to have our list, but outdoor enthusiasts must make a stop here! It's housed in a beautiful old building and is chock full of inspiring displays and hands-on weekend activities.
- LoHi Neighborhood: The area we stayed in was "LoDo (lower downtown), but we also enjoyed exploring the charming and popular LoHi neighborhood- home to trendy restaurants like Linger and famous Little Man Ice Cream Shop.
Though technically in Morrison, Colorado, Red Rocks Park & Amphiteatre is just a short shuttle ride or drive away from Downtown Denver. When I first started planning Kyle's surprise birthday trip, I knew that a concert at Red Rocks would be an experience we'd HAVE to do! Amazingly, one of my favorite bands (& one Kyle's grown to love) was playing there on the weekend we were traveling. We thought we'd share a few tips.
- We highly suggest taking a shuttle if you don't want to worry about traffic and enjoy a couple of beers without stressing. This shuttle left right from downtown Union Station.
- Wear comfortable shoes. The parking is far from the actual venue and there is a bit of a steep walk to the actual concert ampitheatre.
- Dress in layers. The temperature can have large swings as soon as the sun goes down.
- Be aware of the altitude. If you're not used to it, alcohol can have a greater/quicker affect than it does back home.