Denver & Boulder, Colorado
Updated: May 15, 2019
Our family has been in Colorado for many generations, and we would return to explore the state every summer. Continuing the tradition, I can’t believe the growth and changes in just a few years in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. (P.S. Also, Colorado Tourism is fantastic and very active across all social platforms, so make sure to connect with them and see what special ideas they have to customize for you: Colorado.com)
Denver has grown so much from when I used to visit as a child, I can hardly believe it. With a healthy lifestyle, jobs, booming restaurant scene and a thriving arts community, it’s no wonder so many people are flocking to move here (I saw a lot of California plates on this trip) and that it made Travel+Leisure’s list of “52 places to go in 2018” this year. Denver’s allure comes from a mix of everything the city has to offer: a brisk morning run through tree-lined Washington Park, a tour of the internationally renowned Clyfford Still Museum, craft beers on one of the city’s many patios, and a concert under the stars at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Even though Denver is famous for its chill vibe, its residents take the Great Outdoors very seriously—even the most laid-back visitors will find that a side effect of Denver travel is an overwhelming urge to get active, as the city offers scenic trails and parks perfect for hiking and mountain biking. The hot Highlands neighborhoods to the west continue to house some of the city’s best boutiques and restaurants, Cherry Creek—one of the city’s top shopping districts—is regaining its trendy status, and to the north of the city, the industrial and still rough-around-the-edges RiNo neighborhood is a mecca of dining and public art. At the heart of the city lies LoDo, home to a revitalized Union Station and the new train connecting downtown to the airport. Walk the streets of Denver on a Friday afternoon and there’s an energy that’s hard to pin down. The restaurants are bustling, the galleries are full, and the people are friendly.
Stay: Four Seasons, Brown Palace Hotel, Halycon Hotel, Hotal Monaco (Kimpton), Hotel Teatro, Crawford hotel, The Oxford, The Art, Ritz-Carlton
Eat: Acorn, Avelina, Bardough, Cho77, Denver Central Market, Departure, Hop Alley, Linger, Old Major, Rioja, Sushi Ronin, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, The Populist, Vert Kitchen, Work & Class
Home to the incredible University of Colorado campus, Boulder is certainly a college town. However, it is still very much rooted in it’s healthy, hippie spirit and nestled into the Flatirons (a virtual hiking, climbing and mountain biking paradise). It is also home to advertising giant CP+B, Kimbal Musk (Elon’s brother), and a newly constructed Google engineering complex, so rent has skyrocketed. It’s a perfect weekend getaway in the mountains, head to the mecca of craft brews, beautiful views, artisan eats and sunny days!
Stay: Hotel Boulderado
Eat: Tequila Taco, The Kitchen, West End Tavern, Frasca Food and wine, El Taco Loco
Do: Walk Pearl Street Mall, Hike the Flatirons, Drive up and over Flagstaff Mountain to Gross Reservoir, about 15 miles outside the city. The alpine lake is motorboat-free, making it a tranquil place to spend an afternoon kayaking, hiking, and taking in panoramic Indian Peaks scenery.
Colorado is a road trip paradise with multiple National Parks, and places like Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte, Estes Park, Telluride, and so many more. Be sure to take some time to hit the open road!
This post originally appeared on Co-owner Carrie A Mitchell's travel blog