Monday, March 31, 2014

Denver Area Tips for Trips

Well jeez! It seems like forever since I wrote a post!  I realized that I didn't want to bore everyone (or my one actual follower...thanks Kira) with every single detail of our awesome birthday trip to the Denver area, so I'll list all the places we went and what we did/had there.  And as promised, here they are:

1. (transportation in the city)
2. Altitude Tickets (Colorado Avalanche (hockey) tickets)
3. Gaia Restaurant
4. Common Threads (consignment store)
5. Broadway St. (lots of Antiques and thrift shopping)
6. Goodwill on Leetsdale St./Dr. (wealthier neighborhood so naturally better items!)
7. Prohibition (restaurant)
8. Mici (restaurant)
9. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
10. Voodoo Donuts
11. Buckhorn Exchange (restaurant and bar/lounge)
12. Denver Mint (where coins are made!)
13. Denver Zoo
14. Wynkoop Brewing Company
15. Great Divide Brewing
16. Red Rock Amphitheater
17. Boulder, CO
18. The Buffalo Exchange, Boulder (AWESOME consignment shop!!)
19. Crepes N' Crepes, Cherry Creek District
20. The Sink, Boulder (restaurant featured on a Food Network show)

And I'm sure I'm missing some things, but these were definitely all places I would recommend checking out!  The first on the list is the Denver area transportation website for their light rail and bus system.  There is an awesome trip planner button on the right side of the website that allows you to input addresses, points of interest, etc. and turns up about four different route options for you to choose from with time and everything.  We used this website almost everyday and did purchase five day passes (only used three).  They have so many options from a simple round-trip fare to a 10 day pass and I highly recommend this mode of transportation for anyone not wanting to find parking in downtown Denver.  We used the light rail and bus to get to numbers 2, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 listed above.  Although, the commute time is slightly longer, it was a great feeling not to have to find parking and then only having three hours to hang out or walk around.  We also saved gas money and on top of that the fees for parking at the hockey game and museum!

All together, the majority of the list I would definitely do again in Denver, however a couple of items aren't high on my list as they weren't above and beyond impressive.  These include: the Mici restaurant (wasn't bad by any means, but wasn't unique compared to the other places we went), Voodoo Donuts (I'm a donut snob after having GOOD donuts at the local shop I work in), and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (which was really cool and I loved the mummy exhibit, but this museum is definitely more geared for kids in my opinion).

The places I say that you can't miss at all are:

Prohibition - a bar/restaurant styled to resemble the speak easy's of the 1920's and serves an outstanding bacon-maple-bread pudding-french toast...DELICIOUS!!
The Buckhorn Exchange - We went twice! Once for a nightcap and dessert and the second time for lunch, which is way cheaper than their dinner entrees! AND this is the oldest restaurant in the Denver area (right off the light rail station at 10th and Osage). Their lounge upstairs is a great place for a drink and good conversation.  They also have a resident musician usually from Tues-Sat. We, sadly, missed him!
Great Divide Brewing - Now I don't drink much beer, but Kyle and I both agree that they had some great beer and their staff was some of the friendliest I have met!  Don't forget to check out their big foot souvenir glass!
Red Rock Amphitheater - If nowhere else, then you have to visit this absolutely beautiful venue.  Unfortunately there were no concerts playing when we went, but definitely try to see one there, because the view is amazing and the setting is too!
The Buffalo Exchange - If you're looking for trendy apparel at a reasonable price, this is the hip-est spot to check. It is in Boulder, CO right off their main shopping street and I would highly recommend taking an entire day trip to see this lovely town that is so much like our lovely Missoula, MT.
And while you're there, definitely check out The Sink restaurant.  They have some amazing dishes at great prices and they're famous! They have not only been featured on Food Network, but famous people including President Obama also frequent this awesome eatery!
Oh, and I LOVE crepes, so if you're in the mood, check out Crepes N' Crepes in the Cherry Creek District.  The fancy upscale neighborhood is a bit intimidating with all the range rovers and BMW's rolling around, but this cute little French inspired cafe has amazing crepes, tea, and coffee.  Definitely treat yo-self!

I can't believe I just typed that and left it!  Well, I hope someday you will find these suggestions helpful or at least a basis for some planning.  We were only there for six days, so I know that we didn't even come close to seeing or tasting everything that Denver is known for.  I would love any suggestions that the readers may offer!

Until the next post (which hopefully will be about packing and outfit tips and tricks)...

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