Denver Delights – What to do Over a Weekend

Photo of Red Rocks area.
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Now that I am fully vaccinated, I am psyched to move about the country. A chance to visit Denver came about and I jumped at the opportunity. Arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon, would there be enough time for a little bit of everything? Oh, you betcha. 

While Denver has plenty of hotel options, I opted for an Airbnb in the Whittier area and used public transportation as much as possible. I suggest downloading Denver’s RTD app to buy transit fares and pull up your tickets as needed. Denver’s “A” line train makes for an easy ride from the airport to Union Station if downtown is where you are staying, or train stops along the route offer easy transfer to RTD buses in the area. The bus I took from the train had a stop very close to where my lodging was located.

Denver has many restaurant and dinner options, but I chose one with a rooftop to enjoy the beautiful night atmosphere. Located in the Lower Highland neighborhood, Linger offers dining in the main area or modified menu and drinks on it’s rooftop. This rooftop features a 1975 GMC RV as bar and repurposed food truck as kitchen along with a large neon sign hovering over the building that is hard to miss and fun to see. The rooftop offered great views of the area, a great atmosphere and a variety of options for food and drinks. My server was helpful with drinks and great to chat with as I mentioned I was visiting for the weekend. Thank you Matt from Elmhurst

After the night was over, I had to make sure that I went to bed as soon as possible. One of the activities that I was looking forward to that weekend was hiking Red Rocks early in the morning. Located about 15 miles over in Morrison, CO, I had to be at the site before 5am for the Red Rocks Sunrise/Morning Breakfast Hike through airbnb experiences. While very early, it was a crisp, beautiful morning and nice to meet the group of about 10 that was made up of visitors from all over the US. Cody, our guide, led us on a 1.4-mile, about 70-minute hike, sharing stories of the area’s history – from the development of the park, to the dinosaurs who used to roam the area, and activities and shows that are held in the amphitheater. You have the opportunity for scenic photo ops along the way and gorgeous views right as the sun is coming up. Note that there is no public transportation to Red Rocks. I opted for using a rideshare service, but there is plenty of parking for those who decide to drive. 

Back at my lodgings by 8am, I ate the breakfast that was provided during the hike and then got ready for the rest of the day. Next up, was the Denver Art Museum. The museum is located downtown at 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood and is open seven days a week. You can purchase your ticket/reserve your entry time in advance online. While 2 floors were closed for reinstallation, There was still plenty to see and explore. I was especially excited to view the The Fashion and Influence of Véronique and Gregory Peck exhibit which is open through July 18, 2021. Hollywood glamour at its finest. If you love fashion and want to view outfits by some of the most well known designers, this is for you. Ongoing exhibit The 19th Century in European and American Art features works by artists such as Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Childe Hassam. Each/Other by Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger which runs through August 22, 2021 explores the artists engagement within community, land, material and action that resulted in their works. And check out the newest exhibition, Simphiwe Ndzube’s Oracles of the Pink Universe. In his first US solo museum exhibition, eight new works explore magical realism and history. As quoted by the artist, the color pink really does “awaken and politely shocks the viewer into attention.”

Following the museum was a visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens located at  1007 York Street. Open 7 days a week, ticket purchases are currently required in advance. Walking in, I did not expect it to be as grand as it was.  As noted on their website, on 24 acres, the gardens reflect an ever-widening diversity of plants from all corners of the world. All of the gardens were just lovely, and being surrounded by an array of flowers, plants, and ponds it felt almost therapeutic. The plus side is that on hot days like this weekend was, there are plenty of areas with shade, or besides the gardens, there are also indoor exhibitions that are open, two that are currently available are Radiant Season: Paintings by Kevin Sloan and Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind

After a day of being out and about, a great place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping is Larimer Square. Described as Denver’s most historic block, there is a bit of everything, even live music in the evenings. I went into a couple shops and got a snack from the charming and whimsical, Drunken Bakery. Light and delicious, I wish I had gotten more than one lemon poppyseed doughnut. 

While my time in Denver was short, there is much to see and do. It is a great place to visit and I cannot wait to go back and explore more in the future. You should too.

All photos by Eucarol Juarez

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