Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

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Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:14 pm

Hi,
I am being sent to Denver by my company in 2 weeks. So, very limited time to plan this out...

I have a conference to attend on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So I'll have those evenings free. Other than that, I plan to pay for my own hotel room(s) for the Saturday-Monday before the conference, and the Friday-Saturday after (flying back home that Sunday).

I expect most places will be closed Sundays, so those can be park days.

I enjoy walking/hiking, off-beat/humorous things, learning, eating, and good photographic spots.

I'm looking through TripAdvisor now but as I trust this community...
1) Where do you recommend that I stay (either location or specific hotels)?
2) Any concerns with crime, safety, health, etc. that I should be aware of? I'll DEET and sunscreen when I hike!
3) What are the must-do/must-see activities and places?
4) What can be skipped entirely?
5) Do I absolutely need a rental car? Would love to take public transportation/cabs instead if those are viable options.
6) Any other input is very welcome!

So far, I found a science and nature museum, as well as an air and space museum, and several parks that all caught my eye. I'd be willing to venture outside the city limits if something nearby is an absolute must-do.

Thanks for any info and recommendations you can provide!!
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby jebmke » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:29 pm

Just got back from a CO trip (Denver + mountains) three weeks ago.

We stayed at Monaco Hotel downtown and had a good experience.

There is a lot to do downtown and within the public transit zone but if you want to get out on day trips to hiking areas you need a car to get places.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Dave_M » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:43 pm

Hi Tony:

I'll quickly try and answer a few of your points, and then give it some more thought and expand later when I have a little more time.

Crime: Like most good sized cities, there are areas you don't want to be after dark (and a few anytime), but in Denver these are relatively scarce, and not where you are likely to be 'playing tourist' in. Depending on where you're from, Denver will seem laughably safe, or a little sketchy.

Where will you be staying? If right downtown, there is lots to do by simply walking. If you are farther out, then I would recommend a rental car for at least some of the days.

Because...the mountains are so close, but public transit just doesn't cut it (it can be done, but leaving the city for anywhere other than Boulder gets pretty expensive).

If you are a baseball fan, and can't regularly attend games where you're from, try and catch a Rockies game. They're completely out of contention, and football is king here, so tickets are easy and cheap.

The museums are cool, City Park is nice, and so is the Zoo.

But you really should just rent a car and drive west on I-70 for an hour or so. You'll be at the continental divide, near great hiking, probably see some Mountain Sheep, and cool off.

Let me know where in town, and I'll recommend restaurants. Lots to chose from.

By the way, I came here for a conference in 1985, and loved it so much I arranged to move here in 1986, and never left.

more later, Dave
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:01 pm

Thanks!

Dave, moving there after a conference is one hell of an endorsement!

I come from Philly. I expect Denver to be much, much safer, but still figured I'd ask because you never know!

I like the I-70/Continental Divide idea. Sounds perfect.

For the conference, I'll be staying near Skyline Park in the Central Business District (according to Google Maps). I'm open to staying elsewhere on my personal days, if more convenient to fun stuff (and if easier on the wallet!).

I really appreciate the info!!
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby SteveB3005 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:17 pm

If that's the week of Sunday the 15th, the St Louis Cards are in town Mon-Thu, and the Diamondbacks Fri-Sun. Great time of year to take in a ballgame here, the weather is postcard perfect and the sunsets for the night games can be spectacular. Good tickets at the window in the $25-$45 and the 'Rockpile' centerfield bleacher seat are almost always available and are $4.


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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Dave_M » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:22 pm

OK then - where you will be will seem (and is) very safe. Lots of people out walking around. Good restaurants.

Right around the corner is The Broker, it's a restaurant in the vault of an old upscale bank. Pretty good food, and fairly reasonable.

Within a ten minute walk there are literally dozens of cool, non chain type places to eat. Euclid Hall is a German beer and sausage kind of place, Rioja is a pretty cool wine and tapas place, 8 Rivers for Jamaican (and a Habanero Mojito :beer ).
Also the usual suspects, Mortons, The Chop House.

One of my favorites is Wyncoops. Its a Brewpub (one of the first that started Denver's microbrew movement) with Irish pub food, and also a great scotch menu. Its maybe a 12c minute walk, but where you'll be, you can use the free shuttle on the 16th street mall to get from one end to the other easily.

You can also walk to LoDo (lower downtown, where the Rockies play) easily.

I'd probably do these kind of things on the weeknights, and head out of town on the weekends.

You mentioned photography - my Son in law is a professional photographer (as a second career - my daughter says he's semi-pro at best, not because of quality of pictures, but quantity of cash flow :D ), so I will ask him what he thinks are the most photogenic spots. I know he takes portrait stuff using downtown settings alot - I'll see them tomorrow and get some tips.

more later - Dave
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:23 pm

SteveB3005 wrote:If that's the week of Sunday the 15th, the St Louis Cards are in town Mon-Thu, and the Diamondbacks Fri-Sun. Great time of year to take in a ballgame here, the weather is postcard perfect and the sunsets for the night games can be spectacular. Good tickets at the window in the $25-$45 and the 'Rockpile' centerfield bleacher seat are almost always available and are $4.


Thanks, Steve. I'm not too into sports but appreciate the tip nonetheless! And that sunset looks awesome.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Dave_M » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:26 pm

Quick comment on SteveB3005's post:

If you want to see the Cardinals, you might want to get tickets in advance; they are in contention, and tend to have lots of fans here. Just google the Rockies ticket office (or Stub Hub, or King Soopers) to make sure.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:28 pm

Dave_M wrote:OK then - where you will be will seem (and is) very safe. Lots of people out walking around. Good restaurants.

Right around the corner is The Broker, it's a restaurant in the vault of an old upscale bank. Pretty good food, and fairly reasonable.

Within a ten minute walk there are literally dozens of cool, non chain type places to eat. Euclid Hall is a German beer and sausage kind of place, Rioja is a pretty cool wine and tapas place, 8 Rivers for Jamaican (and a Habanero Mojito :beer ).
Also the usual suspects, Mortons, The Chop House.

One of my favorites is Wyncoops. Its a Brewpub (one of the first that started Denver's microbrew movement) with Irish pub food, and also a great scotch menu. Its maybe a 12c minute walk, but where you'll be, you can use the free shuttle on the 16th street mall to get from one end to the other easily.

You can also walk to LoDo (lower downtown, where the Rockies play) easily.

I'd probably do these kind of things on the weeknights, and head out of town on the weekends.

You mentioned photography - my Son in law is a professional photographer (as a second career - my daughter says he's semi-pro at best, not because of quality of pictures, but quantity of cash flow :D ), so I will ask him what he thinks are the most photogenic spots. I know he takes portrait stuff using downtown settings alot - I'll see them tomorrow and get some tips.

more later - Dave

Fantastic! The Broker sounds unique, I like it already. And habanero anything sounds great to me.

True about the photography - VERY tough to make a living from it.

Looks like I was right to ask the Bogleheads for ideas. Thank you again.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby livesoft » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:42 pm

Do you have to stay those off days in Denver? You could drive up to Ft Collins to stay and within an hour's drive do some hiking in the wilderness.
Example: Stay Sat nite near Ft Collins, Sunday morning drive up Poudre River Valley, then hike up the Blue Lake trail to Blue Lake. You will see snow on the mountains above you. Do another hike on Monday. Drive back to Denver Monday nite.

Probably same deal by going to RMNP.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:16 pm

livesoft wrote:Do you have to stay those off days in Denver? You could drive up to Ft Collins to stay and within an hour's drive do some hiking in the wilderness.
Example: Stay Sat nite near Ft Collins, Sunday morning drive up Poudre River Valley, then hike up the Blue Lake trail to Blue Lake. You will see snow on the mountains above you. Do another hike on Monday. Drive back to Denver Monday nite.

Probably same deal by going to RMNP.

Thanks. Good suggestions, I will look into these as well. And no, the only times that I am bound to Denver are Monday night through Thursday night. The other days could be spent elsewhere (as long as I can get back to Denver airport on Sunday).
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Jake46 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:42 pm

livesoft wrote:Do you have to stay those off days in Denver? You could drive up to Ft Collins to stay and within an hour's drive do some hiking in the wilderness.
Example: Stay Sat nite near Ft Collins, Sunday morning drive up Poudre River Valley, then hike up the Blue Lake trail to Blue Lake. You will see snow on the mountains above you. Do another hike on Monday. Drive back to Denver Monday nite.

Probably same deal by going to RMNP.


If you decide to stay a night in Fort Collins, the Armstrong Hotel is in Old Town. You can walk to bars, great restaurants & clubs.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby oxothuk » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:49 pm

If you'd like to do some hiking without renting a car you have some pretty nice options in Boulder.

From downtown Denver take any of the regional buses to Boulder (B/BF/BMX/BV/BX). Get off at the corner of Broadway and Table Mesa and transfer to the local "Skip" route southbound. Get off the Skip at the Shanahan Ridge Trailhead (1915 Lehigh Drive). Service on these routes is very frequent even on weekends. You can see the schedules online at http://www.rtd-denver.com.

Depending on your level of fitness, there are lots of places you can hike to from there. If you want a challenge I can recommend hiking up Bear Peak (3 miles each way, +2500 feet).
Check out the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks page at https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp

If you rent a car and want a "top of the world" experience you can drive 60 miles to the top of Mt. Evans (>14,000 feet). Or you can drive up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, but that is a long way from Denver for a day-trip.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby livesoft » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:24 pm

Jake46 wrote:If you decide to stay a night in Fort Collins, the Armstrong Hotel is in Old Town. You can walk to bars, great restaurants & clubs.

Yep, very nice, but often booked full.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby boroc7 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:42 pm

oxothuk wrote:If you rent a car and want a "top of the world" experience you can drive 60 miles to the top of Mt. Evans (>14,000 feet). Or you can drive up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, but that is a long way from Denver for a day-trip.


+1. The mountains to me are everything that I loved about Denver. I don't think Trail Ridge Road is too far as we did it many times as a day trip. Mt. Evans is also a favorite. I don't know if you're into cycling, but you have some of the best roads in America. There are some breathtaking loops, and you can take a camera along for the photography habit.

There are also some hot springs not too far away that are very relaxing if you need to de-stress. I can't remember names and locations, but you could google it.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby WhiskeyJ » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:50 pm

Red Rocks is always worth a visit and only 20-25 minues from downtown. Hard to believe since it's been 90 in Denver every day for the past few weeks, but the Aspens will start turning in mid-september. The drive over Kenosha pass (about an hour from denver out 285) is pretty breathtaking and there's a lot of hiking right around Kenosha pass. Jefferson lake is about an additional half hour from there. Be careful with a Sunday afternoon flight. Traffic can really back up on I70 back to denver-- a buddy of mine missed his flight by about 2 hours a few weeks ago.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby BolderBoy » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:59 pm

oxothuk wrote:If you'd like to do some hiking without renting a car you have some pretty nice options in Boulder.

From downtown Denver take any of the regional buses to Boulder (B/BF/BMX/BV/BX). Get off at the corner of Broadway and Table Mesa and transfer to the local "Skip" route southbound. Get off the Skip at the Shanahan Ridge Trailhead (1915 Lehigh Drive). Service on these routes is very frequent even on weekends. You can see the schedules online at http://www.rtd-denver.com.

I can second that. I live a few blocks from that trailhead and frequently go hiking up that way (as well as on the other half-dozen trailheads within a mile of that one going north.)
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby dm200 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:04 pm

In the mid 90's, my wife and I stayed for a few days in Golden - just outside Denver, when my employer sent me to Denver for a two day assignment. Golden was a very nice place to stay and spend some time.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby stlutz » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:23 pm

Be careful with a Sunday afternoon flight. Traffic can really back up on I70 back to denver-- a buddy of mine missed his flight by about 2 hours a few weeks ago.


There's a tunnel construction project on I-70 that, for the time being, has made this problem much worse. And traffic is heavy in the aspen season. If you have a car, you may want to consider heading west out of Boulder on 119 toward Nederland.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby pointyhead » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:05 pm

I loved living there 10 years ago and plan to move back next year. Honestly, I don't think there is a neighborhood there that I wouldn't walk through anytime day or night, it always seemed profoundly safe to me. Just walking in the LoDo area is a good way to kill time. Plenty of restuarants and shopping. You might consider renting a bike as there are plenty of trails in the city. Check out google maps for bicycling. We used to ride from Littleton to downtown without really having to get on a major road although we crossed quite a few. Denver is full of cool neighborhoods each with a unique feel.

Last time we visited in April we had a nice lunch at Bones on Grant street. Also would recommend Izakaya-Den in the Pearl street area. Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park are all nice. Cherry Creek area is also nice. You could easily ride a bike on the Cherry Creek trail via Speer to the Cherry Creek area. If you wanted to make a day of it you could continue to Cherry Creek Reservoir.

Golden is nice and I always enjoyed the Coors Brewery Tour. We also liked the hot spring at Glenwood Springs. Might consider trying the kayaking at Confluence park. Hope you have a good time.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby XtremeSki2001 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:44 am

Just got back from a work trip to Denver. Here's are the notables from our trip:

- Stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel downtown.
- Went to a Rockies game
- Went to Ocean Prime for dinner
- Went to Richard Sandoval's Tamayo and sat on the rooftop deck for dinner
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby dickenjb » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:45 am

Dave_M wrote:One of my favorites is Wyncoops. (sic) Its a Brewpub (one of the first that started Denver's microbrew movement) with Irish pub food, and also a great scotch menu.


Second the recommendation for Wynkoop Brewing Company. Corrected the spelling.

Fort Collins is very nice. We hiked to Horsetooth Rock which was a great family hike.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Colorado13 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:12 am

Here's a link to a calendar of events and summaries of where to go: http://www.denver.org/visitdenver

As mentioned above Glenwood Springs is a potential destination for you. It is about 150 miles from Denver with nice hiking, the springs, and a lake in a nice setting. http://www.visitglenwood.com/ You may not want to spend that much time in the car, but it's a nice place to visit (as are Rocky Mtn Natl Park, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Red Rocks, as others have mentioned.)

FYI Denver doesn't shut down on Sundays - museums, bars, etc. will be open and the downtown area will likely be bustling with activity. I like the Kirkland Museum, which is at http://www.kirklandmuseum.org/. I think the Cheyenne Mtn Zoo http://cmzoo.org/ in Co Springs is a great place, but you may not be interested in doing that much out of town travel. The Air Force Academy is the most visited facility within the state of CO and worth a visit if you are in that area.

Be prepared for potentially drastic temperature swings depending on your location - anything from 40s to 90s is possible in mid Sept. Also drink LOTS of water because of the higher elevations.
Last edited by Colorado13 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby mhc » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:15 am

livesoft wrote:
Jake46 wrote:If you decide to stay a night in Fort Collins, the Armstrong Hotel is in Old Town. You can walk to bars, great restaurants & clubs.

Yep, very nice, but often booked full.


At this time of the year, rutting season will be going full force. Go up to Estes Park to see the elk. The golf course behind the visitor center in town will be full of Elk. Then you can go into Rocky Mountain National Park and hike all you want and see more elk. If you want to see a moose, then drive to the west side of the Park and hike along the Colorado river (e.g., Lulu city trail).

Livesoft suggested Blue Lake. The drive up the Poudre canyon is well worth it because it has very few tourists and is breath taking. Blue Lake is nice, but Lake Agnes is even better. It is on the south side of Hwy 14 just after you pass Cameron Pass. You can hike trails here and not see anyone all day. Also, remember that it will be hunting season. Wear bright colors. You may hear a few gun shots. Don't be alarmed.

Fort Collins has a nice Old Town and can be used as a staging area for Estes and all the trails along the Poudre. If you like beer, New Belgium is here and has great tours.

Fort Collins, Estes, Poudre Canyon and everything outside the Denver area are very safe.

The air here is very dry and you will be at 5000+ feet. Drink a lot of water.
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Yelp

Postby davebarnes » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:44 am

Dave_M wrote:Euclid Hall is a German beer and sausage kind of place, Rioja is a pretty cool wine and tapas place, 8 Rivers for Jamaican
Also the usual suspects, Mortons, The Chop House. Wynkoop. Its a Brewpub

8 Rivers closed months ago.
The Broker is crap. While the bank vault setting is cool, the food and service are meh.

Yelp is your friend when traveling.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Colorado13 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:04 pm

I just noticed that you mentioned "humor" in the original post. You may want to check out Comedy Works: http://comedyworks.com/
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby jebmke » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:14 pm

Had good experience at Euclid Hall.

Took a short detour to see Red Rocks on the way back from Steamboat. It is a short way off i-70.

Also agree with recommendation on Poudre canyon drive. We took that route to Steamboat from Denver on the way out.
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Re: Yelp

Postby cleosdad » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:53 am

davebarnes wrote:
Dave_M wrote:Euclid Hall is a German beer and sausage kind of place, Rioja is a pretty cool wine and tapas place, 8 Rivers for Jamaican
Also the usual suspects, Mortons, The Chop House. Wynkoop. Its a Brewpub

8 Rivers closed months ago.
The Broker is crap. While the bank vault setting is cool, the food and service are meh.

Yelp is your friend when traveling.

I agree, Wynkoop is good and The Broker is terrible. I have enjoyed The Chop House and Sullivans and have stayed at The Brown Palace which is lovely. My wife works at Republic Plaza downtown and we will probably see my Cardinals play the Rockies. We hike and run a lot. If I am around we could do Mathews,Winter Trail which is close to me and about 15 miles from downtown and Red Rocks ampitheater is right there. I will PM you.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:52 pm

Wow. Thank you all. This is an incredible amount of info to process. One of my friends also recommended Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and Pike's Peak in Manitou Spring (she recommended taking the cog rail to 14,100 ft).

So now between all of your info plus my own research plus my friends... I am overwhelmed and need to map all of this out fast. Weekend hasn't allowed for it, so I sure hope work is slow tomorrow...

Will let you folks know what I come up with. As I'm not into sports or into drinking, I can immediately exclude the ball games and breweries (though I'm sure those tips will help other people who land in this thread). I am mostly trying to map out all of the great hiking and food spots at this point... and possibly the museums for when I need a bit of a break.

Thanks again, everyone! You have come through in spades.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Colorado13 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:04 pm

Garden of the Gods is beautiful! If you like good photographic spots, this is a great one. And there is no admission charge, so it is Boglehead friendly. I highly recommend it if you plan to go to CO Springs (1 hr or 1 1/2 hrs from Denver, depending on your location/traffic.) It's also a gorgeous area for hiking. You probably do not need reservations for the Cog Railway to Pikes Peak on a weekday in Sept. but you can check out details at http://cograilway.com/. Also in the CO Springs area are the zoo and Air Force Academy, mentioned earlier.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby oxothuk » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:36 pm

Colorado13 wrote:Garden of the Gods is beautiful! If you like good photographic spots, this is a great one.

Roxborough State Park is not as well known at GOTG, but a lot closer to Denver. Geologically very similar and just as beautiful IMHO.
http://www.parks.state.co.us/parks/roxb ... ePark.aspx
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Pedsmd » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:46 pm

Here are some other ideas for you.
Take a mountain shuttle (or drive) up to Breckinridge and stay there. You can get around the area by the Summit Express bus if you don't want to drive. Lots of nice hikes in the area and a cute town. If you drive go over Loveland Pass, the exit is just before the tunnel. The aspens might be just starting to turn yellow at the higher elevations.
You can do a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, but the full loop is a long day. I would probably just go up and back to the Estes Park area and the east side of the park.
You could do a day trip to Boulder. Chautauqua park has some nice easier hikes. You could drive up to Nederland through Boulder canyon to visit the frozen dead guy (I'll let you look it up :D) El Dorado Canyon State Park just outside of Boulder, also has some nice hikes and you can watch all the rock climbers in the canyon.
The Denver Art Museum is very nice, the Indian collection is one of the best in the nation. The Clifford Still Museum is also nearby. If you like mid-century modern the Kirkland Museum is a great little museum.
The main REI store downtown is fun. Confluence Park nearby is a great area to hang out.
Take a bike ride. There are bike stands around town with bikes available for short term use. I am not sure exactly where the racks are downtown but your hotel may know. The Cherry Creek bike path is easily accessible from downtown. You can ride down to Cherry Creek, a nice shopping and restarant area, or go an even longer distance if you want.
Agree with the restarant suggestions. Z Cusine is a great farm to table restarant in Highlands, It is just across the bridge over the highway from downtown.
Have a great time.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby WhyNotUs » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:11 am

There is plenty to do in Denver to keep you busy but the suggestion to take a bus to Boulder and hike is a good one. If you go on the weekend, you can hit the Pearl St. Pedestrian mall afterward. Best people watching in CO. Always a protest, great buskers, and live music to be had.

You are in a great location downtown and have lots of choices nearby. The Denver Theater complex is close by and they have great live theater, including a show right now that is destined for Broadway.
http://www.denvercenter.org/intro-2.aspx

Lannie Garret has a club within walking distance that has burlesque/comedy show late night. Pretty harmless fun.
http://lannies.com

If you like jazz
http://thepeclodo.com

Beer is a major attraction in Denver, Lodo is beer central. There are countless options but I like Freshcraft for combo of food, beer choices, and fun crowd. Wazee Supper Club is another fun spot with good beer and good pizza.

Denver has a comprehensive rail and bus system so you can hop on transit to explore the area. There is bike sharing downtown for short excursions or you can rent a touring bike to do more serious exploration on trails such as the South Platte trail which goes all of the way to Chapman Reservoir. You can even combine the two, taking a train then then biking to points of interest.

http://denver.bcycle.com/WhatisDenverBcycle.aspx
http://www.denvergov.org/bicyclinginden ... fault.aspx

Over the last 30 years, Denver has enjoyed good leadership and has grown into a great city.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby wak » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:51 am

For some great restaurants, leave the central business district and venture into the near by neighborhoods. In Uptown on 17th try the Beast & Bottle or the Avenue Grill. Also Fruition on 6th, Potager near 11th. There are many many others.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby johnep » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:33 am

Estes Park is a good alternative to Ft Collins. It is a small town with lots of hotels and sits at the entrance to RMNP. This would require a rental car of course. I highly recommend renting a car for a tour of RMNP and other areas. There are fantastic sites and views near Denver but they require a car. This would also enable you to get into the best hiking areas. Enjoy your trip.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Hikes_With_Dogs » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:28 am

I agree with the posters who have mentioned RMNP and also a day trip to Boulder. If you want to get the essence of the Rockies, those are two good places to go.

If you rent a car, you might also see if there is a soccer MLS game up north the weekend you are there if you are a fan.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby tonythered » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi all,
Thanks again for all of the great tips. My trip was a success, though wildly different than I envisioned...

I flew in Friday the 13th, during the flooding. My flight was delayed, delayed, delayed... and Rocky Mountain National Park (and the roads to it) and Boulder were completely closed off. So sadly, I didn't get to go to those places. The kind people of Colorado repeatedly apologized to me during the rains that this is not their typical weather!

I did, however, make it to the Continental Divide, Red Rocks, Georgetown (there happened to be a classic car show going on), Breckenridge (there happened to be an Oktoberfest happening), Buffalo Bill's gravesite (meh), Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods, and everywhere in Denver. I packed a lot in to each day. I would have done even more if I didn't lose 3 days to a conference, but alas!

In Denver itself, I conquered:
Many of the parks
A Banjo Billy bus tour (recommended - funny and some great stories)
Aquarium (better than I expected for not being near a coast...)
Molly Brown's House (can skip unless you are really into the Titanic or Molly Brown)
Byers-Evans House (much better than Molly Brown's house if you are looking for a circa-1900 snapshot)
Science Center (loved the space section/planetarium)
Zoo
State Capitol Building
Library
Federal Reserve Money Museum (VERY small, hardly worth it... tried to also tour the Mint but the tours were booked out for weeks)
Botanic Gardens (VERY nice)
Miniatures museum (completely skip-able, I was trying to kill time...)
A walking history tour
Gourmet foods tour
The flagship REI store, which is awesome!

I did stop into The Broker restaurant and it was quite nice. I sat down and looked at the menu and promptly exited, as the cheapest option on the menu was $51. So I didn't try the food. I should have looked at the menu first. I explained to the waiter that this was above my allotted per diem (true) and he understood.

I forget what else I saw/did. But I found a ton to do, was never bored and was always on the go (I did most of this on foot as I did not have a car, just took buses when going outside Denver). And I only almost died maybe 3x (the Greyhound to Colorado Springs was... interesting, and two restaurants poisoned me with food allergens, one of which after I had a full conversation with the waitress about it...).

So, a successful trip! Thanks again, everyone.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Sunny Sarkar » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:38 pm

Denver is my favorite city, not for what's in it, but for what's around it. We love driving trips, beautiful vistas, and fresh mountain air. Here's what we did during our last visit... http://sunnysarkar.blogspot.com/2013/09 ... -trip.html
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby SimonJester » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:31 am

Haven't seen this mentioned but the Denver museum of Natural history is really good if you are into museums.

If you are going to be hiking in the mountains you need to be prepared for a variety of weather, it is highly likely this time of year you can go from mid 70s at the lower elevations to a snow storm at higher elevations in the matter of a few hours.
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Re: Denver - where to stay, what to do and see?

Postby Meaty » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:23 pm

Frisco and Breckinridge aren't too far away in the mountains; both areas are absolutely beautiful.
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