Denver Colorado, The Mile-High City
By: Kim Michele
Host to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver sits exactly 1 mile above sea level at the base of the Rocky Mountains. For a city that started out in the mid 1800’s as a mining town, Denver has since become a bustling, vibrant metropolis, with a plenty to offer celebrities, travelers and visitors alike. With over 300 days of sunshine and breathtaking views, the city boasts some incredible restaurants, over 90 micro breweries, countless museums and theatres, 5 new sports facilities and the second largest performing arts center in the country. Needless to say the city plays host to countless concerts, festivals, sporting events and more, attracting famous faces from all over the country. Home to the Denver Bronco’s and their brand new Mile High Stadium, Denver is a culturally diverse city, with a lot to offer, and we invite you to join journeyPod in exploring the capital of Colorado.
So where does everyone hang out? Denver’s historic arts and entertainment district, LoDo (short for lower downtown) is the place to be. Located adjacent the riverfront area, turn of the century redbrick buildings line the streets housing numerous bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and stores. One of LoDo’s main attractions; The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Showcasing award winning productions, live theatre, dance, musical concerts and Broadway performances, the Center brings numerous famous faces to town. Located across the road is one of the city’s finest boutique hotels, the Hotel Teatro. A favorite amongst musicians, actors, performers and politicians, this is where they choose to stay. From the Kenney clan, to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Jewel and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Hotel Teatro has played home to them all.
In the center of the LoDo District is Larimer Square, a hip, urban-chic, trendy square offering a combination of irresistible shopping, culinary expertise and entertaining nightlife. It is here that we experienced some of Denver’s finest dining, award winning restaurants, hippest bars and great entertainment. There is no lack of things to do, places to eat and bars to drink at. We started off with a tasty Mexican meal and the perfect Sangria on the patio of Tamayo, located on the corner of Larimer and 14th.
Aside from the incredible view of the Rocky Mountains, the second floor patio allows us a bird’s eye view of the artistic talents of professional and amateur artists as they transform the streets of Larimer Square into a colorful array of chalk and pastel drawings. Ranging from Renaissance Art to cartoon characters and everything in between, La Piazza dell’ Arte Festival brings the streets to life as the artists recreate 16th century Italy using the asphalt as a canvas. every June crowds gather around in awe as the artists sketch on hands and knees, competing to win the title of La Piazza dell’ Artist, 2008. The streets are lined with food stands, wine tasting stalls and sweet music as visitors indulge in the many festivities. As the night kicked in, we moved indoors to enjoy an incredible meal at Rioja. Later we checked out Denver’s one and only Champagne bar, Corridor 44, and then rambled on to catch the late show at the Comedy Works. Famous comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jay Leno, Jamie Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock are amongst the many talents that have help make this the ‘funniest’ place in town. All this and we never left Larimer Square!
Another day of sunshine and beauty in the “Mile High City” as we headed out to the fashionable region of Cherry Creek North, located in the heart of metropolitan Denver. This outdoor shopping and dining neighborhood offers up a refreshing mixture of exclusive restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques, galleries, spas and salons, each with their own flavor, mood and color. This 16-block area is recognized as one of Denver’s most exclusive and unique outdoor shopping districts with its tree-lined streets, quaint cafes and plenty of day spas. And what better way to spend the day than enjoying a relaxing treatment at one of Cherry Creek North’s finest fusion spas, La Fontaine. After being made to feel like a million bucks, we strolled the streets, browsed through the galleries, and shopped in some amazing boutiques. And it looks like we are not the only ones enjoying what Cherry Creek has to offer. Melissa Etheridge and Cindi Lauper were spotted doing some shopping in the exclusive area while in town for the DNC. As were Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo and her daughter who also enjoyed some time out shopping at Betsey Johnson.
While in Cherry Creek North, journeyPod highly recommends dining any one of their many award winning restaurants. One of our favorite is French 250, an upscale restaurant serving haute cuisine, which added just the right touch to what was already a spectacular day. Another popular restaurant is Elway’s, where Will Smith was seen enjoying a late lunch. Whether you are exploring downtown, the LoDo district, or any of the many hip Denver neighborhoods, there is a lot to do, plenty to see and many ways to spoil yourself. From luxury hotels, pampering spas, world class shopping, state of the art museums and so much more – Denver is guaranteed to appeal to every one of your senses.
Check out our complete list of the best reviewed hotels in Denver!