The city of Denver, Colorado! A breath of fresh mountain air!
Side note: I was actually sick before heading to Colorado with a bad cold that would not go away for weeks. My first day, my cough and cold went away and has been gone ever since (that was 2 months ago). Amazing!
Coming from sea level, San Diego, there is one thing the sea and mountain people have in common. They love their drinks! One thing about Denver was I immediately felt at home from the back to back bars on every street.
I have to add, that Colorado is a legalized medical marijuana state and it’s not uncommon to smell it on the streets or witness it at bars but this is their lifestyle. So please keep an open mind before booking a trip and have respect for other people’s lifestyle choices.
Since Denver is actually quite small, this post will be pretty short and to the point-giving you some of my favorites. Denver is also different from the actual towns in the surrounding mountains. The mountains are a trip of their own that I want to experience separately in all it’s glory one day!
Who you need to check out: El Chapultepec
Calling all jazz lovers! Even if you’re not a jazz lover, you will LOVE this place and probably find a new love for jazz.
We were so fortunate to have met the coolest bartender, Thomas, he gave us free drinks and then took us out on the town for the entire rest of night. I hung out with jazz musicians, sang with a Santa Claus and danced with a dog.
One of the best times I had, hands down.
It’s open every day of the week with local long time living residents and musicians of Denver, playing your favorite tunes of jazz and blues. Where else can you be promised a guaranteed fun time?
There’s only one other place…
Where you need to be on Friday night: Milk bar
You might have heard about Milk bar being the Clockwork Orange-inspired bar. If you’ve seen The Clockwork Orange and remember the milk bar that they go to, well it’s not exactly decor inspired, just the name itself. Nonetheless, it’s provocative and most Friday nights can be very taboo for the normal folk.
What they don’t tell you is there are 4-5 stages. The top floor is closed off most nights, it depends on the event of the night. That’s not including the Arcade and back patio for smokers. This place is huge! And it will keep you on your toes all night-dancing that is. From Wednesday to Saturday, they play, 80’s, 90’s, Goth, Indie Electronic and the list goes on.
Definitely one of my all-time favorite places in the world right now.
Instagram Worthy Spots of Denver: 16th Street Mall & RiNo
Let’s start with RiNo (River North Arts District) name given by the contemporary artists of Denver. The town is painted with street art including hip food and drinks.
One of the best grab a drink and grab a seat bars in town! The Great Divide Brewing Co. As soon as I walked in the environment was friendly, so friendly everyone was dancing to Ginuwine-Pony and that to me is an immediate A+ bar. The Ballpark location is the best one, in my opinion, you won’t regret it.
Don’t forget to stop by The Denver Central Market. Decked with beautiful decorative lights plus a food hall of artisans making it a MUST if you’re in RiNo. I highly suggest you try cooking once or twice during your stay and grabbing some fresh produce from the market. Surprisingly, Denver will cost you a pretty penny on food and drinks alone. Get creative and whip something up! That way you can save money for the 16th street mall.
Side note: At the market, I had a plate from Vero. They were the only broad vegetarian menu there and it was really delicious. I highly suggest if you are vegetarian or vegan.
The 16th Street Mall is a mile long mall filled with all types of businesses. There are street performers, a carousel and horse carriage rides at night. The fun is endless here!
And if you didn’t wear your comfy shoes, well that’s okay because they have a free mall shuttle that takes you up and down the street.
What you should be doing: Arcade and Barcade!
If you’re a loyal reader to my blog, YOU KNOW I love a barcade. So far, the gods are in my favor because I have not found one that I am not impressed with.
While in Denver, I had one on my list and one that I stumbled upon.
The one on my list is no other than 1 Up off Blake Street. The basement arcade with a bitchin’ jukebox and a fresh selection of drinks. They have another location off Colfax that I believe is a little bigger but is mostly for pub food. Then there is 2 Up which is a pinball haven for you misunderstood pinballers.
The one I stumbled upon is F.T.W. For The Win– you almost thought it meant something else huh? Well so did I until I walked in and behold, there was bowling alley to my right and an arcade to my left. Let’s not forget the pool tables, ping pong, and shuffleboard. This place is packed with a good time. Plus there’s a full bar and menu. What’s there not to love?
Side note: You use a card for the games and when you get points it’s immediately added to your card. The best part is your card never expires so you can go back to F.T.W. any time you want and gain points, forever!
Get Touristy: The Unsinkable Molly Brown House & The Circle of Animals (and surrounding area)
I have a touristy side and with that being, I have a small fascination with historical and/or old artifacts. So when I found out about the Molly Brown house, I honestly had no idea what I was walking into besides the fact she was a Titanic survivor. Call me a millennial all you want, but I was going in with an open mind and ready to learn more about “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”.
The tour started and the guide started explaining what Molly Brown did on the Titanic, I’ve seen the movie a million times, it was then I knew it was the character Kathy Bates played. What I learned was that her real name was Margaret Brown and she was a superwoman and one hell of a decorator!
The house is prestigious just like her. Check it out, for 10 bucks gives you an hour of a history lesson and open bathroom facilities (the city doesn’t allow public restrooms).
The Circle of Animals is located at Civic Center Park. The statues represent the Chinese Zodiac created by Ai Weiwei. They stand around the Seal Fountain which is perfect for when they turn the fountain back on. I was there during the winter so unfortunately, the fountain was off. The statues are said to only be open for a year, they were placed last October so you have time to check them out. They are pretty badass up close and personal.
Feel free to walk around Civic Center Park, there are a lot of historical buildings, as well as the Voorhies Memorial. You might get lucky and catch an event happening.
Denver was one for the books. Beautiful in many aspects. I’ll definitely be back.