In my eyes, everyone is connected with one major city in some way. Whether it be a place you visited and loved, a city you’ve studied and dreamed about visiting, or the city closest to where you live, we all play favorites.
I’ve been to many cities across the globe, but it took visiting Denver to realize how incredibly spoiled I am by living so close to New York City. A change of scenery was amazing, but I’m truly a NY girl at heart (despite being born and raised in Connecticut). Venturing out to almost the other side of the country made me so appreciate how vast and interesting NYC is – funny things like that happen when I travel. I know that NYC isn’t for everyone, and I know that it’s not a walk in the park, but it still is my favorite place.
Anyways, onto the reason why you clicked on this post: Denver! You may have noticed above I used the word “spoiled” in regards to my proximity to NYC – that is due to the fact that NYC is so chock full of many nuggets of food and shopping. Although Denver has a lot going on, it’s just not necessarily in the same volume of NYC – but hey, if every city was NYC, then it wouldn’t be as special of an experience.
Just a quick disclaimer: we did a lot, but I decided to feature only the places and areas we really liked and would recommend going to – with a few extras here and there of some picks that weren’t so great (just keeping it candid here, as always!).
Union Station // An old transportation center now turned in a marketplace with coffee, ice cream, hamburgers, shops, and a few different restaurants connected through it. The only thing I could even attempt to equate it to is Redding Terminal Market, but the truth is they are very different. Redding Terminal Market is filled with different vendors and options, whereas Union Station is more about the architectural history with a few vendors thrown in here and there. In addition, Union Station is still used for Amtrak in Denver today! Union Station, in my eyes, is one of the anchors of LoDo (Lower Downtown), with the other being Coors Field, where the Rockies play.
Milkbox Creamery had great ice cream. They even had some vegan flavors which my dad loved. I read online that the space Milkbox is in is where the old Barber used to be when Union Station was solely used as a transportation hub. So cool!
There were some cute shops inside Union Station including this one called Bloom (also there’s a nearby flower kiosk – as pictured above – with the name Bloom as well). Although some of the products were overpriced, it was definitely a fun store to pop into.
There are some restaurants connected to/near the station. I went to one burger place which was pretty good but not incredible (I guess it didn’t make too much of an impact because I don’t remember the name). However, there is a Snooze inside Union Station (which I’ll get to shortly) that is an amazing place for breakfast/brunch.
Snooze // As mentioned right above, Snooze is a must do for brunch in Denver. The ambiance is so cute and the menu is fabulous. There are multiple Snooze locations, one of which is in Union Station, the other on Larimer Street. We went to the one on Larimer Street, but to my knowledge, the menu is the same at both places. This is a must do if you are visiting Denver. My whole family loved it! I got the OMG French Toast which elicited lots of “OMGs” as I was eating it (yes, I just wrote that sentence and yes, I do kind of hate myself for it but it is true).
I’m pretty sure they don’t take reservations – so depending upon the time you go, you may encounter a wait. We only waited for two minutes – easy and painless! I would probably recommend the Union Station location solely because in getting to the Larimer location, we walked through a deserted and not-so-safe area.
Cherry Creek Shopping District // Cherry Creek is a fun, quaint, suburban neighborhood with a multitude of shops and restaurants. The town is anchored by the huge mall, which has Nordstrom, Madewell, Anthropologie, Athleta…. the list goes on and on. We ate dinner at Margs, a fun Mexican restaurant with unique tacos – try the Korean BBQ (note: there is also a Margs near Union Station – but the one in Cherry Creek had a better ambiance and a lot more seating)! Beware – the stores in the area (Lululemon, Francesca’s, Jonathan Adler) close between 6 and 7 p.m., so if you want to get some shopping in, go early and then grab a bite to eat for dinner!
Quick story: My mom and I were told by the hotel staff we could walk from Downtown Denver to Cherry Creek. We discovered after a little bit of walking on the Cherry Creek path that this was a huge oversight on the hotel’s part – the distance to get there was over three miles on a path that had nothing around it except for a busy road (busy as in lots of cars – not too many people around). Although we welcomed exercise, we realized pretty quickly that walking was not our best bet. I would recommend taking a taxi from Downtown Denver – it is only about a $10 ride.
Syrup // Another brunch place I highly recommend! Syrup was literally 5 minutes away from our hotel which was super convenient. Definitely make a reservation, as the wait time was long. Luckily, it’s located inside an office building so you don’t have to wait outside if on the off chance you don’t get a chance to reserve a table. The ambiance here is super cute and the menu items were incredible. If you have no regard to the calories you eat at all, there are some amazing French Toast and Pancake options here. Given my French Toast consumption at Snooze, I decided to get eggs at Syrup with the (not-so-healthy) smashed tater tots – delicious!
Little Man Ice Cream // Located in the Highlands, Little Man Ice cream is actually what is served at Milkbox Creamery. Venturing out to the actual Little Man base was a fun way to kill time, but I would probably just recommend skipping out on the massive line by just going to Milkbox. Regardless, the ice cream is good (but per my dad – pass on the Sorbet) and you can walk from the Highlands back to Union Station – a fun, quick walk. Little Man is near Linger, a brunch and dinner place which we didn’t get a chance to try but it looked fun with open windows looking out onto the Little Man patio!
16th Street Mall // Aside from the amazing movie theater with leather reclining seats, avoid 16th Street Mall. It’s crowded, dirty, and touristy. Our hotel staff kept trying to recommend it as a place to go, but all the locals admitted it wasn’t their favorite spot to hang out on. There are lots of chain, recognizable restaurants here so if you want your Panera fix, then by all means, check it out. Pro tip: don’t be fooled by Grimaldi’s – it is not the same Grimaldi’s as featured in this post.
Larimer Square // Not actually a complete pass, but beware that Larimer Square can fool you online – it’s actually just one block instead of more, which was the impression I was under. Know that there are some cute restaurants here, but the majority are extremely expensive and on the fancier side.
And that’s it (long, I know)! If on the off chance you are reading this and are heading to Denver and want to know more, please e-mail me! I have a few more bits of knowledge that would only make sense to share directly to someone traveling there, so I would love to discuss. Have you ever been to Denver?
This post is part of the #BloggerPostcardTravels Link-Up hosted by Emily!