Riding on a B-cycle in Denver (credit: CBS)
Denver is the ideal place to visit with amazing experiences to be had in the city a mile closer to the sky. Downtown Denver combines the active Western feel with sophisticated culture found in hotels, restaurants and activities. Here are some standout spots to make for an enjoyable long weekend in Denver.
The Oxford Hotel
1600 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Filled with charm, the historic Oxford Hotel is right in the heart of Downtown Denver. It’s conveniently located near some must-see sites reachable with a brief walk, light rail or cab ride. The Art Deco feel and the impeccable customer service make the Oxford Hotel one of the top hotels in Denver. Guests can soak in the retro ambiance as they open the door to their room with an actual key instead of a piece of plastic. Dinner at McCormick’s Fish House and lounging at The Cruise Room Martini Bar are not to be missed. This legendary hangout was the first bar in Denver to open the very day after Prohibition was lifted. The fabulous staff will serve up high-class martinis and other unique drinks while you soak up the feel of the old fashioned soft red lighting bouncing off the walls of white. The bartenders have class, professionalism and the meanest martinis in town.
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190 Clayton Lane
Denver, CO 80206
An upscale hot spot of Denver, the Cherry Creek area has so much to offer including the sophisticated and casual restaurant, North. Greeted with smiles and open doors, diners step into a room surrounded by glass, unique light fixtures and décor that summons a Southern California vibe. The fabulous range of foods includes baked zucchini chips, burrata and grilled artichoke and delicious pizzas and lasagnas. The final course simply must be topped off by dessert drinks, the red sangria and tiramisu are to die for. Happy hour has some good deals so set aside plenty of time and appetite to enjoy all North has to offer.
17th Ave & Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80238
There is nothing like experiencing the summer sun sinking behind the majestic Rocky Mountains following a day of biking, walking and picnicking in Denver’s City Park. The trees and flowers are plentiful and the walking paths and grassy open spaces are so many that there is always plenty of room. Picnic tables and a gazebo-type pavilion on the west side of the beautiful lake are ideal for some fun people watching. Denver’s most popular bike rental service, denver.bcycle.com, has a location right outside the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. There are paddle boats for rent. A nice bonus is that it is home to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science.
2001 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80205
Baseball season is now in full swing and the gorgeous Coors Field is definitely one of the must-see spots in LoDo. There is nothing better than a day at the ballpark with family or friends. The Colorado Rockies have a home in one of the most beautiful ballparks in all of baseball. It is so hard to believe that it is the fifth oldest baseball stadium in America. Coors Field has added a cool new addition to the stadium with its brand new 38,000-square-foot hangout called The Rooftop. With the team in the foreground and both the Rocky Mountains and Denver city skyline in the background, this venue is an absolute must-see. Tours of the locker rooms and dugouts can be arranged and LoDo is the hippest place to hang out before or after the game.
Santa Fe Art District
Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
Denver’s Santa Fe Art District is well known and highly regarded as a center for art and culture with more than 50 galleries, restaurants and shops just blocks from the downtown area. Now that summer is here, it is time to put on walking shoes and soak up the creativity of both local and nationally known painters, photographers and sculptures up and down old Santa Fe Street. Vendors can often be found offering tasty street food along with popular restaurants such as iSushi Japanese Restaurant. One of the best parts of the art district is the First Friday Art Walks where on the first Friday of every month, galleries hold many of their openings that include wine and snacks. There are also bars, coffee houses and restaurants in the area.
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Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.