Brown Palace Hotel (credit: CBS)
If you are planning a trip to the amazing city of Denver over the holidays, you are in for a treat. There are lots of wonderful ways to celebrate the season with your loved ones while taking in all of the stunning beauty that is Denver in the winter. From lots of local history to the nearby Rocky Mountains and a day of skiing, you’ll find enough to enjoy on your trip that you may not want to leave. Here are a few suggestions of where you can stay, what to eat and a few spots to visit while you are in the Mile High City. Just remember that the altitude can make it tough for many people, so drink lots of water and wear sunscreen, even in the winter.
Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
If you are ready to splurge a little on your vacation to Denver, then you’ll want to book your room at this iconic historic hotel. The Brown Palace first opened its doors in 1892, and every United States President since Teddy Roosevelt has stayed at the Brown (except for Calvin Coolidge). You will be amazed at the luxury and beauty of this incredible hotel. It’s also right in the heart of Downtown Denver, so you’ll be in a great location to take advantage of the many activities in the area. Make sure to take one of the many tours offered in this hotel daily so you can truly get a feel for why this is such a nationally treasured institution.
19192 Colorado 8
Morrison, CO 80465
When you are ready to enjoy the real taste of Colorado, then head up to The Fort Restaurant in Morrison. This award-winning restaurant will give you an authentic taste of Denver with lots of amazing game meats. The Fort is the best place in Colorado to get buffalo but you can also dine on elk, duck, lamb and quail. The building itself is also a fun way to get a glimpse into the past, as it was designed after a famous Colorado fur trade fort built in 1833. Plus, winter in Morrison is always beautiful, as you can enjoy the bright Colorado sun with the picturesque winter snow that may be blanketing the ground. What could be more holiday than that?
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical”
The Buell Theater
1345 Champa St.
Denver, CO 80204
Date: Dec. 17-28, 2014
While you are visiting, make sure to take in a show at the Tony-winning Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This December, the Buell Theatre will be Grinched out for the holidays with the musical adaptation of this cult classic. The show includes many of the original songs from the animated film, and is narrated by Max the Dog. Beautiful sets and stunning costumes will transport the whole family into the animated world of the Grinch for this fun holiday show. The Denver Center is always a wonderful place to see some live theater, and this is the perfect show to enjoy the holiday season.
Parade of Lights
14th and Bannock
Denver, CO 80203
Date: Dec. 5-6, 2014
One of the very best annual holiday traditions in Denver, the Parade of Lights is sure to get you singing carols and dreaming of sugar plums. For 40 years, this annual tradition has featured local marching bands, floats filled with thousands of twinkling lights, the always fun Major Waddles the Penguin and, of course, the big guy himself, Santa Claus. The two-mile parade route is long enough that you’ll surely be able to find a great place to see the lights, but you’ll want to arrive early for the best spot. Make sure to dress warmly and bring a thermos of hot chocolate, as it will get quite cold during the event.
Loveland Ski Area
Exit 216, Interstate 70
Georgetown, CO 80444
You can’t visit Colorado in the winter without taking at least one day to hit the slopes. Loveland Ski Area is the perfect place for both beginners and experts, with the expansive slopes and variety of challenges. If you’ve never skied before, check out the deals on classes and learn from the experts. Or, if you are already a seasoned ski bunny, then just hit the chairlifts and head up for as many runs as you care to get in. There is a full rental shop on the premises there, so you won’t need to worry about carting gear up from Denver. Then, once you’ve worn your muscles out on the runs, hit the lodge and cozy up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and your sweetheart. Now that is what makes Colorado so special.
Related: Top Holiday Escapes Near Denver
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.