Top Literary Landmarks In Denver

January 18, 2014 6:00 AM

Brown Palace Hotel Brown Palace Hotel (credit: CBS)

The Denver metro area is packed full of interesting people, historical sites and fun things to do, so it’s no surprise that the city has been featured as the setting for several books. From classics such as Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” to more recent fare like “Bluetick Revenge” by Mark Cohen, there are a lot of literary locations in town. There are also several sites that provide historical context for classic authors. For book aficionados or people who like to visit new and interesting places in the city, here are some literary haunts that you can add to your itinerary or even hold book club meetings in.

Hotel Boulderado
2115 13th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 442-4344

While the Hotel Boulderado is featured in more than one work of fiction, one of the most famous literary works to feature the hotel is Stephen King’s “Misery.” The historical hotel features classic architecture and still looks similar to the way it did when it was built in 1909. In the book, the hotel serves as the backdrop where author Paul Sheldon completes his novels. Experience the hotel for yourself. It is conveniently located within walking distance of the Pearl Street Mall and is close to Boulder’s hiking trails. Book a weekend getaway, and you can walk in the shoes of author Paul Sheldon.

The Cruise Room at the Oxford Hotel
1659 Wazee St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 825-1107

Located in the historic Oxford Hotel, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Union Station, The Cruise Room is a fun place to hang out for a night on the town. The bar appears several times in Kristen Ashley’s “Rock Chick” book series, which is a series of books about a group of girls called the Rock Chicks and the guys with whom they become entangled. Indy, Jet and Daisy occasionally meet at the bar to make plans over martinis, and this bar is just as chic in real life as it is in the books. Schedule your own “Rock Chick” evening and enjoy the art deco interior of The Cruise Room while enjoying a classic cocktail.

Related: Top Bars with History in Denver

The Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 297-3111

This legendary hotel was once the place to go for Denver’s elite. Famous patrons include Molly Brown, The Beatles, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, among others. While the Brown Palace pops up in pretty much any travel guide related to Denver, it also appears in other books such as, “Murder at the Brown Palace: A True Story of Seduction and Betrayal” by Dick Kreck. This book tells the tale of the murder of a Denver socialite in the 1800s. The book is a chronicle of one of the most famous crimes and trials in early Denver history. The Brown Palace is also a good place for history buffs as it is a destination of the infamous “bootleg tunnels” that once traversed the city.

Cherry Creek Grill
184 Steele St.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-3524

Evergreen-based author Diane Mott Davidson puts a unique spin on mystery novels. Her “Goldy Schulz” series revolves around this heroine who runs a catering company called Goldilocks Catering, which is located in Aspen Meadow, Colorado (based on Evergreen). Each mystery features recipes that readers can make, and some of them are inspired by Denver fare. Her book, “The Whole Enchilada,” features a recipe inspired by The Cherry Creek Grill’s Macho salad. The restaurant features a rich selection of American fare that is expertly crafted. With prompt and courteous service, this place is a must for those who want a pleasant dining experience.

Arnett Fullen House (The Gingerbread House)
646 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 444-5192

This classic Victorian house on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall offers a glimpse into history. It was damaged in the blizzard of 2006 but is being restored. It is open to the public year-round, and features architectural detailing from the mid to late 19th century. The house serves as the backdrop to the Marlys Millhiser book, “The Mirror.” In this book, the main character time travels through an antique mirror and ends up in her grandmother’s body. A trip through the house makes it easy to visualize travel through time, so walk through the house and then read the book for a richer reading experience.

Related: Top Historical Sites In Denver

Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at