Last week Marketing Associate, Brenna Shea, took a trip to Denver, Colorado! She spent 4 nights and 3 full days in downtown Denver and spent one of those days exploring Estes Park and Boulder. This was her first time traveling out west, it is even more beautiful in person out there! She was constantly in awe of being surrounded by stunning mountains and all of the other natural beauty. She also explored many local restaurants and everything was AMAZING! If you are looking for a destination to visit that truly has it all, you should definitely take a trip to Denver! We will be including links to the Instagram accounts of all of the places mentioned so you can add them to your Denver bucket list. Keeping reading to hear more about her trip!
Day 1: Exploring the Denver food scene
Our first full day in Denver started with brunch at The District. The food was fantastic here! I ordered the waffle sliders, and they were delicious!! (Check out the photo below) We went on a Thursday morning right when they opened, so there were not too many other people there yet. By the time we left, more people began to show up. The restaurant is currently operating at a 50% capacity for indoor seating as well as outdoor seating. It was a chillier day, so we opted for indoor seating. They do not take reservations for their daily brunch, so I would recommend going earlier in the day!
Because of the change in weather (it ended up being colder and rainier than we anticipated) we decided to have a relaxing afternoon back at our Airbnb and then headed out later that night for dinner. We chose to go to Avanti Food & Beverage for our first dinner. Avanti is a “collective eatery”, pretty much a grown-up food court, with 6 different restaurant concepts. This gave everyone plenty of options to order whatever type of cuisine they were in the mood for! For this meal, I ordered a skinny margarita and the brunch burger (you will see a common theme with all of my meals, I’m clearly a HUGE fan of burgers and breakfast sandwiches!) from Knockabout Burgers.
After dinner at Avanti, we had reservations right across the street at Happy Camper for dessert and drinks! We had originally planned on going here for dinner or brunch, but the reservations fill up quickly. I would recommend making them as far in advance as possible! We made ours the day before and the only time slot we were able to get was 9:30pm. It worked out in the end because of the location being so close to other amazing restaurants! I ordered a Moscow mule and for the table we ordered “The Trifecta”, 3 Rice Krispy ice cream sandwiches (Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, and cake batter flavors), and a s’mores skillet, which included graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallow & caramel drizzle topped with a scoop of ice cream. It was all so delicious! Because of the weather that night the restaurant was enclosed, but on a beautiful day the entire place is opened and from pictures I have seen it looks even more amazing.
Day 2:Estes Park and dinner in Boulder
The next morning we woke up early and jumped in the car for the 1.5 hour drive up to Estes Park! The views were amazing even just during the drive, so we knew we were in store for a great day. We arrived at Rocky Mountain National Park around 10:30am and stayed until about 1pm. This was a great time to go because it was not too crowded yet! If we would have been staying in Estes Park, we would have gone even earlier to beat the crowds. We parked at the Bear Lake Trail head and made our way to explore Dream Lake and Bear Lake. The snow-covered trees and frozen lakes made for beautiful views the entire time! It was very cool to walk on top of the lakes rather than hiking around them. Check out a couple photos from my time at Rock Mountain National Park!
Around lunch time we decided to explore the main strip of downtown Estes Park. The streets are lined with souvenir, ice cream, and candy shops! We went into many stores to pick up souvenirs for ourselves and our friends and families. After some shopping we grabbed coffee and snacks at Inkwell & Brew, an artisan shop for fountain pens, ink, fine paper & other writing supplies with craft coffee drinks.
We had dinner reservations in downtown Boulder that night, so we decided to head to Boulder a couple hours before to explore the city. Downtown Boulder is a great area for walking around and shopping! We loved getting to explore a bit before our meal. Then we made our way to Rio Grande for some fantastic Mexican food and beautiful rooftop views! I ordered a grilled steak burrito and a blood orange margarita. It was probably the best margarita I have ever had! Blood oranges have a very short season (February 8-March 8), so Rio Grande has special menu items that feature blood oranges. We also loved dining on their rooftop patio, which offers an amazing combination of city and mountain views. Watching the sun set over the Flatirons was such a treat!
Day 3: Brunch and Red Rocks Park
We started our final day in Denver with brunch at The Lobby. I ordered the Hot Box, a breakfast sandwich with black forest ham, house-pulled mozzarella, candied bacon, berry jam, and over-easy eggs on stout-battered French toast. This was probably the best food I had the entire trip! They also had great mimosas served in oversized glasses. We enjoyed our time there and once we were finished, we decided to head to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. Later that day we had dinner at Ale House. We ordered burgers and wine, which was the perfect way to end our trip!
We had an amazing time in Colorado! I can’t wait to get back there soon. There is still so much to see and do in Denver and the surrounding areas! I'd love to go in the fall to see the changing colors and explore more parks and hiking trails.
Are you interested in taking a trip to Colorado? Contact one of our experienced Travel Consultants today. Call 314-439-5700 or email us!
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