I could list about a thousand things that I love about Denver and the surrounding area. I moved here because for the first time in my life, I fell in love with a place. I’ve traveled pretty frequently in the last ten years (although not as much as it seems if you take out trips “back home”) but when I visited Denver in 2010, I just knew I had to move here. I loved my time in Seattle and Greece and NYC (and on and on) but I didn’t feel as if those places were calling me home. But Denver did. There is never a day where you can’t find something to do- a concert, a festival, a race, an exhibit, a show, an amazing restaurant or coffee shop to try, or a trip into the mountains. I will limit my post to four, otherwise it will never end!
#1 Union Station
Union Station was renovated and reopened last year and it is one of my favorite places in Denver itself. It’s over one hundred years old and has the best 1910-20’s style. (Side note- I’ve always wanted to live in the 20s and be a flapper so this place is beyond perfect for me). Besides being an active public transit terminal, it has about a dozen other awesome shops. I’m actually sort of cheating because Union Station has a couple of my favorite places all in one stop: Snooze- one of my favorite brunch destinations, a small Tattered Cover bookshop, and a local flower shop right smack in the middle of it. There are also restaurants (like Mercantile Provision- AMAZING coffee and cheese selections), an ice cream shop, a few boutiques, and a bar or two. Throw in antique seating, lighting, and décor and I’m in heaven.
#2 Jake’s Brew Bar
Jake’s is a coffee shop/ beer garden that has the best of both worlds. I loved going into Jake’s to study during Seminary. Or to grab a beer with my classmates and professor after the semester ended. Which happened more than once actually. I mainly love this place because of the memories created and conversations shared within its walls.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Denver! Tyler and I randomly picked it for our anniversary the first year we lived here and it has become my special occasion spot. It’s a modern take on southern food and it makes me feel at home. It reminds me of my absolute favorite restaurant in OKC, Cheever’s, but with a slightly more Cajun style menu. I’ve had crawfish with grits and chicken and waffles, y’all. (Don’t you think those menu choices necessitated a “y’all”?) But Tyler had ceviche once, so the menu is varied, which is always good for keeping us from ordering the same thing over and over. I also really enjoy the atmosphere and South Pearl Street itself, so overall one of the best in my opinion.
#4 Estes Park
Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are not in Denver, but they are my favorite places in Colorado. There are so many cute little mountain towns with great coffee shops and views. But Estes holds a special place in my heart. Tyler took me there on our first visit, he proposed in RMNP and then we eloped there 8 months later. I love it. Anyone who has come to visit me has been taken to Estes. There is something about that place that puts me in a good mood and makes me feel at peace. There are cute touristy shops, restaurants, and everything you’d expect from a small town in the mountains. But more than that, it has the memories of the beginning of a life with the man I love.