A good friends brother recently opened a restaurant in Denver, so we went to celebrate her birthday at his restaurant-yeah birthdays! Turns out that it is super easy to stay in downtown Denver-a ton of stuff is within walking distance or the 16th street trolley. The only non-obvious part is getting from the airport to downtown. The hotels don't seem to offer the service. There are cabs. There are shuttles. Of course the rental car agencies have a bit of racket this way, so you just have to figure out what is best for your situation.
We met up with our little friends Tonia and Michael, and Lori and BK (Bad Karma) at the hotel downtown and head straight to dinner. The restaurant is Cholon, a modern Asian Bistro. We ate a ton of super yummy foods. My favorites were the soup dumplings (French onion soup inside a dumpling!), the beet drink and kaya toast (amazing coconut jam). The atmosphere is open and relaxed and I love that you can see the whole workings of the kitchen. They also have a window in the kitchen that looks out onto the street, so if you walk by you can see the prep work happening-big fun!
After dinner we do a little bit of shopping, it is a vibrant downtown area and you can get coffee, clothes, art, pretty much anything you can think of. We have the best time at the hat store, Goorin Brothers. They have a fantastic selection of styles and fabrics. Between us all we manage to buy 3 or 4 hats that we didn't even know we needed :)
Saturday morning we took a tour of downtown Denver...but we also got involved in the 1922 Denver Mint robbery! This is a cool activity that I haven't seen in any other city-it combines a tour with a bit of a mystery/scavenger hunt, while meeting some of the characters involved in the robbery. We learned about the history of downtown Denver and saw its great modern points as well. I won't give away any of the secrets, but if you have a couple hours this it great activity for any size of type of group. Denver Inside and Out.
For lunch we go to the Ships Tavern in the historical Brown Palace. The food and drinks were great, but the best part was the atmosphere. They have historical model ships all over as decorations and ship themed everything. The main lobby also serves high tea-something to do next time! For the rest of the afternoon we didn't want to do much of anything. So we had massages at Elixir and then lounged around the hotel bar. One final shopping stop to get some more warm clothes, because Denver is cold! We go to the Overland Sheepskin store and buy a really cool recycled hat and scarf combo.
Another fancy dinner, this time at Table 6. This is a place for the young hipsters for sure. The atmosphere is casual (chicken themed knick-knacks all over the place) but the food is high end. Beet salad, charcuterie plate, cheese plate, spaghetti and tater tots all in one place! That's it-a fun birthday weekend in Denver!