“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
– John Muir
A couple weekend back, I met up with some of my wacky family in Denver, CO. I was flying in from Portland, my sister and bro-in-law came in from Seattle, and my dad, step-mom, and other sister came in from Phoenix. It was a good meeting point and we were anxious to explore a city that was very new to many of us.
I have not spent enough time in the Denver area to give you any sort of travel “advice” there, but we were given a great list of destinations from a small handful of Denver friends.
Instead of advice, I am just going to give you a walk-through of all the things we did and what I loved.
Thursday – Arrival
After everyone arrived at the airport, we grabbed our rental car and headed straight for our Airbnb. I have to praise this Airbnb in the for being one of the best I have stayed in. The home had three bedrooms, modern amenities, a complete kitchen with everything we needed, and a great backyard with a deck and hot tub. Plus, the host left us chocolate and wine, so he totally wins in my book.
Lunch – Torchy’s Tacos!
This place was amazing. This taco shop based out of Austin has a diverse menu and offers vegetarian options. It was so good, I had to get another round of tacos when I visited Houston last weekend.
Needing to get some work done, we walked across the street to Amethyst Coffee after lunch. I was instantly in LOVE with this place. They had a clean atmosphere, crystals all over the place, plants, and drinks named “YAS QUEEN”. And, they make their own cashew milk. I was one happy chick.
Stranahan’s was definitely ranked one of our top experiences while visiting Denver. We got there before our tour and ordered some delicious whiskey cocktails. Cheers to Sierra’s 21st Birthday! The tour itself was educational and entertaining. Our tour guide cracked the funniest jokes and I learned that I like whiskey 10x more with just a drop of water added. We stuck around afterwards and played some vicious rounds of cards.
Dinner & Dessert
We went to the Ale House in the Highlands for dinner, continuing our celebration of Sierra’s 21st with some beer flights and cool views of the city. Plus, we were walking distance from dessert at Little Man Ice Cream. I knew this place had to be good because there was a GIANT line to get to the shop, and it was cold outside! We skipped the line for a mini version of the shop with less variety, but it was still delicious.
Friday – Golden, CO & Baseball
We decided to get breakfast and coffee on the go from Whittier Cafe and headed up the hill towards Golden, CO. We stopped at some gorgeous lookout points on our way into Golden >
Side note: I wish I had spent more time at the coffee shop, Whittier Cafe. They had a very neighborhood feel, with tea ceremonies, and a patio full of locals. Seemed like the place to be.
Golden was a tad busier than we anticipated, as the college there was hosting graduation and the streets were packed with visiting families and tourists. We headed to a cafe for lunch and met up with one of my cousins who lives in the area.
I had to stay at the cafe and get some work done. Not complaining though, as the weather and the views were perfect.
The family was planning on stopping by Coors, but there was a long, long wait to get in the facility. Instead, the opted for a smaller brewery before picking me up to head back to the Airbnb, ready for a night of baseball.
So… I’m not a big sports fan… I like spending time with my family though, so baseball tends to be included. The Rockies Stadium in Denver, CO was a pretty cool stadium though, I will admit. Plus, their drinks are a reasonable price! Can you believe that?
I apologize… but I don’t really know what else to say about the game, because, sports.
Meeting other Remotes
I had a lucky excuse to leave baseball early and grabbed my little sister to tag along with me. We grabbed a bike taxi and made our way over to Matchbox in Rino where I was meeting up with some other Remotes (psst… other Remote Year participates). Jake and Ashe were great! It was awesome to meet others about to embark on the same adventure, who are facing the same worries and fears.
The best part: I was striking up random conversation with this cool chick at the bar. Turns out, she did Remote Year a couple years ago and was ecstatic about it. So reassuring!
Saturday: Exploring Denver
Saturday was a busy day with a lot of walking and eating and family fun.
But first… breakfast at Snooze.
Snooze is an AM Eatery, also located in the Phoenix area, that few people in my family had been to (don’t ask me how they missed out before; I have no idea). This is definitely one of my favorite places for breakfast. It’s worth the wait. It is worth the calories. It is worth the tiny moment of guilt about drinking alcohol that early in the morning… DO IT!
Shopping on Tennyson
We decided to go shopping on this cute street called Tennyson. Mostly, we wanted to go to Allegro Coffee Roastery and fell in love with other shops along the way. Josh fell in love with a cool beer shop, Cheyanne swooned at the book bar, and Sierra and I were super into all the trendy thrift shops.
Exploring the Denver Nature and Science Museum
I’ve gotta be honest about this one… not my favorite part of the trip. Yes, we got to watch a super coool IMAX video on extreme weather. Yes, we got to explore the exhibit on the Vikings. And yes, we got to sing Lion King songs to Josh in the African animals exhibit.
But… I feel like I have been a bit spoiled with Science Centers and it wasn’t as fun and interactive as the one in Phoenix. Plus, when you spend New Years Eve partying in the Seattle Science Center, nothing really compares anymore. It’s not your fault, Denver, it’s me….
Dinner – Tacos with the Family
Read more about our Taco Night here >
Sunday – Estes Park
Being an AZ girl, I had zero clue that you can be hot outside and see snow on the ground. What? I haven’t even left the country yet and there’s so much to learn!
Lunch & More Shopping
We had some of the best pizza at Antonio’s Real New York Pizza & Deli. They had great ratings on Google and did not disappoint! We did some walking around and shopping in Downtown Estes Park and stopped for a beer at The Barrel. And yes, we somehow thought it would be a cool idea to have a drink before horseback riding….
Horseback Riding at Sombrero Ranches
Besides the night in with family, this was my favorite thing we did in all of Colorado! We took a two-hour horseback ride through the gorgeous hills of Estes Park, stopping midway for a home cooked steak dinner (although, I don’t eat steak lol). It was incredible!
I loved doing something out of the ordinary with the family. I have not spent much time with horses, but I am pretty much rethinking all my life decisions. I want to spend WAY more time on horseback moving forward. I loved it. Plus, look at everyone’s happy faces.
Sombrero uses summer interns for tour guides and our gal was really cool. She had only been there a few days and had plenty to tell us about the area. She was fun, kind, and the kind of girl I would want to hang out with. I am a little irritated I don’t remember her name…. but I think it was Amanda (pictured above). Anyway, if her manager ever reads this, we LOVED her!
Monday morning sucked. We got up early and I had to squeeze my AZ family goodbye for now, as I headed off with Cheyanne and Josh to Seattle.
Denver was great and I would totally go again. Without question, I would spend an entire weekend in Estes Park, enjoying the wilderness and the quiet lifestyle.
Have you been to Denver? Tell me about your favorite parts!
PS > Here’s a video that sums up my family
Much love, Taryn
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