The Definitive Guide to Denver and Colorado

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in Dining & Nightlife/Front Range Activities/Front Range Attractions/Front Range Dining & Nightlife/Front Range Shopping/Shopping/Uncategorized by



It’s no secret that Colorado’s real estate market is booming, spurred by an influx of out-of-staters making the Centennial state their home. While many consider Denver or Boulder favorable places to settle down, they often overlook one of Colorado’s most beautiful and understated municipalities: the city of Golden.

Golden rests in a basin against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, below the North and South Table Mountains. On one side the city is marked by the prominent “M” for the School of Mines; on the other with the infamous “G” of Golden. Golden’s prime location serves as a focal point between Denver, Boulder and Evergreen, and offers a direct route to Black Hawk and canyon access – bypassing traffic to the slopes.

The city’s history is traced to its establishment in 1859. Proudly proclaimed across its welcome banner in the heart of downtown, Golden’s slogan is simply, “Where the West Lives,” and this declaration couldn’t be truer. This city is rich in history and continues to embody that spirit with barn wood trimmings, stucco-styled homes and architecture reminiscent of the Old West.

Yet for all its storied past, Golden is becoming increasingly modern, with red cobbled brick lining pedestrian walkways and immaculate landscaping  – lending the town the uniquely dichotic feeling of being in two periods at the same time.

While technically a college town, home to the School of Mines, Golden does not resonate with that trait. A top-notch university, The School of Mines was recently rated the top engineering school in the nation by College Factual. Clearly, the college is not home to lackadaisical students. In fact, these students are ambitious and disciplined learners, attending the university not for a good time, but for the most advantageous career achievable. While they may go out on the weekends to the Swig Tavern, students are more likely to spend their free time studying or experiencing the great outdoors.

Golden’s myriad outdoor activities attract athletic enthusiasts by the droves. Colin Endsley, an outdoor adventurer who has lived in Golden for a little over a year says, “Golden is great in that you can walk in any direction from town and find some trail to fall into,” and truly there aren’t enough trails to behold. Golden’s trails are perfect for hikers and cyclists – Lookout Mountain serving as a popular route for the avid cyclist – and the views from each trail are spectacular, ranging from downtown Denver to DIA and back to the formidable Rockies.

Yet the ample trails are just a sampling of what Golden offers. There are also water sports such as tubing and kayaking (when the water flow is safe) from the Clear Creek River, and fishing for Rainbow and Brown trout for the avid angler.

Of special note is Golden’s popularity for the extreme sport of hang gliding. Windy Saddle Park offers a great launch point for hang gliders, and these colorful contraptions can be seen sashaying down the mountain most Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months.

Outdoors aside, one of Golden’s leading attractions is its quaint downtown, a charming and unassuming destination for tourists and locals alike. Downtown Golden is privileged to have so many locally owned restaurants and shops that could keep the body feasting and the mind entertained for days. Home to the infamous Coors Brewery and seasonal farmer’s market, the area embodies everything regionally Colorado.

Notable boutiques include Spinster Sisters Co., which now offers three locations in the Denver metro area (Golden serving as its home base). Opened in 2011, its founder Kelly Perkins calls her products “an alternative to the witches’ brew of 

chemicals that many mod

ern skin care products represent.” From body scrubs to men’s shaving cream, Perkins and her team will keep your skin singing and fantastically fresh, no matter how dry Colorado’s air may be.

Sharing a storefront with Spinster Sisters is Baby Doe’s, a retailer showcasing relaxed and bohemian styles for the laid-back mountainista, as well as the craftsmanship of more than 40 regional artisans. Now under new ownership, Baby Doe’s offers a fresh look and feel that is sure to keep visitors stopping in to shop at one of the downtown area’s well-known establishments.

While the shopping is great

, the dining options are varied and delicious. If you’re looking for a good beer and a good time, there’s the Golden Moon Speakeasy and Buffalo Rose with live music weekly. If you’re following your taste buds and looking for superb dishes, you can venture over to Woody’s Pizza or Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar; Indulge has perhaps the best iced tea in Colorado, which they’ll bring to you by the pitcher.

When you’re ready for dessert, a must-visit is the family-owned and operated Gold Mine Cupcakes. Recently  named by as one of the top 16 best bakeries in the U.S., the bakery offers delicious, made-from-scratch creations served fresh by an even sweeter staff. Gold Mine Cupcakes will surely satisfy your sweet tooth with its assortment of 35 flavors and specials daily.

With all these successful businesses and the city’s incredible geography, it’s no wonder people are choosing to explore and settle down in Golden. The once outdated homes are constantly under renovation and are becoming prime real estate for those looking to live the mountain lifestyle, while not sacrificing proximity to the Denver area.

In the future, more local businesses will continue to take root and make their home in Golden. Thoughtful development and growth will only add to the area’s allure as a destination spot for visitors looking for something unique and special, and locals wanting to stake their claim in this unsung gem of Colorado’s landscape.

Food Trucks at Civic Center

in Attractions/Festivals/Front Range Attractions/Uncategorized by



On a warm sunny day, consider taking a stroll through Civic Center Park, a vibrant, historic area at Colfax and Broadway that marks the city’s hub of culture and government. Within walking distance of the stunning architectural campus, you will find the Denver Art Museum, The Denver Central Library, the Clyfford Still Museum, the U.S. Mint, The Colorado State Capitol, the 16th Street Mall and the Golden Triangle Museum District.

      But the tastiest part of the outing takes place right in the middle of the park, where food trucks line up every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to offer passers-by  some of the tastiest fare in the city. The weekly event is called Civic Center EATS, and is produced by Civic Center Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that is working to reclaim the area as the vibrant community asset its founders envisioned.

     It’s literally a party every week, when Metro Denver’s largest gathering of gourmet food trucks serve up an incredible array of great food, enticing downtown employees, residents and visitors to experience the beauty of the Civic Center. The event is highlighted by gorgeous views and live music, all enjoyed under cover of umbrella-shaded tables or in the sunshine.

     In the mood for some great BBQ? Or something lighter like a salad or wrap? Maybe you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and crave some Ethiopian fare or an Indian dish. The choices are all there, and the most difficult part of your lunch will be deciding first which truck to try, and then … the hardest part of all … what’s for dessert?

     The trucks make their appearance on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., May 2 – October 5. Civic Center EATS posts ongoing events, food truck lists and music lineups on a variety of social media:

Facebook: @CivicCenterEATS

Twitter: @civiccenterpark

Instagram: @civiccenterdenver

Hashtags: #civiccentereats #CCEATS

Off the Grid: White Fence Farm

in Attractions/Dining & Nightlife/Front Range Attractions/Front Range Dining & Nightlife/The Colorado Blog by

Want to discover places only the locals know about? Longtime Denverite Bill Husted introduces you to this hidden gem:

The Denver dining scene has exploded in the past decade, with nationally recognized eateries opening on every corner. Expensive and somewhat precious, Denver restaurants are to be reckoned with. Ask any foodie.

But one mess hall has been serving up exactly the same simple grub since 1973 to hundreds of people every night (except Mondays). On Mothers Day and Easter they serve more than 3,000. That’s a lotta fried chicken.

Yup, fried chicken. Finger lickin’ chicken at White Fence Farm. Sitting on an eight-acre spread in Lakewood, a short drive from downtown Denver, this extra family-friendly eatery keeps it simple. Oh it serves salmon and the obligatory steak – but people come here for the fried chicken and the sides. The chicken comes piled high, a sizzling plateful the size of your head, almost impossible to finish. And the sides keep coming, bowls of bean salad, coleslaw, cottage cheese, pickled beets, hot corn fritters, chicken gravy, potatoes mashed, French fried and baked. This is all so homey and genuine you think Tom Saw- yer is your waiter.

WFF is run by legendary Denver restaurateur Craig Caldwell. For de- cades he operated sports bars like Brooklyn’s, checking IDs and planning Happy Hours. Now at WWF it’s always Happy Hour with families and friends pouring in for that familiar chicken.

If there’s a wait, no one seems to mind. They literally like to wait because they’re on the farm and there’s plenty to do. Dancing to a live band, petting the three goats, squeezing the balloon animals, chasing the geese, watching the model trains, climbing the tree house, eating the fudge, posing for the period photographs – even bellying up to the bar for a drink.

This is not your usual tourist destination. This is its own little corny world from yesterday. Work up an appetite and a sense of humor. White Fence Farm has a chicken with your name on it.

Denver Restaurant Week


Denver’s 13th Annual restaurant week is better than ever before! With over 150 menus to browse with three affordable price points: $25, $35, and $45, there are endless options for delicious dining.

Mile-High Cocktails

in Front Range Dining & Nightlife by

The Sophisticate’s Guide to the City’s Best HAPPY HOURS!

“Looks like you have a lot on your mind … Do you want to drink about it?”

     Another long day is winding down. Feeling tired, a bit overwhelmed, and plagued by a case of the blahs. But wait. There’s hope. The allure of plush leather. Soft lighting and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.  And then … wait for it because here’s the best part … the guy on the other side of the counter glances your way, smiles engagingly and asks, “What will it be?”

     Magically, those four words transform your mood, and you feel your spirit soar as the burdens of the arduous day begin to fade. Yes, it’s happy hour, a time for fun and frivolity, innovative cocktails and witty conversation.

     For many of us, relief in the form of a refreshing cocktail is a fabulous way to unwind, kick back, and shake off the day. In a flash (or a glass), memories of a tedious board meeting, a high-stakes business appointment or even a spat on the homefront can dissipate. Yes, it’s Happy Hour, a time to rekindle romance, bare your soul to a friend, or forge a new relationship.

     Now let’s focus on you, weary traveler. After a long day of frenetic business meetings, what better way to chill than in a sophisticated outdoor setting with the sun on your face, a cool breeze, and an ice-cold beverage?  But worry not, happy hour is not just for corporate types. Even seasoned shoppers understand the value of letting their hair down at the end of a taxing day spent visiting the city’s great stores and boutiques – kind of like                  retail therapy followed by lounge therapy.

     So time to raise a glass, have some fun, and enjoy yourself in one of Denver’s many fabulous outdoor patios – where fun and sophistication are top of mind, while the people watching isn’t too bad either!

Elway’s Downtown at The Ritz Carlton

RCDENVR_00088Everyone loves The Ritz, and here in Colorado, everyone loves John Elway. So when it comes to an ideal place to relax at the end of the day, Elway’s at the Ritz-Carlton Denver delivers a winning combination. All summer long, the patio opens at 11 a.m. and remains active until closing. Daily happy hour features great food and drink from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Colorado Rockies home game days, happy hour heats up all day long! Live guitar music is a popular new attraction on Wednesday nights, featuring performances by Colin McAfee, who brings his St. Louis blues roots and acoustic sounds flavored after some of the greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix.

1881 Curtis St. in The Ritz Carlton


Del Frisco’s Grille in Cherry Creek North

DELFRISCOS_0102Newly opened and already this is a favorite among locals wanting to see and be seen in the Mile High city. The expansive new rooftop patio at Del Frisco’s Grille is perched nearly three stories above the street, offering up views of the eclectic Cherry Creek North neighborhood. The patio is beautifully appointed, with landscaping, fire features, and a lounge-like atmosphere including community tables and high-top tables. The rooftop patio has its own bar and entrance via elevator or grand staircase. And best of all, Del Frisco’s Grille’s great food and cocktails are available up on the roof!

100 St. Paul St.


Shanahan’s Steakhouse in The Denver Tech Center

patioIf you appreciate an original handcrafted cocktail accompanied by great food and great music, Shanahan’s Steakhouse is your bet. It’s upscale, tasteful and full of beautiful people having fun. The huge outdoor space is inviting and gorgeous, with contemporary furnishings, large glass windows that open into the restaurant, and live music all summer long. Propane heaters abound for cooler evenings, and a stunning two-story granite and quartz fireplace provides the perfect setting to gather round and raise a glass.

5085 Syracuse St.


The Palm in Downtown DenverPatio Table Cloths

Recently remodeled, The Palm Denver is a favorite of locals, who love the new open contemporary floor plan, large bar, great menu featuring classics and new dishes, and of course, signature caricatures flanking the walls. This summer, make sure you sample the new Summer Lobster special, accompanied by a fantastic new cocktail list. The Mile High Hanging Chad, created by local Palm bartender Chad Skrbina for the 2008 Democratic National Convention is a hit, along with the Bourbon Blackberry Smash. Happy hour takes place Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the gorgeous new bar, with half off all Prime Bites including oysters, calamari, cheeseburgers and more.

1672 Lawrence Street in The Westin Hotel


The Hyatt Aurora

Hyatt-Regency-Aurora-Borealis BarAurora has a new address, and it’s nothing short of spectacular. The new Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center opened this Spring, and boasts all the modern amenities that you’d expect from a luxury hotel. In additional to state-of-the-art meeting facilities, the hotel also has a beautiful outdoor terrace that accommodates guests and meeting goers. But our personal favorite spot is Borealis, the great restaurant that reflects a variety of culinary styles that let guests embark on a culinary journey presented by the hotel’s award-winning chef, Tim Freeman. Happy hour lives up to its name, where guests can unwind with cocktails or craft beer on the terrace. Every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., this is the perfect summer venue to enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling wine, a signature cocktail and delicious, mouthwatering hors d’ouevres.

13200 E. 14th Place


The ART Hotel in The Museum District

Nestled within a one-of-a-kind hotel is a one-of-a-kind venue that is a must-see for tourists desiring a cocktail with an artful twist. This unique hotel, ArtHotel_GardenTerraceFire_v2scentered on an experiential adventure, is part and parcel of what makes the spot so special. Up on the fourth floor is the FIRE Terrace, where patrons can savor cocktails and fare while watching the activity on Broadway Street. The terrace overlooks the city’s Museum District and History Colorado Center, and who can resist the ARTful cocktails paired with delicious nibbles and fun live entertainment.

1201 Broadway


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