Travel inspires us. It takes us to new places and new spaces; it transports our minds, animates our spirits, and enlivens our senses. Creative Coordinates, our travel guide series, charts the world’s creative hotspots – places beaming with musical, artistic, cultural, and culinary inspiration.
Denver. A city built for gold-miners and cowboys, it’s come a long way from its Wild West roots. Now a burgeoning metropolis, the mile-high city only continues to rise. With a new public transit system, an overall vibe that focuses on locally-produced and eco-friendly products, micro breweries and bud shops on every block, all an hour away from the skiing, hiking, rafting and camping of the Rocky Mountains, you’ll have plenty to keep you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Give yourself a day or so to acclimate—it really is a mile high.
Stay – Union Station All aboard and a forty-minute train ride from the airport, and you’ll find yourself in the city’s center. Restaurants, shopping, and fountains for the kids to splash in during the day all transform into a lively nighttime hangout with late-night eateries and bars to boot. Union Station is the perfect place to spend that acclimation day, get your bearings, get your fill, and venture on out after a good night’s rest.
Get Around This Mountain Town – Denver B-Cycle As one of the first cities to adopt a public bike share system, Denver’s B-Cycle has quickly become one of the most popular ways to get around town. User-friendly and fairly flat, even crosstown trips are easy. Save the Uber funds for later; this is the fun and fast way to get from Point A to Point B.
Morning Coffee – Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen Denver is big on “what’s old is new again” and Stowaway is a lovely version of that manifesto. What was once an old warehouse has transformed into a warmly lit, plant-filled, modern but earthy eatery. A globally-infused menu with fine coffee to match, this place is a must.
Arts and Culture – Denver Art Museum As one of the largest museums west of the Mississippi, DAM (as the locals call it) has plenty to offer. With ten permanent collections that feature art from all over the world, the museum keeps it lively with a steady flow of temporary collections and fun ways to interact with each exhibition. The building’s architecture alone is worth the visit. Just roll that B-Cycle on over.
Shop – Armitage & McMillan Where do all these good-looking mountain men get their stylish outdoor apparel? Here. This shop has the finest of modern but mountain-influenced style and a no-pressure, come-on-in-and-stay-awhile vibe.
Art, Again – Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Use the time you saved by traveling via B-Cycle to visit another fantastic museum, right in the middle of downtown Denver. True to its name, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a variety of contemporary collections, an interactive installation zone, and a café on the rooftop for lunch with a view.
Eats & Drinks – Avanti F&B Avanti uses the shipping containers lying along the land in Denver to its advantage. Inspired by food trucks, Avanti is a one stop shop for seven different restaurant options. It has a bar, a patio and (you guessed it) a place to park your B-Cycle.
Adventure – The Rockies You’ve acclimated by now, so head up to the mountains to see what those lungs can really do. It’s less than an hour’s drive to great hiking, skiing, or rafting (depending on the season), as well as popular natural hot spots like Red Rock. Go ahead and treat yourself with a break from the civilized norm: the wild is calling. Just make sure you pack a lot of water. At that elevation, you’ll need it.