Denver Colorado is an exciting city to visit, one mile high near the Rocky Mountains. From its beginning in 1858 as a gold-mining town, it has grown around the South Platte River, Cherry Creek, and historic Colfax Avenue to encompass several communities and many things to do.
Cheesman Park and City Park are east of downtown Denver. These parks are home to two wonderful sites to visit.
Denver Botanic Gardens is located in historic Cheesman Park, south of 13th Avenue. Gardens and horticultural collections are displayed on 24 acres of land with water features, architectural objects, and fantastic artwork. Plan to spend 2 or more hours when you visit. The parking deck is on York on the east side, across from the gardens. There is some street parking in the neighborhood. You enter through an elegant gift shop to buy your tickets.
This such a great place to walk and wander: tropical conservatory, herb garden, Bible garden, art work, Victorian garden, Monet garden, and more. I especially enjoyed the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory and the Monet Pool. There are so many pockets and quiet places to reflect. And there are permanent sculptures and artwork along with regular exhibits. Admission is $12.50 for adults. Check the website for seasonal hours. https://www.botanicgardens.org/york-street/our-gardens You can take virtual tours of the Gardens at this link: http://navigate.botanicgardens.org/weboi/oecgi2.exe/INET_ECM_ListTours
Denver Museum of Nature and Science is located in City Park, off of Colorado Boulevard south of 26th Avenue. The museum is home to an IMAX theater and a planetarium. The museum has 3 floors of dinosaurs, Egypt, gems and minerals, space, and special exhibits. The museum is open 9 to 5 daily except Christmas Day and Adult admission is $16.95. There are extra charges for the IMAX and the planetarium shows. My favorite exhibits are the Gems and Minerals and North American Indian Cultures. Denver Museum of Nature and Science has something for everybody: dinosaurs, space, Egyptian mummies, Native Americans, wildlife, and rocks! http://www.dmns.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/
A great place to eat is the classic steakhouse, Bastien’s Restaurant. We’ve eaten at steak places with more famous names in Denver, but our niece showed us that classic and local can definitely be better. The Bastien family has been running a restaurant in this Colfax Avenue location since 1937. I love the atmosphere, from the old-school font neon sign outside to the circus tent shape to the classic mid 20th century menu offerings and cocktails. It really has kind of a Rat Pack vibe.
Appetizers include classic escargot (with lots of garlic, butter and cheese) and warm brie. Bastien’s most famous steak is the sugar steak, a New York strip cooked at high heat in a blend of sugar and savory spices. It’s tender with great taste and the rub caramelizes into a kind of thin steak sauce. Seafood, salads, and a large dessert offering round out the menu. http://bastiensrestaurant.com/
Denver Colorado Map
Next time we go I’d like to visit the Pavilion at Cheesman Park and the Denver Zoo in City Park.
- Denver bucket list from Thrillist
- Denver city guide from Tasting Table
- 25 Classic Restaurants from Eater Denver