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. More about Denver: Stapleton & Aurora, Park Hill, Cherry Creek & Washington Park, Capitol Hill & Lincoln Park.
Downtown Denver is exciting with so much to see, eat, and shop. LoDo has historic Larimer Square and Union Station. Highland Park is a vibrant area for restaurants. So many things to do in the mile high city!
The Brown Palace Hotel was built in 1892 and is an early example of an atrium lobby (9 stories tall!). I love the red granite and sandstone exterior and the triangle shape. Many famous people have stayed at the Brown Palace, including President Teddy Roosevelt.
Even if you don’t stay there, you must go by and visit the Brown Palace. We enjoy eating in the Ship Tavern, the casual restaurant with great hamburgers.
Afternoon tea is served daily in the lobby from 12 to 4 pm. I loved seeing the families with young children all dressed up for tea. The Brown Palace also has Ellyngtons for breakfast and brunch, Palace Arms for fine dining, and Churchill Bar for cocktails, cigars, and lunch and dinner. https://www.brownpalace.com/
Larimer Square is one of my favorite areas to wander. I’ve always liked the Cry Baby Ranch shop and there are lots of shops, markets, and restaurants along Larimer Street. The first house in Denver was built by General Larimer in the 1850s on a street near Cherry Creek. This area became Denver’s first historic district in 1971 and is a great historic example of reclaiming an old downtown. https://www.larimersquare.com/
Tom’s Urban is one of my favorite spots for brunch/breakfast. This location is in the 1882 Granite Building. I like the mid-century décor and they make homemade poptarts! Pimm’s Cup, chilaquiles, and pop tart make one of my most memorable breakfasts! They are open from 6 am until late night daily. I’m campaigning for Tom’s to open a location in my hometown! http://tomsurban.com/denver/
Auraria Campus is a 150-acre downtown college campus. It is home to Auraria Higher Education Center, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver. The Tivoli Student Union is worth a visit. It is a renovated German brewery, dating back to 1866. The Tivoli Brewery Taphouse, coffee, campus bookstore, and other food vendors are all available. There is a parking garage at 9th Street and Auraria Parkway. https://www.ahec.edu/
Union Station in LoDo is an Amtrak station and also home to much more, including bus and light rail. The Crawford Hotel is part of the station along with many shops and restaurants. The Romanesque building is on the National Historic Register. https://unionstationindenver.com/
duo Restaurant is in the Highland Park area northwest of downtown. It serves a famous brunch on Saturday and Sunday and is open for dinner daily. They partner with local farms, brewers, and more to make very seasonal Rocky Mountain dishes. There are excellent offerings for vegetarians. https://duorestaurants.com/
cocktails and first course
main dish and dessert
Places to stay in downtown Denver
Two hotels I can recommend in downtown are the Grand Hyatt Denver and the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Live music, good bars and breakfast, and convenient locations.
Denver Colorado Map
Next time we go I’d like to go to afternoon tea at the Brown Palace.
Resource Links for downtown Denver
- Denver history from Visit Denver
- Railroads in Colorado from History Colorado
- Eater Denver
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