The trip to Denver started with the conversation with my close friend who wanted to travel somewhere else during this winter as much as I wanted. We tried to find our common interest for the trip(and considering budget as well) and my friend was eager to explore nature. Then, I looked up the map and Denver with mountain geography caught my eyes and suggested the idea to my friend. Plus, the flight ticket was quite cheap so we made a decision to travel to Denver.
Personally, Denver was a place where I shortly bypassed on the way to Breckenridge about 4 years ago. Time flies fast! At that time, I was mesmerized by the view with mountain covered with snow and skyscrapers nearby.
On the first day of the trip, we went to Christmaskindl at the heart of the Denver downtown. December 23rd was the last day of the market opening so you guys should wait until December 2018(or maybe Nov) to experience this in Denver. You can take a free ride bus running along 16th Street Mall if you are reluctant to walk. It’s quite a small market( of course, compared to the market in Europe) but you won’t get tired of looking and smelling of delicious German food like Currywurst,Gulash,Apfelstrudel and different kind of Central European food. If you like drinking during Happy Hour, the market is selling a glass of Paulaner beer for $3 and $4 for Gluehwein. Inside of the big tent at the corner of the market, there are several performances and a lot of big tables so you can have food there without shivering.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This is the main reason of choosing to go to Denver. Beautiful mountain with a lot of cute animals! On the way to mountain, we were able to spot many elks and deers. They seem so used to people getting excited about seeing them so they didn’t try to hide from people. We also stopped by Sprague lake and hiked around the lake for about 45 min. The rim of lakes were frozen so we were able to walk on the lake, literally. For some people, it seems like it’s their first experience of walking on the frozen lake. Although it looks really beautiful covered with snow, I thought it could be even more colorful in fall. There were not many people on the day we went so we had a better opportunity to enjoy serendipity of the nature.
On the way down to Denver from the mountain, we stopped by famous Stanley Hotel. This hotel has classic-old ambience that welcomes strangers and tourists. If you are a fan of Stephen King’s works, this name would ring a bell.
Stephen King actually wrote his one of the famous novels,”Shining” staying at Stanley Hotel. So people say he was inspired by this hotel for writing the novel. And you won’t forget Jack Nicholson’s acting in the movie.
But nowadays, it doesn’t have any horror atmosphere at all. Or maybe I would know better if I stay there overnight and possibly change my word.
Red Rock Amphitheater
When singers have nation wide reputation and will perform around Denver area, it’s likely that they would have a concert at this amphitheater. This concert venue away from Denver for about 20-30 min by car is very unique place in many ways. First, the rock is quite different with other rocks around this area. It took the natural amphitheater of Red Rocks over 200 million years to form. I’m pretty sure the architect who invented the idea to build the theater here must be creative that awed many people.
For your information, you have to climb up many stairs so be prepared to walk a lot! When we went there, some parts of the stairs were covered with snow and ice so it can be slippery in winter. We got here around the sunset time so there were not many people than we expected.
For your information, Coors Brewery is 10 minutes drive from this place so you can take extra trip to enjoy free beer from Coors.
Boulder is one of the suburban cities around Denver and it’s closer to Rocky Mountain. You can take a bus to Boulder from Denver Union Station and the ticket was $9 for one round trip. It’s famous for University of Colorado-Boulder campus and Pearl Street Mall. The city doesn’t have a lot of attractions but it is certainly charming with many cute shops. My old friend who used to live in Colorado strongly recommended to visit Boulder for short day trip so we decided to visit there. Indeed, we enjoyed spending time with shopping(mostly eye shopping) and walking around neighborhood. The neighborhood is not too different from typical American neighborhood but it has a really nice view of mountain.
Before the trip, we were a little bit worried that we could run out of things to enjoy. But Denver offered a lot of interesting places to visit. Hopefully, in the future, I could visit here again in different season so I can experience variety scenes of Rocky Mountain.