Hey, guys! I hope your week is going well! Ryan and I just got back from Colorado a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share some of my favorite things from our trip. There was so much beauty and fun to be seen and had in Colorado and we only got a week’s worth taste of it. But, I’m hoping to go back and explore other spots again soon. We started our trip off in Denver, so I’ll begin there and make my way to to the Boulder area.
Where to Stay:
We flew into Denver from Pittsburgh on a non-stop flight with United Airlines and for once did not have any issues with our luggage or flight there, LOL! We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Born in downtown Denver. It was awesome! If you’ve never stayed at a Kimpton before, I highly recommend it! We have one in Pittsburgh and it’s absolutely gorgeous and so artistically decorated! The Denver Kimpton Hotel Born was no exception. It’s brand new – just two years old, and is located right by Union Station (the train station) in Denver. Don’t be fooled though, our room overlooked the train station, but I never heard a train and I sleep lighter and later than anyone else I know! It was again, really well decorated in a theme that’s true to Colorado’s western history, but so modern at the same time. Our suite had a nice TV room and table for eating, as well as a HUGE bathroom, walk-in closet, and king size bed. It was perfect!
The hotel is a short distance to lots of attractions. You can walk to a lot of areas or take a quick ride in the hotel’s complimentary Tesla! For longer distances, we used Uber or Lyft. They have a complimentary wine hour, room service, a gym, and two restaurants: Tavernetta and Citizen Rail. We did not have the pleasure of eating at Tavernetta, but everywhere we went after we’d left people asked if we ate there. It was on our list, but we unfortunately ran out of time. So, if you’re staying there, be sure to grab a bite at Tavernetta!
What to Do:
There’s so much to do in Denver! We were only there for 2 days and as usual when traveling I had a rough day one of those days, so we focused on doing things that we love to do which are basically eating and shopping 🙂 But, there are incredible museums, botanical gardens, a zoo, and lots of cool shops and restaurants.
Our favorite area for shopping and dining was definitely Larimer Square. It’s so pretty especially at nighttime because they have string lights lit up all the way down the street. It’s not actually a square, but rather a stretch of one street.
I was so excited to visit Denver for many reasons, but one of them is that they have a store on Larimer street called Aillea that carries ALL clean, non-toxic beauty products! It was amazing! So many incredible brands and everything you could wish to find in the clean beauty world was in that store. I got an awesome eyeshadow palette that is so good! It was so nice to get to sample clean beauty products. There aren’t any stores like this near Pittsburgh, so I felt like I was in heaven for a little bit 🙂 If you’re in Denver, and love clean beauty like I do, be sure to check it out!
My favorite boutique on Larimer Square was Hailee Grace. They had a lot of my favorite brands and so many other cute ones I hadn’t heard of! Plus, the pricing is doable. I hate when you walk into a boutique and everything is $11k and you have to act casual, smile and leave, LOL. This one has quality brands but also affordable and is super cute!
We went to the Molly Brown House one day, but unfortunately it was just closing. Molly Brown was a famous Denver citizen. She was a survivor of the Titantic and a humanitarian! (Kathy Bates played an exaggerating version of her in the movie “Titanic”!) She did a lot of great things with her wealth, and I find that to be super inspiring. Plus, I LOVE touring old homes. So, check that out if you’re into history and females who crush life. 🙂
Since our hotel was right by Union Station, we obviously checked that out! It’s an old train station that’s been converted into a beautiful shopping and dining attraction. The trains still run through there, but the inside of the building is now more of a social gathering place. There is also a hotel connected to it. We went and got tea at Mercantile Dining & Provision and walked around all of the shops inside the station. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour so.
There were some spots we wanted to visit but didn’t get a chance, such as RiNo, which stands for River North. It’s an artsy neighborhood in Denver with more shops and restaurants. It sounded right up my alley, so if I were to go again, I’d definitely check it out! Also, we heard great things about Comedy Works located on Larimer Square, too. We love comedy shows, so next time that’s on our list!
Where to Eat:
RIOJA: We ate here for dinner our first night in Denver. We sat outside and it was so pretty with all of the lights strewn across the street. The food was delicious! It’s an American/Spanish restaurant with unique and flavorful dishes! We loved our meal here. Highly recommend!
TAMAYO: This restaurant is a Mexican restaurant also located in Larimer Square. We ate here for lunch before we went shopping on the same street. It’s conveniently located to all of the shops and had some incredible skinny margs! I had gluten and dairy free tacos and they were amazing! Very accommodating to allergies! If you love Mexican, try it out. It’s super cute inside, too!
54thirty: Definitely save a drink for this rooftop bar! It looks over the city and is a perfect place for a nightcap!
THE KITCHEN: I could eat here every dang day. It is super allergy friendly and so delicious! Everything is so fresh and healthy! I actually ate a sandwich for once in my existence at a restaurant (being gluten free usually means you get lettuce) and it was awesome! The french fries were also gluten free and I may have eaten those as well. But, there’s lots of healthy options, too, haha!
BEATRICE & WOODSLEY: This is a very Instagrammable place! We had dinner here on our last night and it was lovely! The interior decorating here is beautiful! The bathroom, though, is the MAIN ATTRACTION. Just trust me. Save this for a special night. It’s definitely a romantic place. You can do several small plates here or main entrees, too. We did a little of both and it was delicious. I didn’t feel deprived at all having my dietary restrictions and that’s always a sign of a great chef!
EUCLID HALL: This is a great place to grab drinks and appetizers. It’s a very old, historical building! It has more of a sports bar-like feel, but it’s really cute inside. They make amazing cocktails!
Our next stop was Boulder, Colorado. We were so excited to get to Boulder because it’s set beautifully in the mountains and we’d heard so many great things about the town. It’s a very health conscious town. All of the food is so fresh and healthy! They pride themselves on it! We didn’t have a bad meal here. I could stay forever and just eat 🙂
Where to Stay:
Hands down the best place to stay in Boulder is the St. Julien Hotel & Spa. It’s located right in the heart of Boulder and you can easily walk to all of the restaurants and shops! They even provide bikes for you to grab and ride around town!
The hotel has a beautiful view of the mountains from the back patio. We had drinks here in the evening and it was such a beautiful backdrop! There is a bar and restaurant in the hotel, so you don’t even have to leave if you don’t want to.
The service at the hotel was excellent! They have a beautiful spa there, as well, it’s perfect after a long day hiking! The room we stayed in was very nice and spacious. Also worth mentioning is the flourless brownie. I am still having dreams about it!
What to Do:
Boulder is a great place to stay if you want to hop around to different hiking areas. It’s about an hour from Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a little extra perhaps if you take the scenic route, but it’s totally worth it! We drove to Rocky Mountain National Park our first day in Boulder and it was breathtaking! You can drive up the mountain to the very top and the views are stunning! Word to the wise: take a sweatshirt even in the summer. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so cold at the top, but it was. There’s lots of things to do inside of the park. You can visit the lakes or take hikes. It’s a MUST!
Another area right near Boulder that is great for hiking is Chautauqua Park. You can hike the famous Flat Irons there and get some more incredible photos! That’s where I took these! So beautiful and the hikes aren’t too difficult I hear. I wasn’t able to do the hike, but I was told it wasn’t overly difficult.
Another day, we visited Eldorado Canyon State Park. I loved it there! There was a great trail that wasn’t difficult at all (Rattlesnake Trail) and had the most beautiful views! Other trails are more challenging for those who are able. There’s also rock climbing! We really enjoyed our afternoon there. It’s only a 25 minute drive from Boulder, if that.
In the town of Boulder is the cutest area called Pearl Street. It has so many shops and restaurants! There’s a Free People, Lululemon, lots of outdoorsy shops, a dispensary (yes, marijauna is legal in CO!), bars, and so many good restaurants. Two boutiques worth mentioning are Cedar & Hyde and MAX! We walked around here a lot. There’s always street performers and live music going on. It’s so quaint!
We also checked out a concert at Chautauqua Auditorium. It’s a big music venue up on a hill. Beware, you do have to park at the bottom and walk up to the auditorium. This was a bit difficult for me as I wasn’t feeling well. There is a shuttle, but we didn’t see it. So, if you have a handicap or are not well, perhaps have someone drop you off. Otherwise, the venue is really cool and is an experience in itself! There’s lots of great acts that are booked here. We had tickets for Jose Gonzalez. There’s a cute little pavilion outside that serves some food and drinks. You can’t take anything inside, though which was a bit of a bummer.
Where to Eat:
Honestly, you almost can’t go wrong in Boulder in regards to the restaurants. But, we hit up all of the most highly recommended ones, so here’s our list of favorites!
ARCANA: Arcana was one of our favorite restaurants! We ate here more than once. The food is so fresh, right from the farm to the table! It was so healthy, too! They’re very conscious about making things clean here. All of our meals were so delicious and flavorful. Lots of fresh vegetables! The cocktails were also top notch. DEFINITELY hit this place up!
THE KITCHEN UPSTAIRS: This is a great lounge for evening cocktails! They also have food. It’s the same family as The Kitchen restaurant we ate at in Denver, but trust me, it’s not chain-like AT ALL. The cocktails were amazing and so are the apps and desserts!
FRASCA FOOD & WINE: This is THE spot for fine dining in Boulder! It’s an Italian restaurant with amazing food and wine, obviously. I don’t do wine, but word is, it’s incredible here. It’s at least a 4 course meal or you can opt for the chef’s tasting with more courses. Bring your appetite! They catered to my food allergies as well and it was soooo good! I even got to have a gluten and dairy free rhubarb and coconut cream dessert that was to die for! It’s a perfect date night spot!
RIO GRANDE MEXICAN RESTAURANT: This is Mexican with the best view ever! We sat outside on the rooftop for lunch one day and it was awesome! You can see the mountains and the air is as fresh as the food. I would say that this is clean eating Mexican! It wasn’t greasy, or heavy. It was perfect.
LOCALE: If you love pizza and wine, GO HERE! It’s so fresh and authentic! They have gluten and dairy free options which made me insanely happy! I actually ate here twice because I never get gluten free pizza at home. I had the Gambero pizza the first time. It has shrimp on it. AMAZING. Then, I had the Marinara pizza and it was delicious, but my favorite was the Gambero for sure! They do not have a full bar. It’s mostly wine or premixed drinks. So, beware of that before you go, in case you are looking for cocktails, too. We did have one of their pre-made cocktails though and it was great!
CORRIDA: This is a great place for upscale dining and drinks! We did not have a chance to eat here, but we did have a nightcap on their patio. It was beautiful! It overlooks the mountains. There’s a nice little fireplace you can sit by and cuddle up on the couches. It was the perfect way to end the day!
OAK AT FOURTEENTH: This was another delicious meal! We shared a big piece of sea bass and it was so deliciously prepared with lots of fresh from the garden ingredients! The salad was so filling and delicious, too! Pretty much everywhere is farm to table. The cocktails here were also top-notch!
FLAGSTAFF HOUSE: I was sooo disappointed that we did not get to eat here 🙁 On the last day, I was feeling really horribly and had to spend the day in bed. So bummed. This place looks AMAZING! It’s set in the mountains and has the most beautiful views! I want to go back just so we can eat here! It’s got great reviews and I’d recommend making a point to go.
Well, that about covers our trip! It was incredibly beautiful and I can’t wait to go visit again soon. If you’ve been and have experienced any of these places or others I didn’t mention, please drop a comment below! I’d love to hear about it! ALSO, check out my Instagram highlight “Colorado” on my page, here. You can see all of my pictures and videos from all of the above mentioned places! It was a blast! 🙂