Trip Report – Denver, CO
We were attending a wedding celebration for my cousin in Denver, Colorado. Since we tend to save our vacation/PTO days for other trips, we opted to fly out of Seattle on Friday and back on Sunday night. We were meeting up with my family so we didn’t do our usually planning when visiting a new city. This meant we were mainly relying on our family to make plans. It worked out for the most part, but we definitely didn’t see as much of the city as we would have liked.
Since we were staying with family, my mom booked a house on AirBNB in University Park. The house had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The location was convenient for many of the things we did. My parents rented a car so they did most of the driving.
16th Street Mall
We spent about 2 hours around here. It’s a pretty neat strip of downtown. There are tons of stores and restaurants to eat at along this street. The center of the “street” features different
things every block. No cars are allowed down the street, but they have free “mall buses” that use a bus lane that run along the sides of the street. There weren’t any super special stores, but it was a nice place to walk around and explore.
Big Blue Bear at the Denver Convention Center
I mean… it’s a big blue sculpture of a bear looking into the convention center. It’s a good photo opportunity, but that’s about it. The bear can be found peaking into the convention center, which wasn’t too far of a walk from the 16th Street Mall.
Denver Botanic Garden
This was one of the highlights of our trip. The gardens were absolutely beautiful! They were really well done. We only had about 1.25 hours to spend in the gardens, which honestly wasn’t probably enough time to fully experience all that there was to see. My favorite area was the rain forest conservatory. It was fun to wander through all the different themed gardens.
Garden of the Gods
This unique feat of nature was about a 1.25 hour drive south of Denver. We wandered through the Visitor’s Center to start and then snagged a parking spot in the north parking lot. From here, we were able to walk around and in between all the rocks. It was a well-paved trail and a pretty easy walk. It was pretty crowded since we were there on a Saturday afternoon. Overall, I would say the drive was definitely worth it.
Maybe it was due to the fact that we had just been to Chicago. Maybe we just missed some of the better sites. Maybe we just weren’t there long enough. All this to say, we felt like Denver was just average. There wasn’t anything spectacular about it. Don’t get me wrong, it had some of the most beautiful nature. However, we felt the city lacked any sort of wow factor.