This road trip was a long time coming. As a single mama taking a break from being needed is the best vacation you can get. I haven’t ever been to colorado since being an adult and since its only a 9 hour drive (7.5hr if I’m driving 😉 I thought why not try and throw in a quick trip before the end of the year. This trip was EVERYTHING my soul needed.
We hit up so many amazing places during our four day trip that I wanted to share some of my favorites. When we got into denver we arrived around lunch time and were starving. We had heard about the Denver Central Market. Driving through I knew I was in my element. Think modern/contemporary art district. This area of town has been completely revitalized according to locals. Five plus years ago it was a place of crime. Now, its streets full of amazing graffiti and amazing eats.
The Denver Central Market was amazing. So excited for Kansas City to be getting their own version of this soon! Think open market, with a bar. What more needs to be said? You walk into the closed market where there are just under a dozen eateries. Everything from a coffee shop to chocolatier. My friend I was traveling with is a vegetarian and they had a cafe that she could eat from and it was delicious. I will mention the only thing I had that I didn’t love was my latte.. It was pure milk and no coffee. I was desperately needing coffee in that moment not an inch of froth. Was pretty cool though, the barista had a Second Best Coffee t-shirt on which is a go to coffee shop in Kansas City. This market though is a must. Everyone comes here. Businessmen getting a drink after work, girlfriends catching up on a lunch break…We actually got lunch and dinner here the first day because it was so easy. We set up shop at the bar with our laptops and books and enjoyed food and a drink and it was everything this mama needed. The drinks were amazing, and baristas were easy going.
In between lunch and dinner we hit up the Denver Museum of Art and Science. It under $15 and worth every penny. I will say I cannot imagine doing the entire museum with my 1.5 year old. Yes, it would tire him out but its HUGE. The main thing that stuck out to me was how BIG the displays were. We were SHOCKED. It was seriously incredible though. Seeing everything from birds that were bigger than me to 10 carat diamonds. They had a dinosaur exhibit that was amazing that I know my little guy would have loved. Heck, I loved it!
After dinner we met up with Shannons friends where we would be staying the next couple nights and crashed. Next morning we went to a local creperie called Crepes n crepes.
My favorite part? When you walk in theres a guy standing there at the bar making crepes. Wish I had taken a picture. You’ll just have to go yourself. Fun little thing they do for coffee lovers. I asked if they had an americano because I didn’t see it on their coffee menu and she said thats how they did their coffee. Ie if you order ‘coffee’ you’re getting an americano. Done and done.
My crepe was chorizo, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes. It was super hearty. They had dessert crepes, hearty crepes, pretty much everything you could want in a crepe.
Garden of the Gods was the MUST for me. I had seen pictures and videos and KNEW if there was one thing we had to go see that was it. I cannot explain how amazing it was. You get there and park and walk around and time seems to stand still. All you can think about is how beautiful everything is. It was exactly what I needed. To turn off my brain and just focus on whats in front of me.
They have a visitor center that you can stop at before going into the park in case you need to go the bathroom, shop for all that tourist stuff, and get a map. I choose to just take pictures. When you start driving into the park make sure your phone or camera is out. Its beautiful.
Kansas City Sweatshirt: KC Clothing Co (wearing a small)
After all the walking we hit up City o City in Denver. A vegetarian restaurant which was delish.
Can you tell I was hungry? Tacos and mac n’ cheese *no judgements allowed*
One of best little hidden gems is by far Denvers Union Station. While Kansas City Union station boasts a fun model train museum for kids Denvers Union Station blew Kansas City out of the water with completely revitalizing it to be a place to go for a night to stay (the upper levels are now a hotel) and the lower level is still in use as a train station but they have done a remarkable job at restoring and breathing life into what once was. The bar was STUNNING. Its what my neutral subway tile dreams are made of. Every little shop in the building was straight out of a magazine.
Afterwards we walked around downtown despite it being freezing cold out. Was still fun to get a glimpse of the city.
We hit up Red Rocks which is now on my bucket list of places to go for a concert. It was so It was so cold out that we parked, got out looked quick, took a few pictures and then jumped back in the car. haha. So glad that we did drive out to see it. Its definitely something you need to experience. People were down there running (way to be)
On our final day in colorado I hit up Boulder. I NEED to go back and spend a whole day hiking there. It was breath taking. Highly suggest grabbing coffee on pearl street. ( We went to Oxo coffee) and then going to Flatiron Rocks. As a photographer this place is a gem. You don’t have to hike anywhere to get STUNNING photos. I parked, walked out 500 ft or so and was able to do a family session for my hairstylist who is originally from Boulder and just happened to be vacationing the same time *talk about the stars aligning*
If you haven’t been to colorado and its a road trip away, get in your car and go! Seriously. They have something for EVERYONE. I think that was the biggest thing that I enjoyed. If you want city life they have that, if you want downtown scene they have it, if you want to be in the mountains and climb and hike all day you can do that everyday for the rest of your life if your heart wants. The diversity in whats available to visitors and locals is one of a kind. Colorado you are definitely a gem. I WILL be back.