Guest post by tallison
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Denver
- Snooze an A.M. Eatery
- Cherry Creek Shopping Center
- Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
- Colorado State Capitol
- Highland Tavern
- Renaissance Denver Downtown
Breakfast at Snooze is a must. They have creative food that is delicious! We sat outside and the weather was beautiful. Only downside is that there are many homeless in Denver and they are sitting just feet from you as you enjoy your wonderful breakfast.
We had some time to waste before we could check in at the Renaissance. We checked out the Cherry Creek Shopping Center which is a huge mall, tons of stores. Definitely a good place to waste some time. Additionally, we visited the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception- this is a must see! Even if you are not religious, the architecture and stained glass windows inside this church are breathtaking. It is definitely a sight to see. We also spent some time walking around the Capital Building and Supreme Court, admiring their history. The Highland Tavern has a great atmosphere and good food. There are also great views of the city.
Day 2: Denver
- Sam’s No. 3
- 16th Street Mall
- Marco’s Coal Fired
- Williams & Graham
- Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
- El Chapultepec
Breakfast at Sam’s No. 3 was delicious and fairly cheap. We tried to drive to the summit of Mount Evans but it was closed for the season so make sure you check dates. Even though we couldn’t drive to the summit we hiked some trails around the lake and it was beautiful. Definitely a must do for hikers- got some amazing pictures!
The Sixteenth Street Mall is interesting and worth walking up and down to take in the culture of Denver. We had dinner at Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza which was really good. Then we headed out for drinks at Williams & Graham, Euclid Hall and the famous jazz bar El Chapultepec (last 2 are closed now, sadly). The jazz bar was really fun and we listened to live jazz.
Day 3: Aspen
- Independence Pass
- White House Tavern
- The Little Nell
We grabbed a quick breakfast at Panera and were on our way to Aspen. We took the route that went through the Twin Lakes and Continental Divide (Independence Pass). Twin Lakes are absolutely stunning with the crystal blue water and backdrop of the mounts. The ride up is a bit scary with no guardrails, narrow roads and the possibility of falling off a mountain. With that said, it’s an awesome ride and view. The Continental Divide is worth taking a looking at and snapping some pictures. 4 hour drive.
Had lunch at White House Tavern- was very good, creative dishes, and really good service. The Little Nell is a beautiful hotel, very luxurious and upscale.
Day 4: Maroon Bells (Aspen)
- Crater Lake
- Grateful Deli
We had breakfast at Peach’s Corner Cafe- delicious and recommended (now closed, sadly). We then spent several hours hiking at Maroon Bells. The lake when entering the park is magnificent- great pictures. We decided to hike the hardest trail, a 3.6 mile loop to Crater Lake. This is a pretty difficult trail given the terrain and incline but definitely worth the hike. We also hiked for a bit at the other trails surrounding the lake. This is a must see for anyone visiting Aspen. It cost $10 per car to get into the park and hike. We went in the morning and it was still fairly crowded.
Lunch sandwiches were from Grateful Deli. They have a large assortment of sandwiches to choose from, are large in size and worth the trip.
Day 5: Boulder
- Pearl Street Mall
- University of Colorado Boulder
- Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery
- The Sink
- Dark Horse
- Best Western Plus Boulder
Made the 4 hour drive to Boulder. Walking up and down the Pearl Street Mall is worth the trip. There are some really neat stores and the atmosphere is awesome. We also drove around the University of Colorado. Dinner at Mountain Sun was amazing and definitely worth the wait (not too long)- but you get free fries and free samples of beer while you wait! We also visited the Sink (bar near the University), which was very unique, as well as the Dark Horse Bar which is very historical and a cool place to visit.
Our hotel had bikes you could rent and ride around but we didn’t have time.
Day 6: Flatirons (Boulder)
The breakfast at the hotel was what you would expect. Hotel was very nice though. We had some time to kill before we left so we drove around the hills by the FlatIrons. Wish we had more time and could have hiked.
For this trip, for what it is worth, we would have spent more time in Boulder and less time in Denver.
Traveled in October 2015