One destination excerpted from the article Mountain Views and Luxury Experiences published in the April May issue of Elite+
by Patricia Kaowthumrong
American frontier traditions are very much alive in Denver, which offers a range of seasonal activities and indulgences. Situated in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, Denver, Colorado is famous for its quintessential Western experiences, right downtown or in its farther reaches.
Although the hills are more alive these days with scenes of outdoor adventure such as skiers gliding down slopes in winter and hikers surveying vast forests in the summer than cowboys battling American Indians, the landscapes and traditions of the American frontier are very much alive in the city as much as is surrounding peaks.
Colorado’s capital and largest city, Denver is where you’ll find the fourth-largest airport in the US, which conveniently offers non-stop service to more than 200 destinations around the world, including Tokyo and Bangkok. Over 150 breweries (of nearly 400 state-wide), a wealth of well reviewed restaurants, stellar arts, a vibrant culture scene and easy access to recreation in the surrounding Rocky Mountains make Denver one of the most-visited destinations in the western US.
While Denver may be a buzzing metropolis, the grandeur of the great outdoors is just a quick drive (or walk) away from wherever you may find yourself in the city, since it has more than 5,000 acres of parks. For vistas of the skyline framed by cloudless blue skies and snow-marbled mountain summits, spend the afternoon in City Park. The best panoramas are near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, located on site. To marvel at otherworldly red-rock spires, stroll Roxborough State Park, or discover excellent camping and hiking less than 30 minutes from the city centre at Chatfield and Golden Gate state parks.
Denver’s impressive roster of chef-owned eateries makes it difficult to narrow down just a couple of dining recommendations, but to sample some of the city’s hippest specialities, duck into one of the many food halls. Avanti Food & Beverage has tasty options like Italian brick-oven pizza, flavourful Hawaiian poke bowls and Instagram-worthy rotisserie plates (meats slow-cooked over a wood fire). Meanwhile, High Point Creamery’s gourmet ice creams in innovative flavours (basil with blackberry swirl, anyone?) and the chowders, seafood tacos and fish and chips at Tammen’s Fish Market are two fantastic stops in Denver Central Market.
Slumber in downtown Denver at the Crawford Hotel inside Union Station, a lovingly restored historic train station. Inspired by Pullman Sleeper Cars that once housed overnight passengers on high-class trains and decorated in Victorian-era furnishings, the hotel’s rooms will transport you back to the golden age of rail travel. Step downstairs to take in the splendour of Union Station, both a terminal and eye-catching gathering space. Sip a Colorado beer or craft cocktail at the glam Cooper Lounge or Terminal Bar and linger over a gourmet meal at one of the acclaimed dining spots.
After Denver, it’s an easy trip to Aspen, Estes Park and Steamboat Springs, which are all included in the complete article.