I’ve discovered a new favorite city.
Home of the Broncos. Home of the Rockies. Home of rugged mountain men and crystal blue skies.
And I fell in love.
…With the city that is.
But quite honestly, I had an incredible stay. In between my shoot days, I had the pleasure of exploring! The city is a fabulous destination for young people, and I wanted to share with you my adventure!
You already know my church-filled weekend at Red Rocks Church and Holy Ghost Church. That’s the beautiful thing – people believe in God out here in the mountains. It was so refreshing compared to, say…NYC.
I bopped into daily mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception too — definitely worth the visit — even just for the stained glass windows!
There is so much to explore in the city. And the weather was so nice that I did most of it by foot, or on their super-user-friendly public transportation system.
That’s the thing – there are so many different neighborhoods, each with their own distinct feel. There’s Union Station, LoDo, RiNo (River North Art District), Capitol Hill, Colfax, City Park, Five Points. Just get out and walk around! I had so much fun wandering into different shops and book stores and coffee shops, just getting a flavor of the area.
I loved all the street art throughout all the different neighborhoods too. The graffiti itself is a work of art.
Speaking of art…Denver has a vibrant museum scene! I spent one afternoon at the Denver Art Museum. My favorite exhibit showcased fashion and textile arts.
Later that day I wandered into the Molly Brown Museum at her historic home! And yes – Molly Brown as in the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” – who survived the Titanic. She and her family have deep roots in Denver. It was really an interesting stop!
And then the food. Wow – Denver has an incredible food scene. And lucky for me, they make a real conscious effort to be inclusive for people with gluten allergies out here.
My favorite meal of the trip was from a Grain and Gluten Free restaurant called The Just BE Kitchen. And seriously it was like the menu was created for my Specific Carb Diet! I had this gorgeous “Enchanted Salad” with all these roasted veggies and pumpkin seeds and toasted coconut. I will definitely be trying to recreate it!
And much to my surprise, they sold Generous Coffee at the register! Just last week, I went to an event for Generous Coffee in NYC! It’s a truly awesome organization that sells “life-changing” coffee to create and multiply good in the world. They’re providing jobs and opportunities for people in Honduras. And it’s co-founded by the former Bachelor, Ben Higgins. So pretty cool that this cafe supports the cause! (And this is not sponsored or an ad, I just really love their mission! You can learn more here.)
I also enjoyed several smoothie bowls. The more almonds, the better!
And to keep the cost down, I also had several dinners from the Whole Foods salad/hot bar. That is such a great tip for traveling on a budget. Stock up on snack/lunch foods from the local grocery store! (This is my favorite travel snack!)
Next – the bar scene. Let me just tell you – there are so many watering holes in this city. Each with its own story. Each with a different vibe – relaxed, trendy, quirky, “granola.” You won’t be disappointed.
Another thing that doesn’t disappoint: nature. Denver is the perfect balance of urban sprawl and nature. There are so many walking/hiking trails. There’s a beautiful river that runs through the city, and people were literally swimming in it! But whatever you do…get outside!
While I was there, it rained quite a bit. So I ended up spending some time in my hotel room. But that was actually quite enjoyable. I was able to get a lot of work done, and would you look at this view?
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Downtown Denver, and I felt like a princess looking out at the tops of all the buildings.
But it’s right in the heart of downtown. Just a block away from the 16th Street Mall, which is another must-visit.
I had such a great experience at the Holiday Inn Express. If you haven’t watched my Instagram Story — go do it now! (I’m posting it right when this post goes live, so you have 24 hours.)
But look at their gym. It was incredible. I mean, it was nicer than my gym in NYC. They had four rooms of cutting edge cardio machines, weight machines, kettle balls, a refreshment center. I was floored with how nice it was.
And then of course, the free breakfast. That’s another one of my budget-friendly travel tips, is stay at a hotel with free breakfast! They even had an instant pancake machine. I mean…pinch me.
So that was my trip!
I had such a great time. Even more than the exploring, I think the best part was that I really felt God working on my heart while I was here. I always feel closest to Him in nature, and Denver is a great city for that.
But I was reading a great book called, The Right One, which I believe was recommended to me by one of you lovely people. And, I just feel like…He’s at work.
So maybe this trip was all part of His plan.
Anywho – I’m hopping on a plane tomorrow. Heading to Ohio for another commercial shoot next week. So I’ll catch up with you then! Maybe I’ll have to do another city spotlight while I’m there 🙂
Or if you’re listening to my daily podcast, Oh What a Beautiful Morning!….I’ll talk to ya tomorrow!
Have you ever been to Denver? Where are you traveling this summer?
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