2.5 days in Colorado

May 2, 2018

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Two weeks ago, I took a weekend trip to Colorado. My dad’s manager is based in Denver, so my mom and I tagged along on his business trip. The trip was short and last-minute, so this is by no means a comprehensive travel guide of the city and its surrounding areas, but rather a here’s-how-much-we-packed-into-2.5-days recap. I absolutely LOVED Colorado and want to go back for sure—and I’ll be certain to do a better job creating a thorough guide of the city when I do.

I’d never been to Colorado and was awed by the beautiful, mountainous terrain that we spent more time in the surrounding nature than in the actual city of Denver. Growing up in Connecticut, we didn’t have mountains. We had rolling hills and lots of rocks, but nothing like the rock formations of Denver. Even nothing I’ve seen in California compares to the red rocks of Denver.

DAY 1

Colorado in 2.5 Days

The first thing we did when we flew into Denver was go to the Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The fact there was a Degas exhibit during my dad’s tentative travel dates gave impetus for me wanting to visit Denver in the first place. Degas’s paintings of the ballet dancers were some of the first pieces of fine art I was introduced to as a little girl.

DAY 2

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Chautauqua Park, Boulder

On Day 2, it snowed! We drove to Boulder, did a mini hike at Chautauqua Park and The Flatirons, and walked around the Pearl St Mall. I hadn’t seen snow since I moved from Connecticut 10 years ago! It was absolutely stunning. Boulder was a bit of a ghost town because I think most people were up in the mountains skiing.

Colorado in 2.5 Days

This little cottage down the street from The Flatirons was so cute! It reminded me of a cottage we stayed at in Vermont when we lived in Connecticut and I was really young.

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Some of our favorite places in downtown Boulder were:

  • The Cup Espresso Cafe — 1521 Pearl Street (this cafe/coffee shop had the most rustic/eclectic/cozy/Vermont-esque vibe)
  • Alpine Modern — 1048 Pearl Street and also 904 College Avenue (we like our coffee shops)
  • Boulder Bookstore — 1107 Pearl Street (quaint bookstore with a diverse selection)
  • Crossroads Trading Company — 1545 Pearl Street (you know I love my Crossroads)
  • Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse — 1770 13th Street (teahouse, but also Asian restaurant located in a traditional Central Asian style building that was gifted by Boulder’s sister city of Dushanbe to celebrate the establishment of the sister city tie)
  • Boulder County Farmers’ Market — 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe

The vibe of Boulder was eclectic, outdoorsy, and cozy. If Vermont and Portland had a lovechild, it would be Boulder. Everyone was very laid back, warm, and friendly.

DAY 2.5 (because we only had half a day before our flight home)

Colorado in 2.5 Days

I’d seen Garden of the Gods featured in a YouTube video and immediately bookmarked it as a place I wanted to go to when we were here. Garden of the Gods is located in Colorado Springs, which is a little over an hour drive from Denver. We left super early to get to the park around sunrise. It was incredible.

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Afterward, we went to Switchback Coffee where my dad said he had his “best hot chocolate ever.”

Colorado in 2.5 Days

We drove back to Denver and explored the downtown area. I wish we had more time to spend downtown, but we really blitzed it through. Next time!

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Some of our favorite places in downtown Denver were:

  • Union Station — 17th and Wynkoop Streets. Union Station is a hub where buses and trains stop downtown. The station also had coffee shops, eateries, open seating areas, a floral shop, and a bookstore. It reminded me of the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
  • Little Owl Coffee — 1555 Blake Street (absolutely adorable cute but tiny coffee shop)
  • Tattered Cover Bookstore — 1628 16th Street (have we made it clear yet that we really love coffee shops and bookstores?)

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

After we blitzed downtown, we drove northwest to a tiny town called Morrison where Red Rocks Amphitheatre is. Music concerts are held there at night. The way the ampitheatre is situated amidst the red rocks supposedly creates acoustics that are out of this world. During the day, people walk, run, and do other workouts around the area.

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado in 2.5 Days

Colorado, it was quick, but it was fun. Have you ever been to Colorado? Or maybe you live here? Let me know if you have any other recommendations for me to check out next time I’m here!

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