As the East Coast remote sales manager for Hilton Denver City Center, I travel to Denver for work several times a year. In July 2019 I was afforded the opportunity to bring along my two children, Geoffrey (6) and Victoria (2), as well as my parents. We flew out of Philadelphia, which has direct flights to Denver on Frontier, Southwest, United & American. We arrived at Hilton Denver City Center where we had two connecting rooms and access to the Executive Lounge, where we were able to have a full breakfast in the morning and some refreshments in the evening.
On Sunday we headed to the Denver Botanic Gardens, where pretty much all of the plants and flowers were in full bloom. Directly across the street and included in admission is the Mordecai Children’s Garden, which my children really enjoyed, especially the garden areas sponsored by Chipotle. In the afternoon, we took a drive up to Red Rocks, unfortunately closed due to a concert that evening, and then over to the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, which had breathtaking views of the Rockies. That evening for dinner we went to the very family friendly Casa Bonita in Lakewood, just outside downtown. I’d categorize it in a “try it out once category”, as the focus is more on the entertainment of indoor divers, the variety of themed rooms throughout and a random gorilla that runs around versus a great dining experience.
On Monday, while I was working, my parents and the children went to the Denver Zoo. I was able to sneak away for a bit during lunch and join them. As someone who has been to my fair share of zoos, I have to say, especially for being in Denver, this was one of the flattest zoos I have ever been to and definitely one of the best. That evening for dinner, we went to Denver’s Oldest Restaurant, the Buckhorn Exchange. The restaurants is covered in floor to ceiling taxidermy and has a variety of game meats on the menu. I enjoyed a duo of Elk & Buffalo, my dad had the Gramma Fanny’s Pot Roast and my non-adventurous mother, stuck with a New York strip steak. The highlight for Geoffrey was having his chocolate milk served in a boot glass, which he was able to take home.
On Tuesday, my parents and the children went to a Denver Broncos stadium tour, which starts in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. They were able to go to the visiting team locker room, the best suites available and (almost) onto the field. From there, they took a drive to Colorado Springs to the Air Force Academy, which was just over an hour away. I met up with them in the evening and we took a walk to the Colorado Convention Center. No trip is complete to Denver without visiting the Giant Blue Bear, a commissioned piece of art of a bear that stands at 40 feet high, peeking into the CCC. The name of the sculpture is technically, “I see what you mean,” but best known as the Blue Bear, with a very interesting story of its creation from concept to execution.
On Wednesday, we left Denver and headed up to Cheyenne, Wyoming, just over the Colorado border. Being from the east coast, we probably would have had no other reason to go to Wyoming, but since it was only an hour and a half away, we figured-why not?! And we were so glad we did! We visited the Terry Bison Ranch, where you are able to take a train out to the middle of their bison herd and feed them. To my surprise, both kids did it and it was a very unique and memorable experience. On site there is also horseback riding and a steakhouse-great option for lunch, which we enjoyed! That was the last stop on our journey before heading to the airport. The kids keep asking when they can come back to Denver, and we definitely will, as we barely scratched the surface on all that Denver has to offer.