For the past 15 years of my life my family has visited Colorado at least once a year. A lot of years we’ve gone twice and in recent years I’ve gone 3 or 4 times. Basically, if there is anywhere in the world that feels most like a second home, it’s Colorado.
This past January, Angela and I went to China. We booked the trip on a Groupon tour and long story long, I ended up planning to be in Colorado for 3 weeks. See, we chose the tour option leaving from Denver on the 7th. That put us back in Denver on the 16th. My family was coming out to ski on the 31st. My brain instantly started scheming ways to cover the gap and stay until my family got there!
I hopped from Angela’s cousins, to my cousins, to my aunt’s place before my family got there, but I successfully pulled off 3 weeks in Colorado. This is a little recap of how I spent my time…
As basic as I feel for saying this, I spent a lot of days working in coffee shops. After 10 days of no working and no internet in China, I was ready to work! I scouted out some cute coffee shops in Downtown Denver and posted up at them to chip away at videos and posts.
Lula Rose General Store
As darling as a coffee shop could possibly be. I mean, a pink espresso machine? C’mon now. This place would be wonderful for conversation or meetings, however I wouldn’t recommend it for work, because there is no wifi. If you are in the area, though, definitely stop in and grab a cup!
Denver Bicycle Cafe
Talk about a rad place. They can fix your bike, craft an espresso drink, and pour you a beer! It has a wide open layout in the coffee shop side, with plenty of tables with outlets to work at. The coffee shop chatter was centered on work matters paired with where everyone was adventuring the next weekend. Exactly how coffee shops in Colorado should feel, in my humble opinion. <3
If you want wall art or coffee art, they’ve got your back! Murals on the outside and the inside, great coffee, and fast wifi. It has plenty of tables and it isn’t hard to get one close to an outlet. The baristas were friendly and gave some good food recs. I stayed here for majority of the day and focused on editing my video from Shanghai!
Black Eye Coffee
Before I went, I planned to have a workday here with local photographers. I’m so extroverted that working in the company of others is a sure fire way to be more productive. We had a great time posting up at this cute coffee shop. They had some really good food and plenty of space to work. It was the perfect spot for a work day!
This place had it all. Friendly baristas, good coffee, wide open workspaces, great aesthetic, and even friendly customers. I had an awesome conversation with someone sitting next to me who had just came home from visiting St. Louis. How fun!
Even though I knew I would be getting plenty of skiing in when my family got to Colorado, I went out ripping a few times before! I tried to check out some mountains that I knew my family wouldn’t ski at, so I hit up Keystone and Breckenridge.
Forever and always, skiing in the woods is my favorite place to ski. When I was a kiddo, I learned how to ski woods at Keystone, so it holds a special place in my heart. I took runs where I stayed in the woods the entire time from top to bottom. The best kind. If you are thinking about Keystone, know that they have tons of fun stuff for kids, good woods, and easy greens to learn on.
My mom tells me that I have skied here before, but I don’t remember it at all, so it felt like a brand new mountain to me. In all honesty, I didn’t love Breck. For my type of skiing (woods, bowls, moguls) it wasn’t ideal, because of the layout of the mountain. However, I will say, for a first-timer, Breck would be perfect. It has the cutest town, which you don’t get at other resorts. It has long greens and easy blues, a perfect place to learn!
Aside from skiing and drinking coffee, I checked out a few other places with friends and family during my 3 weeks in Colorado!
Coors Brewery Tour + Golden
As a St. Louisan, I am basically legally required to say that Bud is the best beer, but Coors comes in at a reeallly close second. So when in Colorado, it’s my drink of choice. My friend, Sami, happened to be visiting Colorado at the same time as me, so we hit up the free Coors tour together. There was much to learn about beer, the brewing process, and how Adolf Coors built his brand into what it is today. Definitely go here, if you are in the area!!
After the tour was over, we walked up and down the main street of Golden. We grabbed pizza, stopped for ice cream and did a little shopping!
Some Denver Bars
From there we went to her brother’s apartment and watched some of the Netflix special on Ted Bundy (lol) before going to a couple bars. We hit up an arcade bar in Westminster called Akihabara, where I learned I am terrible at basically every video game ever made. Oh well! After that, we went to the Retro Room on Larimer Street. They are known for their pickle shots and rightly so! They had a whole wall lined with different kinds of pickle shots. Sami was more adventurous than me and tried a pepperoncini shot. One word: SPICY. For real though, you should definitely check this bar out!
Side note: Later in the week, when I picked my brother-in-law up from the airport, we went to an empanada place right down the street from the Retro Room. It was called Lazos Empanadas and they were super good! So if you go to Retro Room, but are feeling Argentinian instead of burgers, you should check it out!
When I was hanging out with my aunts, they wanted to go skiing at vail, but I didn’t feel like spending $200 on a lift ticket. So I did something I have never done before: explored Vail village. Everytime my family skis at Vail, we want to shred as long as humanly possible, so we never actually explore the village. I had an awesome time walking around, sipping a $7 coffee from Starbucks, (!!!) and window shopping things I totally can’t afford. The village feels just like you would imagine a ritzy ski resort to feel like: charming buildings, brick sidewalks, snow covered roofs, and just a touch of pretension! 😉
So there ya have it, between working, skiing, and being a tourist, my time in Denver flew by! Let me know if there are any places I need to check out the next time I go! 🙂