Denver, CO Wellness Weekend
Welcome to the Mile High City - one of the healthiest cities in America with a side of 300 days of sunshine. If you’re a traveling woman who loves staying active and eating right while on the road, Denver could not be closer to your ideal travel destination. For one of the best escapes a wellness, conscious, eco-friendly woman traveler could ask for read on for our tips from locals in the know.
The two Kimpton Denver hotels are great choices for anyone looking for an active stay. Each one comes with a yoga mat in the room, on-site fitness center and complimentary bicycles to explore to your heart’s content. Known for its eco-friendly efforts, welcoming staff, pet friendly policies and evening wine reception, the Kimpton chain of boutique hotels are smaller and more authentic to their locations.
If you want to stay in the heart of Lower Downtown (LoDo) check out the Kimpton Born Hotel. It brings urban sophistication to Union Station with its modern mountain decor, luxurious Frette linens, morning coffee and tea service and plenty of vibrant art from local artists.
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver may be a better bet if you are in town for a business/leisure combo. Closer to the convention center and ranked one of the 15 best hotels in Denver by Conde Nast Traveller, this hotel also features a full service on site spa that provides complimentary 5 minute chair massages during the wine hour.
The Queen Anne Urban Bed & Breakfast
The Queen Anne B & B places an emphasis on green design and eco-sensitivity and is the perfect choice for someone seeking an environmentally friendly alternative to the big chain hotels. Its extensive gardens have over 100 varieties of herbs, fruits and vegetables being grown and is the perfect place to curl up with a good book. Meet your fellow travelers at their community table over the included homemade breakfast or during their community happy hour that serves complimentary Colorado wines and cheeses. Each room is unique but is you book one of the 4 decorated by local artists you get some extra inspiration during your stay.
We have said it before - hosteling is nothing like you remember it and something to consider regardless of your age. Take Ember Hostel for example. A restored mansion on a tree lined street this is nothing like hostels of old. Guests must be 18 and over to stay in one of the plush dorm style or private rooms. Additional perks include a 12 person hot tub and fire pit - and it received high marks from solo travelers.
The Light Rail is the above-ground train system in Denver that travels all around the city and into Golden. It is the best way to get around the city to avoid parking downtown and remaining as eco-friendly as possible. You can also rent bikes in Denver and take the 42-mile long Cherry Creek Trail that travels from Parker and ends in Cherry Creek.
What to Do
Join your fellow yogis at this Colorado founded studio, Corepower Yoga - don’t forget a change of clothes! You’ll be greeted by friendly instructors who love what they do and will provide you with anything you might have forgotten: mat, towel, hair-tie, water, etc. As a wellness explorer visiting from out of town looking to get your stretch, OM and ujjayi breath on, you get in for free for your first visit. After just an hour of this hot yoga class, you will feel powered up for the rest of the day.
If a studio, four walls, and humidity is not your bag for a workout, take on one of our 39,000 miles of hiking trails. You can sign up for a guided hike or download the “AllTrails” app so you can find the best hike for you. The closest mountains to Denver are in Golden where you can explore quiet scenery around the Colorado Foothills. While out there, don’t forget to check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater and fossilized dinosaur tracks on Dinosaur Ridge.
If you are a wellness explorer looking to see the city in an eco-friendly way, what way than a bike tour? Mile High Bike Tour provides three-gear bikes you can use during the guided tour that will take you on a two and a half-hour ride utilizing riverside bike paths and city bike lanes scattered among the concrete jungle. You will not only have a better understanding of where LoDo is compared to RiNo but you’ll get a bit of history too. You can choose from a city tour, a twilight tour, historic neighborhood and city parks tour, or a brew tour. Don’t worry if you’re still beat from the yoga or hike, these trails are flat and you’ll be set at an easy, enjoyable pace. You’ll start off just blocks away from Coors Field home of the Rockies, down towards Denver Broncos Stadium at Mile High where you will pass Centennial Gardens and Elitch Gardens while riding along the South Platte River.
Denver Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are a must see when in the city. The natural landscape and colors will make you feel like you left the city and entered a kaleidoscope world. These views will be better seen in the daylight. However, if you are visiting during the holiday season, October through New Years, the Gardens put on a spectacular evening visual experience you will not want to miss. As a woman looking to get back in touch with nature, this should definitely be on your list of to-dos.
Depending on your plans for dinner and the day of the week, visiting one of Denver’s farmer’s markets is definitely worth the trip. The many farmers’ markets spread out around the city aren’t just for locally grown food - they also have a wide array of baked goods, freshly prepared food, goods from artisans & makers and a great crowd of locals. Not only are you picking up fresh, GMO-free food, but you are contributing to the local community. A great resource for finding a market near you is here: Denver Farmers Markets
The BookBar is pretty much a literary travelers dream come true. They describe themselves as “A bookshop for wine lovers. A wine bar for book shoppers.” which is really all I need to hear. But they also have a yummy cafe with literary inspired dishes (how can you resist a “Portrait of a Cheese Plate” or “Love in the Time of Hummus”), free wifi, and a happy hour on Monday - Friday that offers $2 off wine and beer AND 10% off books! They even opened an AirBnB upstairs (Bookbed by BookBar)
You also may stop in one of the Tattered Covers’ 4 local bookstores, still independently held, to grab a book, magazine, or newspaper.
Where to Eat
Olive and Finch Eatery and Bakery
Open from 7 am to 9pm, when it’s time for breakfast or lunch you have to head to Olive and Finch, woman founded with an extensive menu of made-from-scratch, locally grown, cooked to order food and a menu you cannot find anywhere else. Stepping into this welcoming restaurant makes you feel like you just came home to a family brunch - if your family includes inspiring women chefs that make world-class food that is. The “City French” is a must try - two scrambled eggs, brie, and red pepper aioli on a croissant? You had me at brie. They also have an extensive lunch selection, artisan coffee, fresh squeezed juices, yummy baked goods and even a happy hour - and their entire menu is served all day.
City O’ City
If bottomless coffee and a hole-in-the-wall find is more your speed, then check out City, O’ City. This locally sourced restaurant will meet all of your sustainably sourced foodie needs at basically any time of the day or night - they are open from 7am to 2am every day! When you walk in you feel like you’ve just come across something undiscovered. A dim room, eclectic artwork (they feature 2 different local artists each month), full coffee bar, extensive menu and a full bar - it’s a spot where anything on the menu is a home-run. Completely vegetarian City O’ City has a wide enough selection to appeal to everyone and you can replace anything on the menu with a vegan and/or gluten-free option. That means that every delicious choice on the menu is all you, girl! So pull up a chair and dig into City O’ City.
The place to go for a solo lunch or to grab perfectly packaged sustenance for your hike or bike tour is Maria Empanada. Now with 4 locations and more coming soon, owner Lorena Cantarovici packs all the love of her Argentinian childhood into these amazing bundles with flavors both savory and sweet.
Comal Heritage Food Incubator
If you have the chance to visit Comal, do. This social enterprise in RiNo offers a delicious variety of Mexican, Syrian, and Ethiopian foods for lunch prepared through their kitchen incubator that teaches immigrant and refugee women chefs and entrepreneurs the skills needed to launch their own businesses. Great food + great social impact is a win-win. Open Monday to Friday 11- 2, check their Facebook page for menus and special events.
Close your night at a luxurious food and wine bar coupled with an eclectic cheese plate at Cru. The Moodie Davitt Report calls this place “The best wine bar in the world”. They offer a little Italy feel and helpful staff that will walk you through the wine list where you can choose from just a glass, a bottle or four of your favorite picks in a tasting flight. Beyond the cheese board, you can take your pick from any of their coal-fired pizzas, the best Caprese salad in Denver or anything else that fits your pallet.
If you are not done for the night and still curious about what Denver can offer an local loving arts woman traveler like yourself, then make sure to catch Denver on the first Friday of the month. Down near Lincoln Park, the art district of Denver on Santa Fe opens its doors for artists to showcase their latest pieces and food trucks to showcase their local grub. Join Coloradans on the streets for a closer look at the art scene in Denver.