GETAWAY GUIDE - DENVER COLORADO - J+K GETAWAY
We have a pact that whenever one of us has a new destination that we need to travel to, whether for fun, work or just because, we make it a getaway. Last month we headed to Colorado for the first time & made the best little getaway out of it!
It was a super quick trip with the main focus being to check out the Outdoor Retailer's Summit. We threw in some cozy dinners, a little road trip & an epic hike - totally our style :) Keep reading for our weekend (plus a day or two!) getaway to Colorado!
As we said, we both had never been to Colorado and didn't know what to expect. We were half imagining a snow covered city with unique eats and cool shops. Our timing however brought in a warm front so that meant no snow, which truthfully we were a bit bummed out by. Denver is HUGE and there are so many districts that are around the downtown area with so many cool spots everywhere! We rented a car while we were there so we did a little exploring (and b-lined for Whole Foods because needed some goods lol!). First we checked out the cutest little eatery called Honor Society - which is totally up our alley if you know us. The menu is clean & the vibe is awesome - totally worth checking out in Denver. Then we headed to our Airbnb near the Cherry Creek district. Our place was so charming and perfect for what we needed - thank you again Rebecca & Ryan for hosting us :) - if you are interested in our rental you can check it out here.
We ventured into Denver for work related projects - one being a fun social with Upventur at Little Machine Brewery. We spent the night hanging out with other influencers, photographers and entrepreneurs which was so much fun! Little Machine Brewery is also a awesome stop for a good beer if you want to swing by - get the MIG 21 it was our favorite!
Quick stop in the morning to Olive & Finch - SO good and again the most charming place! We spent the majority of our day at the Outdoor Retailers show which was crazy fun and overwhelming at the same time. We knew the outdoor space was a huge market but to see every single retailer - literally ALL of them - was so cool! The displays for some brands were outstanding! We had a blast checking out a lot of the gear coming out this year!
fter a long day at the expo we headed over to Fruition for dinner. If you are looking for the coziest place then you need to stop here. Its incredibly charming and the food is delicious & even modified their menu for our dietary restrictions :)
Roadtrip Pt. 1 - If you've been reading J+K for a while then you know we have discovered a love of hiking (especially summits - that are not TOO crazy!) over the last few years. The last good one we took was back in October so we were well over due. We woke up super early a drove out to Estes Park, a little over a 2 hour drive from Denver. This is (ONE?) of the Rocky Mountain National Park and its GORGEOUS! Remember how we said we were sad there was no snow, well we had it here for sure! If you followed along on our Insta Story we had SO much fun and was easily one of our favorite hikes (with a few hiccups) that we have done.
On our ride up through these little towns and deserted roads, the beauty was literally all around! Once we got to the park we saw Elk and the most gorgeous green spaces covered in light dusting of the snow that had just started to fall. We packed ALL the gear, we even had a suitcase JUST for our coats, boots, polls & other hiking gear! We also stopped in at REI to rent snowshoes or this hike as it was our first in snow. We started hiking into a literal winter wonderland. It was so quiet and beautiful. We *thought* we would be fine with the altitude because we had hiked at a high altitude before but we were getting SO tired and found ourselves stopping to catch our breath a lot - which if you know us kinda pissed us off because we're so active! Its such a good reminder that it doesn't matter if you're in good shape physically, different workouts and the elements will definitely affect how good you can preform.
After getting through the initial struggle - we had so much fun! You walk along the frozen lake (SO COOL!) and at the end of the summit you hit 10,000 ft and are surrounded by the most gorgeous snow-covered mountains - that totally had us feeling LOTR vibes :P
We did make a mistake about spending just a littleee too much time up at that high of an elevation - we had to do it for the 'gram! Our camera ended up dying from the cold so we started heading back down and it got crazy fast. On the way down though I (keia :) got a bit of altitude sickness and had to sit down in the snow after getting dizzy. I tried to tell Jimmy that I felt like I was going to pass out but it came out all jumbled - SO scary! I just knew I needed to keep moving so we did!
We warmed up in the car and had our favorite camping and hiking meal from Good To Go - the bibimbap - its super spicy and warms you right up! Then we trekked out again to another small hike to see a frozen waterfall, which even though we were freezing was also worth it! On our way back to Denver we even got to drive by The Stanley Hotel which is where the interior shots for The Shinning were filmed at but, we didn't have time to take a tour :(
It was such an adventure that we loved beyond words even with the freezing cold and sickness. If you get a chance to visit Estes Park and hike one of the trails there - snow or sunshine - we highly recommend it. It was so peaceful and a fun place to escape to. Now get ready for photo overload because this place was way way way too pretty!
We spent another busy day at the expo checking out spots we missed the other day. After that we went to the cutest area of Denver called Larimer Square. It was all lit up with lights and so charming! We headed to a funky eatery called Rioja that was amazing. We picked this place for the menu that was super different but also for the decor. It was such a cool vibe with exposed brick and velvet back chairs, and our dinner was incredible! We did a small tasting of some little bites that was so good! After dinner we headed to a different part of Denver for a concert put on by Meier Skis for a fun night out. We enjoyed the music and a couple of foosball games and then decided to head back to Larimer Square for music and drinks at The Crimson Room - a piano bar! We arrived pretty late so I would suggest if you want a good seat get there a bit earlier but you'll still be able to hear the music no matter where you are seated.
Our flight home was later this afternoon so we decided to do Roadtrip pt. 2! We headed over to Red Rocks Amphitheater and Lookout Point name for some sightseeing. Red Rocks is AWESOME! Its so beautiful with the amphitheater tucked into the rocks all around - it had us wishing there had been a concert in town while we were there. The best part was seeing all of the people working out all over, running up and down the stairs, doing jump squats and sprints - we wanted to jump in too! After the amphitheater we went over to a lookout that was recommended to us and it was a stunning lookout point of the mountains.
It was the perfect thing to end with before jumping on our flight and heading back to Michigan! That was our "quick" trip to Denver - you could eaisly make it a 2 or 3 night thing and do everything we did and more. We are already wanting to go back, maybe in the summer for a warm hiking trip in Estes Park ;)