Denver and romance go hand in hand. Whether you're on your first date or your 50th, here are some of our favorite starry-eyed spots.
1. DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS
During the summer months, there's no better spot to snuggle than under the stars at Denver Botanic Gardens, a blooming botanical paradise in which to enjoy some of the top musical acts in the country in one of the most serene outdoor landscapes in Colorado. Pack a picnic, bring a bottle of wine and a blanket, and stretch out on the grass while listening to the likes of Ziggy Marley, Chris Isaak, Keb' Mo' and UB40. The lineup is usually announced in mid-April, and concerts run June–September. Tickets sell out quickly, though you may have luck purchasing a last-minute pair at the ticket window on the evening of a show.
2. THE SPA AT THE BROWN PALACE
Downtown Denver's crown jewel, the historic Brown Palace Hotel, is also home to one of the city's most luxurious spas, the Spa at the Brown Palace. Tucked away from the hustle of the Brown's opulent lobby, the Spa at the Brown welcomes visitors with a soothing waterfall that sets the stage for the spa's signature soaks. These invigorating bathing treatments enlist the hotel's exclusive artesian well, located 750 feet below the lobby.
Every year, audiences are flock to a series of live concerts at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Take a mini-getaway to Paris with a meal at Bistro Vendome, right in the heart of downtown.
Downtown Denver clip-clops with horse-drawn carriages in the winter months.
3. HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDE
You've heard the Frank Sinatra lyrics: "Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage." We can't help you pop the question, but if you want to add some spark to your love life — or just rekindle the romance, slow down the pace and take in the historic sites of Downtown Denver from the intimate confines of a horse-drawn carriage — we highly suggest this classic carriage ride that meanders along the 16th Street Mall and down the city's surrounding side streets. Make a reservation with Irish Rose Carriages by calling 303-364-4125.
4. BAROLO GRILL
The lovely two-top, buttressed against the flickering glow of the fireplace, isn't just one of most sought after tables in town — it's also one of the most coveted spots for an intimate tête-à-tête. Named for the wine of the Northwestern Italian province of Piedmont, Barolo Grill is a convivial restaurant, strewn with grapes from the vine, wine bottles and farmhouse touches, all of which give it an air of rustic sophistication. Executive chef Darrel Truett, whose cooking complements the expansive wine roster, turns out sharable dishes like the shareable fritto misto — fried shrimp, calamari and scallops pooled in ramp aioli.
5. BISTRO VENDOME
Flirting habitués find fun and romance at this Larimer Square French-food temple that speaks oh-la-la at every turn. Tucked into a secret back alley, Bistro Vendome's sunflower-yellow interior, with its warm golden glow of flickering candlelight, whimsical chalkboard menu, scarred hardwood floors and welcoming vibe, is an idyllic date spot. The scarlet-canopied, foliage-flushjardin is just as ambient, especially during spring and summer when the showers of flowers are in full bloom. But no matter where you park yourself, the decadent menu — duck confit, escargot, steak tartare, mussels and frites — is a jubilee.
6. PEAKS LOUNGE
From the skyscraping 27th floor of the towering Hyatt Regency Denver, you can pop the cork (or question) while beholding the heart-palpitating panoramas from the Peaks Lounge, a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling-windowed bar showcasing memorable vistas of the Rocky Mountains and bright-lit city skyline. Furbished with plush, oversized sofas and chairs and illuminated by the flame of a blazing fireplace, it's a place that invites lingering, even if the altitude-high drink prices might cost you more than an engagement ring. But, oh, those views!
7. COUPLES COOKING CLASSES
Denver boasts a smorgasbord of culinary schools, several of which offer classes for couples. The intimate get-togethers at Kitchen Table Cooking School follow date-night themes like "Tacos & Tequila" and "Tango in the Kitchen, A Romantic Night in Argentina," while Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is a perfect opportunity to treat your soulmate to a multi-course romantic dinner for two — and then experiment with the recipes in the privacy of your own kitchen.
8. HOTEL MONACO
It's easy to get lucky in love at Hotel Monaco, renowned for its elegantly appointed rooms and suites bedecked with down pillows and comforters, bold color schemes (think racy reds), deluxe bath amenities and playful furnishings. Indulge in the hotel's afternoon wine hour, complete with complimentary chair massages, then slide into a booth for two at Panzano, the excellent, on-site Northern Italian restaurant. In the morning, luxuriate in a massage, either in your room or at the VEDA Salon & Spa.
9. LANNIE'S CLOCKTOWER CABARET
If you're bored with the bar scene but still fancy a classy place to sip and sup while taking in top entertainment, join the other canoodling couples at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, a sensually attired, Parisian-styled nightclub tucked into the basement of the historic D&F Tower in Downtown Denver. The sexy showroom, owned by local songstress Lannie Garrett, dazzles with its clusters of chenille-draped tables illuminated by antique chandeliers dangling cowboy boots and clocks. Everyone from piano bar crooners and vocal impressionists to vaudeville comedians and jazzy national acts grace the glittering stage.
10. VESTA DIPPING GRILL
The distinctive concept of dipping and sharing entrees makes Vesta Dipping Grill one of the first restaurants in town to sell out for Valentine's Day. Mostly two-tops and cozy booths fill this chic downtown spot. The lighting is just enough to see what you’re dipping into some of the many sauces offered, from sweet dried berry chutney to spicy ghost chili BBQ. Ready to split a dessert? Take turns dipping into sticky toffee pudding, caramelized pineapple or malted chocolate mousse, then compare notes – and maybe more…
Vesta Dipping Grill's cuisine lends itself to a romantic evening, with sumptuous bites and savory dipping sauces.