A Day in LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver)
Lower Downtown Denver is hot. The neighborhood has been completely restored and renovated over the years, making LoDo one of the liveliest areas in the city, featuring dozens of entertainment, shopping and cultural options. Spend a day exploring this vibrant area.
Breakfast at Snooze
Every morning, Denverites flock in droves to 2262 Larimer St. for a hearty breakfast at Snooze, a self-proclaimed “A.M. Eatery.” The culinary scientists behind Snooze truly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it shows in the restaurant’s extensive menu, including such adventurous creations as "Peanut Butter & Jelly Pancakes," "Apple Dandy Pancakes" and "Salmon of All Benedicts," alongside more traditional breakfast standbys.
Shopping in Larimer Square
Grab a latté and do a little window-shopping in Larimer Square. This revitalized historic district epitomizes urban style and sophistication; if you’re on the hunt for tomorrow’s trends, you’ll find them here – either in the shops or on the locals who hang out in the square. What began as Denver’s first city block is now one of the city’s most chic fashion districts, with offerings from the biggest and most cutting-edge designers.
Eye-opening Exhibits at Museum of Contemporary Art | Denver
Denver’s cutting-edge arts world was given a new home recently in the form of the David Adjaye-designed Museum of Contemporary Art | Denver (MCA | Denver) on the corner of 15th and Delgany Streets, two blocks from Union Station. This lovely, modern building houses a constantly refreshed set of exhibits – no visit to MCA | Denver is ever the same. MCA isn’t as sprawling as its “big sister,” the Denver Museum of Art, meaning that you can explore its every corner in an hour or two, then enjoy its rooftop cafe with panoramic cityscape views.
LoDo is filled with grand buildings that have been lovingly restored and updated. The most noticeable is Union Station (pictured right) at 17th and Wynkoop Streets., a Beaux-Arts-style structure with an impressive façade and expansive interior. Next, check out the Wynkoop Brewery, housed in the superbly renovated J.S. Brown Mercantile Building, built in the late 19th century. One of the city’s most popular brewpubs, The Wynkoop, one of the city's most popular brewpubs, was founded by former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (now Colorado Governor), prior to his political career. Enjoy the classic architecture and stop in for lunch and a cold one or two. As you make your way through LoDo, learn about the early history of the area from historic markers that can be found on buildings at 1801 Wynkoop St. (The Littleton Creamery – Beatrice Warehouse) and 1635 17th St. (the Denver City Railway Building).
Millennium Bridge to the South Platte
Connecting Riverfront Park and the 16th Street Mall is the Millennium Bridge, constructed in 2002. This unique, tubular steel footbridge was designed by the structural and civil engineering firm Ove Arup & Partners in conjunction with the architectural design company ArchitectureDenver to resemble the mast of a great ship, stretching an impressive 200 feet into the sky. Climb the stairs or take the glass elevator to the top. You'll be treated to a great view of downtown, as well as the Platte River, where Denver was founded. On the other side of the bridge, Riverfront Park is a wonderful spot to spend a sunny afternoon, with winding trails running alongside the gently rolling river.
Tattered Cover’s World of Books
Before dinner, browse a while at Tattered Cover, one of the largest independent booksellers in the country, located at 1628 16th Street at Wynkoop St. This longtime Mile High City institution is packed from floor to ceiling with books, magazines and gifts. Get a cup of coffee or a pastry from the in-store café, sprawl out on a comfy sofa and catch up on your reading. Don’t forget to check the Tattered Cover calendar to see what big-name authors are appearing for book signings and readings.
Happy Hours, Dinner, Nightlife and Beyond
LoDo comes alive when the sun goes down. Grab cheap drinks and appetizers during the hard-to-beat happy hours at McCormick & Schmick’s (1659 Wazee St.), and Wazee Supper Club (1600 15th St.). Then explore the neighborhood’s happening cuisine scene, ranging from steakhouses like Morton’s (1710 Wynkoop St.) to Rio Grande’s spicy Mexican dishes and award-winning margaritas (1525 Blake St.)!
Once you’ve filled up on food, take in LoDo’s glamorous nightlife. An opulent champagne and crudo bar in Larimer Square, Corridor 44 (1433 Larimer St.) is intimate and unabashedly sensual, juxtaposing white leather banquettes and crystal chandeliers with striped walls, oversized chairs and Zebra-print carpeting.
Not in the mood for club-hopping? If you’re visiting LoDo between April and September, catch a Colorado Rockies game at the spectacular Coors Field, one of the country’s greatest downtown baseball parks.
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