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Spend a day in the Highlands, one of Denver’s great neighborhoods, just a few minutes northwest of downtown.
This community, which has recently been featured in Travel + Leisure Magazine, Men's Journaland National Geographic Traveler, has experienced amazing growth and changes over the past few years, and is overflowing with hip restaurants, bars and shops. It’s a hidden gem that’s not so hidden anymore!
Start the day right with a filling brunch. There are plenty of options, including the local favorite Duo (serving breakfast/brunch Saturday and Sunday). The ambiance is relaxed and unassuming, and incredible food is prepared by acclaimed chef John Broening. Buon appetito!
Highlands Square is a charming neighborhood of quaint boutiques and restaurants, situated among bungalow-style houses. It's got an undeniably small town feel to it, even though it's just minutes from downtown. Here, you'll find shops offering anything from books and gifts to fine lingerie and contemporary fashions. Grab a cup of coffee and start browsing, or get lunch and a drink at The Matador, offering gourmet Tex-Mex cuisine, specialty cocktails and more than 100 tequilas to choose from.
Next, discover the burgeoning creative scene of the Tennyson Street Cultural District. This jewel of a neighborhood is packed with a variety of art galleries, creative retail shops, and boutiques that offer a wide selection of artwork and gifts. Tennyson prides itself on its "buy local" attitude. In other words, you won't find chain stores selling mass manufactured merchandise. Instead, you'll be treated to small, privately owned businesses that proudly offer their unique products.
Next, soak up the sun over at Sloan's Lake Park, located at 25th Ave. and Sheridan St. This 177-acre park is an urban oasis, with the enormous Sloan's Lake taking center stage. Framed by a stunning view of the Denver skyline, water skiers can be seen in the summer zooming across the lake. Bring some food to grill and spread out a picnic blanket or two - there's plenty of room at this sprawling city park.
Take a little time in the afternoon to stroll the Highlands' relaxed residential streets. You'll find splendid examples of restored 1930s bungalows, ornate Queen Anne-style homes and quaint Victorian cottages. Don't be surprised if you end up wanting to move here!
As the sun begins to set, head to the Lower Highlands — LoHi to locals — where you'll find a number of hip bars and bistros. Men's Journal raved: "Colorado's capital finally has its own Brooklyn." Your drinks and dining options are extensive. Lola features delectable coastal Mexican cuisine and a wide array of tequilas; the aforementioned Duo offers an inspired eclectic American menu with farm-to-table ingredients; Linger is housed in a truly uniqe setting - a former mortuary! But there's nothing ghoulish about the amazing food and handcrafted cocktails served here. The neighborhood is also home to some great breweries, including Prost Brewing and Denver Beer Co.
Haven't had enough of this great Denver neighborhood? Book a room at the charming Lumber Baron Inn & Gardens, a luxury bed & breakfast in the Highlands. With lush gardens and popular Murder Mystery Dinner packages, the Lumber Baron is the kind of place which you'll want to keep coming back to.