Now that the Democratic Convention is in full swing, Denver, the mile-high city, is in the spotlight. So we're going back through our archives to offer up the city's best bets. In our July/August issue of Traveler, contributing writer Andrew Nelson offered a selection of local picks in each of the convention cities. But since many of you may not have brought your old issues with you to the convention, we re-purpose his list here, free of charge. Check back next week for more tips on Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Square Meal Deal
Pick up political gossip and tamales at La Casita. The Mexican restaurant is owned by local mover and shaker Paul Sandoval. “People hold political meetings here to strategize on who should run for what,” says Rocky Mountain News political reporter Lynn Bartels. “The food’s great, and it’s got a New Mexico flair, with more emphasis on chilis and less on cheese.”
Colorado’s State Capitol is one of five in the country that allow visitors to go into its dome. The rest of the building can be seen on a free 45-minute tour. Two-week advance reservations recommended.
Endorsing a Party
LoDo, short for Lower Downtown Historic District, is the spot for fun. Filled with “everything from fancy restaurants to beer joints,” says Bartels, the 23-square-block neighborhood is the home of urban professionals and hip shopping. Landmarks include Union Station and Coors Baseball Field.
The People’s House
Like some candidates, Molly Brown proved “unsinkable.” A survivor of the Titanic, Brown had a sumptuous Victorian mansion in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Today, it’s a museum devoted to her life.
The Denver Art Museum is known for its Native American art collection. An edgy addition opened in 2006. Says Bartels of the Daniel Libeskind–designed annex: “It looks like a tornado hit it and they glued the pieces back together.” The museum is next to Civic Center Park, which may be the focal point for protesters during the convention.
“The Cruise Room is where Denverites celebrated the end of Prohibition and is said to be modeled after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, so it’s got this amazing vibe,” says Mayor John W. Hickenlooper. “And it’s the perfect spot for a pre- or post-game toast to the Colorado Rockies team.”
Read More: For more advice on navigating Denver, check out our Destination Guide. And for reader picks on what to do in Denver (and in nearby Boulder) look to a recent IT "Plan My Trip!" post. IT editor Janelle Nanos followed reader's advice and checked out one fantastic Denver restaurant, and writes about it here.
Photo: Joanna B. Pinneo