When I heard that Bonobo was on tour with a new album and playing a show at Red Rocks I jumped at the chance to make the trip to Colorado.
Next time you're on a plane I suggest listening to the title track off Migration upon takeoff. Look out the window at the planes, fields, cars, shapes... everything. It just feels so right. I definitely had a moment. Traveling to a beautiful place to see a beautiful show with a song that embodies getting from point A to point B... magic.
My friend Karlee and I flew in to the Denver airport and took the train to Union Station. (Which was super easy!) There was surprisingly a lot of great restaurants, drink options and spots to hangout at Union Station. We found ourselves back here at times just for those reasons.
Here's what we did while in Denver for the weekend! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post and have a look at the map! (I just discovered custom maps via "Google My Maps" and I'm a little obsessed).
The Kitchen is super walkable from Union Station, so it was really convenient just getting in from the train to go straight to lunch. And it was happy hour! Cocktails right off the bat of vacation are pretty standard, right?
Later that night we continued the drinks with whiskey flights and herby vodkas at Williams and Graham, a speakeasy style bar in a "corner bookstore".
Down the street was Linger. This bar was converted from an old mortuary called Olinger's and now they refer to themselves as an "Eatuary". Equally terrifying (when you think about it) but punny. I love that they kept the original sign for Olinger's but turned off the "O".
I was getting pretty hungry and in need of some food after so much drinking, so we got 10pm pasta from Bar Dough.
Friday morning we brunched at The Cookery at Myrtle Hill. The huevos rancheros is delicious! Especially when paired with a bloody Mary.
We worked up quite the appetite for shopping, so we hit up Antique Row.
Antique Row in Denver is a stretch of road between Arkansas Ave and E Iowa Ave filled with antique stores! Check out the "Antique Row" section on the below map to see my favorite shops.
I found some cute lil' stir sticks, vintage letters and a Mickey Mouse head pin for a friend. Antiquing is a lot like treasure hunting and sometimes you just find that gold!
We grabbed some coffee at Hudson Hill to regain some energy for the show! ...we may have also had a cocktail here too... I mean hello, they do have a full bar.
Nearby was a ping-pong bar, (yep you read that right), Ace Eat Serve. Unfortunately there was a company party happening and we weren't able to play ping-pong. (Damn you cool companies!) However, we were still able to drink. They have a really good happy hour deal for $2 veggie spring rolls and $5 highballs. I also suggest getting "The Chef's Special" if you like PBR and kimchi pickle backs.
ok. OK. OKAY. The moment is here... Red Rocks!
Within a minute of walking down the path into the venue, we saw 2 deer grazing on the other side of the handrail. What?! This place was so pretty already I couldn't wait to see Bonobo.
The show was general admission so we could sit wherever. Karlee and I found a good spot in the middle a little less than halfway up.
Innov Gnawa was the first act. They're featured on Bonobo's song, Bambro Koyo Ganda, and it was cool to hear their solo stuff.
It got dark before we even knew it, and Nick Murphy with his massive amounts of lasers came on. His new album, Missing Link, had just released a few days prior so he had loads of new music to play. Don't forget the oldies though like "No Diggity" and "The Trouble With Us".
It was time for Bonobo! So I'd actually seen him twice already in a two week span, and this would be my third. But they never get old. I'm always down to dance, and dance I did. This (above) is the only photo I took of the whole performance! That's how you know it was good.
The whole day had been pretty hot: around 75 or 80 degrees. Out of nowhere, it started raining. And then it continued to hail! Everyone around us acted like this was a completely normal thing to happen at a show at Red Rocks, because well, I guess it was. Luckily the hail was really small and it was cool to see little ice clumps gathered in our hands.
The show was amazing and hard to describe in words. Honestly if there's someone on the bill at Red Rocks who you'd love to see, go. It's really a venue like no other and an awesome experience.
Holy hangover, Batman! Okay, so Saturday my body hated me. Like didn't want to move or do anything at all.
Lucky for us this was the day we scheduled a rental car to drive out to Boulder and go hiking. Yay!
First we stopped at Blackeye coffee for some lattes and breakfast sandwiches. Seemed like a fitting name for a coffeeshop given the state we were both in.
Somehow we mustered up the strength to go through with it. We hiked Gregory's Pass which was beautiful! I suggest not going on a day you're hungover, but even if you are you shouldn't miss out on some good ol' nature. It'll do your body good.
The hike was near the equivalent of 48 flights of stairs. We did about an hour up and an hour back, so we didn't make it fully to the top but what we did see was so pretty.
Since we had the car for a little while longer after the hike, we drove around Boulder and ogled some houses. Man they're cute out there!
Back to Denver, then after a quick nap back at the hotel we were ready for food.
Mushroom pizza is my favorite. So obviously, yes please! Cart Driver in the Art District was SO GOOD. Karlee and I split a pie and it was the perfect amount for the both of us.
RiNo Art District had tons of street art to wander around and see. Great photo ops!
The Denver Central Market is also in RiNo and it's super cute. Look at this typographic tile!
There was coffee, pastries, ice cream, a deli, fresh veggies, a bar and more.
I went for the blueberry lemon ice cream at High Point Creamery. One: because I love blueberry and lemon; Two: because the ice cream was a complimentary color to my golden mustard jacket.
Next up was Bar Fausto. Finally! A place where a Bee's Knees is on the menu. AKA my favorite drink. Gin, honey and lemon. Perfection.
Good things come in pink boxes is right! I will always go out of my way to get to Voodoo. I mean on the way back from a roadtrip from LA to Washington we made one stop in between: The Voodoo in Portland. Will stop for doughnuts.
We brunched at Beatrice and Woodsley on what happened to be Mother's Day. There was a prix-fixe menu, and everything was delicious. I've heard when they have a full menu, the crawfish beignets are a must.
We walked around the area (to try and settle our stomachs from such a big meal) and to go shopping. There was a Goodwill and a Buffalo Exchange within walking distance and of course we went to both!
I found a straw pom pom hat and collared long sleeve star dress at Buffalo Exchange. Score!
So the University Building in Denver has a smokestack painted to look like a GIANT PENCIL. I just love anything kitschy like this. I had seen it from a car when we were driving past one day and I needed to make sure we made it back here so I could snap a shot, so we stopped on the way back to our hotel.
Next stop, Larimer Square. A cute little street filled with string lights, lots of restaurants, along with chain stores and some local boutiques.
I was really craving chips and guac, so we found a nearby spot to grab some grub. Lucky for us, Next Door was basically next door at Union Station. They also refer to it as "Union Station Restaurant", "Continental Room" or the "Caboose Lounge" (personal favorite).
The time for our flight out was drawing near, so we hung around and grabbed a drink at Terminal Bar before catching our train back to the airport. Seriously how cute is this bar though?
There's honestly so much to do in Denver, and I feel like we only touched the tip of the iceberg.
Hopefully this map will be helpful if you're planning a trip to Denver, or maybe it piques your interest to visit... Have fun exploring!
Note: There are sections on this map for bars, food, coffee, places to go, and even a section of my favorite antique stores! They're color coded and can be found on the left.