Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Denver

by  Darren Murph | Mar 1, 2013
Denver Trip Ideas
Denver Trip Ideas / Darren Murph

Much like Salt Lake City, which we covered last week, Denver can be downright chilly this time of year. But, for those looking to get a little more wear out of that winter coat, it can be an excellent time to see some of Colorado's beauty before (or after) a day of meetings. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the wilds of The Mile High City, we’re offering up three restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

For those seeking an upscale place to entertain (and feed) clients, Bistro Vendôme should go over quite well. Aside from offering finely prepared French cuisine, there's also a fairly robust dessert menu. Of note: This place is only open for dinner, so you'll need to look elsewhere for lunch – unless, of course, you hang around for brunch on Saturday or Sunday. As a slight aside while we're on the topic of European food in Denver, those who have already popped their top button and loosened the tie can find delightful German fare at Cafe Berlin. The atmosphere is casual, but the grub is excellent!

In a bid to fill that lunch void, Sam's No. 3 Diner is a must. It's a Denver original, and not a whole lot has changed. It's still a throwback diner, and you'll still get enough food on one plate for two people to get full off of. Be sure to save room for a milkshake, and good luck leaving here with any leftover stress. It's an excellent place to blow off steam while enjoying top-notch comfort food.

If you've got an afternoon or two that could use some activities, the beer aficionados (that's a thing, right?) should grab a rental car and head west to Golden. You've probably been blitzed by television advertisements claiming that this brew or another was chilled in the Rockies, and indeed, a lot of alcohol gets shipped out of Golden. The Golden Brewery Tour is a fascinating look at what it takes to run such a monumental operation, and it's worth the trip if you're even remotely interested in the topic.

Given that you've already grabbed a rental, it's well worth setting aside an afternoon (or morning, if your schedule allows) and driving to Mt. Evans (pictured). While in Colorado, you're far more likely to hear of Pikes Peak than Mt. Evans, but that's the point. Mt. Evans isn't overrun with tourists, and remains in its natural state. It's home to the most highly elevated highway in all of North America, and driving it from bottom to top will provide some astonishing views. The temperature tends to drop at least 30 to 40 degrees along the way, so pack a camera and bundle up!

Once it comes time to head back, we'd recommend a stop at Row 14. It's a bistro and wine bar, and it's one of the more elegant places near the Colorado Convention Center to truly kick back and unwind. If you're going primarily for a meal, be sure to make a reservation in advance.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

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