The Mile-high city might be best known for its perch at roughly 5,000 feet but there is so much more to experience in Denver than altitude and Rocky Mountain vistas. Consider a boutique shop-filled weekend dense with restaurants in the wonderfully walkable Cherry Creek North neighborhood. The community spans 16 blocks and is home to 600 businesses (300 of which are retail shops); you’ll find local boutiques, restaurants, and galleries worth exploring—and the area is also noteworthy for being home to Denver’s highest concentration of locally-owned businesses.
Over 140 years ago, Cherry Creek was a part of a small town called Harman. Today, you’ll find leafy tree-lined streets, boutique shops, several luxury hotels, fitness studios, galleries, and artisanal food purveyors. Work spaces, event spaces and dozens of patios for people-watching and great dining make it an attractive destination for business too, but the main reason to pay a visit is the total walkability. The only time you will need a car is to get to the airport.
The area is home to five distinct luxury hotels—with a range of offerings. The Clayton Member’s Club Hotel is a buzzy scene with meetups in the lobby, collaborating teams in the 2nd floor restaurant which feels very much like a clubby lounge with an assortment of banquettes, private tables, outdoor seating and cozy corners to tuck into your laptop. A terrific breakfast from the open air kitchen and the bar delivers on craft cocktails and wine for Happy hour get-togethers. The Rooftop bar, which shares outdoor space with the pool, is perfect for evening drinks.
Fitness is hard to ignore here, with seven gyms offering a range of grueling to soothing fitness experiences. From facials and float studios, to makeovers and massages, self-care is a top offering here. Fitness junkies will love Barry’s, Rumble, CLMBR, and SoulCycle. Gentler, more restorative offerings include Restore Hyper Wellness, Vive Float Studio, or Stretch Lab.
Alternatively, you can build your own adventure and pursue some forest/tropical bathing at the nearby (within easy walking distance) Denver Botanic Garden. This green oasis is home to seven major plant collections—one of the most diverse offerings in North America.
Retail therapy is another full-time activity here. With 16 blocks of options, you’ll have your pick of home goods, art, fashion, jewelry and gift shops. One of the local favorites is Mariel, where owner Denise Snyder, is adamant about styling customers in clothes that “fit to flatter.” Judging by the store’s buzzy energy and steady stream of locals, she’s on to something. Mariel is also the largest hat curator in Colorado, and items only come in three sizes so whatever you walk out with will be unique to you.
Drink and Dine
La Merise French Bistro is a classically styled French restaurant with perfectly executed French cuisine—think beef Bourguignon, pate, escargot, and nightly specials that feature premium ingredients delivered with French flair. Located in the The Jacquard, Autograph Collection hotel Narrative delivers a stylishly modern chef-driven experience. Executive Chef Aaron Whitcomb has crafted a compelling menu, you’ll have to make the hard choices between tuna poke, lobster corndogs (even better than they sound), mushroom Bolognese, a 48-hour short rib, or pan seared scallops over carrot velvet and fresh pea falafel.
Just a few blocks further down the street you can stay in the French theme and stop for dessert at Crepes and Crepes. Whether you are in a sweet or savory mood, these from-scratch crepes are offered with thirty types of fillings, the range is vast, from Belgian chocolate to spinach and feta. Grab a lovely lunch at Local Jones—a charming spot with patio dining and large glass doors that open to the street, giving the entire dining room an al fresco feel. Be sure to try the schnitzel and drink a green juice on the rocks.
Craft cocktails are an experience at the inviting Forget Me Not where you can sip on a Coquette made with mezcal, cardamaro, amber vermouth, amaro, or try a large format cocktail, ideal for four people. Five Nines is another option—a sleek craft cocktail bar with nightly movement-based performances.