Thanks to our good friend, Dodie Ownes, editor of SLJTeen, we’ll be sharing a three-part “guide” to Denver for ISTE 2010 attendees. Over the next few days, we’ll provide some tips for surviving Denver, lists of area restaurants and information on other entertaining local venues.
For any first-time visitors traveling from a sea-level location, keep these simple tips in mind for your initial days in Denver:
- Do not exercise heavily, or skimp on water intake! The mile-high altitude makes for arid conditions, and visitors can get dehydrated quickly.
- If you are going to the mountains, or just spending a day outside, put on sunscreen. It is easy to get a sunburn here (even in January).
For travel outside your hotel or the Colorado Convention Center, the Light Rail Train Station located under the convention center parking garage will whisk you easily to most areas of Denver. Costs are reasonable, and the system is considered to be very safe for travelers.
Staying downtown? The free MallRide travels through the heart of downtown Denver, making frequent stops within walking distance of the convention center and some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It connects with several Light Rail Stations too, if you care to venture further.
The MallRide is the major connection to the restaurants and clubs in LoDo (lower downtown), which is just west of the convention center and home to many of Denver’s off-convention-center hotels. Several establishments are only 6-8 blocks from the convention center, but if time is a premium, jump on the shuttle to shave some minutes off your visit to Denver’s where-to-be-seen area. Also nearby – Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Metro State’s Center for Visual Art, and Cry Baby Ranch.
In addition, here are some downtown restaurants sure to whet your palate:
Bistro Vendome (www.bistrovendome.com)
A casual French bistro with cocktails and an extensive selection of French wines. Situated in the historic Sussex building (1880).
Del Mar Crab House (www.delmardenver.com)
Seafood from the east coast and the west coast; Maine lobster to Dungeness crab, New England clam chowder or Alaskan halibut. Pastas and salads also available.
Gelazzi offers 32 flavors of gelato made fresh daily. Fan favorite: Affogato al Caffe – gelato with an espresso shot.
Mad Greens (www.madgreens.com)
This busy restaurant is cafeteria style and casual. You can build your own salad from a long selection of vegetables, meats, toppings and dressings, or order from the salad menu.
Sam’s No.3 (www.samsno3.com)
American, Mexican, and Greek food, inexpensive and reasonably fast. Great breakfasts served all day; also known for their hot dogs & chili. Don’t forget to check the specials board!
Santa Fe Cookie Company
Fresh baked cookies, 2-3 cookies per $1 bag. Local favorite: sugar cookies that are crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.
Three Sisters (www.threesisterscafeandcatering.com)
A vast selection of soups with three vegetarian options and four or more for non-vegetarians. Add a mini loaf of bread, and you have a nice lunch for around $6.
Vesta Dipping Grill (www.vestagrill.com)
Specializing in dipping sauces and fondue, everyone can find something delicious to eat at Vesta. The atmosphere is hip and warm at the same time, with a funky bar to sit at and people watch.
Wazee Supper Club (www.wazeesupperclub.com)
This local favorite has great pizzas, sandwiches and local beers on tap, and live music is featured on many Friday and Saturday evenings. A great atmosphere, and just a couple of blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Market Street strolling area.
Wynkoop Brewing Company (www.wynkoop.com)
Denver’s first brewpub (established in 1988) is located in the historic J.S. Brown Mercantile Building in Lower Downtown Denver. Casual and friendly, good food and great local beer.
In the coming days, look for more suggestions to help enjoy your stay!