Well, our Denver adventures have come to a close. While I’m sure it will always hold a special place in our hearts (it is where we got married, after all), we were definitely ready to end this chapter. We’re settling in for a couple of very busy months, but wanted to give Denver its final farewell.
Denver Report Card
Oh Denver…where to start? We knew at the start of this adventure that Denver would be a stop – it was actually our only planned destination; it just made sense with the wedding being in Aspen and we couldn’t wait for summer in the mountains. As excited as we were to come here, it’s no secret that we just didn’t love Denver. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why we didn’t like it; maybe it’s because we came from Portland – which we loved – or maybe we just had our expectations too high.
I will give Denver this: the weather is top notch. It’ll be hard spending summers anywhere else after this. While it did get hot (upper 90s), the low humidity made it bearable if not downright enjoyable. We also loved the hiking; the foothills of the Rockies were just a short drive away, and we took full advantage of hiking nearly every weekend we had. Unfortunately the food and beer scene left us wanting more. While there is no shortage of breweries or restaurants, all of the restaurants seemed to have the exact same menu – American fare – which to two cultural food junkies was just meh. The breweries were good, and we would definitely go back to Avery (Matt said it might be his favorite brewery of all time), most of them were large and corporate, not like the local craft breweries we love in Portland and Asheville. There are lots of parks and open spaces in the city, and we enjoyed going to Cheesman and City Parks to let Snickers run around. Our biggest drawback to Denver as a whole was the car-centricity and total disregard for pedestrians. As frequent pedestrians, we often felt like we were walking on interstates just to go the 1 mile to downtown, and probably couldn’t even count the number of times we almost got run over by cars or bikes taking over the sidewalks. At home, we typically don’t drive unless we have to, but here we had to drive pretty much everywhere. In fact, going the 5 miles to the gym often took upwards of 45 minutes – that’s how crazy traffic is.
Would we go back? For a week to ski or hike, sure. Would we live there? Not unless we had to. We do love the mountains, though, so maybe we’d try Boulder on for size.