|Where's Scott? At Home In Denver|
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DOING IT UP RIGHT IN DENVER
Most people travel to Denver during the winter to enjoy unparalleled skiing in the Rocky Mountains. Some of those same people return in the summer for amazing hikes among any of the 52 hike-able 14,000-foot or higher mountain peaks (called 14ers). Fall in the Rockies boasts the changing of the seasons with an amazing palette of gold, red and brown that is nearly unmatched. Finally, spring draws people for whitewater rafting, hiking in the foothills and biking in the crisp mountain air.
But what do you do if your outdoor time is limited or you would rather enjoy the nightlife that this major city has to offer? Denver embodies that city life, so what are you waiting for? Let's spend a weekend in Denver, Colorado from Friday through Sunday…
The first thing you'll notice about Denver when you arrive is that the city is not located in the mountains. Rather, it's on a plateau in front of the mountains with the western suburbs nestled into the foothills of the Rockies. The second thing you'll notice is that, barring a weather catastrophe, the Denver International Airport (DIA) runs amazingly smoothly. I have seldom waited more than five minutes for my checked luggage to arrive at the carousel. And finally, you're likely to notice that the actual city is a hell of a long distance away from the airport and that the airport seems to be located in the middle of nowhere. Thank you, city planners, for that oddity.
GETTING TO DOWNTOWN
Given its location, you'll want to allow between 45 and 60 minutes to get from DIA to downtown. The cost to get from the airport to downtown Denver is about $47 by taxi or $22 using a shuttle service such as Supershuttle. Remember: shuttle services make extra stops to drop off additional passengers so there's no guarantee that you'll be first. My favorite option? Taking the AF shuttle bus, part of Denver skyRide. The AF shuttle leaves every half-hour or hour depending on the time of day. The ride takes 45 minutes, drops you off right downtown and costs $8 one-way ($14 round trip). No tickets are needed, but exact change is required; the drivers don't carry cash.
If you're heading downtown, the stop you're looking for is Market Street Station. It'll be very obvious. It's the only stop the bus makes that is underground. After exiting the bus in the station, head for the escalators on the south side of the underground complex. They will take you right to the loading zone for the 16th Street Mall shuttle, which is a free bus service that runs up and down the … get this, 16th Street Mall. Convenient and timely? Yes. Creatively named? No.
Board a bus facing west (to your right as you exit the station) or start walking west as the suggested accommodations for a night on the town are at a hotel that is only one block away.
The Jet Hotel is a boutique hotel with only 19 rooms. It's located in the heart of Lower Downtown (or LoDo, the nightlife district of Denver) on the corner of 16th Street and Wazee Street. What's beautiful about the hotel's location is that you'll never walk more than six blocks away during your entire weekend in Denver.
Rooms at the hotel range from $148 per night to $350 night. I don't recommend opting for the $148/night rooms ... they're all on the second floor and, as they warn you at the front desk when you check in, the sound from the lobby on Friday and Saturday nights carries through to them very easily. Why is that important? Well, staying at the Jet Hotel is not for the faint of heart; the lobby turns into a full nightclub and packs in some of Denver's most beautiful people on Friday and Saturday nights. I recommend taking a $183/night room and at least getting on the third floor so that you have a safe haven should your night end before the nightclub closes down. (For something a little more subdued, I suggest the nearby Oxford Hotel).
The rooms are nothing special at The Jet Hotel – here, you're paying for location. Here are some photos of the rooms and view of the 16th street mall. Okay, I could not resist putting in a couple of photos of Elly, the cutest front desk worker I have encountered at a hotel in quite some time. Jet Hotel, 1612 Wazee Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303.572.3300 Toll Free: 877.418.2462; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 866-696-3617 or email email@example.com
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