If your last day in Colorado involves hiking, beer, food then you've done this place justice

On your last day in Colorado I highly recommend visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. No amount of words can do the mountains, the lake and the forest justice so you have to take my word and see for yourself. The Rockies are about an hour and a half drive away from Denver. You'll need to wake up early if you want to see as much as possible because remember this park is gigantic and especially so if you want to see various lakes, do summit hikes and trek towards waterfalls. A great guide to understanding what different options you have (in terms of hiking) in the park can be found here. I also suggest spending some time on the park's website itself to understand what else you can see and do within the park aside from hiking. There is also a tourism office in the town before entering Rocky Mountain National Park called Estes Park. It's a teeny town along the mountainside with a few restaurants, Rocky Mountain souvenir shops and the Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for the movie, The Shining). Stop by the tourism office in Estes Park if you want more maps or need directions for the park.

View from Mills Lake inside of Rocky Mountain National Park

View from Mills Lake inside of Rocky Mountain National Park

All this talk of hiking the gorgeous Rockies must have you excited but no good hike is possible without a filling nutritious meal. If you're looking to get up early but also in need of a worthy meal check out Snooze AM Eatery. They open at 6:30am and serve all the brunch egg dishes you could possibly want. Their side of hash browns is crisped perfectly and I love their berry jam that comes with toast. You can actually taste the seeds in the jam!

Egg scramble with jalapeños, chicken sausage and goat cheese with a side of sourdough toast and home fries

Egg scramble with jalapeños, chicken sausage and goat cheese with a side of sourdough toast and home fries

Havana Daydreaming Sammie (Free-range house pork, shaved ham, gruyere cheese, homemade pickles and a sunny side egg with Dijon hollandaise, served up open-face on a hoagie roll) 

Havana Daydreaming Sammie (Free-range house pork, shaved ham, gruyere cheese, homemade pickles and a sunny side egg with Dijon hollandaise, served up open-face on a hoagie roll) 

After your hike I highly suggest grabbing a bite to eat within Estes Park. You may have been snacking for fuel throughout your hike but you'll need to recharge for the drive back to Denver. I cannot recommend Nepal's Cafe enough. This cafe is located in the back of a strip mall and run by a Nepalese family that lives in Estes Park. They know just the comfort food to feed you so that you can recuperate from your journey. The fried chicken momos are incredible (comes with a red curry dipping sauce) and their Nepalese coffee is also delicious. 

Fried chicken momos

Fried chicken momos

Once you're back in Denver and in the comfort of your hotel you can finally relax, shower, take a well deserved nap and dream of the beauty that you witnessed today. After you're feeling refreshed you may want to go someplace where you can lay low and enjoy the weather or just people watch. Denver Beer Company is the perfect hang out spot for all of that plus local brew. I loved their raspberry lime shandy and their pretzels are freshly baked, warm and comes with spicy deli mustard that hits the spot!

Local brew, pretzel with spicy deli mustard

Local brew, pretzel with spicy deli mustard

Since this is your last day in Colorado I suggest taking the rest of the late afternoon/evening strolling the city, relaxing in Commons Park or doing some last minute shopping. For your last meal in Denver I recommend Root Down, a trendy farm to table restaurant in the Highlands. Their vegetables are seasonal and truly live up to the hype so don't be nervous to order them. Although I went for happy hour I was so tempted to stay for dinner but regrettably didn't. I hope you won't make the same mistake. Check out their dinner menu- it makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Roasted baby beets, arugula, goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, sunflower seed pesto

Roasted baby beets, arugula, goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, sunflower seed pesto

Sweet potato fries with curry lime dipping sauce

Sweet potato fries with curry lime dipping sauce

Colorado lamb slider with harissa aioli 

Colorado lamb slider with harissa aioli 

Leave room after dinner for some ice cream from Little Man Ice Cream. It's a few minutes by walking from Root Down. Not only is the ice cream good at Little Man but you have to see this place. The storefront is a huge milk jug! You can enjoy your ice cream in the ample seating area with string lights hanging above right next to the store. It's very cozy. 

German cake chocolate ice cream 

German cake chocolate ice cream 

It's been a great few days exploring Colorado and the Rockies were the perfect way to close out this vacation. Until next time Colorado! 

Welcome to the Mile High City

You've finally landed into Denver International Airport after that 4 hour flight and being stuck on the tarmac for over an hour. It's time to breathe a sigh of relief, take that thirty minute Uber into downtown Denver and make it in time for happy hour. Whether you're staying downtown or in the Highlands you can access the happy hour at Stoic and Genuine pretty easily. Stoic and Genuine is in Union Station which, true to its name is a bus station but also home to a plethora of great restaurants. Before going to happy hour check out the station itself. You can play games, get a drink (coffee or alcohol) and relax with a book on the comfy leather couch. 

$2 oysters during happy hour

$2 oysters during happy hour

King Crab Cakes, cucumber, arugula, chives, red pepper vinaigrette 

King Crab Cakes, cucumber, arugula, chives, red pepper vinaigrette 

Feeling full? Walk around Commons Park (10-15 minutes) away from Union Station to work off the oysters and vodka. There is a serene streams that flows through the park and a bridge that connects downtown to the Highlands. Once you cross into the Highlands you'll be on a strip of trendy shops and cafes. Check out local Denver made clothing like hats, skateboards and boutique dresses. You'll notice a dispensary with pink neon lights. It's a donut dispensary, Habit Doughnut Dispensary and they have great flavors.

Mexican hot chocolate donut

Mexican hot chocolate donut

You're not too far away from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. They have a great variety of exhibitions that you can spend hours looking at. Or if you're a baseball fan then definitely stop by to tour Coors Field. It's almost 6pm now. I think a nap is definitely needed to recuperate after a day of flying and touring the city. Hopefully you've made dinner reservations at one of the top farm to table restaurants in Denver. Although there are plenty delicious places for you to dine at, Fruition needs to be at the top of of your list. Chef Seidel grows his own ingredients at his own farm in Denver which is then used to make the dishes at Fruition. It doesn't get better than that. A separate review on Fruition is coming soon!

Maple Leafs Farm duck breast, savory pistachio olive oil cake, glazed beets, sunchoke puree 

Maple Leafs Farm duck breast, savory pistachio olive oil cake, glazed beets, sunchoke puree 

Fruition Farms Shepherd's Halo cheese, palisade peach preserve, savory granola, pistachio vinaigrette 

Fruition Farms Shepherd's Halo cheese, palisade peach preserve, savory granola, pistachio vinaigrette 

Day one of Dever is complete! Stayed tuned for your day two itinerary. Oh and welcome to the Mile High City.