Lindy Eichenbaum Lent / Photo ' Ray Ng Photography
The Tattered Cover bookstore / Courtesy Wikipedia
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent is the executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize downtown Denver's 12-acre Civic Center Park. Lent previously served as communications director for Colorado governor John Hickenlooper when he was mayor of Denver.
Best Place to Experience Architecture
Civic Center Park: Recently designated a National Historic Landmark for its City Beautiful significance, the park is surrounded by 360 degrees of architectural intrigue: the Renaissance Revival-style Colorado State Capitol (E.E. Myers and Frank Edbrooke, 1908); the Denver Central Library (Burnham Hoyt, 1955; Michael Graves, 1995); the Denver Art Museum (Gio Ponti, 1971; Daniel Libeskind, 2006); the Georgian Revival-style Denver City and County Building (Allied Architects Association, 1932), and the skyline of downtown Denver’s commercial business district.
Located in an 1883 Lower Downtown building, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen features innovative pub food from around the world—one of three local restaurants from chef-owner Jennifer Jasinski, recently named the Best Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation. Another personal favorite is the modern Asian bistro ChoLon, which features chef Lon Symensma’s creative culinary wizardry. The soup dumplings and kaya toast are a must.
A few blocks east of downtown, the Uptown neighborhood features a number of local favorites—including the unique twists on classic American comfort food at Steuben’s and its sister restaurant next door, the Asian-inspired Ace, both known for their creative cocktails, unique vibes, and incredible food. Ace even has ping-pong tables.
The Wynkoop Brewing Company was not only the first brewpub in the Rocky Mountain West, but it was founded in 1988 by Colorado’s current governor John Hickenlooper (for whom I once served as communications director). Located in the restored 1899 J.S. Brown Mercantile Building across from Denver Union Station, the Wynkoop features small-batch craft beers and a beloved pool hall.
Best Museums and Galleries:
The Clyfford Still Museum opened in 2011 to rave reviews: both for the design by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture as well as the incredible collection of previously unseen masterpieces it houses.
If you’re looking for high-end Western wear and gifts, check out Denver’s legendary Rockmount Ranch Wear in Lower Downtown and Cry Baby Ranch in Larimer Square. The I Heart Denver store in Downtown’s Denver Pavilions gives 70 percent of all sales to the more than 135 local artists and designers it features. Handcrafted items from local and national artisans can also be found at Show of Hands and The Artisan Center in Cherry Creek North, two shops that are local favorites for home accessories, jewelry, and gifts.
Check out Nest, Denver’s premier neighborhood boutique for children’s clothing and curated gifts, with a location in Larimer Square and one on 6th Avenue north of Cherry Creek.
And there is no better book browsing (or buying) experience than the Tattered Cover Bookstore.