Weekend Warrior - Denver
When trying to plan a trip for my nieces, who had never flown before, I was stumped. We needed something short, nonstop, and something that offered them a different view. Dallas, Houston and St. Louis were all out of the question only because it's all very close to where we live (Oklahoma). After a little digging I found out there were nonstop flights to Denver. Denver was something different. Denver had a different view. Denver was only a hour and a half flight from Tulsa. Denver clearly won.
I hate wasting a day so we took the first thing out at 7:00am and arrived at 7:45am. That gave us a day to explore before we checked into our hotel. My mom and I had a full day planned; breakfast, a candy factory tour, and a black western museum tour. The next day was reserved for a half-day mountain tour and a little rest and relaxation. So. here's how to be a Weekend Warrior in Denver!
I think I might have been more excited about the Hammond's Candy Factory tour than the two kids were. I'm fascinated with how things are made and the process they go through. This tour gave us exactly that. We were able to go behind the scenes to see how our favorite candies are made. All those holiday ribbon candies you see every year are made right in Denver. Hammond's have been around since 1920 and has grown to be the the largest maker of handmade candies in the world. Watching them mold everything by hand, minus a fe machines, was absolutely amazing. The tour is free and you get to leave with a free candy cane.
One of the special highlights for us on this trip was finding out that there was a museum dedicated to telling the story of "Black Cowboys". The museum opened in 1971 and since then it has evolved to tell the stories of African Americans of the West and how they settled and formed their own towns and their history. The museum is actually the house of the first Black female doctor in Colorado. It literally took her 50 years to even be recognized by the state. Because of that, she was forced to create her own infirmary and in those 50 years she was able to deliver over 7,000 babies. It's small but mighty and it was a great experience. Photos are not allowed to be taken inside so I have a few pictures from the outside.
This 4-hour tour was well worth the early morning alarm. We were picked up from our hotel at 7:45am and made a few stops to pick up a few more passengers. After that, we made our way to their main location where several others joined. The driver and tour guide were both full of life and were really fun. This was my first trip into the mountains and even though it was just half a day we covered a lot. As we made our way through the city the guide pointed out sights along the way. Our first official stop was Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park. The 250 million year old geological creation is named after its red sandstone monoliths. It was probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The view, the rocks, and the museum were phenomenal. I just took a moment and took in all of God's work at that moment. After that stop, we made our way through small mountain towns and a few canyons and ended up at Lookout Mountain and the gravesite of Buffalo Bill. There aren't too many words to describe this tour. It's something you really have to experience for yourself.
This outdoor mall was one block from our hotel and it was nice to get out and walk outside as well as see some shops. Plan to make a stop here if you are looking to kill some time, grab some good food, and do some good people watching.
Denver was a wonderful weekend getaway and it was easy. They have plenty of transportation options from taxis and users to get you around and if you opt to stay downtown you have great hotels that allow you to get around on foot too. Thanks Denver for helping my mom and I show my nieces something new and different. Until next time...
I didn't forget the food! Click here to read about some of the food I ate.