Hi, friends! Rex and I just returned from a long weekend in Colorado (flew in Friday morning and flew back Monday morning), and I wanted to document the trip on the blog and share more details than I did on Instagram so here we go!
Since we arrived super early local time on Friday (around 7:30am MST), we had a full day ahead of us. After grabbing some coffee and a pastry and a breakfast burrito at a local neighborhood coffee shop, we headed over to Denver Art Museum.
The admission is not free ($19 for out-of-state, non-member adults) but it is totally worth a visit! There is so much to do see, and I really appreciated all the cultures and histories that were highlighted. You can easily spend a whole day here between the two buildings.
Rex and I being goofy
We actually took a break in between by grabbing lunch from Leven Deli. They’re just a couple of blocks away from the Museum so it was super convenient. They were quite busy but the line moved fast and the seating turned over quickly too. I had the Focaccia & Mozzarella which was simply the best rendition I have ever had!
~that vacation glow~
As one does, we went to a local bookstore every day of this trip. On Friday, we went to Tattered Cover Book Store. They have several locations throughout Colorado, and we went to their Aspen Grove location in Littleton. Rex picked up a book by an author he used to read in high school, and we also picked up a Christmas gift to commemorate this trip (I don’t have a picture but it’s one of the leaf ornaments from Rocky Mountain Leaf Company).
One of the only plans we made ahead of time for this trip was Friday dinner reservation at Sushi Den. To be frank, it didn’t quite live up to my expectation especially considering they were James Beard Award semifinalist for “Outstanding Restaurant.”
Rex and I both got slightly different nigiri sets and while they’re greatly priced, they were not as good as the individual nigiris we ordered so we felt like there were some inconsistencies. But keep in mind, I’m a huge nigiri lover/snob and I’m very picky with the rice texture and temperature when it comes to nigiris.
And, we LOVED the seared toro nigiri from their catch of the day menu (horrible screenshot from a video above)–it was one of the best nigiris I’ve ever had! Next time, we will probably order Individual nigiris and try some of their specialty rolls (the basic rolls that came with our nigiri dinners were really good).
Saturday was a very physical day. We drove out to Pike National Forest to hike the Devil’s Head trail. I feel like I need to warn everyone the hike up is a lot more challenging than you would expect. The trail is 1.4 miles each way so under 3 miles round trip but the hike up felt like a 3 mile trip in itself, I’m guessing due to the higher elevation that I’m used to. The Fire Lookout at the top of the trail sits at 9,748 ft. elevation.
I was out of breath just walking from the car to the start of the trail and had to take a LOT of breaks. Even with going slowly, I felt like I was constantly gasping for air the entire hike up. Before the very end of the trail, you get a little of a reprieve. There is this meadow area that is really pretty.
And then you have to climb a pretty steep staircase. Towards the top of the staircase (where it turns in the top of the photo below), I kind of freaked out because you’re pretty exposed to the cliff. But everyone was very patient and understanding so if you can get over your fear of height, you will be okay!
I didn’t take a lot of pictures at the top because again, I was busy freaking out but it was definitely a rewarding hike! You can walk around the Fire Lookout (there was a cat in uniform inside which was such a cute surprise). Thankfully, the hike down was a breeze.
In the afternoon, we headed to Colorado Springs (lots of driving in one day). Our initial plan was to go to a swimming hole but the weather was not looking great so we pivoted and went to Garden of the Gods instead. It’s really the red rocks but they are so cool?!?!
You have to drive quite a bit, but this one takes no hiking skills (though you can climb small rocks; need a permit for actual rock climbing) so it seemed to be a popular spot for families.
While in Colorado Springs, we grabbed Korean food for late lunch and stopped by another bookstore called Poor Richard’s.
Sunday started pretty low both because we were tired from the Saturday excursions and we were trying to reserve our energy for the concert we were going to in the evening. We had ramen for lunch and then checked out 2nd & Charles. It’s a huge store that sells new and used books, vinyls, toys, and more. I scored a pristine copy of Lonesome Dove for $5!!!
Highlight of Sunday was the Dispatch concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which prompted this whole trip! We got there a few hours early and “tailgated” with Jimmy John’s sandwiches and seltzers. There is Red Rocks Trading Post a short walk away that houses Red Rocks gift shop and Colorado Music Hall of Fame post so we paid a little visit before lining up for the show.
I cannot put into words how cool of a venue this is!!! The amphitheater is built between two large rocks, and it really takes outdoor venue to another level. I will say you have to hike up a little bit getting to the amphitheater from the parking lot (at least from Upper South Lot where we parked) and then to get to the seats within the amphitheater.
Absolutely no filter on this photo because hello, look at that sunset!!
Thankful to have a travel buddy that makes all trips so fun! ♥️