Platts: Oh hey, Denver |

Platts: Oh hey, Denver

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple years (which, hey, you be you…no shame in that) then you’re probably somewhat aware that our state’s capitol is booming. The city is currently one of the fastest growing in the nation, with 58,474 people moving there between July 2014 and July 2015. Today, it is estimated to have 682,545 residents, and more are on their way.

This probably doesn’t surprise many people. After all, Colorado is very hip right now. We have huge mountains, four identifiable and gorgeous seasons, young and creative people, and then there’s that legalizing weed thing…Essentially, this state is cool, and it’s entirely understandable that people would want to move here to find out just how true that is.

I grew up in Boulder, spending some time in Denver throughout my younger years. I’ve always known it as a great place to catch Broadway shows and Colorado Avalanche hockey games (which I was beyond obsessed with from middle school to college). But I never thought of it as cool, as a place to explore, party or even live. It felt kind of generic and unimportant in the scheme of things. However, as several of my very close friends now live there, I’ve had to rethink my perception of this urban playground. Perhaps it has some style to it after all.

To further understand this ever-growing community, my boyfriend and I headed down to the Front Range this past weekend for an adventure. We had a blast, trying to get to every neighborhood we could to experience why this city is growing and how that growth is changing it. My boyfriend and myself tend to explore new places via our taste buds. We love to check out hip restaurants, local pubs and artisan coffee shops. Yes, this is a rather indulgent strategy, but we only had two days to experience the city, so we took that route. These are a few spots that tickled our fancy.

Jelly U in Capitol Hill

A breakfast and lunch destination, this retro place takes you back in time to when E.T. had his own chocolate cereal and athletes starred on the front of all Wheaties boxes. While everything we ordered there was incredible, what the restaurant seems to be known for is strangely delicious flavors of doughnut holes. Try the Thai Peanut or the Mexican Chocolate, if you really want to fall in love. As far as beverages are concerned, Jelly’s Bloody Mary’s are on point and so are their specialty breakfast drinks. Learn more at

The Source in RiNo

When I walked through the doors of this large building, I thought we were in the Chelsea Market in Manhattan. The place is home to a brewery, liquor store, cheese market, butcher, two restaurants, a shared workspace and much more. The Source is located in the heart of RiNo, or River North, Arts District, an up and coming neighborhood that caters to people in creative professions. Spend some time in The Source to get a sense for the neighborhood and this new wave of creative people that are coming to Denver. Learn more at

Williams and Graham in the Highlands

This place is Justice Snow’s meets 1920’s speak easy. Spoiler alert: You enter the bar through a bookcase. Once you are in there, you actually do feel as if you are experiencing the prohibition era. There are no windows; the lighting is dark, giving the whole place a secretive feel. Plus, all libations on the menu are sorted by liquor first, other ingredients second. They clearly have their priorities in line. I spent most of my time on the Scotch page, which was a bit out of character, trying drinks like The Modern and Hi-Ball. Give this place a try, but be warned, there is always a wait. Learn more at

With so many people moving to Denver, this city is on all of our radars. Sure, you may not be an urban person, or may still have a rather stale impression of Denver, like I did. But if you are looking for a weekend adventure, give the Mile High City a chance. It may just surprise you with all of its recent changes.

Barbara Platts is excited that so many people are jazzed about Colorado, but hopes the state is able to retain what makes it so special, even with its newfound fame. Reach her at