While we were talking to a few Denverites for other things, we asked for their favorite Denver places so we could share them on 3/03 Day.
Their answers are below — tell us yours (mine is probably the Cherry Creek Trail) by entering it at the bottom of this post and we’ll add a few to the list through the week. We’ll also pick one or two of you to photograph in your favorite Denver place for the updated post!
Jolon Clark, Denver City Council president
“I have so many favorite places in Denver, but Johnson Habitat Park right along the South Platte might be my absolute favorite.”
— As told to David Sachs
Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilligan, Tattered Cover owners
Vlahos and Gilligan are partners in life as well as the book business, having taken over the Tattered Cover from longtime owner Joyce Meskis. They’ve lived in Denver four years and have gotten to know the city. Vlahos had trouble choosing a favorite place, musing about whether his shout out should be for Larimer Lounge, Twist & Shout, Lucha Cantina. He settled on something family friendly.
“One of the things about owning Tattered Cover is that you really need to and want to be out and about in the community.
“It probably would be really crass of me to say Tattered Cover Books (is my favorite place) so I won’t do that.
“It’s probably an odd answer, but it’s the Pepsi Center. We have two sons, the younger of whom is 8 and a really rabid hockey fan. Everyone is so enthusiastic (at Pepsi Center) and it’s just such a place of local and Denver and crazy fun. There is quite a feeling there that is unlike stadiums elsewhere.”
— As told to Donna Bryson
Jeff Fard, cultural and community organizer
“I’m gonna say my favorite place in Denver is Cleo Parker Robinson Dance studio and theater, because it represents the equality I’m talking about. When you go in there, it reminds you of the United Nations. It’s all people of all backgrounds trying to make society better through art.”
Louise Martorano, RedLine Contemporary Art Center executive director
“I feel like I’m at an intersection between the fact that Smoking Yard’s BBQ opened up a location on Santa Fe Drive, and also Wax Trax. It’s between barbecue and records with me, and I can’t decide which one. This would be a trifecta: Studios, which is a collective of artists studios made of of 80 to 90 percent of RedLine alumni. It’s a wonderful group of artists that I just adore.”
— As told to Ashley Dean
Wilma Webb, former state legislator
“That’s like asking who your favorite child is! I like to go to the theater. I think good plays at the Denver Performing Arts Center really let people have a good perspective on life because good art and good productions have messages that are teaching messages. I also think that Denver has many wonderful churches and synagogues. I think they make all of us better, mosques as well.”
Elisabeth Epps, abolitionist
“The next breakfast spot I haven’t tried yet, or wherever Detour’s newest mural is.”
— As told to Allan Tellis
Wanda James, CEO of cannabis dispensary Simply Pure and member of Gov. Hickenlooper’s marijuana task force
“I have two favorite places in Denver: One is La Loma restaurant downtown, and I would probably say Sushi Den.”
Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor of the University of Denver
“The University of Denver campus, not only the beautiful buildings but the incredible native american sculptures by Allan Houser on the campus, those in front of the School of Social Work and in what we call Dan’s Garden. They’re beautiful, and they remind us of the troubled history we have but also of the hope we have.”
— As told to Dave Burdick
Denverite readers’ favorite Denver places
We asked you for your favorites via the form at the end of this article — we got a lot of great replies. Here’s a sampling:
The Union Station Fountain in the summertime. “Best ‘happy people’ watching in town.”
— Robbie Monsma
The City and County Building at Christmas. “I’ve been thrilled by the lights and decorations my entire life – makes me feel like everything is alright in the world, – peace and joy.”
— Michelle Dorman
El Centro Su Teatro. “Saving an important part of Denver’s culture.”
— David Nefzger
Weathervane Cafe. “The people who own it and their employees are wonderful and friendly. I love the ambiance and watching the cross sections of Denver’s different people come in the door.”
— Melissa Ball
Sloan’s Lake. “There’s something magical about the views of the mountains from one side and the city from the other – especially when you see the reflection in the water. It’s also a good workout to walk, run or bike the 2.5 mile trail!”
— Debbie Ortega (Yes, the Denver City Councilwoman)
Denny’s on Federal. “For decades provided a bird’s-eye view of the ever changing landscapes of downtown, and pie.”
— Ruth Randolph
Sledding at Ruby Hill. “My husband and I are kids at heart. We are 75 and 77 years old.”
— Just Ganser
The view of the best tree in the city, from the front door of 1437 Bannock St. “Across from the City & County building, there’s a gorgeous tree in Civic Center, mid-block.”
— Tina Scardina
My Brother’s Bar. “I feel like I’m time traveling ever time I visit. It’s the best place in town to share a drink with a former stranger.”
— Jonathan Lorincz
The Cheesman Park Pavilion. “A view that includes both the skyline and the mountains is quintessentially Denver, and while City and Wash parks might get more action, Cheesman has always felt more in touch with the heart of the city.”
— Jim Casey
West side of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science at sunset. “It is the canonical postcard view of Denver and the mountains.”
— Jerry McCarthy
James A. Bible Park. “It’s the third-largest park in Denver, measuring 1.7 miles around, with both dirt and concrete perimeter paths which makes it perfect for running. I’ve run over 10,000 miles in this park and despite being right in the middle of the city, you can still sometimes see coyotes, foxes, raccoons, red-tailed hawks, and great-horned owls.
— Ryk McDorman
Mercury Cafe. “Sunday brunch at the Merc has the vibe-good food, music, and a sense of community.”
— Lisa G.
The Highline Canal Trail. “I just love having this mostly off-street resource available for relatively safe biking. I have gotten my number of bike segments down to 4 for riding the thing from Waterton Canyon to the Aurora Sports Park.
— H. Bruce Baskette