Cherry Creek, a neighborhood a few miles southeast of Downtown, has a charm of its own. Known for its well-to-do residents, country club, and upper-scale mall, it also includes a grid of quaint streets lined with boutique shops, galleries, and eateries.
For those who appreciate the comforts of home as well as five star service and elegance, the Inn at Cherry Creek is perfect for an overnight treat, weekend getaway or a week-long stay. Begin your perfect day with a stroll or a jog along the Cherry Creek Walking Trail. Access to the trail is a quarter of a mile from the inn and takes you along the creek of the same name. Follow the trail north, meandering through the neighborhoods as far as downtown where it intersects with the South Platte River.
On your way back, cross First Avenue and explore the lanes of Cherry Creek North. There are many cafes and coffee shops that have sidewalk seating – perfect for people-watching and enjoying the scenery, or grab a coffee to go and continue your constitutional while window shopping your way through the various boutiques in the area. Try Crepes ‘n Crepes for a sweet or savory crepe with your coffee, or Java Creek for a refreshing alternative to corporate coffee chains; where both boast patio seating.
Next, explore your creative side. Head a few miles north on Colorado Boulevard to Rockler Woodworking and Hardware for a wood working class. In just four hours, its possible to transform a block of wood into a gleaming, hand carved ball point pen (fountain pens for more advanced students), bowl, wine stopper, Christmas tree ornament, or magic wand. Classes are held nearly every weekend and include all the materials needed, along with several hours of instruction. You will get a little dusty, but it is a small price to pay when you’ve got a hand crafted piece to show for it.
While you’re at Rockler, be sure to take a few minutes to look at their display cases on the way downstairs to the wood shop and classroom. You’ll find impressively detailed models of John Deer tractors, goblets, bowls, and photos of the belt sander race nationals held in Las Vegas every year. It’s like a woodworkers’ hall of fame, which likely provides inspiration for many students as they make their way to the woodshop for classes.
Afterwards, stop at the Cherry Cricket for a quick malted milkshake or beer. One of Denver’s first sports bars- it was originally opened in 1945 by Mary Zimmerman, and appropriately named after herself. The bar first located in her living room until five years later when she purchased the property where the Cherry Cricket currently stands. Over the years the bar expanded, changed hands, and was renovated, all with the goal of becoming the best place in the neighborhood to grab a burger and a brew.
Next, head to Fillmore, Detroit or Third Avenue for a gallery tour. Here you’ll find world class sculpture, photography, painting and blown glass pieces in the 20 art galleries currently residing in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood. Self-guided walking tours are enthusiastically encouraged and accommodated.
Whatever mood you find yourself in for dinner, there is a restaurant nearby to satiate you’re your wants. Hapa is a great restaurant for sushi lovers and within walking distance from the Inn at Cherry Creek. They even offer beginner chop sticks – suddenly, picking up those sushi roll pieces will not seem so daunting. The Soleil Mediterranean Grille and Wine Bar is also a short walk away from the Inn. Here, the ambiance is a little more interesting with a kitchen open to the dining room and a copper-topped bar. Their menu features a large selection of tapas and other small plates – perfect for sampling and sharing with a group of any size.
As revealed by its many galleries, shops, and restaurants, part of the charm of the Cherry Creek North neighborhood is its diversity. After such a busy day, it will be nice to return to your hotel and relax with a bubble bath in the soaker tub. You’ll probably be tempted to set the alarm clock early to do it all over again tomorrow. But if not, pick up the phone and make reservations for a day of pampering at one of the neighborhood spas.
What and Where:
Inn at Cherry Creek (233 Clayton St.; 303-377-8577)
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware (2553 S. Colorado Blvd, Ste. 108; 303-782-0588)
Cherry Cricket (2641 E. 2nd Ave.; 303-322-7666)
Hapa Sushi (2780 E. 2nd Ave.; 303-322-9554)
Soleil Mediterranean Grille and Wine Bar (2817 E. 3rd Ave.; 303-316-9100)
Bombay Clay Oven (165 Steele St.; 303-377-4454)
Cherry Creek Shopping Center (3000 E. 1st Ave.; 303-388-3900)
Crepes and Crepes (2816 E. 3rd Ave.; 303-320-4184)
Java Creek (287 Columbine Street; 303-377-8902)
For more information about Cherry Creek North, visit www.cherrycreeknorth.com.