Throughout the years, the Mile High City has sacrificed some beautiful examples of architecture that would have dated back to its first boom in the late 19th century. There are a few gems, however, that have been preserved and are open to the public today. Two of these are included in this day of perfection: The Molly Brown House Museum and Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast.
Begin your day in Denver with breakfast at WaterCourse Foods. They offer an all-vegetarian menu that promises to satisfy even the hardiest of carnivorous eaters. WaterCourse Foods also strives to reduce its impact on the environment by using completely biodegradable take out boxes, providing water on request, and offering discounts to patrons who ride their bikes to the restaurant. Once nourished at this environmentally conscious eatery, continue your day with a tour of the Molly Brown House Museum.
The Molly Brown House was built in 1889 and although Ms. Brown wasn’t the original owner, she was certainly the most famous. Best known for surviving the sinking of the Titanic, she spoke seven languages, traveled extensively throughout Europe alone as a divorcée, and ran for the U.S. Senate three times before women were even given the right to vote. When the house was built, electricity and running hot and cold water were included and considered luxuries beyond imagination for the times. Highlights of the tour include the original light fixture that still graces the front foyer and the interactive museum at the back of the house where you’ll find place settings of the first class Cunard china Ms. Brown would have dined from while aboard the Titanic.
After your museum tour, head to the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, located just a few blocks away. Although not nearly as old as the Molly Brown House, the Kirkland Museum is housed in Denver’s oldest commercial art building. It was once Colorado painter and founder of the School of Art at the University of Denver, Vance Kirkland’s, studio. This building has been preserved to showcase not only Kirkland’s paintings, but the work of more than 170 other Colorado artists in its Colorado Modernist Collection. The museum’s other collection, Decorative Arts, includes home interior pieces from a variety of styles dating from the 1880’s to the 1970’s. Highlights of this collection include two dining suites designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
After your two museum stops, celebrate Molly Brown’s heritage by refueling at Fado Irish Pub. Their menu boasts two varieties of boxty (Irish potato pancakes), along with other traditional Irish fare; best when washed down with a perfectly poured pint of stout.
After lunch, stroll over to Denver’s pedestrian-friendly 16th Street Mall. Here you’ll find the Denver Pavilions which, along with many retail stores, also contains a bowling alley, and movie theater. You may also happen upon one of the many art festivals, open-air markets, or concerts that are held during the spring and summer months.
After exploring two of Denver’s preserved gems and doing some shopping, top off your day with a romantic, six-course dinner for two at Castle Marne; a charming bed and breakfast nestled in Denver’s Wyman Historic District. Another of Denver’s treasures, this mansion was built in the same year, by the same architect, as the Molly Brown House.
Choose from the dining room or the tower room located to the side of the drawing room as the setting for your gourmet dining experience. Every dinner menu is custom, and Castle Marne only serves one party each evening, so be sure to make reservations.
Let one perfect day lead into another by staying in one of the Castle’s nine bedrooms, each with its own bathroom – complete with a claw footed, cast iron tub. Some rooms also feature a private, two-person hot tub hidden amongst the castle’s gables on a private balcony. Imagine toasting someone special under the evening twilight and waking the next morning to the smell of breakfast being prepared in the kitchen below.
What and Where:
WaterCourse Foods (837 East 17th Street; 303-832-7313)
Molly Brown House Museum (1340 Pennsylvania St.; 303-832-4092)
Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art (1311 Pearl Street; 303-832-8576)
Fado Irish Pub (1735 19th Street #150; 303-297-0066)
16th Street Mall and Denver Pavilions (500 16th Street, 303-260-6001)
Castle Marne (1572 Race Street; 303-331-0621)
Maura O’Neal has lived in Denver for three years and is still finding new things to do in and around the Mile High City. When she is not out exploring her own neighborhood, she works as a flight attendant to support her international travel habit. Visit her blog at http://travelsabound.blogspot.com.