In May 2014, I was very honoured to be chosen to visit the USA with Brand USA.
I've visited the major tourist areas of the USA before, including Las Vegas, Florida and New York. I was delighted to be accepted on the ‘Meet the Mountains’ itinerary. This trip would include some of the amazing areas that I have only seen in Hollywood films. This wonderful experience has given me an insight into different states of the USA so that I am now able to help my clients discover parts they may not even have considered before.
Our first stop was Denver, known as the 'Mile High City', due to its official height being 5,280 feet above sea level. We checked in at ‘The Curtis’ hotel: a fun, modern, boutique hotel. Each of the guest room floors has a themed personality all of its own.
What a treat after a long flight. I had the most awesome salad at ‘The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar’. The restaurant is your answer to all things food and drink while staying at the Curtis. A short ride down the elevator and you will enter this Denver restaurant with endless character, retro décor and tantalising flavours. Yes, I tried a couple of the martinis and they didn’t disappoint. ;-)
Next day, we had an early start to visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This is a naturally formed, world-famous outdoor venue just 15 miles west of Denver and is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. From Sting, The Beatles, U2 and opera stars; every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage. It was a beautiful day and the red rock looked like it was on fire! This is a must visit on this trip. I’m now keeping an eye on forthcoming gigs (not that I need an excuse to return).
We returned to Denver for a tour of this spectacular city. First was a photo stop at - "The Big Blue Bear". This delightful 40-foot sculpture peers curiously into the Colorado Convention Centre from the pavement outside, injecting a sense of fun and playfulness.
Denver Art Museum was a trip well worth making. The contemporary building is a work of art itself, with its sharp wedge shaped lines. I saw some of the most amazing and famous collections of Native American and bold art. The Photograph collections of the old west were a joy to behold.
Another new sharp contemporary building is the History Colorado Centre, which includes exhibits and programs that tell the stories of Colorado and engage you in the past, present and future of this magnificent state! You can have a virtual ride in a real Model T, try your ski jumping technique out on a ski-jump simulator and set off some (virtual) dynamite in an 1880’s hard-rock mine. There’s even a Time Machine that kids of all ages would love!
Denver’s Union Station has just undergone a massive restoration and re-development. If you are into architecture this will fill you with glee! The 1881 Beaux Arts station will become a hub for transportation with dining, shopping and entertainment in July 2014. Once complete, this beautiful building will be the envy of any city! The 'Tattered Cover Book Store' is an independent community bookstore, serving Denver's readers for over 40 years. There have been many celebs through these doors such as Jimmy Carter and Yoko Ono. It’s a lovely place to relax for a while. My son is a real bookworm and would have loved it.
Yeehaa! The 'Rockmount Ranch Wear Store' is a fabulous shopping experience for all things Cowboy and Cowgirl, and is in a lovely, iconic building built in 1909. I was amazed at the choice of clothing available, belts, buckles, cowboy hats and even Native American Indian blankets! Just to be in the same place as Elvis, Bruce Springsteen & Nicolas Cage bought their distinctive cowboy clothing was amazing!
Denver’s urban shopping and dining district, Larimer Square is the city’s oldest and most historic block. It's a fabulous shopping experience and comes complete with glittering lights strung over the entire block. The area is charming and elegant, where Victorian buildings house specialty boutiques and unique restaurants.
Lunch at Rioja in Larimer Square was delicious. I had the house salad with arugula, dates, gorgonzola and almond vinaigrette, followed by Colorado lamb burger with homemade mozzarella, spicy aioli and arugula salad; then key lime semifreddo for dessert. Time for a walk methinks?