Leaf Peeping Day Trips Around Denver

The glowing gold aspens of the Colorado Rocky Mountains are the talk of the town during this time of year. The annual “Changing of the Aspens” sends locals and visitors straight to the hills for some of the best aspen-peeping in the country.  Usually beginning to change in mid-September, the colors typically don’t last long with the last of the leaves falling by the end of October.  With so many scenic routes right in our own back yard, Denver has the perfect vantage point for a fall foliage tour.

Fall Foliage

Here are a few spectacular routes and day trips to consider for a look at one of Mother Nature’s most breathtaking seasonal transformations:

Georgetown Loop Railroad: Get a taste of autumn in the Old West with a 75-minute locomotive tour through Georgetown and Silverplume. The Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park is located less than an hour west of Denver and offers amazing views of the rugged Colorado landscape.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is the highest continuous paved road in North America. With more than eight miles lying above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road provides a stellar view of the golden aspen leaves and autumn mountain scenery.

St. Mary’s Glacier: Located just an hour west of Denver in Idaho Springs is a windy road boasting some of the state’s most beautiful aspen groves. The road ends at the St. Mary’s Glacier trailhead where you can opt for a short 45-minute hike through 3/4 mile trail surrounded by sprawling forests of glowing aspens.

Peak to Peak Scenic & Historic Byway: This 55-mile long route provides fantastic views of the Continental Divide and travels through six different  scenic attractions including Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Eldora Ski Resort.


Denver Beer Festivals

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 5.00.46 PMCraft beer is king in Colorado and The Mile High City is undoubtedly the place to be for beer-lovers this fall. Denver’s beer mecca is home to hundreds of microbreweries and brew pubs, each with its own unique take on ales, stouts, lagers and everything in between. As the fall season approaches, so is Denver’s beloved “Beer Season” and everything that goes along with it. From keg bowling to brew tasting, here are some of the city’s best beer festivals to celebrate the thriving local beer culture.

16th Annual Brew at the Zoo (Sept 13): Get wild at the Denver Zoo this Friday with more than 40 of Colorado’s best breweries, complimentary appetizers, music and dancing at the 16th Annual Brew at the Zoo. Proceeds from this event will benefit Denver Zoo’s Red Apple Fund for Lifelong Learning, a program designed to support Denver Zoo education programs.

44th Annual Oktoberfest Denver (Sept 27-29 & Oct 4-6): Attracting more than 350,000 attendees over the six-day festival, USA Today and Maxim call this event “The Best Oktoberfest” in the United States and “one of the country’s biggest and longest running traditions.” Held in the Ballpark Neighborhood of downtown Denver on Larimer Street (between 20th St. & 22nd St.), this beer fest includes classic Oktoberfest-themed events like stein hoisting, the long dog derby, keg bowling, the Dashustlehoff 5K, a bratwurst eating contest and of course, live music.

Denver Beer Fest (Oct 4-12): From the Western Slope to the Kansas-Colorado border, this festival brings together suds from all corners of the state for a week of micro-brew appreciation leading up to the Great American Beer Festival. Presented by Visit Denver, The Denver Westword and the Colorado Brewers Guild, this week-long celebration showcases Denver’s booming beer culture through local Denver area events leading up to the big one (GABF) beginning on Thursday, October 10th.

And last but most certainly not least…

Great American Beer Festival (Oct 10-12): As America’s most prestigious craft beer festival and competition, this big kahuna event hosted by the Brewers Association is one you won’t want to miss. With more than 2,000 different American beers entered by 500+ domestic breweries, attendees are invited to taste drafts from 83 beer-style categories and participate in the nation’s top industry event of the year. GABF takes place at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, just a stone’s throw from the Brown Palace.

Game Day at the Brown Palace

Your fantasy team has been drafted, you’ve set your line up and your lucky jersey is pressed and ready for Thursday’s game. It’s finally time for NFL football and what better place to kick off the regular season than at the Brown Palace, the place where it all began.


The Brown Palace Hotel lobby has seen it’s fair share of history including a piano performance by Billy Joel, debutante dancing, fashion shows, and the formation of a Mile High favorite, the Denver Broncos. Bob Howsom and Lamar Hunt met in the Brown Palace lobby for the first time in 1959 to discuss a new football league that Hunt was forming.  By the end of the evening, Hawsom agreed to own the Denver franchise in what would eventually become the American Football League.

If you can’t get tickets to Thursday’s big game, watch the Broncos dominate the Ravens at the historic Ship Tavern, the vintage Brown Palace pub located right in downtown Denver on the corner of 17th and Broadway. Enjoy some of Denver’s best microbrews alongside our delicious Prime Rib sandwich and celebrate a Bronco victory after the game with cigars and whiskey in the Churchill Bar. Watch the first game of the 2013 NFL season amongst Denver’s finest gentlemen in the historic building where champions are born. GO BRONCOS!!!

Kitchen Talk: Five Dishes You Won’t Want to Miss

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 3.14.28 PMWith multiple restaurants and a wide variety of menu options and dining atmospheres, The Brown Palace really does have it all when it comes to eating out in downtown Denver. Romantic date nights, special occasions, happy hour, afternoon tea, and Sunday Brunch are just a few of the unique offerings available for guests.  Here are some of our favorite selections from the Brown Palace kitchen:

Prime Rib (Ship Tavern) – With two different ways to enjoy this signature dish, you really can’t go wrong. The open-faced sandwich on light rye with au jus is a local favorite.  Or, try the slow roasted prime rib with mashed potatoes, French beans, au jus and horseradish for a mouthwatering, robust entree.

Signature Black Bottom Pie (Ship Tavern)  – A 40-year-old recipe that has stood the test of time. This slice of heaven keeps it simple but delicious with a dark chocolate coated, classic pie crust filled with vanilla crème and finished with a luscious whipped crème topping.


Sunday Champaign Brunch (Ellyngton’s) – Ellyngton’s Sunday brunch buffet spread is a lavish and delicious way to spend a Sunday morning. From fresh waffles and omelets made to order to a grilled meat and seafood station, salads, sushi, pastries and delectable cocktails, this award-winning brunch is just as opulent as the surroundings. Diners can choose from four options: brunch only, Domaine Chandon, Moet et Chandon and Dom Perignon.

Diver Scallops (Palace Arms) – Colorado might be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love our seafood! Scallops are cooked to perfection and served with buttermilk fried sweetbreads over dirty rice mixed with blackeyed peas, okra, Tasso ham gravy and kale. This dish is a melt-in-your-mouth entrée you won’t want to miss.

Caesar Salad – Simple but delicious! Enjoy a classic Caesar with romaine, parmesan cheese, croutons and house-made Caesar dressing.  Enjoy as a part of the four or eight course tasting menu or as a delicious lunchtime snack with the addition of grilled chicken or salmon.

Summer Bucket List: Last-Minute Musts around Denver

Ready to break out the skis and plan a weekend on the slopes? Not so fast! Summer isn’t over yet and there is still plenty to do and see in Denver. From venturing up to Red Rocks to cheering for the final stage of the US Pro Tour, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 


Colorado Rockies

With only two months left to enjoy America’s greatest past time, don’t miss your chance for broiled peanuts and hot dogs at Coors Field as you cheer on the Rockies! Bring the whole family and treat them to the more intimate seats behind home plate.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Believed to be the most perfect music venue on the planet, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of Colorado’s most famed attractions and a magical experience no matter who is on stage. Boogie with your favorite band as the dreamlike acoustics of Red Rocks permeate the audience, hike through the park, or wake up early for a morning of Yoga on the Rocks presented by Core Power Yoga. There is still time to enjoy a piece of glorified summertime surrounded by the breathtaking sandstone that has hosted some of the world’s best musicians.

Cherry Creek Reservoir

Enjoy boating, fishing, jet skiing, sailboarding, swimming and relaxing at Cherry Creek Reservoir. Just 20 minutes southeast of downtown Denver, Cherry Creek State Park offers a slew of summertime activities.

Elitch Gardens

“Please use caution when exiting this ride.” Cool off in the water park or make your head spin and tummy turn on the  amusement park rides at Elitch Gardens while the sun is still hot. Located in downtown Denver and open from 10am-7pm (8pm on the weekends) now through the end of August.

US Pro Cycle Tour


As one of the nations top professional road bike races, the US Pro Tour is noted for its incredible altitudes, spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountain scenery and more than one million annual fans throughout the six stages of the race. The 2013 USA Pro Challenge will start on August 19th in Aspen and conclude on August 25th when the cyclists sprint to the finish line in downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Conveniently located on York Street in Denver’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood and open from 9am-9pm, the Denver Botanic Gardens is a vision of loveliness in the summer months. With a vast collection of plant life and landscapes, the gardens define and celebrate our Western identity marked by the high altitude climate and dynamic geography.

Brown Palace Chef David Lewis to Participate in Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser

Come out to support a great cause with our culinary team on August 28 at the Chef’s Challenge presented by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Colorado Chefs Association. It will be a night filled with delicious food and fun entertainment to benefit those affected by cystic fibrosis. We are so proud of David Lewis and his team for being included among the celebrity crowd who have offered to give their time and talent for such a worthwhile cause.

BP CHefs Challenge

Featuring appearances by other big names in the Denver culinary circuit as Mark DeNittis and Matt Selby, the evening’s competition will be judged to the last detail. In addition, true foodies are sure to love the silent auction and the chance to mingle with local chefs.

“The Next Culinary Voice” Chefs Challenge will be held from 5:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28 at Mile High Station, 2027 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO. Tickets can be purchased online. We hope you will join us in promoting cystic fibrosis awareness!


Now Through September, It’s The Summer of Serendipity!

Get away from it all in grand style! The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa has teamed up with Frontier Airlines for The Summer of Serendipity.

The Summer of Serendipity

This summer, one lucky grand prize winner will receive round-trip airfare for two, a 2-night stay in a suite at The Bohemian Hotel Celebration in Orlando, Fla., and 50,000 Marriott Rewards points. 

Too excited to wait for the grand prize? You’re in luck; monthly prizes will also be up for grabs! The Summer of Serendipity winner for the month of July will be chosen tomorrow and notified via email to claim their prize.

This month, the winner will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Wynkoop Brewery complete with a micro-brew sampling plus a $50 Wynkoop Brewery gift certificate, an overnight stay at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa including dinner for two at Ship Tavern with two pints of cask-style beer from the Palace Caskcraft series, two logo t-shirts and two logo glasses and 10,000 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns® miles.

The Summer of Serendipity will continue through the end of September with a new winner chosen at the end of each month. August and September prizes include tickets to a baseball game, a couples massage, dinner for two at one of Denver’s finest restaurants and much, much more. Don’t miss your chance to win fabulous prizes all summer long. Click here to enter for your chance to win!

‘Palace Caskcraft’ Beer Series: Small-Batch Cask Ale Now at Ship Tavern


The Brown Palace is teaming up with the Wynkoop Brewing Company once again to create a series of special edition, traditional cask beers using Wynkoop Head Brewmaster, Andy Brown’s creative expertise and ingredients from the hotel’s signature elements.  The first beer to debut in the “Palace Caskcraft” small-batch beer series will be a version of Wynkoop’s London Calling IPA with an added hint of lemongrass, a featured component of the Brown Palace’s namesake spa line. As the series continues, additional batch recipes will use infused honey from the hotel’s rooftop beehives and water from the artesian well.

To parallel the Caskcraft Series, the Brown Palace purchased two beer engines for the hotel’s Ship Tavern to create its own house cask beers.  The stainless steel casks with old-fashioned hand pumps offer guests the authentic experience of enjoying cask-conditioned beers the way they used to be served when the historic hotel opened in 1890.

Palace Caskcraft

In addition to the cask beer endeavors with Wynkoop Brewing Company, The Brown Palace is also indulging in Denver’s love for beer with a Signature Mircobrew Package, which offers luxe accommodations, signature glassware and apparel and, of course, Caskcraft beers at the Ship Tavern. “Cask-conditioned beers are a perfect fit for the Brown Palace and Ship Tavern,” says Wynkoop’s Marty Jones. “It’s a great match of timeless treasures.”

Local Musicians in the Mile High City Featured Every Sunday at ‘Jazz in the Park’

The Mile High City may be known as the gateway to the Rockies, but when summer rolls around, you can find most Denver locals soaking up the sunshine and enjoying a Colorado micro-brew on the patio. For Sunday evening entertainment, City Park Jazz is a staple summertime activity for Denverites and a perfect way to enjoy the city’s eclectic local music scene.

City Park JazzFun for the whole family, City Park Jazz is always a highlight of the summer months. Arrive early on Sunday evening to snag a spot on the lawn near the bandstand pavilion. Enjoy many of our local food trucks or bring a picnic of your own.

Although the City Park Jazz series kicked off in early June, there is still plenty of time to catch this season’s local talent. Sam Mayfield brings the blues this Sunday, July 14, followed by The Ken Walker Sextet on July 21. The sextet is a favorite in the Denver jazz club circuit drawing in local fans with their unique, upbeat sound. Walker, a faculty instructor at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, is no novice to live performances with appearances at both the Telluride and Aspen/Snowmass Jazz Festivals.

Sunday afternoon wouldn’t be complete without a solid show of late afternoon sunshine and snazzy tunes with great friends. Grab a few of your favorite Colorado brews or a bottle of vino and join the Denver community for Sunday Jazz in City Park.

4th of July Colorado Style: Red, White & Blue

Don’t let the lack of fireworks in Colorado during the dry summer season hinder your Independence Day adventures! Grab your water shoes, hats, sunscreen, a cooler and a few cold ones and you’re ready for a shin dig—Colorado style.  Here are some great red, white and blue activities the whole family can enjoy this Fourth of July.

Red Rocks


Early riser? Join Michael Franti on Wednesday, July 3rd for a special ‘Yoga on the Rocks’ workshop to get your blood moving. Not-so-early riser? Come out to Red Rocks Amphitheatre a bit later on the 3rd for Michael Franti and Spearhead live in concert. On the Fourth of July, grab your best buds and boogie to the classic sounds of American jam band favorites, Blues Traveler and Moe. Continue the weekend with the Avett Brothers for a two-night run on Friday and Saturday and wrap up the holiday weekend with Josh Groban and the Colorado Symphony on Sunday, July 7th.

White Water Rafting

Escape the scorching summer heat and embark on a white water rafting adventure. Get your adrenaline pumping and discover the beautiful Arkansas River Royal Gorge near Canon City. This excursion is perfect for all skill levels. Book your trip here.

Enjoy unrivaled scenery of the American West and head to Glenwood Springs to raft down the Colorado River. There’s no fire ban here, so you might even catch some stellar fireworks!  Book your adventure here.

Boating on Lake Dillon

What’s an American holiday without water sports? At an elevation of 9,000 feet and surrounded by 25 miles of majestic peaks, Lake Dillon offers fun for the whole family. Boat rentals ranging from sailing lessons, runabouts, fishing boats, pontoon boats, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and paddle boating are sure to keep your crew entertained all day.  With no fire ban in Summit County, there’s sure to be a spectacular fireworks show!