Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome to Denver Part 2

Congratulations! You made it from the airport to the hotel for the
2009 ACFW Conference
(Welcome to Denver Part 1).

As long as you're here you may as well enjoy a taste of Colorado. Perhaps you can find time before the conference, after or even in between. Fun is only a short ride away.

For strictly going into Denver, I recommend the Light Rail and a good pair of walking shoes. You will avoid traffic (rush hour and sports event evenings are a nightmare), parking meters, exorbitant parking fees and one way streets.

From the Marriott DTC you will pick up your ride at the Belleview Station .
(Click on images to enlarge them for detailed viewing.)

From the Marriott, if you go out the parking lot to the corner, cross over Union and walk the side walk, you come to the Light Rail and transit bus stop.

There is a set of stairs and an elevator to get you down to the level of the station, right on the other side of the bridge.

Basic Fare Information:

The listed discount fare is for seniors.

At every station there is a detailed map/schedule which tells you when the next train will arrive. Generally you will wait no longer than 15 minutes for a train during peak hours. Most routes run from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. Keep your ticket. While it is an honor system there are periodic checks done by Light Rail patrol. BTW, avoid rush hour on the Light Rail, by planning your excursions after the 7-8 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. crunch during the week.

That's all there is to it. Still nervous? Check out this "how to ride the Light Rail" site.

Here are a few favorite stops to consider, however if you want to plan your own trip on the Light Rail you can go here for more detailed information.

Please click on this map to see the route in detail.

  • Belleview Station South to the County Line Station (E) will take you to Park Meadows Mall.
  • Belleview Station North to 16th and California (H) takes you to Downtown Denver 16th Street Mall.

Relax and enjoy the ride. You can't get lost, and at any point you can get off and pick up another train.

A few suggestions for your Light Rail adventures...

  • If you get off at the 16th Street Mall area (see map above) you can ride the entire 12 block pedestrian mall on a free shuttle bus and get off when you please. It is filled with shopping and eateries such as The Hard Rock Cafe, and Virgin Records.
  • Larimer Square is another favorite location. It is only a few blocks from the 16th Street Mall at 14th and Champa to this historic neighborhood of restaurants, shopping and art galleries. Larimer Square's 18 buildings date back to 1870. My favorite shop, Crybaby Ranch, is located there. There is also a Ted's Montana Grill.

  • LoDo. (Lower Down Town) You can either take the C Light Rail and get off directly in the LoDo District (at Coor's Field) or take the 16th Street Mall shuttle to the end of the line to get there. Either way you have to stop at the Wynkoop Brewery and Tattered Cover Bookstore, just to say you did. This neighborhood is filled with pubs, fine restaurants and unique shops. There is also the historic Union Station which is still an Amtrak station.

A few more cultural options for your trip into Denver. Some may require a cab or longer walks. See the map below.

  • The Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th Street, LoDo. Known affectionately as The Brown. High tea at the Brown is not to be missed. The Brown also displays period memorabilia.
  • The Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Civic Center, Denver, CO. $13, free Sat. for Colorado residents. OPEN: Tues., Thurs., Sat. 10-5; Fri. 10-10; Sun. noon-5.
  • Denver Public Library, 10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Civic Center, Denver, CO. They have an expansive Western History and Genealogy section.
  • The Molly Brown House Museum , 1340 Pennsylvania St. (Located at the A below on the map) Tours are $8.00. Tuesday - Saturday: first tour begins at 10:00 a.m., last tour begins at 3:30 p.m. Sunday: first tour begins at 12:00 p.m., last tour begins at 3:30 p.m.

Finally, if you decide to rent a car and visit outside of the metropolitan area here are a few suggestions. You can also check out bus tours such as Gray Line Colorado, which will pick you up at your hotel.

Colorado Springs, Cave of the Winds

Garden of the Gods

Royal Gorge

Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

The Colorado Tourism site provides even more ideas!

We in Seekerville are looking forward to seeing you in DENVER!


  1. These "Welcome to Denver" posts are really great! I feel like I have my own personal guide. Thanks a lot for all the details!

  2. Good Morning Jill. Coffee on>

    I forgot to mention for those who do not know Teds..this chain is owned by Ted Turner it is an eco friendly facility which offers Bison burgers as well as other down home Montana comfort food.

  3. Great post, Tina! Thanks for sharing. Friday night at the conference is a free for all, so I wondered how people would get to restaurants. If you're going from the hotel to the mall, how long does it take on the light rail? Is the light rail like a subway?

  4. Lisa, to the mall it will take about 15 minutes. To downtown it takes about 30 to 40 minutes. I don't recommend riding Light Rail too late at night to downtown..to the mall is fine. There are always some interesting characters in any city, late at night. Go in groups.

    It is a train and is above ground..so you will see traffic out your window at many points.

    It is a lot of fun. My husband and I took the rail to Coors Field when the new part opened just to ride it. We got off , had dinner at Dixon's a few blocks away and got back on. A nice trip.

    I'm like so direction challenged and I can handle it. Really rather impossible to get lost.

  5. Lisa I am inserting a photo of Light Rail into the post for you.

    Here is description from the web site.

    RTD's light rail is a passenger train powered by overhead electrical wires. It has a lighter frame and smaller body than most other trains, thus its name "light" rail. Because of its "lighter" size and tighter turning radius, light rail has the ability to operate along crowded city streets and in urban corridors with frequent stops, where quick acceleration and deceleration are necessary.

  6. ooh ooh ooh I love maps. I like to get the big picture. Thanks Tina. I'm going to print my Denver guide and have you autograph it.

    You've done all the work for us!

    Thanks so much!

  7. OHHH! I'm so excited now!!! Hubby and I are staying over until WEdnesday to "vacation" and just reading all of this is making me giddy!!! We're going to rent a car I think on Monday so we can drive outside of Denver (hubby wants to go to some story that is around Boulder) and eeeeEEEee! I'm just a wee bit excited. WE don't vacation without kiddos very often!!

  8. Thanks again, Tina, for the great info!

  9. Great info for the conference, Tina! I can't wait to see everyone and explore Denver!

    I brought scrambled eggs and ham this morning with coffee and biscuits. Dig in!


  10. Hey Tina, do you know your "Welcome to Denvers, Parts 1 & 2 are the ONLY Seeker blogs my hubby has ever read (except for mine, of course, which he's forced to help me with shooting various pictures)? I think you may have a new fan ...

    Thanks for the great info -- we'll be printing it off.


  11. I love these posts. I'm hoping to do some sightseeing while I'm in Denver, so this is very helpful.

  12. Great guide, Tina. Unfortunately, the conference is all I can handle. And I can't stay extra because my kids and hubby can't do without me an hour longer than absolutely necessary. Or so they think. But maybe a family trip to Denver will be in our future. It looks fun.

  13. Come on Melly..whatcha doing Friday afternoon/night?

    Anyone up for a field trip?

    I want to go into Denver. Not doing the mall, that is not a field trip.

  14. Tina,

    once again your information side has risen, and might I just say, good job.

    Now will you be our great leader on a trip downtown, I've driven but never taken the rail, and I may need someone to hold my hand.

    Would you? could you be my friend?
    Appreciate all your work.

  15. Someone asked this via email.

    The Light Rail does not go to the airport. It is East of Denver..see the map from Part 1.

    It is actually cheapest and fastest to take the SuperShuttle in from the airport straight to the hotel.

  16. Show up in the lobby on Friday at 6 pm and we can all field trip together. Wear your walking shoes..No WEANIES ALLOWED!! Bring cash for the light rail ticket. We'll do Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall. Dinner can be by committee vote.

  17. Tina!

    A Friday field trip sounds FUN!!!!

    Seriously, girls, don't make me smack any of you.

    Riding the rails is so simplistically easy that once you've done it, you'll feel empowered to do it in any city. Boston, NY, Philly, D.C.,etc. There's nothing to it!

    MY FIRST SUBWAY TRIP in NY, we missed our stop...

    So we rode an extra twenty minutes to come back around, LOL! No biggie.

    And you don't have to fret about tipping a cabbie, not enough room for a group, etc. You just pile in, give 'em your fare (or they swipe you ahead of time in some cities, ) and: DONE.

    I promise if a goofball like me can do it, so can you.

    ADDED BONUS: Adventuring during conferences clears your head, is TREMENDOUS research, and gives you experiential learning that you can't buy. Seeing is so much more creative to your work than simply reading about things. Reading doesn't give you the subtle nuances and combination of sound/sight/smell that you can then reproduce in your writing.

    Mel, I see some serious butt-kicking in your future. Hang in there, girl, I know how to "do" a city on change in my pocket.

    And a few bucks for food.


    Can't wait!


    (loving the food, Janet. And Tina, I made some fresh coffee, and brought the sweet tea for our Southern contingency. Gotta take care of our peaches and magnolias, yes sir!)

  18. When I was in Denver last month we walked the 16th Street Mall several time. Don't forget the Cheesecake Factory with mile high cheesecake. And we ate at the Wynkoop (Sp) Brewery for one meal, and that was really good, too.

    Another fabulous post, Tina. Thanks so much for drafting these!

  19. Oh my goodness, Tina! You've missed your calling as Travel Guide!

    Great, great info but...where are all the Starbucks?? Gotta have that coffee to compensate for lack of sleep during Conference : )

    Thanks so much!!!!!!

  20. Wow. This is great!

    See you in September!

  21. As someone local to Denver, I think you're hitting some great highlights. And we can all be glad the light way if finally finished. :]

  22. Actually we have TWO Cheesecake Factories. One in downtown..is it in the Tabor Center? and one at Park Meadows Mall.

    Audra there is a Starbucks when you get off at 16th and California I believe and there is one at the hotel too.

  23. Sounds fun, Tina! I'll go field tripping with you! With you as our fearless leader, I'll be fearless, too. :-)

    Does that get me back in your good graces, Ruthy?

  24. Mel, honey, you're never out of my good graces. Mary's the vindictive one.

    I'm just bossy, over-bearing and notoriously good looking.


    Yes, Melanie, coming with us so we can shower you with Seekerville-itis wisdom and wit will do us both good. I'll mother you.


    Ask my kids how much fun THAT is, LOL!

    Hey, we need food. Chocolate dipped pretzels (Snyders nice thick ones, so good!) sound good?

    And fresh coffee. I've got miles to go before I sleep.

    Me and Robert Frost. Love that man. Love him.


  25. Okay, Mel. 6pm Friday. Anyone else who wants to come may..you just have to sign the waiver that makes me not responsible for ...ANYTHING.

  26. Thanks for this post! I had no idea what to expect going to Denver.

  27. Hey Tina, I'm not sure how much lookin' about I'll do in Denver but I always like being prepared and these posts are so appreciated. Thank you.

  28. Hey thanks, Anita.

    Remember, Friday night in the lobby, six pm. Take a walk on the wild side as we field trip into Denver.