I chose to start my trip in Denver for the simple reason that we now have a direct flight there. I don't like to start off my US trips with a connecting flight because immigration is always an unknown problem. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes it takes some time (depending also if there was just another flight coming in or not). Therefore, whenever I can chose a direct flight … direct flight it is!
Denver was the perfect place to begin my trip. It's a nice city. Not particularly beautiful or totally breathtaking. It just had the right energy for me. Easy going and manageable. Downtown was cute (with quite a few restaurants where I could sit outside and do people-watching!) but not huge. It was easily accessible from the airport, then once I reached Union Station, I took the Free Mall Ride to my hotel. The Free Mall Ride is a bus that goes up and down 16th Street. It stops at each corner from where you can reach all the hotels in downtown on foot. Pretty cool, don't you think?
What else did I spend my time with during my stay?
Besides walking the streets (well, not too much walking, to be honest, it was wayyyy too hot), I visited museums.
What a nice surprise to find so many amazing museums (I could have visited quite a few more but my time was limited).
I went to the Denver Art Museum (part of it was closed due to renovations, unfortunately!) and the History Colorado Center. The latter was totally worth a visit. It gave me an overview of Colorado's recent and past history. I loved it!
Then, obviously, I had to indulge in my favorite kind of museum. It's a must on every US trip: visiting old houses (in Denver it was the Byers-Evans House and the Molly Brown House.) My love for these old houses and their history isn't due to the fact that I get to see extraordinary stuff (like furniture) or so. No. My experience is that usually in these kind of places, I'll find the most amazing tour guides. I swear. They get to me every time. Usually, they are volunteers and, believe me, it's amazing how much these people now about the history of the place and their city in general. I always have the best of chats and leave the place knowing so much more about my chosen destination.
These volunteers have such a wide knowledge of their hometown. For a foreigner like me, who likes to get to know as much as possible of the places I am visiting, it's the best opportunity!
If you ever visit the US of A, please add such a place to your itinerary. Totally worth your time and money :-)