Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).
For solace, for space to think and for important conversations with family and friends, there’s one place in Denver I go to first.
It’s not a religious institution or a dining establishment. I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Denver Botanic Gardens. And this past winter, while feeling cooped up, my fiancé and I would walk to the gardens to spend time in the greenhouse breathing in the warm, humid air.
This spring, I met an old school friend for a walk there to catch up among the early-season blooms. Another day, after stopping by Copper Door Coffee, just outside the gardens’ entrance, I struck up a conversation with a neighborhood resident who was also admiring the beds of tulips.
We pointed out our favorite color palettes and the single bright-coral anemone that signaled another May flower about to pop.
Inside the gated entrance, construction on the Japanese Garden recently opened up more space for strolling; the lily pond-side cafe has started serving for the season and two new indoor art exhibitions have just been installed.
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There are two cafes on site (plus the locally owned coffee shop). And outside food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed for a picnic lunch. I recommend taking a treat to the solarium located midway through the gardens’ south border and people- or plant-watching from one of the bistro tables. Bring a notebook in case you’re inspired to write or draw.
If you go: Memberships cost $55-$175 for the year or $11-$15 for a single-day entrance. The central Denver Botanic Gardens location is at 1007 York St., while Chatfield Farms is in Littleton at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road. More information at botanicgardens.org.