Starting a Colorado adventure at Denver’s Union Station

Union Station in Denver was renovated in 2012 and includes hotels, shops, restaurants and a train terminal. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Don’t hate me, but I’m currently wrapped in a comforter, looking out the window of the Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Temperatures are hovering in the 30s out there, with highs predicted in the 50s. I’ve got a few days of hiking on my agenda, plus some sand surfing and a burro race.

I started this year’s Colorado adventure in Denver, where my sister and her husband live. Before heading to the mountains, I spent half a day downtown, checking out the trendy LoDo area.

I stayed the night at The Born hotel, adjacent to Union Station. The first railyard was built here in 1881, but it burned in 1894. The existing terminal was finished in 1914 and renovated in 2012. It’s a great community space, with a splash pad outside, museums nearby and lots of activity day and night.

The station still serves as the city’s central transportation hub, with rail and bus service in addition to an assortment of hotels, shops, restaurants and bars. It’s located at the intersection of 17th and Wynkoop Streets.

The whole place feels European, and if you’d told me I’d somehow been transported to Switzerland, I’d probably have believed you, until I noticed that the trains weren’t all precisely on time.

The historic terminal is done just right, with wooden benches and huge hanging lights, brass detailing, leather couches, tile floors and a pair of shuffleboard tables. The Terminal bar serves up cocktails, and an ice cream joint sells milkshakes made with shots of booze.

Today, hiking around Crested Butte. Tomorrow, if the storms hold off, I’m walking from Crested Butte to Aspen, returning the following day.

Stay tuned.


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