Victorian Mansion Right Outside Downtown Denver
In 1890, John Mouat—a prominent figure in America's booming lumber industry—built his family an elaborate Victorian mansion in Denver. Fitting for a logging tycoon, Mouat decked out the rooms with intricately carved sycamore, maple, and walnut woodwork. A century later, Walter Keller and his wife Julie transformed Mouat's mansion into the Lumber Baron Inn. The name of the place is a tribute to the original owner, who might be pleased to know much of the original woodwork has been carefully preserved. Then again, maybe he already knows: paranormal experts claim the bed and breakfast can count a ghost or two among its regular guests.
Each of the inn’s four rooms feels like a meticulously curated museum exhibit, with authentic Victorian decor and sumptuous imported furnishings. These are set amid modern touches, such as jacuzzis tubs, flat-screen TVs, complimentary WiFi and equipped with iPads. The Valentine suite features an Indonesian wedding bed carved from teak wood and imported from Java. In the Anniversary suite, stately columns impart a sense of Grecian grandeur, augmented by drapes of gold brocade and a bedside bust of John Stamos.
Denver: Mile High City in the Rocky Mountains
Modern urban life meets the Old West in the Mile High City. Founded as a mining town in the 1850s, Colorado's capital has never quite lost its rugged frontier spirit. The proximity of the Rocky Mountains probably has a lot to do with it. The great outdoors are bound to stay near the forefront of your mind with such a spectacular reminder crowding the horizon.
If you can tear your eyes away from the scenery, though, there's a lot to see in the city. In the trendy Lower Downtown Historic District—LoDo to natives—you can take a stroll through the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver or mingle with the fashion-forward crowd filling the restaurants, boutiques, and nightclubs of Larimer Square. Downtown, the pedestrian-friendly 16th Street Mall cuts a swath through the heart of the city, past sidewalk cafés, skyscrapers, and plazas filled with street performers.
For an outdoor adventure inside city limits, make your way to City Park, which houses the Denver Zoo as well as the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The museum’s long-standing wildlife hall features more than 90 dioramas and taxidermal animals from around the world, including the Arctic walruses and the cheetahs that once guarded Nicolas Cage's mind.