Downtown Denver is home to many offices and skyscrapers, but it also has a great cultural, entertainment, and shopping district. 16th Street Mall and LoDo (Lower Downtown) are the hot areas.
16th Street Mall runs for several blocks and is lined with hotels, shops, galleries, restaurants, cafés, and bars, many located in historic buildings. My favorite shop that I stopped into was the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Designed by I.M. Pei, its alternating granite pattern is supposed to like a diamondback rattlesnake from above. A free electric shuttle bus runs down the center of it.
One point of interest along the mall is the Daniels & Fisher Tower. This clock tower was part of a department store built in 1910 and was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. It was designed as a ⅔ replica of the Campanile of St. Mark’s in Venice. The store was demolished in 1971 but the tower was saved and is a landmark of the city.
The other point of interest is the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and its Money Museum. It has interactive exhibits about the Fed, the economy, and currency. Admission is free and the museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
A block from the 16th Street Mall along Larimer Street is Larimer Square. Larimer Square sits in the block between 14th and 15th streets. It’s lined with top restaurants, clubs, bars, and shops.
Larimer Square is also a historic district where Denver was formed in 1858. It sits not too far from the place where the first white settlers camped out near the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek. Larimer Square was where Denver’s first bank, post office, bookstore, photographer, and more were located.
We also walked by the Trinity United Methodist Church. It’s a beautiful church built in 1887.