Summer Vacation – Family Trip to Denver, Colorado

Vacation was calling and I answered!

This past week I enjoyed a long overdue family vacation. My siblings, parents and I traveled to Denver, CO to celebrate my mom’s 50th birthday and enjoy some family time. This trip was extra special because grandmother joined us as well to pay her older sister a visit. My siblings and I also got to meet cousins on my dad’s side of the family for the first time. Our bunch had two other birthdays so we enjoyed cake and ice cream to celebrate all three of the birthday peeps. Here’s the delicious marble buttercream frosted cake we ate!

birthday cake

Although we did a lot of fun adventurous activities, this family celebration was the highlight of the trip for me. Mostly because of the crazy year we all had! It was wonderful to spend quality time with relatives and make memories that I’ll forever cherish.

My thoughts on Denver

This trip was a lot different from the trips I usually take. Usually when I vacation I go with my boyfriend or friends, and I’m the person to plan a full itinerary of things to do. However, this trip was the complete opposite. I’ll admit, this made the control freak in me feel a bit uneasy at first, but eventually, I accepted it and went with the flow. Honestly, with a family of 6, going with the flow is necessary because you never know what could happen. We were reminded of that several times throughout our trip, but nonetheless, we had tons of fun.

Overall I’d rate Denver a 7/10 on places to travel. I’m basing this rating off things to do, the food scene, and because I am the budgeting queen, affordability. Keep in mind I traveled with family, so a solo trip or a trip with just a couple people will more than likely give you a different experience.

Now let’s get into where we ate and what we did while in Denver. If you’re planning a trip to the mile-high city I hope this mini-travel guide helps you!

Food we ate while on vacation

We mostly ate on our own during this trip since not all of us eat the same. For example, my sister and I don’t eat pork or red meat, but my brothers and parents do, so at times it was hard to find food for the whole family. It could have been the area we stayed in as well, as it was about a 30 minute drive from the city, but we made it work!

The two restaurants I’d recommend adding to your travel itinerary are #HashTAG and Black-Eyed Pea. Both had delicious food and yummy drinks. Here are pics for proof!

cinnamon roll to kick off vacation
Look at this GIANT cinnamon roll my grandma ordered at HashTAG! We helped her finish it of course.
breakfast skillet with brussel sprouts, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccolli
I love a good breakfast skillet. This one had eggs, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and mushrooms.

I was starving when we ate at Black-Eyed Pea, so I didn’t get a photo of my food. But this margarita was so photo worthy.

margarita's on vacation
Mango margarita’s are the key to my heart.

Other restaurants to try

What we did on vacation

If you love the outdoors Denver is the place for you. We spent a lot of time outdoors while we were there, and even though I’m not a nature lover I didn’t mind too much. The mountains were breathtakingly beautiful, so the views we saw made it worthwhile.

The top two activities I recommend doing while on vacation in Denver are panning for gold like we did at Argo Mill and taking a scenic drive through the Rocky Mountains.

Panning for gold was an experience I never thought I’d have, but I’m so glad I did it. Before panning we took a tour of the historical Argo Mill and learned a lot about the history of gold mining and all that goes into it still today. While there are several other places to pan for gold in Colorado, I highly recommend Argo Mills. Fun fact: Argo Mills was the first mine to have electricity and greatly improved the profitability of the mining industry. Here are some photos from our experience and our scenic drive through the Peak to Peak scenic bi-way.

gold nuggets from Argo Mills in Denver, Colorado
My small but mighty nuggets of gold I found.
beautiful view of the rocky mountains
Surprisingly found some sand. Look at that VIEW.
view of the rocky mountains
Argo Mills office (mini version)
view of the rocky mountains Estes Park
I wish I could see this view everyday!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time in Denver. This family vacation was one for the books.

Have you visited Denver before? If so, comment recommendation below on places to eat, things to do and more. Sharing is caring!