Everyone needs a little relaxation and rejuvenation sometimes. Amy Angelilli shares her favorite spots near Denver to reset and respark a zest for life.
What do you think of when you hear the word “rejuvenation?” Of course I think of massages, as a good massage is one of my favorite things in the world. But, sometimes a massage isn’t always readily available. Plus, there are tons of other ways to rejuvenate that don’t involve an expensive trip to the spa.
Here are my five favorites in the Denver area:
1. Denver Botanic Gardens
I just hopped onto the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) website to find a new gardener boot camp, yoga classes and summer camp for kids! And that’s the thing about DBG—there’s always something new going on no matter what the season!
Even if you don’t take advantage of their special programming, you can pop in any day of the week for a walk around the property. It’s like a mini retreat—one in which you don’t need a pet sitter or a ride to the airport. Try a week day visit without telling anyone…that’s a guilty pleasure you’ll want to try again and again!
2. Evergreen Lake
One of my favorite things about going to Evergreen Lake happens even before you get there! It’s when you drive south on Route 74 and you’ve just gone over the hill and bam—you get your first peek of the lake! If I wasn’t always so excited to get to the lake, I’d turn around and do that part of the drive over and over.
While there are quite a few lakes in and around Denver, there are none more magical than Evergreen. Whether it’s a walk, a picnic, paddle boarding or canoeing—it always feels like you’re a million miles away from the city. Once, I even saw bear cubs!
3. Creative Life Center
Sometimes creativity—and, well…life in general—just seems hard. That’s why I love the Creative Life Center. It’s an opportunity to be creative without a big commitment, and, you can bring a lot of the offerings into everyday living so life becomes a little lighter. The classes provide a space to grow in spirit, body and life—and, there’s no homework! Plus, all the opportunities are delivered in a safe, supportive environment, and they’re just plain fun!
It’s like a mini retreat mixed with personal development with a dash of summer camp. More please!
4. Boulder Dushanbe Tea House
This (way more than a) teahouse is a-ma-zing inside and out because it was completely built by hand in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as a gift to their sister—Boulder, Colorado! It was disassembled, crated and shipped to Boulder where it was rebuilt as a symbol of cultural diversity and exploration, global friendship and international cooperation. And, the food (and of course the tea) isn’t bad either! Try it for Sunday brunch and then take a stroll next to Boulder Creek—no passport required!
5. Town of Lyons
When my husband and I drive up to Estes Park, he has to speed through Lyons as it’s always where I want to make a (very long) pit stop. Beside all the obvious recreation, there’s also the not-so-obvious…great restaurants, tasty local beer and lovely art galleries and co-ops. Plus, the town is just plain adorable.
The flood of September 2013 hit Lyons really hard. It’s been in recovery mode ever since, which means your dollars are helping the local community. Whether you spend just the afternoon or the whole weekend in Lyons, it’s a quick and easy treat for indoor and outdoor relaxation.
There are so many kinds of rejuvenation available within a six or sixty minute drive from downtown Denver. Pick one that brightens your day—and your spirit—without making a heavy dent in your wallet.
[image: via Rajarshi Mitra on Flickr]