An Introvert's Guide to Finding Peace and Quiet in Denver

With a metro-area population of nearly three million, it’s hard to imagine finding anything resembling “peace and quiet” in Denver’s buzzing urban sprawl. Elusive as they may seem, however, these few-and-far-between spots do exist. Here are eleven ways to (temporarily) hide from the hustle and bustle.

Movie buffs can enjoy everything from popcorn to organic cookies during indie flicks at Chez Artiste.
Movie buffs can enjoy everything from popcorn to organic cookies during indie flicks at Chez Artiste.

Chez Artiste
2800 South Colorado Boulevard

The landmark achievement of any independent introvert? Summoning the courage to head to a movie alone. Chez Artiste is an unassuming indie gem on the south side of town. Almost never full, this is the perfect spot to find your new favorite independent, foreign or avant-garde flick without having too many interactions with others.

Sit in the soothing contemporary interior of the Clyfford Still Museum.
Sit in the soothing contemporary interior of the Clyfford Still Museum.

Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock Street

With plenty of art to keep you company, who needs a plus-one to go to a museum? Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum is one of those small, serene spaces, right in Denver’s Golden Triangle. The institution is dedicated to showcasing the life and work of its abstract-expressionist namesake. Smithsonian magazine called it “among the best art museum experiences anywhere.”

The cozy interior of the Denver Zine Library, located in the Five Points neighborhood.
The cozy interior of the Denver Zine Library, located in the Five Points neighborhood.

Denver Zine Library
2400 Curtis Street

Nestled in Five Points, the Denver Zine Library is a quiet nook in the middle of a gentrifying neighborhood. What this quirky library lacks in square footage it makes up for in coziness (maybe because guests are required to ring the doorbell at the 24th Street entrance, making it more of a literary speakeasy than a public library). The current lending collection is made up of about 20,000 zines (original, self-published works) for your perusal. Head in on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or by appointment at denverzinelibrary@gmail.com) to escape the tipsy post-brunch crowds elsewhere.

Fort Greene's dimly lit and pleasantly spooky antique bar is best paired with a whiskey cocktail and a book.
Fort Greene's dimly lit and pleasantly spooky antique bar is best paired with a whiskey cocktail and a book.

Fort Greene
321 East 45th Avenue

If coffee doesn’t cut it, we’re willing to bet a glass of Scotch will do the trick. As long as you stick with weekdays, Fort Greene is quiet. After all, it is a self-proclaimed “hidden gem in Globeville,” sporting a Williamsburg vibe, with green velvet couches and plenty of outdoor seating. The bar opens at 5 p.m. and stays low-key and cozy until 10-ish. Pinching pennies? Take advantage of all-night happy hours on Mondays.

Adjacent to Woodbury Library, Highland Park is a peaceful spot for a quiet stroll.
Adjacent to Woodbury Library, Highland Park is a peaceful spot for a quiet stroll.

Highland Park
3265 Federal Boulevard

City Park is great and all, but for those looking to avoid Denver’s most populated green spaces — not to mention truckfuls of goose poop — north-lying Highland Park, at Federal and 32nd Avenue, is a small, clean, quiet space nestled in the middle of the historic Highland neighborhood. Outstretched on the lawn of the equally quaint Woodbury Library, Highland Park offers a playground, picnic tables and plenty of soft grass for lounging.

Marg's Taco Bistro offers more than margaritas to solo diners.EXPAND
Marg's Taco Bistro offers more than margaritas to solo diners.

Marg's Uptown
500 East 19th Avenue
Tired of trying to enjoy a margarita with gaggles of giddy partiers getting sloppy with tequila shots all around you? Then you'll appreciate Marg's Uptown, where the margaritas are tasty and the atmosphere decidedly mellow. Sit back, sip, and savor your surroundings.

These quirky swinging chairs are found on the Maven Hotel's upper floors.
These quirky swinging chairs are found on the Maven Hotel's upper floors.

The Maven Hotel
1850 Wazee Street
720-460-2727

Those who believe being alone means utter solitude have clearly never been people-watching. Anonymity in a crowded room can be therapeutic, to say the least. Case in point: The newly christened Maven Hotel offers various comfy chairs and nooks for hanging out. Or, if you dare, take the elevator up to one of the quiet upper levels and relax in one of the iconic hanging chairs.

MCA Denver is an art lover's haven off 15th and Delgany streets.
MCA Denver is an art lover's haven off 15th and Delgany streets.

MCA Denver Rooftop Cafe & Bar
1485 Delgany Street

LoDo might be notorious for ballpark crowds, but those looking to rise above the din might swallow the Museum of Contemporary Art’s $8 entrance fee (or just $5 Tuesday through Friday evenings) to take solace in its peaceful hallways. Besides enjoying cutting-edge and occasionally interactive exhibits, guests have access to the rooftop bar and cafe. Grab a glass of wine or coffee and take in the views.

The largest purveyor of comics in the world, Mile High Comics is located off Jason Street in Sunnyside.EXPAND
The largest purveyor of comics in the world, Mile High Comics is located off Jason Street in Sunnyside.

Mile High Comics Megastore
4600 Jason Street

Boasting a massive space filled with comics, graphic novels and various geek-enchanting collectibles, Mile High Comics Megastore is a wonderland of visual storytelling. To spend hours perusing the various collections (or maybe just sitting in a corner reveling in the solitude), head to the “largest comic book store in the world” in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Browse flowers, ferns, and succulents galore at Paulino Gardens on North Broadway.
Browse flowers, ferns, and succulents galore at Paulino Gardens on North Broadway.

Paulino Gardens
6300 Broadway
303-429-8062

Whether you’re in the market for a collection of tiny succulents or not, wandering the grid of a greenhouse is a great way to escape the city noise. Located on north Broadway, Paulino Gardens is one such peaceful spot: generously sized and populated by plenty of houseplants, cacti and herbs. (Pro tip: Avoid shopping midday in spring, when gardeners descend upon local plant hubs.)

Session Coffee sits on the east side of South Santa Fe Drive, offering a quiet space on one of the busiest streets in Denver.EXPAND
Session Coffee sits on the east side of South Santa Fe Drive, offering a quiet space on one of the busiest streets in Denver.

Session Coffee
1340 South Santa Fe Drive
720-308-5210

Looking to avoid human conversation and pretentiousness? Located off of one of the busier sections of Santa Fe, local newcomer Session Coffee is an industrial-chic-but-not-too-chic cafe offering incredible coffee (and burritos!). The atmosphere is distinctly “chill” enough for anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered by echoey walls or aggravating house music.

What are your favorite places to find solitude in Denver? Send your ideas to editorial@westword.com.

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