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.
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.
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.”
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 email@example.com) to escape the tipsy post-brunch crowds elsewhere.
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.
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.
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.
The Maven Hotel
1850 Wazee Street
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 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.
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.
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.)
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1340 South Santa Fe Drive
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.