QUICK TRIP TO DEN­VER

Five ways to get creative in the River North Art Dis­trict.

Air Canada enRoute - - GETAWAY / ESCAPADE - BY / PAR CAITLIN WALSH MILLER

THE RAMBLE HO­TEL

The River North Art Dis­trict (RiNo) is home to over 30 gal­leries, 475 artists and the coun­try’s high­est con­cen­tra­tion of craft brew­eries, but how hip can a ’hood be with­out a bou­tique ho­tel to call its own? En­ter lo­cal de­vel­oper Ryan Dig­gins, who opened this stately new build last April. Its 50 guest rooms are tricked out with thoughtful touches straight off a fre­quent flyer’s wish list: spa­cious, well-lit bath­room van­i­ties, win­dows that ac­tu­ally open, ver­sa­tile stor­age to sat­isfy both un­pack­ers and out-of-a-suit­case types, and real cof­fee (with a French press to boot!). In­flu­en­tial New York cock­tail masters Death & Co. run the Ramble’s lobby, which morphs from a quiet café in the morn­ing to a reser­va­tions-rec­om­mended happy-hour hot spot by 3 p.m.

CRUSH WALLS

Walk RiNo’s poly­chro­matic al­leys and you’re likely to find your­self in front of a mas­sive, mus­ta­chioed lucha li­bre char­ac­ter or a six-me­tre-tall fanged panda. Each Septem­ber, the Crush Walls street-art fes­ti­val gives the neigh­bour­hood a fresh coat of mu­rals, thanks to lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists like De­tour and Shep­ard Fairey. Mon­treal’s Sta­tion 16 co-pro­duced last year’s event, which saw the in­tro­duc­tion of tours led by fes­ti­val founder Robin Munro.

ZEP­PELIN STA­TION

Oc­ca­sional Mon­trealer Kyle Zep­pelin had com­muters in mind when he opened a food hall and mar­ket place at the Blake and

38th stop of the Uni­ver­sity of Colorado A Line (five min­utes from Union Sta­tion). Cus­tomers can globe-trot be­fore they train­hop, par­tak­ing in low-ABV cock­tails, Aloha Poke Co.’s fresh bowls, In­dian street snacks from Nam­keen and even smoked meat at Au Feu. Skep­tics be­ware: That’s wagyu beef be­tween the rye.

MILLERS & ROSSI

Af­ter walk­ing into this con­tem­po­rary art gallery, home to 10 eclec­tic Den­ver artists, sneak through the rear door (mas­querad­ing as a framed print). You’ll find your­self in a 1920s-style speakeasy, done up in brick, cop­per, soft light­ing and low couches – in stark con­trast to the bright, clin­i­cal space out front. En­joy a smoked old fash­ioned as Bob Ross’ Joy of Paint­ing hyp­no­tizes you from above the cen­tral bar.

IL POSTO

An­drea Frizzi, a Mi­lane­se­born bun­dle of en­ergy, joined the herd in RiNo in 2017 when he moved his decade-old north­ern Ital­ian eatery into this soar­ing space. Make like ev­ery other ta­ble and start with the bur­rata, then fol­low up with house­made pasta – he cribbed that pork and mar­jo­ram ragù from his mom – or risotto with torched fontina. Ask for a ta­ble on the mez­za­nine for views of down­town (and to watch Frizzi buzz about on the floor be­low).

Lo­ca­tion It’s a 37-minute train ride from Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Union Sta­tion, down­town’s very bustling ter­mi­nal, which un­der­went a $54-mil­lion ren­o­va­tion in 2014.

Now you know The city re­ceives 10,000 new res­i­dents an­nu­ally. (Could be the moun­tains, could be the sun­shine – it’s sunny 300 days a year – or could be the le­gal mar­i­juana.)

THE RAMBLE HO­TEL

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