If you haven’t checked out Denver’s newly renovated and super cool Union Station, what are you waiting for? Especially if you live in Stepping Stone. Lucky you, all you need to do is make a quick drive up to the Lincoln light rail station, hop on the E-line and—voila!—you’ve effortlessly arrived at the new/old heart of downtown Denver. With nary a valet to tip nor meter to feed.
Bringing the kids? They’re sure to love the light rail trip downtown. And once they’re there, you may have to drag them away from watching the big Amtrak trains slide into the sleek, open-air Train Hall. One reason to bring kids while it’s warm outside is the big new fountain, with its irresistible plumes of water, perfect for splashing in on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Inside Union Station itself, the Great Hall is an impressive blend of history and hipness, function and fun. First, you’ll notice the history: the original tile floors, wooden benches, soaring ceilings, and ornate light fixtures. The original Union Station dates way back to 1881, when its arrival inspired the nearby construction of other requisite Old West businesses like saloons, markets, and warehouses. An electrical fire burned the building in 1894, but it was quickly rebuilt. In 1914, railroad companies replaced the center hall and roof and crafted the Beaux Arts-style building that remains today.
Now, after a $54 million, 1-1/2 year renovation, Union Station is once again a hip place to be, with comfortable couches, table shuffleboard, the new Crawford Hotel, and a fleet of Colorado-owned and operated restaurants, bars, and shops—all within this iconic building. The Great Hall’s centerpiece is the Terminal Bar, located in the former ticketing office, serving dozens of Colorado craft beers, along with spirits and wine. Along the periphery of the Great Hall run countless other diversions. Unique boutiques. A Tattered Cover Bookstore. Dining options ranging from Crab Louie at Stoic & Genuine to banana splits at the Milkbox Ice Creamery. And then, when you’re nicely fed and watered, there’s all of downtown to explore, with its museums, shops, and parks, and other historic landmarks.
Take the kids or not, but there’s definitely adventure to be found at the end of the E-line.