Bastille Day is today, so let’s explore the many ways you can celebrate France right here in Denver! In fact, Denver’s French connection goes way back, in many surprising ways…

  • Eastern Colorado was once controlled by France, and was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase pursued by
    France
    See this and many other beautiful (many of which are French) at Denver Art Museum’s “In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism.”

    President Thomas Jefferson.

  • The Platte River was named by early French explorers; “platte” is French for flat.
  • Alliance francaise de Denver, founded in 1897, is one of Colorado’s oldest non-profits and a thriving hub of French culture smack dab in the middle of Denver! They offer language classes, events and much more.
  • Brest, France, was Denver’s first Sister City in 1948, and is the second oldest such relationship in the US. The history is a heart warming story of Denver schoolchildren raising money to help war-ravaged Brest.
  • Upscale Parisian department store Printemps opened their only US store in Denver at the ill fated Broadway Plaza International Collection on “shabby” (NY Times, 11/12/1987) South Broadway in 1987. For a brief glittering moment, Denver shone like fashion beacon in the center of the country. The party ended less than two years later when the store closed.
  • Founded in 1997, the Rocky Mountain French-American Chamber of Commerce fosters business relations between our region and France.

Take advantage of our French connections! Experience true joie de vivre and escape to Paris without a tiring and expensive 10 hour flight. Denver has what it takes to get your french fix!:

Bon Voyage!

Check into a charming chateau style bed and breakfast, such as Capitol Hill Mansion, the Patterson Inn or Uptown’s gothic Castle Marne.

If elegant hotels are more to your liking, try Hotel Monaco or Hotel Teatro downtown. All ooze style, history and a certain “Je ne sais quoi“!

Bonjour!

France
A beautiful plate of Mussels from Le Central. Oui oui!

After a good night’s rest, enjoy a gourmet breakfast at your inn, or fresh croissant and cafe au lait at a charming local French cafe. Downtown options include The Market in Larimer Square, or Crepes ‘n Crepes in Writer Square.

After your petit dejeuner, promenade or take a pedi-cab over to The Denver Art Museum to savor their collection of French artists. Remember the incredible Passport to Paris exhibit? The upcoming In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism will bring back a treasure trove of French Impressionist paintings! Opening July 19.

No doubt you’ll work up a hunger for cuisine francaise, so a taxi ride to Le Central is a must for le dejeuner. Indulge in our fave Moules et Frites, or one of their other reasonably priced, authentic dishes. Linger over a bottle of wine, and relax as you people watch.

By now, perhaps a bit tipsy and fatigued, rest will be needed. Grab a cab to your hotel and nap for a couple hours to prepare for a memorable evening on the town.

Bon soir!

The day has been long, but the Parisian night beckons so how about a bit of Le Jazz Hot? Oui, oui!
Classy clubs include Dazzle or Jazz at Jacks or take a walk on the wild side at the gritty El Chapultepec.

After the musical reverie, enjoy a late supper at Bistro Vendome. Follow supper with that most French of drinks, Absinthe, served traditionally a la an Absinthe Fountain at Wazee Supper Club.

Bistro Vendome courtyard in Larimer Square.
Romantic Bistro Vendome courtyard in Larimer Square.

Crave a touch of the bohemian? Head to RiNo, Denver’s own Rive Gauche haunt for artistes, poets and their ilk.

Cezanne-inspired chalk art, Larimer Square.
Cezanne-inspired chalk art, Larimer Square. Vibrant as Le Jazz Hot!

Return to your room deliciously exhausted and sleep in late, with visions of a whirlwind Paris in Denver fantasy filling your dreams.

Au revoir… Merci beaucoup!