Victorian Mansion Steeped in Lore Right Outside Downtown Denver
In 1890, John Mouat--a prominent figure in America's booming lumber industry--built his family an elaborate Victorian mansion in Denver. Fittingly for a logging tycoon, Mouat decked out the rooms with intricately carved sycamore, maple, and walnut woodwork. A century later, Walter Keller and his wife Julie transformed Mouat's mansion into the Lumber Baron Inn & Gardens. The name of the place is a tribute to the original owner, who might be pleased to know much of the original woodwork has been carefully preserved. Then again, maybe he already knows: paranormal experts claim the bed and breakfast can count a ghost or two among its regular guests.
Each of the inn's four rooms feels like a meticulously curated museum exhibit, with authentic Victorian decor and sumptuous imported furnishings. These are set amid modern touches, such as flat-screen TVs, jacuzzis, and an iPad in each room. The Valentine suite features an Indonesian wedding bed carved from teak wood and imported from Java. In the Anniversary suite, stately columns impart a sense of Grecian grandeur, augmented by drapes of gold brocade and a bedside bust of John Stamos.
Downtown Denver, Colorado: Artsy Neighborhoods and Victorian Architecture in Mile-High City
A full mile above sea level, the glittering skyscrapers of Colorado's capital city cut an imposing figure against the Rocky Mountains to the west. Downtown, contemporary architecture stands alongside historical landmarks such as the Denver Mint and Union Station, which has been a stop on the railroad since the 1880s.
Lumber Baron Inn & Gardens lies just outside downtown in the city's historical Highlands area, which CNN Travel dubbed "one of Denver's best-kept secrets." There's a nice mix of Victorian architecture and chic stores throughout the area. The highest concentration of boutiques, bodegas, and galleries can be found in the Tennyson Street Cultural District.
If shopping doesn't appeal to you, you can learn about Rocky Mountain flora and fauna at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Through January 13, it will be showing A Day in Pompeii, an exhibit full of preserved artifacts from the Roman city that was covered in volcanic ash.
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