Now that spring has (finally) arrived, it’s time to throw open the windows and dust off those abandoned home improvement and design projects. And when it comes to stirring creativity, there’s nothing better than a neighborhood tour to provide some inspiration. Whether you are looking for new gardening ideas, historical muses, or you simply get a kick out of peeking into other people’s houses, we’ve got a tour for you.
For The: History Buff
Historic Denver Walking Tours
Historic Denver is offering walking tours of a few classic neighborhoods this spring: LoDo, Capitol Hill, and Larimer Square (new for this year). Led by volunteer docents, these tours put Mile High City design into historical context, whether you choose the LoDo walking tour, which describes the evolution of the Union Station neighborhood, or opt to learn the detailed “then and now” story of Larimer Square (including its sordid skid row days). Bonus: The new Larimer Square tour includes exclusive access to—and awesome views from—the iconic Daniels & Fisher Tower on the 16th Street Mall.
The Details: Dates, times vary, May–October | $12–$20 | historicdenver.org
For The: Architecture Aficionado
Landmarks of the Future
Historic Boulder and Mod Boulder present Landmarks of the Future, this year’s showcase of Boulder’s best modern design. Old North Boulder’s infamous Gothic Revival–style Decker-Tyler House anchors this year’s tour of the post-WWII neighborhood. Look for different design approaches to similar architectural footprints; sustainable building concepts will also be highlighted.
The Details: Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | $15–$20 | historicboulder.org
For The: Variety Lover
Washington Park Home Tour
Benefitting Steel Elementary School, this year’s Washington Park Home Tour features homes that range from classic Victorian charmers to a renovated Craftsman bungalow to a true contemporary masterpiece. Don’t miss the accompanying street fair’s food trucks and local vendors.
The Details: Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. | $20 in advance, $25 day-of | steelepta.org
For The: Modern Design Enthusiast
Denver Modern Home Tour
With five spectacular homes spread out across the city, this tour requires a car and a game plan. But you’ll be rewarded with a behind-the-scenes look at a Hilltop stunner—designed by Charles Haertling in 1968 and exquisitely renovated in 2013—and a wander through the exciting, cutting-edge Lumina project in north Denver. Homeowners and architects are on the premises for this tour, so be sure to take advantage of their expertise, says Ken Shallcross, vice president of Modern Home Tours, the event organizer. “So often we only see these buildings from the outside; getting the chance to see the interior and talk about design choices with the architects is really exciting,” Shallcross says. This year, Denver Modern Home Tour has again partnered with Habitat for Humanity as its benefitting nonprofit.
The Details: Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. | $35 in advance, $40 day-of | modernhometours.com
For The: Green Thumb
Whittier-Mapleton Garden Tour
Boulder’s historic Mapleton Hill neighborhood opens its garden gates for this fund-raiser for Whittier International Elementary School. Wander through eight to 10 gardens, most of which are tucked away from the street, providing an elite, secluded feel. This long-standing Boulder tour is known for high selection standards, so prepare to be wowed.
The Details: Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. | $15 | whittiergardentour.com