Capitol Hill is a study in contrasts: Legislative types mingle with hipsters. Stately mansions call goth shops neighbors. The result? An area that blends a tattoos-and-tunes vibe with the more dignified air of a government center. Spend a day exploring its streets by foot or bike (trust us, finding street parking is a pain).

Peruse albums at rock ’n’ roll haven Wax Trax, which spans two separate storefronts: one for CDs and the other dedicated, naturally, to wax (vinyl, that is). 638 E. 13th Ave., 303-831-7246

Browse Kilgore Used Books and Comics for modern classics like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, ’60s comic psychadelia à la Robert Crumb, and the latest graphic novels. 624 E. 13th Ave., 303-815-1979

Treat yourself to a manicure and a martini at Beauty Bar, a salon/saloon with a dance floor to boot. 608 E. 13th Ave., 720-542-8024

Smear homemade jam on the pancakes at Jelly, which serves breakfast all day and boasts a playful, ’50s diner feel. 600 E. 13th Ave., 303-831-6301

Visit the quirky Kirkland Museum OF fine & Decorative Art, named for Vance Kirkland, a prolific artist and founding director of the School of Art at the University of Denver. The museum houses a collection of eccentric 20th-century works, like postmodern furniture and art deco tableware, as well as Kirkland’s own paintings. 1311 Pearl St., 303-832-8576

Visit the gold-painted foyer at the historic Molly Brown House Museum. 1340 Pennsylvania St., 303-832-4092

Check out the vegan pastries at City, O’ City, which are made fresh by the folks next door at WaterCourse Foods Bakery. 206 E. 13th Ave., 303-831-6443

Get a civics lesson and take a tour of the Colorado state capitol Building. 200 E. Colfax Ave., 303-866-2604

Get involved

Enjoy good eats, handmade art, and live music at the Chun capitol Hill People’s Fair (June 4–5), a fund-raiser in Civic Center Park for the neighborhood’s community and nonprofit organizations. 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.,


Take a quick jaunt over to Cheesman Park and pick up a cup of champagne sorbet at Liks Ice Cream. 2039 E. 13th Ave., 303-321-2370