Like many cities throughout our great country, train stations similar to Denver, Washington, DC, Seattle, have renovated to make the Amtrak experience better. In many cases, the stations have revitalized the older downtown areas where they are located. Here is Denver:
After undergoing a massive renovation, once again Union Station serves as the hub of downtown. Built in 1914, the historic landmark sat vacant until developers revitalized it into a fully operational train station complete with bars, restaurants, shops, a Saturday farmers’ market, Tattered Cover Book Store, and the 112-room Crawford Hotel. Dining options range from low to high end, and include Snooze, known for its extensive pancake offerings (with flavors like pineapple upside-down cake and Oreo); Mercantile Dining & Provisions, which focuses on dishes inspired by local produce; and the soon-to-open Ultreia, a tapas restaurant by James Beard Award–winning chef Jennifer Jasinski. Also new to the station is the Plaza Beer Garden, which joins the Terminal Bar and The Cooper Lounge (order the Rosette Punch, served in a copper pineapple) as places to imbibe before hopping on the train back to the airport.
Other dining options are: Acme Delicatessen, Milkbox Ice Creamery, Next Door (pub), Pigtrain Coffee, Snooze (a breakfast place), and Stoic and Genuine (seafood).
When I was last here (on my first cross country Amtrak trip), it was being renovated, with hardly a soda vending machine and limited Wi-Fi. It sits in the heart of a vibrant downtown area, with the MLB ballpark, Coors Field(home of the Rockies) within easy walking distance and view. And, sadly, homeless camps abound by the nearby river.
I can walk from my hotel to both Union Station and Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies will play my San Francisco Giants. I will arrive around dinner time on Monday, Labor Day, attend two games (Tuesday and Wednesday), and fly home on Thursday. I will make sure to check out the new station and its food options, as well as the general scene. After all two full days on Amtrak, it will be a welcome sight, as I wobble down the concourse. Welcome to the Mile High City.