Three-Day Weekend: Denver in fall

Visit now for outdoor fun and big-city culture

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Day 2

A great place to kick off a day of museums, art, and culture is Annie's Cafe ($; 4012 E. Eighth Ave.; 303/355-8197). The Denver omelet (called the Eighth Ave. here) is tasty and huge. Note the rows of lunch boxes overhead.

See mummies. The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife, which is the focus of an amazing exhibit called The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt (through Jan 23) at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science ($20, $14 ages 3-18; 2001 Colorado Blvd.; or 303/322-7009). You'll see burial treasures and a tomb.

Stroll a sculpture-filled garden. Among the reasons to swing by the Denver Botanic Gardens ($7.50, $4 students and ages 4-15; 1005 York St.; or 720/865-3500) in fall: autumn leaves, the tranquil water features in the Monet Garden, and a sculpture exhibit ($3), Chapungu: Custom and Legend; A Culture in Stone, by artists from Zimbabwe.

Sports bites. Jackson's Sports Rock ($; 1520 20th St.; 303/298-7625) is the place to catch your favorite college-football game on the tube. There are 55 televisions tuned to various games.

Roam Riverfront. Pay a visit to one of Denver's newest neighborhoods, the Riverfront Park area - roughly Little Raven Street to Platte Street, between 20th and 15th Streets. Check out the landmark Millennium Bridge (at the foot of 16th St.), then pick up stylish home accessories at Chateaux (1590 Little Raven St., Ste. 170; 303/629-9101) or hard-to-find wine vintages at Denver Cru (closed Sun; 1590 Little Raven, Ste. 175; 303/573-9463). Then stroll over the just-finished pedestrian bridge in Commons Park to gaze at the South Platte River below.

Unusual fusion. Opened in February, Zengo ($$$$; dinner daily; 1610 Little Raven; 720/904-0965) is loud, trendy, and Denver's brightest new star. Start with a cucumber mojito, then share the small plates - especially the ceviche, arepas de puerco (pulled pork served over corn cakes), and Peking rolls - that showcase chef-owner Richard Sandoval's outrageous mix of Latin and Asian cuisines.

A night at the theater. The largest theatrical-arts hub west of New York is the Denver Performing Arts Complex (tickets from $34; Speer Blvd. at Arapahoe St.; or 800/641-1222). Moliere's The Misanthrope runs October 14-November 13.



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