Editor’s Note: Our #LocalInsiderTips interviews give you a peek at local gems and top travel tips from influential travelers in the know.
This week, we are chatting with The Scenic Suitcase’s founder, Stephanie Miller, who is based in Denver, Colorado. Stephanie loves exploring different countries like Australia, Cuba, Iceland, Poland, South Africa, etc. She shares her insider tips and travel secrets on her blog, where she passionately helps others with a serious case of wanderlust.
Best Local Food in Denver, Colorado:
Linger is one of my favorite places to eat downtown. It offers an eclectic menu of dishes inspired by every corner of the globe (broken out by region, so you can take your taste buds on a culinary tour). And the atmosphere is… unique, to say the least. Linger is housed in the old O’Linger Mortuary, so water is brought out in formaldehyde bottles and there are coffin ads in the bathroom. It’s even rumored to be haunted!
Don’t Drink the Water in Denver, Drink a Craft Beer!
Colorado is home to some of the best breweries in the country, so you’re sure to find something to please your palate. Craft brews such as Breckenridge Brewery, Great Divide, Crooked Stave and Dry Dock (just to name a few) are among my favorites. Not sure which one to choose? Then have a taste at the Great American Beer Festival, known as the world’s largest beer event. Cheers!
Best Local Designer, Shoes or Fashion Shop in Denver:
I’m a sucker for great interior design. One of my local favorites is Atelier for its mix of different textures, colors, and patterns. Their spaces are charmingly familiar while being altogether unexpected. Every room they create is #decoratinggoals.
Best Thing to Do in Denver:
You can’t visit Denver without a trip to the mountains! I recommend heading up to Breckenridge for its variety of shops, eateries and relaxing mountain vibes. It’s an easy hour and a half drive from Denver (and the scenery on the way up can’t be beat!)
Estes Park is another cute mountain town just a short hour away. It has an adorable main street lined with shops and restaurants, as well as the Stanley Hotel (which was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s The Shining, as well as where movies like Dumb & Dumber were filmed.)
——Now Let’s Take This Interview Abroad—-
Stamp My Passport Again Please:
At the top of my (ever-growing) list is Cinque Terre, Italy. The colorful buildings perched precariously on the steep hillside are stunning, and the hiking trail that connects each of the five fishing villages is absolutely beautiful. The trail hugs the shoreline and offers spectacular views of the Italian Riviera. And for those who love wine, you’re in luck! The villages are surrounded by vineyards, so the wine is as tantalizing as the scenery!
Travel Experience that Most Left an Impression on You:
Something I will never forget was when I was shopping at a local bazaar in Bali. I was torn between two dresses and the shop owner, an elderly woman with deep wrinkles and a soft smile, was trying to convince me to purchase both. Even though I really didn’t need two, I finally agreed (because hey, why not?). She then enveloped me in a tight hug, patting my back and crying, saying “thank you, thank you” repeatedly in broken English. This small $18 purchase that was little to me, meant everything to her. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever.
I’m desperate to get to Cappadocia, Turkey. Seeing the hot air balloons at sunrise and staying in one of the cave hotels has been on my bucket list for quite some time. And while I’m in Turkey I’d love to visit the Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern. Hopefully relations between the U.S. and Turkey will thaw soon so I’ll be able to go!
Favorite Travel Hack or Item of Travel Gear You Can’t Live Without:
I absolutely refuse to check my luggage anymore. Even on extended trips. It always comes back looking like it was tied to the landing gear and dragged down the runway (and that’s assuming it’s not lost!). So to ensure everything fits, I never leave home without my Rimowa Limbo suitcase with built-in compression straps and my Travelon compression bags. With them, I’m able to fit an astonishing amount of clothing into a small space, and I still have room for souvenirs!
Connect With This Globetrotter:
Are you an in-the-know traveler on the go who has favorite local spots you want to give a shout out to? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your hidden gems with FoodWaterShoes.