Entomology Today

The Best of Denver: What to See and How to Get There During Entomology 2017

The 16th Street Mall in Denver is home to a lineup of shops, bars, and restaurants that can offer Entomology 2017 attendees a variety of activities for their free time. (Photo credit: Visit Denver)

By Alix Whitener, BCE-Intern

Editor’s Note: As Entomology 2017 arrives, today we conclude our five-part “Students at #EntSoc17” series on Entomology Today, in which members of ESA’s Student Affairs Committee share what fellow student members need to know to be prepared to ignite, inspire, and innovate at Entomology 2017. 

Alix Whitener, BCE-Intern

Amid the whirlwind of activity planned for Entomology 2017, be sure to set aside time to discover what our vibrant, mountainous convention location has to offer. This guide is meant to give you just a taste of what you can expect in Denver and ignite some excitement! And, perhaps, to inspire you to explore LODO (Lower Downtown) and the surrounding area while you attend this year’s conference.

Perhaps you prefer to start your day on a walk or a bike ride before spending the day in the Convention Center attending symposia, lunch and learns, and mixers. Or, maybe you’re looking for a museum or tour to experience the area. Whether you’re interested in finding a local eatery to network over a bite, sampling locally brewed beer with a few colleagues, or catching up with a collaborator over some coffee, LODO has something for you.

One of Denver’s attractions, the Blue Bear—titled “I see what you mean,” by artist Lawrence Argent—is located just outside the Convention Center, poised with a gaze into the center itself. Use the Twitter hashtag associated with the bear, #CCCBlueBear, combined with #EntSoc17, and your tweet or Instagram post will be displayed on monitors throughout the Convention Center.

Looking for Some Caffeine Near the Convention Center?

There are 16 Starbucks locations within a mile of the Convention Center, some less than a five-minute walk away. But, if the local coffee scene in LODO is more your vibe, numerous cafés are open early enough to get back in time for morning symposia or Sunrise Sessions.

Quiet Meeting Locale Alternatives

The search for a place to meet up with colleagues and collaborators usually winds down to a small table in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the convention center, or, perhaps more frequently, in a loud bar or pub. Sometimes these places serve their purpose, but finding a quiet environment where your voices can actually be heard is often challenging. Here are some quieter locations nearby:

What About Cheap Eats That are Still Local?

Breweries in Denver

Colorado is known for its many small-batch breweries. Some have outdoor seating, some are in reconfigured industrial buildings with their own rich history, and a few have quieter atmospheres that make them a great place to meet up with colleagues and get a taste of Denver. They all have two things in common: innovative beers and excellent food!

One thing these breweries have in common, in addition to their great beer and awesome food, is their passion for the local Denver community and ethos for the environment.

A male mountain goat catches the first rays of sun on Squaw Mountain near the Fire Lookout outside Denver, Colorado, on June 22, 2017. (Photo credit: A.B. Whitener)

Get Some Fresh Air

A mammoth welcomes you to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (Photo credit: A.B. Whitener)

But How Do I Travel Within LODO?

Denver and LODO in general are easily navigable with grid-like streets and the centrally located 16th Street Mall. Much of where you want to go and what you want to see is walkable. For everything else, there are great local transit options, from bikes to buses, to Uber and Lyft, to the Light Rail for accessing the Denver International Airport.

Feeling a Bit More Adventurous?

Check out a bicycle through one of Denver B-Cycle‘s many kiosks. A $9 24-hour pass will get you access to unlimited 30-minute rides for the duration of the pass, or a $35 24-hour rental will get you unlimited 24-hour access to one of its cruiser bikes. Access the website or mobile app to see the location of kiosks relative to your destination, how many bikes or docking stations are available, and to purchase passes. There are two kiosks on 14th Street, right outside the Colorado Convention Center!

Alix Whitener, BCE-Intern, is a Ph.D. candidate at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, Washington, and chair of the ESA Student Affairs Committee. From Alix: “Our committee has worked tirelessly to bring you an unforgettable and invaluable student experience in Denver. I participated in the Planning Team Meeting that took place this June in Denver, where I explored the LODO area on morning runs and planning committee tours. I even managed to use Uber to get to the trailhead of Squaw and Chief Mountain, where I and another fellow entomologist saw a mountain goat! I look forward to networking with potential employers and collaborators at Entomology 2017, but I am equally enthusiastic about the many great student activities planned by your dedicated SAC this year.” Email: alix.crilly@wsu.edu

Blog post edited by Student Affairs Committee members Casey Parker and Adesanya Adekunle