The Denver Metro Area is growing at a rapid pace, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. We were pleasantly surprised, as we enjoyed a stroll through Belmar Park last summer, to find a number of old and even older buildings that were remarkably well preserved.
Officially, we had wandered onto the grounds of the Lakewood Heritage Center, which borders the Park. Lakewood is a burgeoning suburb of Denver with its own unique history. The Heritage Center–originally known as Belmar Village when it was founded in 1976–has worked hard to preserve some of the original farm buildings built on this land in the early 20th century.
But then there are the other buildings, like the diner, that seem oddly out of place. Those came later…and they were built somewhere else. The Heritage Center, like the City of Lakewood, has grown since its inception, and now incorporates a number of artifacts, large and small, to document the history of this fascinating part of the country.
Belmar Park also happens to be exceptionally beautiful with lots of trails and pathways. A perfect combination of outdoor fun and exploring.
You know how we love to step back through time at UndiscoveredWanderings. This one you can’t miss.
We stumbled upon this gem as we strolled the mean streets of Vancouver. Just kidding, everyone is actually really nice there. We love a good burger to satisfy our day. Combine that with a retro setting and you don’t even have to ask us…we’ll just show up.
Moderne Burger is one of those places you might see on TV. That’s because it’s been on TV! We happened to be there later at night as it was closing, which gave us some time to chat with the owner, who proudly told us that everything on the menu is locally sourced, including the potatoes for the fries. The beef is grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free. We definitely give this place an A+ for the great atmosphere and amazing, healthy food. The natural aspect of the menu was obvious at the first bite.
We sometimes get mistaken for a food blog because we document so many restaurants. Although we always enjoy a good meal (and it was good!), we document restaurants for their atmosphere, business model, or something else that’s completely unique about them. The meticulously detailed retro design and feel of Moderne Burger made it the perfect fit to be featured on UndiscoveredWanderings. Did we mention it’s been on TV shows? That should be a sign of its authenticity. See our gallery below, plus check out the links to see which of your favorite shows have filmed there.
Oregon’s a beautiful state. For those who’ve only been to the coast, we recommend driving through Eastern Oregon. The unrivaled views are amazing. And along the way, you’ll find some interesting curiosities, like this phone booth. We did a double take when we saw this one.
It’s one thing to occasionally find the ever-disappearing payphone these days, but it’s a completely different story to encounter an actual phone booth! Complete with windows, vintage phone sign, and, presumably, a working phone (although it was out of order when we visited). This was too good not to feature on UWanderings. These relics from the past are almost gone; we’re happy that ODOT preserved this one.
The crazy things we find on the road. Seriously.
This gem from the past is located at Boardman Rest Area in North Central Oregon, off of I-84. See map above for details. Happy travels!
We spent a lot of time in California this summer, sometimes just taking in the surf. But as we cruised through the Bay Area, we had to stop at Nini’s Coffee Shop in San Mateo, our second time here. San Mateo has already proven to be a neat place, especially with our stop at a vintage record store.
So what makes this corner diner a real dish? It’s Nini’s!! Everyone knows that. The inside courtyard and all its out-of-place-yet-good-fit-for-this-place decorations always entertain. From street signs to statues, a fire hydrant and even a Texaco fuel pump (we’ve seen those before), you could say that Nini’s doubles as an unofficial museum. Never a dull moment.
And the food is fantastic! It’s a great place to unwind and take in the nice California breeze. Nini’s has been around forever, and judging by how busy it always is when we visit, it’s not going anywhere.
Mac’s Drive-In. The name itself evokes images of a 1950s eatery where the food was delivered right to your car window. Not so common anymore, but this relic of the past strives to maintain that nostalgic service, complete with vintage music while you eat.
Founded in 1961, this gem of the Finger Lakes is well known by locals and visitors alike. Open during the warmer months of the year, Mac’s iconic roadside sign has stood the test of time and is the first thing patrons see when they flock to this historical place each summer. The later in the day it gets, the more people there are; it’s packed full almost every night. Adding to its menu of classic American eats, Mac’s is also one of a handful of places that still serves Richardson’s Root Beer. You can’t beat it. To put it simply, the root beer floats here are supreme–see video below for proof.
Adding to the retro ’50s and ’60s atmosphere, Mac’s also hosts weekly vintage car shows that are open to the public (call ahead for details). Who said time travel isn’t possible?