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Road Games Travel Tips: Miles of discovery

Week 1: Seattle at Denver, Sept. 9, 2018, 1:25 p.m. Pacific

SPONSORED — “Why didn’t we just get something near the hotel?”

Dave Wyman asked that question while riding shotgun in the rental car.

Fair question. We were in traffic, listening to directions from my phone with a game that evening.

But there were extenuating circumstances. Namely, the best sandwich I’ve ever had.

The Cherry Creek Grill was admittedly not the most convenient lunch spot, tucked in an affluent shopping district that’s a 15-minute drive from the downtown hotel where Wyman stayed as part of Seattle’s radio-broadcast crew. It was even further from the stadium where Seattle was playing a preseason game that night.

But it was worth it. The French dip at the Cherry Creek Grill isn’t a French dip at all. It’s a prime rib sandwich that I was introduced to back in 2004 by my high-school friend Merlin (actual name), who’s an incredible chef in his own right.

I’ve been traveling to Denver for 15 years now, including an unforgettable trip for the basketball All-Star game in 2005 when I found myself working out in the hotel gym next to Darryl McDaniels, who is better known as “DMC” from the seminal hip-hop act Run DMC.

So if you’re headed to the Mile High City to see Seattle face the team it routed to win the title four years ago, here’s some ideas to help you get the absolute most out of the experience.

Arrival: The airport is located 25 miles away from downtown Denver so anyone booking an airport hotel should be aware, it’s nowhere near downtown. As far as mass-transit, the A-Line commuter rail runs from the airport to the Denver Union Station, which is located in the LoDo neighborhood. I’ve always rented a car in Denver, though. After all, I’ve got to get to the Cherry Creek Grill for that prime rib sandwich.

Stadium: It’s located right about 2 miles west of downtown Denver, near the freeway interchange between I-25 and I-70. For those seeking to maximize sports opportunities, Denver’s football stadium is just over a mile west of the Pepsi Center.

Last time here: Seattle hasn’t played a regular-season game in Denver since Week 2 in 2010, which is a long time considering that up until 2002, the teams were division rivals who played twice per season. It hasn’t been easy for Seattle in the Mile High City as Seattle has lost seven of the last eight games it played in Denver.

Dining: I’ve already told you my favorite: The Cherry Creek Grill (184 Steele Street, 303.322.3524). For incredible Italian cuisine in a casual setting, Bar Dough is fantastic (2227 West 32nd Avenue, 720.668.8506). If you’re more interested in a bar that’s certain to have the games on TV, try the Occidental Bar (1950 West 32nd Ave., 720.536.8313).