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Colorado vacation advice

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Some of you may remember that my husband and I were planning on going to CA this summer. Well, things changed and as it turns out, we're going to the Denver area for a week instead. We just learned that one of my favorite singers is performing at Red Rocks. We've seen her a few times, and after I mentioned this show in passing to my husband the other night, he ended up getting tickets. We'll be in the fifth row/center, and I'm psyched about it. So now that we have those tickets, we need to plan the rest of our trip. One of my aunts lives in the Denver area, so we'll stay with her. I also have relatives on the other side of my family out there, so I know we'll spend some time with them.

What are some things we should see/do while we're out there?

PS -- I do really appreciate the recommendations given for the CA trip, and I've saved them for future reference. That's still a trip we'll be making someday. :))
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 27, 2007
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Zoe, some of the prettiest places around Denver that I like for a day trip, picnics, hikes, etc. are Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs (about an hour drive south of Denver) and going up to Estes Park (it's north of Denver). Estes Park would definitely be a day trip; it's a little tourist town with lots of quaint little shops. The drive over Trail Ridge Mountain out of Estes is very pretty but I don't even know if it's open yet. The shopping malls we like are Park Meadows or Flat Iron or a little more upscale mall is Cherry Creek. I would recommend breakfast at the Brown Palace; it is divine! I don't live in Denver but we visit there frequently. If you go up I-70 you can see the ski areas like Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. It's a pretty drive up there with lots of shopping areas. You will love Red Rocks; unless it's crazy hot that day I'd take a jacket because once the sun goes down around here it gets chilly.
 

Octavia

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 28, 2007
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Vail is beautiful in the summer. It still has kind of a fake, touristy vibe, but it's not very crowded so it's actually kind of quaint, and the scenery is incredible. If you're sporty, there's great hiking very nearby, and rafting fairly close. Both Vail and Aspen have good music festivals in the summer (but mainly classical and jazz, I don't know if that's your style). I don't know anywhere else, though.
 

PilsnPinkysMom

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
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1,878
I definitely recommend going to the mountains. Estes Park is great and is not far. Grand Lake is a short drive and cute, SMALL town. I also like Breckenridge.

As for things to do in Denver: There are nice parks and museums. Our zoo is fun, as are the Botanic Gardens and Museum of Nature and Science. We have some great comedy clubs and awesome breweries. If you like beer I highly recommend taking a brew tour somewhere. If you have time, drive 1 hr north to Fort Collins and tour New Belgium Brewery.

You may also want to spend an afternoon in Boulder. Check out the Dushanbe Teahouse and walk along Pearl Street for people watching, etc.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Zoe, if you are coming out here soon I just saw some of the skiing areas are still open due to so much snow - providing you like to ski. :wavey:
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2006
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Thanks for the recommendations everyone! The zoo and the botanical gardens is on my must see list.

I've been to CO only once, Denver actually, but I didn't actually get to do too much sightseeing. My husband's never been. I do remember going to the Garden of the Gods. It's beautiful and I know my husband will like it, too.

Good to know about the temp. of Red Rocks at night.

We're not really big hikers. We're more "wander around" types. :bigsmile: Since we're staying with my aunt, I'd imagine that we'll do most, if not all, of our traveling with her. She has a bad knee, so that might dictate how much day-long walking we do, unless we go out on our own.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Zoe, the Denver Museum of Natural History has a nice gems and mineral display. I haven't been for years but I enjoyed it the last time we were there. Have fun! :wavey:
 

Smores84

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May 29, 2009
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196
Lucille's is an amazing for brunch, there's one in Denver and also one in Boulder. I'd definitely go to Boulder's Pearl Street (tons of restaurants, shops, live music,) Estes Park, and Vail (my favorite!) Cherry Creek North in Denver is a great place for local shops and good restaurants. The botanical gardens is absolute beautiful. If you're up to it, there's whitewater rafting (with tour guides of course) and tons & tons of outdoors activities.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 30, 2008
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marcy|1306639651|2932887 said:
Zoe, the Denver Museum of Natural History has a nice gems and mineral display. I haven't been for years but I enjoyed it the last time we were there. Have fun! :wavey:
Yeah, my family hails from Denver and I remember quite fondly, going there as a child. Much later, in the 90's I went back and was baffled to see the apparent disappearance of what I remember as a stately, classic governmental style building with something all glass and modern. Then I went in and realized they had actually encased the original building in a larger more modern superstructure. Kinda sad, but glad there were still vestiges left.

Still a great museum though, that part hadn't changed. I'll add my vote for a visit there. :wacko:
 

Inkblot

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Mar 26, 2011
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I used to live in Colorado Springs, so I definitely think that if you're looking to "wander" around, definitely head south an hour to Garden of the Gods. You won't exert that much energy walking around and admission is free! The Colorado Springs Zoo has a great giraffe exhibit (the last time I was there, anyway), Seven Falls is right around the corner, and you can check out a guided lantern tour of caves at Cave of the Winds. Manitou Springs is a quaint little town filled with shops and restaurants that is right outside of the caves. Denver has lots to do, but be wary of of some of the side streets. Six Flags is something to do if you're into amusement parks. Driving through the outskirts of downtown Denver at night isn't a good idea unless you're partial to liquor stores, tattoo parlors, etc.
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
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Thanks Smores! I'll mention Lucille's to my aunt. I love a great breakfast/brunch place. I'll mention the other places too. I know we're going to the botanical gardens, and my aunt just mentioned taking us to Estes Park and Boulder's Pearl Street also.

Ksinger, I wonder why they did that. I'm glad that it's still a great place to go. We'll check it out.

Thanks for the recommendations, Inkblot! I'm going to mention them to my aunt. Seven Falls and Manitou Springs sounds fun, and I'm hoping we can go to the zoo as well.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 27, 2007
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If you go to Lucille's get some of the hot little donuts (I don't remember what they are called). They are AMAZING.
 
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