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Countdown To Denver: Activities Outside Of Denver

By Karen Maoki posted May 24, 2013 3:50 PM

Guest Blog by Diane S. King for Colorado PELA

Dear NELA members - We hope to see you in Denver at the NELA Convention!  To encourage you to join us, we will be sending weekly information about various fun activities in Denver and around Colorado.  The second in our series is oriented towards activities outside Denver. – Diane King


Fun Things To Do In Boulder – 24 Miles From Denver

Pearl Street MallThe beautiful Pearl Street Mall, Pearl Street's East End & West End, is filled with fabulous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Enjoy the Hazel Miller Band at Bands on the Bricks,
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in the 1300 Block of Pearl.


Boulder Dushanbe Tea House – Beautiful building from Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan.  All kinds of teas.  Tasty food.  Fronts onto the same street as Boulder’s Farmers’ Market.

Boulder Farmers’ Market – Wednesdays 4-8pm and Saturdays 8am-2pm.

E-Town is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations. Every eTown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today’s top musical artists as well as conversations and information about the world around us.

Boulder Theater

Banjo Billy Bus Tours90-minute Boulder tour to learn about current traditions, crazy folk lore and the history that formed this old mining supply town.

Celestial Seasonings Tours – See how the teas are blended, packaged, and shipped, then enjoy free samples of every tea they make and discover the gallery of original artwork from their famous tea boxes.


Trails In/Around Boulder


Mt. Sanitas
Mesa Trail (leaving from Chautauqua); Chautauqua


Boulder Bookstores

Boulder Bookstore

Red Letter Second Hand Books
Beat Book Shop

Good Books Deserve Discussion At Boulder Coffee Shops


Trident Cafe
The Laughing Goat


And don't even get us started on restaurants! 

Some Favorite Restaurants In Boulder

Oak at Fourteenth 

Pizzeria Locale 

Chez Thuy



The Kitchen




The Mediterranean

Mountain Sun

Sushi Tora

Brasserie Ten Ten



Fun Things To Do In Estes Park – 52 Miles From Denver


Rocky Mountain National Park: (970) 586-1206


- Hike Emerald Lake Trail – 1.8 mile (one way)

The path accesses three stunning mountain lakes.

- Hike Sprague Lake Nature Trial Loop – 0.5 mile
The loop leads through pine stands to an alpine lake and is wheelchair accessible.  Connect to the trail 0.5 mile south of the Bear Lake shuttle bus parking lot.


- Hike Fern Lake Trail to Fern Falls – 8.5 miles (one way)


The Stanley Hotel – Intersection of US 34 and US 36 at 333 Wonderview Avenue.

 (970) 577-4000 or (800) 976-1377


Aerial Tramway – 420 E. Riverside Drive; (970) 586-3675


Sombrero Ranch Stables Offers hourly horseback riding trail rides, a Breakfast Ride, a Steak Fry Ride, cattle roundups, fishing, hunting, and overnight pack trips. Two miles east of Estes Park on US 34; (970) 586-4577


Ride A KartRide a Kart features, Go Karts, Bumper Boats, Batting Cages, Casey’s Train, Extreme Bungee Trampoline, Mini Gold, and an Arcade. 2250 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, CO  80517; (970) 586-6495


Restaurants Near Estes Park


Oskar Blues Brewery (on the way to Estes Park). Brewpub located at 303 Main Street in Lyons; (303) 823-6685


Estes Park Brewery: 470 Prospect Village Drive; (970) 586-5421


Inn of Glen Haven (970) 586-3897; 7468 CR 43


The Fawn Brook Inn: 15 miles south of Estes Park at 357 Colorado 7 Business, Allenspark, CO; (303) 747-2556



Fun Things To Do In Colorado Springs – 63 Miles From Denver


Garden of the Gods – The Garden of the Gods’ eroded sandstone cliffs form singular sculptures with imaginative names like “Sleeping Giant,” “Weeping Indian,” and “Baldheaded Scotchman.”  The visitor center provides maps of the 7-mile-loop scenic drive and hikes.


Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest zoo in the nation, atop Cheyenne Mountain and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Near the zoo also stands the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.  

 (719) 633-9925.


Ghost Town Museum recreates an authentic mining-era town including a saloon, jail, sheriff’s office, and blacksmith shop. (719) 634-0696


American Numismatic Association Money Museum – America’s largest museum dedicated to the study of money. (800) 367-9723


U.S. Olympic Complex Take the 1-hour tour on which you can observe athletes in training. 1 Olympic Plaza; (888) 659-8687 

Fun Things To Do In Manitou Springs – 61 Miles From Denver


Cave of the Winds – Three tours are offered including the Lantern Tour, exploring by lantern light.  100 Cave of the Winds Road; (719) 685-5444


Mineral Springs – Take self-guided tours and fill a jug with mineral water said to heal body and soul.  354 Manitou Avenue; (719) 685-5089


North Pole/Santa’s Workshop Rides – Reindeer and magic shows, mail postcards from the post office at Colorado’s North Pole. Pikes Peak Highway; (719) 684-9432 5050


Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum Approximately 10 miles from Denver, 7711 E. Academy Boulevard, #1, Denver, CO  80230; (303) 360-5360


The Wild Animal Sanctuary – Located just 30 miles Northeast of Denver, the sanctuary contains 720 acres on the open plains of Colorado.  1946 County Road 53, Keensburg, CO  80643; (303) 536-0118


Fun Things To Do In Idaho Springs, Central City & Black Hawk – 28 Miles From Denver


Argo Gold Mine & Museum: 2350 Riverside Drive, Idaho Springs; (303) 567-2421 


Coeur D’Alene Mine – Take a self-guided tour of the 1885 mine. Academy Hill in Central City; (303) 582-5283


Phoenix Mine – Pan for gold, swing a pickax, and listen for Tommyknockers (elves that supposedly inhabit the mine walls). Idaho Springs I-70 frontage road to Trail Creek Road; (303) 567-0422 


Thomas House – Thomas House gives insight into daily life in turn-of-the-century Central City. 209 Eureka Street, Central City; (303) 582-5283


Gilpin County Historical Museum – Housed in the former Central City schoolhouse, the museum displays Victorian furniture, dolls carriages, and mining and fire department equipment. 228 E. First High Street; (303) 582-5283

Restaurants near Idaho Springs, Central City & Black Hawk


Historic El Rancho

Buffalo Restaurant and Bar

Beau Jo’s

Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub

Two Brothers Deli

Smokin’ Yards BBQ


Fun Things To Do In Georgetown – 38 Miles From Denver


Georgetown Loop Railroad – In 1975, the Colorado Historical Society raised funds to rebuild the Georgetown Loop, thereby preserving a unique piece of Colorado history. (888) 456-6777

Restaurants On The I-70 Corridor


Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant 

Breckenridge Brewery

Columbine Café
Boatyard Boatyard Pizzeria and Grill




Fun Things To Do In Breckenridge And Frisco – 85 Miles From Denver


Chairlift Rides and Alpine Slide – Take the chairlift to Peak 8 for scenery, mountain biking, or the Alpine Slide; (970) 453-5000 or (800) 789-SNOW


Headwaters of the Blue River – Trout fishing south of Breckenridge can produce rainbows, browns, and brookies.

Mountain Anglers: (970) 453-4665

Blue River Anglers: (970) 668-2543


Rafting Half-day trip down the Blue River on Class III whitewater rapids or full-day Colorado River trip. (970) 453-0661; (800) 328-7238

Fun Things To Do In Vail – 74 Miles From Denver




Camp Hale Memorial Campground – West on I-70 to US 24 exit (171), then south on US 24 for 16 miles; (877) 444-6777 


Betty Ford Alpine Gardens – The Alpine Display Garden features nearly 500 species of alpine and subalpine plants; (970) 476-0103

Cycling and Mountain Biking


Lost Lake Loop – From the north frontage road in Vail, take Red Sandstone Road (Forest Road 700) north, and bear left onto FR 786, which leads to the Lost Lake trailheads.

Meadow Mountain Loop – Trail begins at U.S. Forest Service station right off US 24 in Minture (I-70 Exit 171).



Eagles Loop – After taking the gondola or chairlift up Vail Mountain you can descend along Eagles Loop (1-mile) paved path.


Berrypicker – 4.6 miles of colorful wildflowers and chances to view wildlife.


Missouri Lakes Trail – I-70 West to US 24 exit (171), then south 12.5 miles to Homestake Road (Forest Road 703). Turn right and continue 8 miles to FR 704.  Turn right.  Go 2.3 miles to the aqueduct water pipes and turn right.


Tenth Mountain Division Hut System – Winter sports enthusiasts, hikers, and mountain bikers use the huts adjacent to the Holy Cross, Mount Massive, and Hunter-Fryingpan wilderness Areas; (970) 925-5775

Vail Restaurants


Pepi’s Restaurant – Inside Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer in the heart of Vail Village; (970) 476-4671

Red Lion Inn: (970) 467-7676

Los Amigos: (970) 476-5847

Lancelot: (970) 476-5828

Sweet Basil: (970) 476-0125; 193 Gore Creek Drive

Terra Bistro: (970) 476-6836

Fun Things To Do In Winter Park – 43 Miles From Denver


YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center – Cross-country trails, swimming, horseback riding, mountain biking, miniature golf, and other activities. 1101 CR 53, Granby; (970) 887-2152 or (888) 573-9622


Alpine Slide: (970) 726-1564


Hot Sulphur Springs – Camping, fishing, hiking, golf, four-wheel drive trips; 5609 CR 20, Hot Sulphur Springs; (970) 725-3306  or (800) 510-6235



Fun Things To Do In Glenwood Springs – 125 Miles From Denver


Hanging Lake – Hike the National Natural Landmark; the 1.2 mile one-way trail climbs steeply. Take the Hanging Lake exit (125) off either I-70 East or West.  


Glenwood Hot Springs – Nearly two blocks long, Glenwood Hot springs is the largest outdoor hot springs pool in the world.  401 N. River Street; (970) 945-6571



Colorado White Water Rafting: 2000 Devereux Road; (800) 993-RAFT

Rock Gardens Rafting: 1308 CR 129; (800) 958-6737

Blue Sky Adventures: 319 6th Street; (877) 945-6605


Summer of Jazz – Held Wednesday evenings at the Two Rivers Park bandshell.


Strawberry Days Festival – The third weekend in June; (970) 945-6589

There is still time to join us at the 2013 Annual Convention to share in the education, camaraderie, and fun and explore the great offerings of Colorado!




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