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Traveling to Colorado this summer

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by judiz, May 22, 2010.

  1. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    My family and I will be flying to Colorado this summer for one week. We definitely plan on visiting Denver and Boulder as I want to see the figure skating hall of fame. Could use some advice on other things to see and which hotels are the best in Denver - we do not want to be near the airport and prefer a quiet area but one within walking distance of stores and restaurants.
  2. lenac03

    lenac03 New Member

    Nothing is near the airport in Denver. The airport is considerably east of downtown Denver, so don't worry about that. Personally I prefer the western part of the Denver metro area. Stapleton is also pretty alright. But I think the Hall of Fame is in Colorado Springs, isn't it? If you're going to be down that way, I recommend Garden of the Gods and maybe a trip to the Air Force Academy. Pikes Peak is also good.
  3. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    The best thing I did in the Denver area was visit the Tattered Cover bookstore on the 16th street mall. I spent hours in there, and they had a book that I had not been able to find anywhere else ;)
  4. Auntie

    Auntie Well-Known Member

    Red Rocks! Pikes Peak is really impressive too. I loved Denver but it seemed like we did a ton of driving while we were visiting. The airport is in Timbuktu and all the things we wanted to see were pretty spread out.
  5. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

    Well, if you have someone/something specific to visit in Boulder, and also want to visit the Figure Skating Hall of Fame, then be prepared to be doing some driving. According to Google Maps, the distance between Boulder and Co Springs is 96 miles, and an hour & 47 miinute drive.

    If you want to stay in the CO springs area for the HOF, you might also want to visit the Cave of the Winds, and/or the Royal Gorge Bridge. That is if you are an adventerous type.

    If you stay closer to the Boulder area, and are into beer, the Coors Brewery offers up tours. Its been eons since I did the tour. Back when Mom would take us kids, or our school went, they offered up a free beer at the end of the tour. I always said I'd be back to get my free beer when I was of age. But by the time I was, I couldn't stand the stuff. LOL. Also in the same area of the Coors Brewery is the Colorado Railroad Museum, if you're into that kind of stuff. Again, its been eons since I was there, but I found it cool at the time cause you got to go around and climb on the engines and old rail cars. I have no idea if they allow that stuff any more. Just remember thinking it was cool at the time.

    Perhaps if you narrow down what type of things interest you, we can point you in the right direction? Also good to know what part of the state you plan to stay, and how much driving you are willing to do.
  6. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    My apologizes for typing in the wrong city, we do plan on visiting Colorado Springs and Denver. We would like to stay in Denver and do the driving from there. My son wants to see a Rockies game, my husband is interested in the national parks and I want to see the Olympic center and skating HOF. Not sure how much we can fit in a week though.

    Most important now though, hotel suggestions in the Denver area.
  7. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

    Colorado Springs and Denver are still an hour's drive/70 some miles apart. So if you were to do the Cave of the Winds, Royal Gorge and/or Garden of the Gods (which are all in the same general area as the Skating HOF and Olympic Center) it might behoove you to stay in the Colorado Springs area, and make the one drive into Denver for a Rockies game, rather than staying in Denver and making the daily drive to the other attractions.
  8. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    How much would you like to spend on a hotel per night? I'd be able to give you better suggestions with that info.

    Strategically, it makes some sense to visit Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, the Skating Museum -- but check the hours) and Denver, and then perhaps to Boulder/Rocky Mountain National Park as a separate segment staying either in Boulder or Estes Park. Driving from downtown Denver to RMNP is nearly two hours, which would be pretty tough to do twice in a day and get to see much of any of the park. If you're coming from sea level (or similar) I'm a fan of waiting a few days before you go up to the park -- the altitude really gets to some people, and a few days at mile high altitude makes the 7-11,000 feet of altitude in the park a lot more practical.
    Completely agree with not staying near the airport, which is near to nothing except Kansas. (Joke, but not as much as I'd like.)
    Some Rough Driving times that might be helpful: DIA- downtown denver - 30 minutes, downtown Denver - Colorado Springs 45-60 minutes (assuming you can avoid rush hour), Denver - Boulder 40 minutes, Boulder-Rocky Mountain National Park 60 min.

    As long as you're not coming on either July 4th weekend (when Boulder hosts a humongous softball tournament) or the weekend before CU starts in August, hotel rooms are reasonably plentiful around here and you have a pretty big choice of prices to pay.
  9. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    I've been to the skating museum and the Garden of the Gods. Both really wonderful to visit.
  10. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    The Tattered Cover is amazing! They have a store in Cherry Creek as well.
  11. lenac03

    lenac03 New Member

    I can vouch for the brewery. I went to college in Golden (where the brewery is located) and you can get a full tour, and end up in the bar area at the end. Orrrrr you can ask for the "short tour" where you'll go straight to the bar area for free beer. ;)

    Railroad museum is pretty cool too.
    LynnW and (deleted member) like this.
  12. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    We would like to spend $130.00 a night, we want a hotel with a restaurant on the premises, a health/fitness club and internet.
  13. lenac03

    lenac03 New Member


    Honestly, the Denver metro area is big. Your best bet to find what you're looking for is any travel-related website. Expedia, Travelocity, whatever.
  14. kobe

    kobe New Member

    You mentioned that your husband is interested in the national park. Rocky Mountain National Park (approx 1.5 hour drive NW of Denver) is a must see.
  15. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Whatever you do, stay away from Loveland Pass unless you want to have a hardcore anxiety attack.


    The Eisenhower Tunnel is your friend.
  16. LynnW

    LynnW Politiking for Purple

    :lol: @ the "short tour". I would think that would be pretty popular, especially for the college crowd. :40beers:
  17. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Not sure where you are coming from, and if you're used to being in the mountains a lot, but if you do go to the Rockies be alert for altitude sensitivity. I've only travelled out there a few times, but on the trips, some people aren't bothered by it at all, but some are affected and have to be sure to take it easy and drink lots of water.
  18. lenac03

    lenac03 New Member

    It was. Erm. Is.

    Not that I experienced it once or twice a week or anything.
  19. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    A general rule is to wear layers. You might be in a tank top in Denver, but an hour and a half away, you need a jacket, and then if you go near the top of a mountain, you're shivering. Not sure if it applies in the summertime like it does in the springtime, but I would err on that side.

    You may want to ask your doctor for a few days worth of Diamox, as that helps so much in preventing altitude effects.

    Altitude effects are quite odd. I have very poor cardiovascular fitness yet have done comparatively well at high altitude (~12,000 feet), while some people are very physically fit yet can't adapt to the altitude as easily. And some years you go and are fine, and others you're not.

    So it doesn't hurt to have some Diamox just in case.

    I can't say enough positive things about RMNP.

    One more tip: Some of the roads such as Hastings Pass can be scary to drive. On those roads there will often be people in huge trucks tailgating you and making you feel nervous. There are designated pull-to-the-side spots to let those guys pass. Use those rather than succumb to the pressure that those drivers exert on you.
  20. lenac03

    lenac03 New Member

    In short, probably a good idea not to run a 5k immediately upon landing. Stay hydrated.
  21. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    I love the rockie mountains, but if anyone in your family has asthma or lungs that are compromised, just be cautious of the higher elevations. Both my husband and my sons had lung conditions and had some unusual reactions. Husband fainted on me during one visit (stayed hydrated the next visit), son had asthma episode during one trip - fortunately I had prednisone, ventolin aerosal treatments with us. Both were pretty scary, because they were unexpected reactions. If I had been prepared, it might not have been as scary.
  22. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    I'm asthmatic so my allergist is giving me an inhaler to use before and while we are in Colorado, I don't plan on doing any climbing.
  23. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

    I'm asthmatic too. I've also lived here all my life (well, since I was 3 anyway, which is pretty much all my life). So one would think I'd be acclimated to the altitude. We've made several trips to Central City/Blackhawk before and after their tranformations into gambling towns. And although I never had trouble before, my last trip was terrible. There are a lot of steep sidewalks. And on that last trip, it felt like someone had poured concrete down into my lungs and let it harden. Of course, it didn't help to be accompanied by a sister who had to "show me" how much more fit she was than me, and how incensed she was I dared to be not fit enough to keep up with her and breathe at the same time.
  24. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

    A flatlander friend of mine travelled to Colorado with his wife and son. She is a runner and decided to run the evening they arrived. She and her son went their usual distance and finished OK. She was so sick the next day she had to stay in bed. Her son did not feel the effects as much. Maybe age can be a factor too??
  25. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Some hotel suggestions:
    In Denver: Holiday Inn Select - Cherry Creek. On Colorado Boulevard, lots of businesses and restaurants around. About ten blocks from Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the surrounding Cherry Creek retail district. (Personally not a big fan of the shopping center, but the district is very lovely with lots of shops, restaurants, galleries.) About 30 blocks (just North on Colorado Blvd.) from the Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, and about 20 blocks from the Botanical Gardens. Even nicer (and better located) is the JW Marriott Cherry Creek - right in the midst of everything, but unless you can find a deal on it, well outside your range.

    Downtown Denver is about 25 blocks away -- great bus service. I don't see much in the way of nicer downtown hotels in the price range you want, and those that do have better prices are either fewer stars or in dodgier locations.

    Colorado Springs - Hyatt Place Garden of the Gods, Doubletree Hotel Colorado Springs World Arena, Crowne Plaza (couple dollars over, but maybe a splurge for a night)

    Boulder - Quality Inn & Suites Boulder Creek. No restaurant on-site, but this is in a good location -- about four blocks to Pearl Street, the nice outdoor shopping/restaurant district. Days Hotel - Boulder: This is a little out-of-the-way (car definitely needed) but has the benefit of having on on site cafe open for breakfast and lunch that is good enough that we go there every month or so. Millenium Harvest House is the biggest hotel in town, you might get a better rate if you call them directly or have AAA. Several restaurants. The classic is the Hotel Boulderado, but it is going to be out of range in all probability. Marriott - need to look for a good price, but nice location. Has restaurants, and an Original Pancake House and Egg & I restaurants are both across the parking lot. (This is a regular Mariott, not a Courtyard). At a substantially lower pricepoint, Louisville, the next town over from Boulder (towards Denver, about 15 min. from Boulder) has a bunch of hotels.

    Estes Park - Best Western Silver Saddle (A motel, but reasonably nice, in a very good location.) The Holiday Inn is nicer, but unless you can find a deal, probably outside your price range. There are some wonderful cottage complexes, often along one of the rivers -- let me know if that might be of interest -- typically no restaurant, though, and they may have a several night minimum.