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Steph_Haas Mar 19th, 2014 03:11 PM

3 nights in Colorado, what to do!
My husband and I are attending a family reunion in Steamboat Springs in July (13th-17th). We have Thursday, Friday and Saturday night afterwards to just be in Colorado. We have no idea what to do. We're going to go invest in a travel book, but I wanted to get any and all suggestions. Here are some things about us/that we like:

-Late 20's/early 30's
-Love beer (we are home brewers and any interesting unique beers/craft/microbreweries really peak our interest)
-Love food - especially "slow" food (organic, local, etc). I'm a vegetarian, he will eat anything
-Enjoy the outdoors, but aren't particularly athletic. Not too strenuous bike rides are awesome, short hikes (less than 5 miles), nature type things are good - this is not top of our list, but definitely an important one being in Colorado, nature loving place
-Not big shoppers/touristy sight-seers - we are on a somewhat budget, but are willing to splurge on the good stuff
-Probably going to use AirBNB or something similar for lodging, unless other suggestions come up
-We are from California, so similar climate

Any and all suggestions welcome! We will have a car and are open to pretty much anything. Thanks for your responses in advance!

Tabernash2 Mar 19th, 2014 09:31 PM

First of all, Steamboat in mid-July will be awesome. It's beautiful cowboy country & ski resort combined.

I take it you've never been there? Because you might fall in love with it and decide to stay all week.

Otherwise, you need to decide if you want to move to another mountain location, of which there are several choices. Or head to town.

You sound like the Boulder culture would be a good fit. Great food in Boulder, of all sorts including farm-to-table. I'd guess there are probably a number of AirBnB's available in July, because of all the students and landlords subletting in the summer. Look at the CU-Boulder site for student ads, too.

Micro-breweries are popular in CO, and you can find them practically everywhere. Some of the best are in Fort Collins, from what I hear. But there are plenty in Denver and Boulder. Wynkoop Brewery in lower Denver is good.

Gretchen Mar 20th, 2014 05:42 AM

How neat--do you have family reunions annually--and travel this distance to a destination? I ask 'cause we have one annually at the old home place (South) and enjoy seeing those cousins, etc.
Steamboat is fun. Do you fly fish? Could do a day of that? You aren't far from the Park, and could return to Denver via the western entrance, go through the Park and then down to Boulder or Denver as you wish.

Nelson Mar 20th, 2014 06:43 AM

With only three days you don't want to put on too many miles but agree you should return to Denver by going over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. This connects Grand Lake with Estes Park if you want to find it on a map.

I live in Fort Collins and we do indeed have some of the best micro-breweries in town, with New Belgium being a justifiably famous one. Their tour is great and can (should) be booked in advance. There are at least 10 others now.

On Thursday and Friday nights in July there is free music downtown, usually a good local band, always a fun scene. We have a great local, organic vegetarian restaurant called Tasty Harmony.

Not necessarily saying you should come here - you may want to spend most of your time up in the mountains, but it is an option, given the things you listed as your interests.

fmpden Mar 20th, 2014 07:42 AM

You could search on Colorado. Have a dozen threads running on the same subject.

Tabernash2 Mar 21st, 2014 05:03 PM

Or you could just post your own specific questions here, on your own thread. Some of us are happy to answer.

Gretchen Mar 22nd, 2014 04:14 AM

We are all happy to answer, but there are a LOT of different ideas on the threads that could lead to some specific questions for the OP. We have an unusual number of CO threads at the moment--good information. ;o)

furledleader Mar 22nd, 2014 09:35 AM

Are you driving to Colorado or flying? If flying, are you flying into and out of Denver, or Steamboat Springs. I ask because if you are driving, or flying out of Steamboat Springs it might not make a lot of sense to go all the way east to Fort Collins just for some beer.

In Steamboat:

1) Tube the Yampa River right thru town ( Local outfitters will rent you tubes or you can by your own at local sporting ggoods stores. The commercial outfitters will drive you to the put-in, and pick you up at the take out if you rent from them, but their rafftable time on the water is shorter than if you bought your own and put-in further up on the river than the outfitters do.

2) Strawberry Park Hot Springs: ( Several miles up a dirt road outside of town. Nice sand bottom pools fed by hot springs in a small river. Changing areas areas not private nor segregated by sex, so wear your suit to the springs. They are open at night, but after dark kids are not allowed and clothing is optional (although few people avail themselves of the chance to go commando). There are no lights at the hot springs at night, except the stars & moon, and it is really, really dark. BRING A FLASHLIGHT if you go at night to find your way back to the parking lot.

I also know of some nice wildflower hike areas (which should be bursting with wildflowers at that time of year). Let me know if that interests you.

Tally Mar 25th, 2014 04:36 PM

You could just stay in Steamboat! We spend a long weekend there every summer. Strawberry Park hot springs is wonderful! The hot springs pool in town is nice as well. It's fun to just walk around town checking out all the hot springs spots, tube on the Yampa, hike, check out Fish Creek falls, take the gondola up the mountain. Lots of fun stuff to do there in the summer. If you're really into breweries you could pass through Fort Collins on the way and visit New Belgium and others.

Gretchen Mar 25th, 2014 05:27 PM

They'll already be there 4 days, and while nice and cute, there are lots of other things to do relatively close by and even on the way to Denver.

Hez Apr 2nd, 2014 09:12 PM

Drive from Steamboat Springs through Walden and down the Cache Le Poudre to Ft Collins. Stop at The Mishewaka on the way, if you can tee it up with a band playing, even better.

Head down to Boulder - you sound like Boulder people - check out a brewery tour - We have a ton of vegetarian friendly local slow food places. Check out our awesome farmers markets on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Pick up an E-Bike and check out the Boulder Creek Bike Path (or any of the 100+ miles of bike paths), maybe even do a Bike to Farm tour - If you're feeling like a hike head up Mt Sanitas (about 3.5 miles round trip, easily accessible from downtown).

We're about 45 minutes from DIA so just head on out from here (assuming you're flying from Denver)

Tabernash2 Apr 2nd, 2014 09:44 PM

Great idea. Off the beaten path.

Nelson Apr 3rd, 2014 10:00 PM

Excellent suggestions Hez. The Poudre Canyon Drive not as spectacular as Trail Ridge, but the area around the pass, with Nokhu Crags and Mount Richtofen is not too shabby.

I could start a friendly Boulder - Fort Collins rivalry. :-}

We have more and better brew tours, a great bike library and bike system with miles of riverside trail. Horsetooth Rock is arguably a nicer hike than Sanitas. Granted we don't have Celestial Seasonings or a meadery, but we do have the original, and still the best, Rio! Plus, three farmers markets per week in summer.

Maybe the OP will come back and let us know what they decided to do?

Hez Apr 4th, 2014 07:13 AM

It's a friendly rivalry indeed. I enjoy Fort Collins quite a lot, but my heart is here in Boulder. I think our Pearl Street Mall trumps downtown Fort Collins though. I've never been on the Horsetooth Rock hike, I'll have to look into that next time I'm up there!

I've not been to your Rio either. Does it have a rooftop with stunning views of the Flatirons like ours? ;)

Will be interesting to hear what OP decides!

Tabernash2 Apr 4th, 2014 09:03 AM

There's a Mount Richthofen? I live next to the Richthofen 'castle' in historic Denver. Didn't know there's a mountain named after him.

Nelson Apr 4th, 2014 11:11 AM

Tabernash, my copy of High Country Names by Arps and Kingery, with nearly two pages devoted to the naming of Mount Richthofen, has this to say:

<i>Here follows the case of Ferdinand vs. Walter, both barons von Richthofen from Silesia in eastern Germany, but not close kin (They were descended from two brothers who lived in 1660). The question is - which baron left his name on handsome Mt. Richthofen in the Never Summer Mountains?</i>

The text goes on for a page and a half, presenting the case and concluding:

<i>With this conclusive evidence against the red-bearded promoter, counsel for Ferdinand moves for a directed verdict. The judge grants the motion and directs the jury to bring a verdict in favor of the geologist, Ferdinand von Richthofen, who knew well the Chinese mountains, but never saw his Colorado Rocky.</i>

The evidence hinges on the date of publication of the <i>Atlas</i> of the famous Clarence King survey of the American West. So there you have it.

It's a beautiful peak, I've climbed it 3 or 4 times. It's been years, but my friend and I talked about it as a destination for this summer.

Hez, sadly we do not have the Flatirons view of your Rio. I've been hoping the city would see fit to construct some Flatirons outside of town, but it's apparently not in the budget. Our Rio does have one of the best patio seating areas in Fort Collins however. Always a popular spot, full of happy people.

The OP can sit on the patio rooftop of the Steamboat Rio, which also commands a stellar view.

Tabernash2 Apr 4th, 2014 11:15 AM

Thank you, Nelson. I do not know which Baron von Richthofen built the 'castle' and designed the entire neighborhood of Montclair. There is an interesting book about the historic neighborhood, also. I've been inside the castle and the art and artifacts were amazing. It's been sold, thank goodness, to a family who can maintain the estate and its grounds. They even bought back the adjoining house, which must have been the original gatehouse, and are rehabbing the entire property.

Tabernash2 Apr 4th, 2014 11:23 AM

According to Wikipedia, here's the answer to my question:

"Montclair was originally developed as a small suburban community east of Denver. The land was purchased and developed by the Montclair Town and Improvement Company in 1885. One of its founders, Matthias P. Cochrane, originally came from Montclair, New Jersey and named the new community in its honor.[2] The other founder, Baron Walter von Richthofen, was a German nobleman and uncle to Manfred von Richthofen, the celebrated World War I flying ace known as the 'Red Baron'."

Sorry to sidetrack the OP.

Nelson Apr 4th, 2014 01:17 PM

Interesting. We've driven past that Richthofen castle plenty of times, but I never knew anything about it. The Wikipedia page on Ferdinand Von Richthofen (not Walter) says he is also an uncle of the "Red Baron" flying ace. Keeping track of European nobility lineages is not for the faint of heart.

If the OP is still checking in, they now they know about the Steamboat -> Fort Collins -> Boulder "Tour de Rio"!

Tabernash2 Apr 5th, 2014 10:03 AM

Nelson, the previous owner of the estate had a red bi-wing plane parked out front on the huge estate lawn, for many years. They'd put lights on it a Christmas time.

I always thought it was a fake, but heard that it was sold to someone in Germany for a large sum of money, and sent there.

Richthofen did a lot to create this neighborhood, establish parks and building and parkways. He was a visionary of what a "suburb" should be.

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