COLORADO FIRST TIMER

Old Oct 16th, 2002, 04:22 AM
  #1  
MAG
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COLORADO FIRST TIMER

I just booked a flight to Denver and a hotel for six nights. HELP! What do I do? Luckily, I got a rent-a-car too. I want to go to hot springs, old mining towns, lots of state parks, streams, rivers? Any ideas? Should I stay in Denver all six nights or move around ? How far is Boulder from Denver? Colorado Springs? Any itinerary driving suggestions? Thanks.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #2  
travellyn
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Don't plan to spend much time in Denver. Colorado Springs is about an hour away.

When are you going? We can make better suggestions if we know the season you'll be travelling.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 07:09 AM
  #3  
Vailfan
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I had been to Durango many years ago, but had an opportunity to go to Vail for four days in July -- absolutely fell in love with the area & can't wait to go back. It's an easy 2 hrs from Denver, and there's tons of stuff to do. We don't ski, so a summer trip was great for us, but I'm sure we would love it in winter as well. We also spent one night in Denver, because of an early flight home on Sunday, but wish we could've stayed a day or two longer in Vail.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 10:03 AM
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MAG
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Thanks for the information. I arrive in late October. Does that help? You say "don't plan on staying too long in Denver." Why is that? Do you think it's a good idea to use that as a base and do several road trips? Thanks.
Mag
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 10:31 AM
  #5  
kima
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Hi Mag, As much as I LOVE denver I do not think I would spend the week here. One or two nights in the downtown area would be enough. lots of things to do in Downtown, the performing arts center, great resturants, galleries. Reccomend the Courtyard by mariott on 16th. Then as Vailfan said I would head to Vail for a couple of days. its the OFF season so great package rates avail check out www.vailnet.com. We love the Cascade resort and spa they often have great deals this time of year. Then maybe to Glenwood Springs the Hotel Colorado dip in the hotsprings.

Boulder is just 30 min from DT denver, worth it, Me I would skip Co spgs all together.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 10:32 AM
  #6  
Lexma90
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You got a lot of driving-time info under your other post.

Your main problem is that the end of October is going to be at the very beginning of the ski season (most places won't be open yet, and those that are, will have one run open), and lots of activities in the mountain towns will either be closed (taking a break before the real ski season) or not available because it's too snowy (i.e., in Rocky Mountain National Park, Trail Ridge Road) or not snowy enough (no snowmobiling or cross-country skiing).

Staying in Denver the whole time is not so good because (i) IMHO there's not that much interesting in Denver, or at least, not anything you can't get in any medium-sized city; and (ii) you'll be doing a lot of driving from place to place for day trips. (See the earlier post on driving times.)

Boulder is worth some time, as is Colorado Springs. Manitou Springs is nice. Pikes Peak, I would guess, would be closed (though I could be wrong).

That being said, you could visit Leadville, Breckenridge or Georgetown, all old mining towns. There are hot springs all over, but since I've never been to any, I can't help you there. Just don't expect everything to be open. I'm sure you can get great hotel deals this time of year in Breck or Vail any other mountain towns.

Steamboat Springs is a great town, in a beautiful area, but then, I go there for the skiing or the hiking. I don't think it's worth the 4-or-so-hour trip there at the end of October. You won't be able to hike or ski!

Be prepared for possible snow, especially in the mountains.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #7  
kima
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hello again heres the site for the cascade if your interested http://www.vailcascade.com/home.cfm
saw rates 99.00 a night worth that!
Lexma90 is right that lots of things will not be open but Vail is Always busy and has some of the best resturants in Colorado as well as the other things you are looking for. Great hiking and biking in and around vail. Steamboat is going to really quiet.

 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 10:43 AM
  #8  
travellyn
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Denver is fine for a big city, but most people aren't coming to Colorado to visit a city. Staying in Vail, Glenwood Springs (or somewhere else closer than Denver to the type places you want to visit), will likely provide a better experience.

In late October, you will be past the time of the fall colors, and things may look a little drab, but there's still plenty to do in the smaller towns. There is already snow in the high country, by the way.

Because of the cold, you may want to spend more time at relatively "low" elevations (5000-7000 ft) at that time of year, rather than someplace like Leadville (10,000 ft).

The Colorado Handbook (part of a larger series) may a good resource to nail down your itenerary.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 11:02 AM
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J Correa
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I vote for Leadville and Glenwood Springs. Denver is ok, but why spend your time in a city when you are in a state known for it's incredible natural beauty?

 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 11:41 AM
  #10  
coskier
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Leadville? Have you ever been to Leadville? if so what did you find to do? I think its a strange little town.

second the idea of one night in Denver a couple of nights in Vail, then glenwood for a day then onto Aspen for the night.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 12:42 PM
  #11  
J Correa
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I wasn't suggesting anyone stay in Leadville for a week or anything, just go there for a short visit. The train there is fun, the scenery on the way there is great, and it's at the highest elevation of any town in the lower 48.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 12:55 PM
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mag
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. Here is the thing, though, I fly into Denver on Wed. My husband comes in the next day late p.m. That means we will stay in Denver Thursday p.m. We can head out on Friday and Saturday, but have to be back to Denver by Sunday midafternoon for our flight back. At this point, I am thinking we will stay in Denver Thursday p.m. and then head north and just see where the road takes us. It sounds like I won't be needing to make any hotel reservations since it is definitely the off season. Well?
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 02:42 PM
  #13  
coskier
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J Correa, understand now.

Mag, sounds like a plan but you will want to head west.
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 06:20 PM
  #14  
MAG
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I am getting the feeling, however, that I picked a bad time of the year. Maybe I ought to reschedule. What is happening in Vail this time of year? NO skiing yet? Too cold to hike? I will call resorts, et.al. in Vail tomorrow and find out. Thanks all !!!!
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 08:15 PM
  #15  
Lenleigh
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We are in a bad drought this year. It has already snowed in the mountains but I highly doubt any resorts will be opening until Novemeber this year. It can get really cold though and be 80 degrees the next day so pack well. If I were you I would head towards Boulder and then onto Estes Park when you venture out. I would also suggest the Breckenridge,Dillon and Keystone area which is west of Denver. That will give a good feeling of the mountains without driving for hours to Aspen or some other places. Hopefully you will still see some leaves,despite the lack of moisture the changing on the leaves has been pretty.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 03:10 AM
  #16  
mannie
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Just returned fro a 2 week trip to CO...stay away from Colorado Spgs/ Denver area if possible...nothing but a sprawled, congested area....
Remember that where ever you go you will prob be driving thru/over mountains which will be slower than anticipated.
My favorites were Telluride and Ouray....and ofcourse Rocky Mt National Park.
A big wonderful surprise was Gunnison Canyon...a new National Park....
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 05:19 AM
  #17  
MAG
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Thanks. I get loud and clear to stay away from Denver and Colorado Springs. Where is the new state park you mention? Thanks. Mag
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 06:22 AM
  #18  
kima
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Whoa there Mag, please do not get the idea to stay away from Denver. It is a Great town. I love it! It is just that one night is enough. again I would stay downtown, if you do not want to stay Downtown then skip it. Downtown Denver is what makes it unique.
We take out of town visitors to Vesta Dipping grill or the new place we like is the Samba room.

We love this time of year, no crowds, great rates on lodging. We try to make a trip to Vail to stay at the cascade. We could not afford it any other time of year. some years its been warm enough to sit outside at the pool. Its heated. Get a massage, play some tennis, eat at Sweet Basils, bliss! Great hiking, fishing, biking too.

It is only about a 2 hour drive from Vail to the airport.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 12:08 PM
  #19  
Connie
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We've travelled all over Colorado and by far our favorite area is the Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride area. You'll find the best mountain scenery and the neatest old towns.

You mentioned hot springs--Ouray has a swimming pool size hot tub as does Glennwood Springs.

The only thing I would stick around the Denver area to do is Rocky Mountain National Park.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #20  
bly
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Hi Mag:

No there's not going to be skiing at the major resorts until late November. The temp range in the mountains is huge right now: 20s at night to 60s/70s during the day. The weather the past few weekends has been great, cool and blue - great for hiking. But it could change at any time. Just about everything is open in Vail and Breck, but may be closing earlier in the evening and there's no festivals or anything going on. Shops and restaurants are open for the most part. If you do come to Vail, please post again and I'll give you more suggestions.

How about a couple days in Boulder with a day trip to Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park and a couple days in either Breck or Vail.

I love Ouray/Durango area - but you're going to spend a huge amount of time driving to and from the area.
 

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