The Definitive Guide to Denver and Colorado

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Mountain Attractions


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Picture yourself surrounded by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains; a pristine mountain breeze whispers across your skin, and rays from Colorado’s warm summer sunshine engulf you. You stand in the open air, perhaps holding a locally crafted beer or a crisp glass of wine. The music reverberates; sounds authored by the likes of Grammy award-winning country sensation Keith Urban, or the bluesy funk of Colorado’s own Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats.

Summer is the epicenter of Colorado’s festival season! It’s a place where your senses are stimulated by the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences embedded in our beautiful, sundrenched days and warm, star-filled nights. There are plenty of offerings from the city limits to the mountain valleys. And the collective 2017 lineup promises something for everyone: from music and bike enthusiasts to brewers, balloonists and wine connoisseurs … we even tracked down festivals for yogis!
If you’re ready for the freedom that the vibe of summer and outdoor experience brings, you don’t have to miss a beat researching and planning because we’ve done the work for you. We have compiled a list that highlights some of Colorado’s unique festivals scheduled for 2017, and captured exclusive insight from some of the state’s leading festival founders and producers.
So whether you find yourself surrounded by the peaks of Telluride or the lofty cityscape of Denver, you are bound to have a memorable experience.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass
June Experience – Aspen
“The festival that we do at the end of June is how Jazz Aspen started back in 1991,” according to Jim Horowitz, founder and curator of the elite Jazz Aspen Snowmass June and Labor Day Experiences.
The experience features four nights of headline concerts at the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen. In addition, there are multiple shows at the JAS Cafe upstairs at the Aspen Art Museum and downstairs at The Little Nell. They also host nightly complimentary Lawn Parties on the music tent grounds before the main shows, featuring live bands and an upscale array of food and beverage.
June 23 – July 1, 2017

July 1 – August 4, 2017
BRAVO! VAIL Music Festival – Vail
The festival’s 30th season features four of the world’s greatest orchestras, internationally renowned musicians and acclaimed soloists. In the breathtaking setting of the Rocky Mountains, revel in classical masterworks, soulful jazz and electrifying pops programs. Featuring residencies by four returning ensembles: The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Soloists include violinists Joshua Bell, Simone Lamsma, James Ehnes, Gil Shaham and Leonida Kavakos; cellist Steven Isserlis; trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling; and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Yefim Bronfman and Inon Barnatan.

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo – Steamboat Springs
The Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park events explore the beauty of artistry and color both on canvas and in the sky. This stunningly visual weekend brings the sleepy offseason to life in Steamboat Springs and is a celebration of summertime.
July 8-9, 2017

Telluride Yoga Festival
This four-day event is a paradise for yogis and features more than 100 different activities including yoga, meditation, music, hiking, dining, SUP yoga and more. Guests have access to more than 50 inspiring and motivating presenters contrasted by the intimate and historic venues throughout the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village.
July 20-23 |

Rockygrass Festival – Lyons
Rockygrass is the second of three events Planet Bluegrass produces annually and serves as a celebration of the town of Lyons’ strength and resilience. Originally held just 10 months after historic 500-year floods devastated the town, it is known today as one of the great traditional bluegrass festivals in the world.
Planet Bluegrass’ Brian Eyster gave us more insight into the history saying, “In 1992, the volunteer-run Rocky Mountain Bluegrass reached out to Planet Bluegrass to keep the festival alive. We found a property in Lyons along the St. Vrain River to host that event and two years later we purchased the property, known today as the Planet Bluegrass Ranch.”
July 28-20, 2017 |

Breckenridge Food & Wine -Breckenridge
Breckenridge’s Main Street Station Plaza transforms into a charming mountainside vineyard each year to host the Food and Wine Festival. Delivering a unique wine-tasting experience, you’ll find an array of varietals created by fine wineries. From the soft and smooth to the unabashedly bold, wine lovers will get more than their fair share of delicious sips.
July 29, 2017

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival – Lyons
Rounding out the three events produced by Planet Bluegrass, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is dedicated to spending a glorious summer weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the musical and geographic world.
Brian Eyster shared that community is at the heart of the event. “I love to walk through the crowd or the campgrounds and watch this unique spirit of community,” he says. “At our festivals, there is only one single stage. Guests set up their tarps and spend the entire day sharing music, making lasting friendships with their neighbors and reconnecting with friends from past festivals. People aren’t on their phones, they’re very present, connecting with their fellow Festivarians through this communal music experience in this profoundly beautiful place.”
August 18-20, 2017 |

Vail Jazz Party – Vail
The Vail Jazz Party could be considered a maestro ushering in the grand finale of the Vail Jazz Festival and the beautiful Colorado summer season. It serves its patrons a jam-packed lineup with more than 35 headliners, who join together to play in group performances, multi-artist jam sessions, and inspiring multimedia tributes to jazz legends.
Aug 31 – Sep 4, 2017 |

Jazz Aspen Snowmass – Snowmass

Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Experience is nestled in the ethereal setting of Snowmass Village Town Park. This luxurious open-air event is a dance-oriented extravaganza of popular, R&B, rock, funk, blues, world, and soul music. With the spectacular Elk Mountain Range as a backdrop, this three-day experience welcomes to the stage Keith Urban andMaroon Five, among others in 2017.
Event visionary and mastermind Jim Horo-witz disclosed, “The biggest challenges over the years is what it takes to put together a stellar, world-class program of artists. We’ve managed, but clearly that’s the hardest part of what we do. It all flows from there because if the program isn’t good enough, then the people don’t come, or they don’t buy as many tickets.” Summarizing, “That really is our DNA. We are a music presenter, whether it is for 150 people listening to jazz or 10,000 people listening to Stevie Wonder. People are coming to us to hear a great musical performance.”
September 1-4, 2017 |

Telluride Blues & Brews – Telluride
Known as the festival capital of Colorado, Telluride begins to wind down its festival season with Blues & Brews. This celebration of blues, funk, jam bands, indie, rock, gospel and soul performances is paired with some of the best microbreweries in the country.
September 15-17, 2017 |


Opening Night at Central City Opera. Featured in Central City Opera’s 75th anniversary book, “Theatre of Dreams, The Glorious Central City Opera- Celebrating 75 Years.”

Central City Opera 2017 Festival
This acclaimed summer festival features Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, performed in repertory in the historic Central City Opera House, and three one-act operas with limited runs: Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, Douglas Moore’s Gallantry, and Amy Beach’s Cabildo, performed in smaller venues in Central City. Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth-oldest professional opera company in the country, renowned for its exquisite world-class productions. Just 35 miles west of Denver in the charming mountain town of Central City, the company owns 28 Victorian-era properties, including the 550-seat jewel box opera house built in 1878. This is a must-see for opera aficionados!

July 8 – August 6, 2017

Greeley Stampede – Greeley
Greeley boasts one of Colorado’s largest and most historic summer festivals and rodeos. Dating back to the 1800’s, Greeley’s Fourth of July celebration keeps the “Yeehaw!” in Colorado’s Western culture.
June 23 – July 4, 2017 |

Global Dance Festival – Denver
Global Dance showcases Colorado’s passion for dance music annually and has grown to become one of the premiere summer music festivals statewide. After spending years at Red Rocks Amphitheater, the dance party expands its boundaries and finds a new home at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2017!
July 21-22, 2017 |

Underground Music Showcase (UMS) – Denver
The Denver Post Underground Music Showcase marks its 17th anniversary in 2017. It lays claim as the biggest independent music festival in the Rocky Mountain region and, more importantly, is the premiere showcase for Denver’s incredible local music!
July 27-30, 2017 |

ARISE Music Festival – Loveland
Arise boasts that it is more than a music festival, rather a movement. It is a music, yoga, activism and co-creative camping event located 65 miles north of Denver, at Sunrise Ranch. Now in its fifth year, it is proving its staying power, and this year’s lineup includes headliners Atmosphere and Ani DeFranco.
August 4-7, 2017 |

Velorama – RiNo Arts District, Denver
This three-day biking, food, music, shopping and crafting extravaganza will overtake 12 blocks of the RiNo Art District for a street party that celebrates biking culture in Colorado. Daily family-friendly festivities are offered, making this an all-ages event that promises something for everyone.
August 11-13, 2017 |

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest – Fort Collins
Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a free music festival held in historic downtown Fort Collins. Prominently featuring a Colorado-based lineup, they host a variety of genres, including a one-of-a-kind, family-centered Kids’ Music Adventure.
August 11-13,2017 |

A Taste of Colorado – Denver
One of Denver’s most delicious weekends serves up some of the state’s favorite food. More than 50 Colorado restaurants and food establishments gather in downtown Denver’s streets over Labor Day weekend to give patrons A Taste of Colorado. Combined with six stages playing live music, carnival rides, shopping and much more, this is hands down one of Colorado’s biggest celebrations of the year.
September 1-4, 2017 |

Marijuana in the Mile High City

in Activities/Attractions/Front Range Activities/Front Range Attractions/Mountain Activities/Mountain Attractions/The Colorado Blog by


Denver has been a tourist destination for decades. With beautiful views, a thriving culture, and a plethora of activities and events constantly occurring within the bustling metropolis, it’s no surprise that people flock to the Mile High City. But with the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014, the typical tourist may have a new reason to travel to higher altitudes.


Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, on November 6th, 2012. The amendment went into effect in January of 2014. Since then, dispensaries have appeared in droves across Colorado and anyone over the age of twenty-one can stop in to purchase the drug. In 2014 alone, retailers sold three-hundred-and-thirteen million dollars of recreational marijuana according to Colorado tax data from the Department of Revenue.


We spoke with the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) and the recreational marijuana dispensary, Euflora, to see how the marijuana industry has affected the equally thriving tourist trade.


In 2015, many tourists who participated in marijuana-related activities indicated that it was a motivation in their decision to travel to Colorado. By 2016, reports of marijuana participation had risen, although the number of people citing marijuana as a primary influencer in their decision to come to Colorado had decreased. With record-setting tourist growth in Colorado both before and after marijuana legalization, according to the CTO, the drug is not a primary influencer in tourists’ travels. The cannabis industry is one of many attractions in Colorado, and tourists are drawn to the state for more than the legal drug.


While tourists are visiting Denver for more than its bustling cannabis industry, once visitors arrive many seem to be partaking in the marijuana culture. Euflora, located on 16th street mall, welcomes many tourists into their store — about 75% of their clientele. And while they have customers who stop in simply to look, most of their customers, including visitors to the state, make a purchase.


The Colorado Tourism Office reports that travellers between the ages of 25 and 34 were most likely to report that marijuana had positively influenced their decision to visit Colorado, but Euflora sees customers ages 21 to 91. The cannabis industry appeals to visitors of any (legal) age and is one of many attractions Denver can offer.


With visitors travelling to Colorado from places where marijuana oftentimes isn’t legal, it’s important for tourists to educate themselves about marijuana usage and safety before partaking of the drug. Euflora owner Jamie Perino has noticed that out-of-state visitors oftentimes need more education from Euflora employees about marijuana — the difference between strains, proper usage and dosing, and cost.


The cannabis industry has become an integral part of Colorado’s economy, and its reach extends into the bustling tourist trade. While marijuana is not the primary motivation behind tourist’s travel plans, many visitors to the city are enjoying a high other than the altitude in Denver.

Reader’s Choice: Best Golf Courses in Colorado

in Activities/Attractions/Front Range Activities/Front Range Attractions/Mountain Activities/Mountain Attractions/The Colorado Blog/Uncategorized by

Help us find the best golf courses in Colorado! Take our survey and vote for your favorites in our three categories: Best Overall Golf Course, Prettiest Golf Course, and Most Challenging Golf Course. Our top Reader’s Choice Picks will be included in the Summer issue of Colorado Hotel Magazine.


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A Winter to Remember

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When winter has worn you down and cabin fever begins taking hold, it’s time to take advantage of all the spectacular happenings at local hotels and resorts. From s’mores on the slopes to cog railroad rides through the snow, here’s a look at Colorado’s top spots offering exciting alternatives to spending the chilly season homebound.


Downtown Denver has plenty of options for those wanting a mini-getaway. Whether you’re simply treating yourself to a night of wonder or you want to be close to all that the heart of the city has to offer, these locales will make the winter season unforgettable.

The Art Hotel

Visitors will enjoy the spectacular art collection that gives The ART Hotel its name, the luxe rooms with deep bathtubs, and the rooftop cocktail lounge with multiple fire pits (wrap up in a cozy blanket with your loved ones while you enjoy happy hour in front of the fire). One of the biggest perks here is the proximity to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, where you can catch any number of Broadway hits. This season, enjoy faves like An American In Paris, Kinky Boots, and Mamma Mia, and brace yourself for Frozen: The Musical and Hamilton, both slated to debut this fall.

Brown Palace Hotel

From the first morning when the Brown Palace Hotel’s annual champagne cascade kicks off the beginning of the holiday season, Denver’s most elegant historic hotel embraces the warm and merry traditions of winter. With the lobby bedecked in sparkling lights on its grand chandelier to live music at high tea, families who love tradition will adore The Brown. Colorado families leave their holiday decorations up through the end of the National Western Stock Show in late January, and The Brown is no exception: It hosts a very special guest for photo opportunities—the event’s prize-winning steer has its own corral in the lobby for one morning only.

The Crawford Hotel

The Crawford Hotel is located right inside Union Station, which is the ultimate place to while away an afternoon. Union Station has a train that whisks travelers directly to Denver International Airport, making the Crawford the place to stay before you jet out of town. Amid the elegance of the sprawling and newly remodeled main terminal, lounge in one of the armchairs or play some shuffleboard with the family, take your pick from any number of top-notch bars and restaurants (we love Mercantile, James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Seidel’s brain child), or simply people watch. Those who book winter stays at The Crawford with the Winter Nights and City Lights package will receive a winter-themed gift, complimentary room upgrades, and two winter warmer cocktails at the swanky Cooper Lounge.

Farther Away

Looking to get out of town and still enjoy everything our state has to offer during the winter season? These spots both near and far have you covered. From Frisco to Steamboat, a weekend away will create treasured family memories in your new home away from home.

Town of Frisco

Start planning your next winter’s holiday getaway now. Just a stone’s throw from Denver, the town of Frisco goes all out for the holidays, hosting its annual Wassail Days. For the first two weeks in December, local restaurants and shops offer their own version of the traditional spiced cider served during the holidays. Sampling 12 different sips will earn you a commemorative mug, but stick around to see the light display at Triangle Park and the 600 luminarias that line the town’s quaint Main Street. There are carolers, visits with Santa, and the legendary Ugly Sweater Challenge – where guests take on holiday-themed challenges (think snow angels and eggnog shooters) while donning their favorite knit apparel. Active families will love easy access to tubing, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing; there are horse-drawn sleigh rides, and even a soup-making face-off between restaurants and amateur chefs alike. It’s the quintessential Colorado Christmas.

Frisco, Colorado, Winter
Frisco, Colorado, Winter

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

A visit to the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch represents the ultimate in luxury. After being welcomed by Bachelor, their resident pup, hit the slopes just outside your door with the lodge’s unparalleled ski-in, ski-out access to Beaver Creek Mountain. Enjoy s’mores in front of the roaring fire pit while you warm your toes, play an old-fashioned board game with the kids, or take advantage of activity offerings like the Ritz Kids Program, night hike with their naturalist programs, and even booze-paired crafting for adults. The Ritz-Carlton has everything you need to create an unforgettable family getaway.294351_extracted

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

What better way to celebrate a Colorado wintertime fairytale than a stay at Devil’s Thumb Ranch? The 6,000-acre resort is nestled just a few miles outside Winter Park, but feels like it’s a world away. Wintertime outdoor activities in this wonderland range from ice skating and tubing to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but don’t miss out on the geothermally-heated pool. All winter long there are also sleigh rides and s’mores at the stables—like something out of a John Denver tune.AA-1734-55y

The Broadmoor

A collection of Colorado’s ultimate resorts wouldn’t be complete without including The Broadmoor, a jewel in the crown of Colorado’s grand hotels. Colorado Springs’ legendary complex does every season right, and during the winter months, your new home-away- from-home offers everything from outdoor adventures like a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to dance classes. Of course, you’ll need to make time to simply explore the resort itself, including the Play room (bowling, foosball, and more), the indoor pool, and the spa—perfect for a mom/daughter mani-pedi date.

Steamboat Grand

After a stressful year, a retreat in Steamboat Springs may be just what the doctor ordered. At the Steamboat Grand, you’re right at the base of the mountain when you want to hit the slopes, but you also have easy access to a slew of family friendly activities. Adventurers may want a hot-air balloon ride or a snowmobile tour, but the more tame among us can enjoy tubing, night skiing, and gondola rides with a bird’s eye view. Things the whole family will love? Sleighride dinners, snowshoe or cross-country ski tours, and of course, a long soak in the beautiful natural hot springs at Strawberry Park.

Going to Great X-tremes

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Let your heart not be troubled, the 2017 ESPN Winter X Games are returning to Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain on January 26-29!

With all competitions free and open to the public, what better way to start off the new year than watching the world’s best action sports and music live and on ice?

(Photo by Tomas Zuccareno / ESPN Images)
(Photo by Tomas Zuccareno / ESPN Images)

On the music side, there will be performances by Bassnectar, Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, The Chainsmokers and G-Eazy. While admission to the action sports competitions will be free, X Games musical performances require a ticket purchase. Music fans can buy individual concert tickets, or purchase an All-Music pass for $125.

On the sports side, the top ski, snowboard, and snowmobile athletes will compete in 18 different disciplines during four days of extreme action and festivals. While a full list of athletes can be found online, here are some interesting athletes to watch for:


New Zealand native, this five-time X Games medalist is known as one of the planet’s most versatile skiers. Wells won his first X Games gold medal in 2016 for his Slope Style performance, marking him as the first athlete from New Zealand to win at an X Games.


Front and center in women’s snowboarding, Kim is on course to win her fourth consecutive X Games gold medal. After earning her first X Games medal at age 13, she is the only X Games athlete ever to win three gold medals before age 16. A trilingual, first-generation American, she is the youngest member of the U.S. Snowboard Halfpipe Team.


Most people know this daredevil Aussie for his record-breaking jumps and creative stunts. One of his most famous leaps was in 2011, when he jumped more than 378 feet, setting a new world record distance jump during the Red Bull New Year’s event.

We also are excited about our local faves, including Bobby Brown, Gus Kenworthy, Alex Ferreira and Arielle Gold, Taylor Gold, Matt Ladley, and Torin Yater-Wallace. These Colorado athletes really know how to wow a crowd!

A special addition to this year’s docket is the Women’s Ski and Snowboard Big Air Finals. Previously held in Europe, this event makes its domestic debut for the first time at X Games Aspen.

Additionally, the 2017 Games feature the introduction of a brand-new event, Snow Bike racing. This competition uses modified dirt bikes, which replace the front wheel with a front ski, and the back wheel with a snowmobile track! On that note, Snowmobile Best Trick will also return to the lineup for the first time since 2013.

(Photo by Joe Wiegele / ESPN Images)
(Photo by Joe Wiegele / ESPN Images)

All medalists from the 2016 X Games Aspen are invited to return this year, so don’t miss your chance to see your favorite athletes do what they do best! With any luck, you just may stumble upon a meet-and-greet or autograph signing somewhere in Buttermilk Village. This weekend is destined to meet your full “X-Pectations”!

For more information visit:

Finding Colorado’s Bounty of Wildflowers

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Fireweed, Crested Butte Colorado
Fireweed, Crested Butte Colorado
By John Fielder

Colorful Colorado is not an inappropriate nickname! Yes, we have purple mountain majesty, the color of twilight on our Rocky Mountains, and aspen and cottonwood trees in autumn boast yellows like nowhere else. Yet it’s summer for which we must be named … our wildflowers represent every color of the spectrum.

     Colorado’s cornucopia of flowering plants follow both season and elevation. Blooming occurs progressively in time as one travels from low to high. Spring blooms begin in May along Colorado’s Front Range and into the foothills at 5,000 – 7,000 feet. Pink locoweed decorate the Pawnee National Grasslands in the plains of northeast Colorado, when spring rains arrive from California. Purple dwarf larkspur hide among the leafing gambel oak trees in the foothills of Roxborough State Park just 30 minutes southwest of Denver.

John Fielder in the aspen sunflowers
John Fielder in the aspen sunflowers

     June brings wildflowers into the high country, but only up to elevations of 10,000 feet. The first to arrive after the snow leaves is the pink and purple pasqueflower. Then sunflowers begin their entrance. Look for several species including arrowleaf balsamroot and mule’s ears blooming on sunny slopes mixed with common sage brush. Check out June flowers in the valley of the Lower Blue River in Summit and Grand counties. Take CO 9 from I-70 north to Kremmling following the Blue to its confluence with the Colorado River. Divert from the highway before Green Mountain Reservoir and head up the dirt road to Lower Cataract.

     July welcomes the state flower, the Colorado columbine. As the snow disappears, purple columbine bloom from 9,000 all the way up to 13,000 feet! There’s even a red variety that perceptive eyes will discover in wet locations in evergreen forests. Crested Butte is the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, where it is not difficult to find profusions of columbine. Check out the Washington Gulch, Gothic, and Brush Creek roads for all of the aforementioned flowers, as well as tall larkspur and shockingly-red scarlet gilia. Here one can drive the countless miles of backroads, or slip on a backpack and head into the Raggeds or Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness areas.

August is peak wildflower season in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. The world-famous network of 19th-century mining roads provide 4-wheel drive access to elevations up to 13,000 feet. Monsoon rains are common and keep flowers blooming into September. Lake City, Silverton and Ouray are starting points for discovering magenta elephant head in the boggy areas, and purple sky pilot and columbine that grow among the talus boulders.

Of course, don’t forget to bring your camera! Many of my best wildflower images are made with high-quality point-and-shoots, which I use for both close-ups and “scenics.” Point-and-shoots are compact and easy to carry. The close-up mode (the button on the back of the camera with the flower symbol) lets me get within an inch of the flower. I can get low to the ground and make compositions otherwise difficult to do with the SLR (single reflex lens) camera. For my best photographs, I do use SLRs on tripods with extreme wide angle lenses.

Wildflowers of Colorado smallPick up a copy of my latest book Wildflowers of Colorado. The 100 photographs in this book are among my favorites made over the past 35 years. Though I took some of the images in remote wilderness, many were found right off the road! The book includes descriptions of and directions to some of the most reliable places to find big meadows of wildflowers in northern, central, and southern Colorado mountain ranges and valleys. My travel guide John Fielder’s Best of Colorado is another good resource to help you find the roads that will cut you to the wildflower chase. Or come to one of my photography workshops and I will take you there myself!

Family Fun

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In Vail, CO

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods

By Rebecca Treon

Insider’s tip: the best time of year to visit Vail isn’t necessarily during the winter. It’s in early summer, a virtual shoulder season the locals jockingly refer to as ‘mud season’. Vail’s appeal is really year round, but take away the crowds that flock to the alpine-style mountain village in the winter and summer months and you’re left with a family friendly high-country getaway without the traffic and the hassle. Even better – many places in town offer special pricing during the off-season on everything from lodging to happy hour and activities; just ask around for the details. Below, our suggestions for an unforgettable mountain family weekend.

The Solaris residences are located right in the heart of it all, and the complex has created its own mini-epicenter of activity. The luxe, spacious suites are welcoming and include a kitchen for those evenings you want to stay in for dinner, (you can even bring in a chef to make your meal, or teach a cooking class), making it the ideal hub for the family’s activity. In winter, an ice-skating rink is right out the door, while in summer it becomes a green for kids to run around (or free morning yoga!). The Solaris complex is also home to CineBistro, where you can catch a movie and a meal, and Bol, a restaurant with a bowling alley in the back. Best of all, each residence comes with its own personal concierge, who will stock the fridge before your arrival, arrange everything from children’s day camps to spa visits, and even schedule family excursions for mountain biking or rafting trips!

Sometimes a big diner breakfast is just the thing to stave off the ailments of altitude sickness, and The Little Diner does just that. With epic portion sizes, classics from pancakes to omelets to huevos rancheros, and fast service, the made-from-scratch breakfasts are totally satisfying. It’s tiny and tucked away, but nevertheless, it’s a popular spot and there’s usually a wait. Ther specialty is the Dutch Baby, a giant pancake-like soufflé.

Root & Flower is a little wine bar tucked away on a side street in the center of town near the creek. The ideal place for a pre-dinner aperitif – their carefully crafted cocktails (made with one of the locally distilled spirits like 10th Mountain vodka from up the valley) will hit the spot before you have your evening meal. Owner Jeremy, a friendly sommelier, also offers weekly wine classes on Wednesdays and Sundays. The wine list is simple but carefully selected, and the menu is small but full of noshable bites like charcuterie and cheese plates.

Southern food is having a revival, and Mountain Standard rises to the occasion. (Beloved Vail staple Sweet Basil is a sister restaurant). The no-frills menu focuses on wood-fired options, like the hangar steak and the rotisserie chicken. Pair it with the “Standard” wedge salad, topped with crisp prosciutto and crunchy puffed rice with garlicky dressing. The must-order menu item though? Mountain Standard’s addictive southern pimento cheese appetizer, served with bacon jam and pickled celery on toast.


The Four Season’s resident restaurant, Flame, offers groups of six or less a totally mind-blowing burger experience. The Back of the House Burger Bar is a square table located right in the center of the bustling kitchen. While the chefs run around, you’re treated to an intimate view of the inner workings of a restaurant from behind the scenes. First build your own ultimate burger (with everything from fried jalepeño coins to avocado and sriracha aioli), then be treated to DIY milkshakes with all the add-ins from marshmallows to oreos, including boozy add-ins for mom and dad.

Just down the valley in Wolcott lies 4 Eagle Ranch, offering a slew of activities for everyone in the family. If a western experience is your thing, they host a monthly western dance, weekly family nights (think steak dinner, wagon rides, lawn games, and s’mores) and rodeo (bull riding, bronc busting, barrel racing, and mutton bustin’); but they also have horseback riding and are home to a zipline adventure. With six ziplines that whisk you through forests, canyons, and over creeks, it’s an adrenaline-pumping ride of a lifetime. Insider tip: 4 Eagle Ranch is also a boutique winery that sources grapes from California for their Vines at Vail label, and offers tastings to their guests – the perfect way to end a long day of western adventure with the kids!

There are great science programs in the high country at Walking Mountains Science Center. They offer nature walks for all ages focusing on learning about the local flora and fauna, and they even have free evening program night hikes to explore the area when wildlife becomes more active; some culminate with s’mores around a campfire. Bonus: Their kids’ science day camps are full of adventures and ecology, and keep the kids busy learning about mother nature for hours.

The family that’s fit together stays together, and nowhere in the Valley makes it easier and more fun than the Vail Vitality Center. They have a full schedule of fitness classes from weights to indoor cycling and even outdoor options (join a group trail run). They offer pilates, yoga, and meditations for grownups seeking Zen, and they have Vail’s only indoor climbing wall. People of all ages can hop on the wall to climb for a couple hours, or take a climbing course. Best of all – the full-service spa offering everything from facials to massage. For a truly decadent afternoon, get the Nature, Body & Spirit treatment – 100 minutes of bliss. It includes a foot bath, dry brushing, a massage with pure essential oils and a scalp treatment for a head-to-toe glow.

Sipping & Savoring Grand Valley

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Colterris with Roses (best picture)Grand Junction and Palisade are Colorado’s wine country, but other adult beverages, lavender, local foods and abundant activities are growing reasons to visit.

By Beth Buehler

Colorado’s wine country isn’t just about wine anymore. The vines that helped put Grand Junction and Palisade on the map of culinary aficionados and travelers simply curious about winemaking have spread their reach. There is no doubt that grapes and all their liquid goodness still take front and center, but brewers, distillers, lavender growers, outdoor recreation options and vibrant historic districts have propelled the Grand Valley into a broader scope.

Branching Out

Perhaps the biggest surprise is lavender’s entry on the scene with at least eight lavender farms and cooperatives now present in the Grand Valley and Colorado’s only Lavender Festival happening July 8 – 10. “Lavender brings us into a whole different genre; it brings a connotation of France,” says Barbara Bowman, director of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Lavender Festival garden tours on Friday focus on how versatile this beautiful herb is in planted landscapes and ends with lunch at Avante Vineyards. Farm tours that day demonstrate the distilling of lavender into oil and includes lunch at Z’s Orchard and an afternoon reception at Grande River Vineyards to savor lavender wine and lavender-inspired appetizers.

On Saturday, more than 30 vendors selling lavender products and more fill Memorial Park in downtown Palisade. Demonstrations, seminars, live music, food and of course wine also are part of the experience. The day ends with a Feast in the Field at Adobe Creek Farm with Executive Chef/Owner Josh Niernberg of Bin 707 Foodbar preparing a four-course meal served outdoors. On Sunday, lavender farms along the Western Slope are open for tours.

Sage Creations Organic Farm, a nine-acre certified organic farm located on East Orchard Mesa in Palisade, was among the first to plant lavender crops in the area. In 2005, Paola Legarre and her husband, Bobby, purchased a cherry orchard and moved to Palisade the following year.

Today, Sage Creations has 3½ acres of lavender that is sold, turned into a line of lavender products, and is available for u-pick experiences. “It’s fun to pick lavender, and a lot of people like to take photos. It’s an activity that especially appeals to women,” Legarre says. Open April through September, the farm also grows and sells sweet cherries and heirloom tomatoes and operates a  greenhouse with lavender, heirloom tomato, culinary and aromatic herbs, and specialty bedding plants for sale.

The bloom time for lavender is from mid-June to mid-July, turning the fields soft shades of purple. “The second bloom is in September, which is a really pretty and a good time to visit with the wineries and wine festival,” she suggests.

10248-22863-31364Spirits & Suds

Rory Donovan also saw an opportunity with all the orchards nearby and launched Peach Street Distillers, which now produces 18 handcrafted spirits and operates a tasting room that has tours, a creative cocktail menu and a patio with great views. More than 90,000 pounds of peaches and 90,000 pounds of pears are used annually, says sales and marketing manager Moose Koons, and the distillery’s grappa is made with leftover crushings from area vineyards.

With Palisade Brewing Company and DeBeque Canyon Winery’s tasting room nearby, it’s possible to sample local wine, beer and spirits all within one block. And don’t forget to check out the five other brewers in the Grand Junction, Palisade and Fruita areas.

Grapes Set the Stage

Today there are 21 vineyards and wineries in the Grand Valley, and nearly all of them offer tastings and tours. Wineries like Canyon Wind Cellars and Two Rivers Winery & Chateau continue to take Colorado’s wine country to a new level, Bowman says, while newer businesses like Red Fox Cellars are expanding the boundaries. 

Planted in 1991 at 4,700 feet in elevation, Canyon Wind Cellars is a family-owned, estate winery, meaning it is among a limited number of operations in Colorado growing all the grapes that go into the 17 or 18 varieties of wine they produce and bottle. Jay and Jennifer Christianson are the current owners/winemakers, and Jay’s parents, Norman and Ellen, founded the operation that has 30 acres of grapes and is known for its sustainable practices. “We are the first second-generation run winery in Colorado,” confirms Jay Christianson.

Two unique events the Palisade winery hosts involve the art of blending. Teams of two to four will compete in the Cutthroat Blending Challenge mid-to-late June, while the third annual Team Blending Challenge in late August is a bit more mellow with a blending seminar, 45-minute competition, lunch and awards. Dessert and wine pairing also has been offered, and a land game event is in the works.  For more information on both events, check out the website at

Two Rivers Winery & Chateau also has a rich tradition, with the property built from ground up on 15 acres in 1999 by owners Bob and Billie Witham. Located in Grand Junction, the vineyard, outdoor pavilion and grounds offer beautiful views of Grand Mesa, Colorado National Monument and the Book Cliffs mountain range. Two Rivers currently produces eight varieties of wines and 16,000 cases annually, which includes grapes grown on eight acres they own in Palisade.

The Chateau truly sets this winery apart, with 10 upscale rooms for overnight accommodations, patios and a conference/event center perfect for parties, weddings, business meetings and relaxing. “Every room has a view,” confirms Hospitality Coordinator Brittany Witham-Crowell. “The reasons we located on the west side [of Grand Valley] are Colorado National Monument and access to great hiking and biking trails.”

Two Rivers also has entertainment on-site, hosting a Jazz Among the Grapevines summer concert series that benefits the Western Colorado Center for the Arts on the third Tuesday of the month from May through August. Wine is available for purchase and concert-goers can bring a picnic.25190-13869-15540

Two other local vineyards host concert series, including Grande River Vineyards’ Hear It Through the Grapevine, scheduled for Saturday evenings from June through August. Held since 1994, the concerts benefit area nonprofits and are a chance to picnic, see amazing views of the Book Cliffs and enjoy a glass of one of Grande Rivers’ Bordeaux-style wines.

Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery, also located in Palisade and established in 2000, hosts free monthly concerts from May through September on designated Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy a glass of wine while listening to music on the patio.

One of the newest wineries is Red Fox Cellars in Palisade, which is breaking the mold of winemaking by honoring tradition yet focusing on invention. One of its most unique products is Bourbon Barrel Merlot, which ages in bourbon barrels from various Colorado distilleries. Red Fox also crafts and bottles 44, a red blend, and  Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon along with eight rotating fruit wines and ciders on tap in the tasting room, with plans to start bottling these in limited quantities this year. A recent event held at Red Fox was Yoga & Wine, with one hour of yoga followed by a social hour with a glass of wine, cider or wine cocktail included.

Theresa and Scott High are doubly blessed, owning and operating High Country Orchards & Vineyards in Palisade, while Theresa owns Colterris Winery, offering the option to see both operations in action. The couple met while working in the wine industry and upon proposing “promised we would own a vineyard someday,” Theresa says.

That vow took a turn toward reality when they purchased a peach orchard on East Orchard Mesa in 1999. Today, they have 35,000 grapevines on 35 acres, 32,000 peach trees on 71 acres, and the rest of the 126 acres is devoted to cherries and vegetables. This translates into 30,000 to 40,000 boxes of premium Palisade peaches (with many going to Whole Foods), produce sold to the public, several kinds of homemade salsas and preserves, and 3,500 cases of wine.

After aging its first batch of wine for two years, Colterris Winery released its first bottles in 2010 and now makes three varieties, including one of the few U.S. white cabernet sauvignons. Malbec will be introduced in 2016, she shares, possibly including the region’s first white Malbec. In the next three to five years, the family hopes to make a reserve wine that combines the “best of all of the grapes we grow,” says Theresa, noting that they are committed to making Bordeaux-style wines using only grapes from their vineyard.

The orchard’s Country Store and the winery’s tasting room are next door to each other, with an abundance of roses and lavender planted nearby. The lavender is turned into products sold in the tasting room, and a short walk down a lane brings guests to a pavilion used for weddings and events that overlooks the valley and Colorado River. Visitors can buy wine and picnic items to enjoy the vistas.

Farm2Table_Print-117 (2) (1)Culinary Delights

Foodies can savor wine and food pairings offered at downtown Grand Junction’s 626 on Rood, serving modern American cuisine and recognized as one of 10 Great Wine Bars by USA Today.

Bin 707 Foodbar’s Niernberg, a fifth-generation Colorado native also focusing on American cuisine, is passionate about primarily sourcing ingredients from local and Colorado-based producers. The business was initially intended to serve 75 to 100 diners per day, but this number has grown to 500 to 600 per day and resulted in the establishment of West Slope Supper Club to handle off-site events.

The new Grand Junction Food Tours offer tastes of downtown Grand Junction restaurants and sweet treat locations on select afternoons and evenings each week. Speaking of samplings, Grand Valley Winery Association presents barrel tastings twice a year, in April and May, typically featuring several wineries, food paired with the wine, and opportunities to meet the winemakers and taste wines right out of the barrel. The tastings are so popular that they often sell out six to 12 months in advance, Bowman says.

Ways to Explore

Tapping into unique ways to tour wine country is half the fun, with bikes, limousines, horse-drawn carriage, scooters, vintage cars and a bright pink Mini Cooper being among the options. Limousines and vintage cars are available through Allen Unique Autos in Grand Junction, home to a museum that features one of the finest private automobile collections in the country, owned by local Tammy Allen.

The vast majority of wine country is easily accessible by bicycle, with Rapid Creek Cycles in Palisade renting eight-speed cruisers, road bikes and electric bikes (all with baskets for stashing purchases and goodies). The business also rents mountain bikes to explore area trails and stand
up paddleboards.

Or combine two favorite pastimes with golf and wine tasting packages for two or four people, including golf and lunch at the public 18-hole Tiara Rado Golf Course, a three-hour wine tour with Absolute Prestige Limousine and two nights of lodging at a hotel of the guests’ choice. The package can be booked by contacting Tiara Rado.

Other unique ways to explore the area are viewing the Colorado National Monument and catching a bird’s-eye view of area vineyards and orchards during a helicopter ride with Gateway Canyons AirTours or riding on horseback into the 36,000-acre Little Book Cliffs Wild
Horse Area.

An especially sublime time to visit the Grand Valley is September, when temperatures are cooler, the grape harvest and second lavender bloom are  underway and everything is beautifully green. Plus, Colorado Mountain Wine Festival, the state’s largest and oldest wine festival, happens on Sept. 15-18.

Last year’s festival action included a scenic wine country bus tour, Wine & Glass Experience by Riedel, and a winemakers dinner and chocolate and wine tasting at Wine Country Inn in Palisade. With more than 50 Colorado wineries, a grape stomp, live demonstrations and seminars and music, Festival in the Park in Palisade on Saturday was the pinnacle of the event, which wrapped up on Sunday with the Palisade Farmer’s Market and tours of area wineries. For more information and this year’s schedule of events go to

Every great excursion requires equally great lodging. Look at the vines right outside your window from Two Rivers Winery & Chateau in Grand Junction and the 80-room Wine Country Inn, located on 21 acres in Palisade that are adjacent to two vineyards. Sister properties Marriott – Downtown Fairfield Inn and Marriott – Downtown SpringHill Suites offer spacious guest rooms in Grand Junction’s downtown and are within easy walking distance to many shops and eateries. There are a host of bed and breakfasts in the Grand Valley along with several other familiar brand names around Grand Junction, such as the recently remodeled DoubleTree by Hilton.

Now is the perfect time to plan a summer or fall Grand Valley getaway to enlighten your senses, get outside and find out what eating, drinking and picking local is all about.

Rocky Mountain Getaways

in Attractions/Mountain Attractions by

Colorado is known for its fabulous resorts, which run the gamut from charming boutique hotels to stately structures that are truly the discriminating traveler’s delight. Here we offer an up-close look at some of these special destinations.

St. Regis AspenSt.RegisAspen.Evening Pool & Courtyard

Steps away from the base of the fabulous slopes of Aspen, the St. Regis Resort stands majestically. The hotel is a story of sophisticated luxury, with no detail left to chance. From classic guest rooms to the Presidential Suite and Residence Club, accommodations are top-tier, replete with custom furnishings including a leather bed and desk designed by Ralph Lauren, 40-in. flat-screen televisions, spacious marble bathrooms with double vanities, plush bathrobes and Reméde bath products.

The junior suites offer stunning mountain, town or courtyard views, and of course, butler service. The 17 one-bedroom and loft suites include one or two fireplaces, two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. For guests desiring a “bit more” space, the three Presidential Suites overlook breathtaking mountain vistas, and are reminiscent of a late 19th Century mountain manor. The high-ceilinged living area is appointed with custom furnishings including antiqued leather club chairs, a baby grand piano and powder room. And of course, a butler stands at the ready, whether it’s to unpack (or repack) your bags, shine shoes or press garments, or serve up some hot, fresh coffee.

The Reméde Aspen Spa is an experience unto itself, and was voted No. 1 in the world by Travel+Leisure. Champagne and pampering are just part of the pleasure, as spa guests are treated to a world of relaxation and rejuvenation in the oxygen lounge, steam caves, cold plunges, hot tubs, fitness center and Confluence waterfall.

Dining is a journey of good taste at the St. Regis Aspen. From intimate lounges to poolside dining, both food and service are impeccable. Sip a cocktail on the Fountain Terrace which opens up to the splendor of Aspen Mountain, or take it indoors for a cozy fireside respite at Shadow Mountain Lounge, where Afternoon Tea is always a treat. Don’t miss the St. Regis Champagne Sabering, a tradition started by John Jacob Astor IV when he founded the first St. Regis Hotel in New York around 1904. Here, guests gather for a ceremonial champagne sabering to celebrate the transition from day to night, and the tradition continues in Aspen every day at sunset.

Cocktail hour over, it’s time for some fabulous food, and everyone will love the newest signature restaurant, Trecento Quindici Decano for contemporary Italian and American cuisine. Chefs Club by Food and Wine is the resort’s innovative restaurant concept, Food and Wine’s Best New Chef award winners rotate the menu annually and make special guest appearances to showcase their dishes.

This summer, the resort introduces the Colorful Colorado Package, which includes a three-night stay, picnic breakfast at the base of the iconic Maroon Bells, a guided 12-mile hike to Crested Butte and a private flight from Crested Butte to Aspen via helicopter. A wonderful way to see the gorgeous wildflowers, and an experience that will long be remembered. Truly, the St, Regis Aspen Resort stands out as a place like no other!

Madeline Hotel and Residences

MHRExteriorWinter01  In the picture-perfect town of Telluride, a sparkling gem nestles among the captivating San Juan mountain range. The Madeline Hotel and Residences, located in Mountain Village above the town, is designed to deliver the very best … in accommodations, ambience, food and service. The rooms are second to none, and the amenities are top of the line. And best of all, the slopeside location means it’s just steps away from the gondola – and world-class skiing and hiking.

Slopeside guestrooms behold stunning views of the snowcapped mountains, and in the suites gas fireplaces cast a warm glow throughout. All rooms feature plush linens, luxuriously appointed baths and cozy,
elegant furnishings.

In the town of Telluride, it’s all about dogs and their humans, and the Madeline Hotel makes sure that the furry set is well taken care of while on vacation. Ranked as one of the most pet-friendly hotels around, the 123-room hotel caters to dogs, with special pricing and amenities designed especially for pups.

The culinary offerings at the hotel are top-notch, and menus take advantage of neighboring farms and artisans for the freshest ingredients available. In fact, nothing compares to the beautiful Mountain Village setting, where guests can cozy up to the outdoor fire table and listen to live music and watch the world go by. The hotel’s signature restaurant, M Cub, serves as Telluride’s quintessential gathering spot, replete with cozy sitting areas, indoor/outdoor dining and bar and game room. The Black Iron Kitchen & Bar is a personality unto itself, and offers up every major event on multiple televisions, live music and casual modern mountain cuisine. But wait, there’s more. The new Dylan’s Candy Bar, wildly popular among the young crowd, features confections from around the world, and will satisfy even the most discriminating sweet tooth. And coffee aficionados, worry not. Starbucks is located onsite, serving it right every time.

And then there’s the spa. At 10,000 feet in the air, guests can savor a spa treatment that, as the hotel says, brings them halfway to heaven. Inspired by high alpime surroundings and active lifestyles, the spa offers specially designed deep tissue treatments that allow guests to play hard and soothe sore muscles. The Madeline Studio is relaxing and modern, with white oak-stained floors and contemporary lighting. Guests can choose to participate in yoga or Pilates, or have a hot stone or Swedish massage. The sky is the limit, and this one truly feels like you’ve touched the sky!

Sonnenalp Resort

Amid the backdrop of the picturesque Vail mountains, nestled cozily in the base of Vail Village, Sonnenalp Resort is a haven for travelers who appreciate an escape from the ordinary. Old World elegance intermingles with a spirited Western independence in this wonderful resort that is surrounded by world-class skiing, golf, dining and shopping.

Owned and operated by the Faessler family, the hotel’s roots trace back nearly 100 years to Ofterschwang, Bavaria, where the family opened a hotel specializing in personalized service in breathtaking surroundings. This was the inspiration behind the Sonnenalp name, which literally translated, means sun on the Alps. The Faessler’s love of the Vail Valley led them to open the Sonnenalp Resort in 1979, and the staff’s commitment to Gemutlichkeit, a dedication to making the guest experience one that will be treasured, is well appreciated among guests who return time and again.


Service is the word of the day, from the moment guests arrive and are welcomed by name. When it’s time to ski, equipment is brought to the lift, dinner reservations are made and shopping recommendations are always available. Best of all, the feeling of a home away from home is not only encouraged, it’s also a state of mind, as guests sit in the hotel’s majestic living room (okay, it’s actually the lobby), lounging in robe and slippers, reading a favorite novel while sipping hot chocolate or indulging in wine and cheese. In winter months, live entertainment can be heard in an apres ski setting, and best of all, guests’ favorite wine is readily available at day’s end.

The 112 guest suites and 15 hotel rooms boast heated marble floors in the bathroom, European goose down comforters, and the soothing sound of Gore Creek just outside the balcony door. The resort’s signature restaurant, Ludwig’s, is a favorite, and breakfast in the sun-filled dining room is a must, replete with mouthwatering European pastries, fresh fruit and delicious egg dishes. In summer months the hotel will prepare a box lunch for guests to take on a hike, and at day’s end there’s nothing more memorable than a candlelight dinner, complete with wine from the award-winning wine cellar.

Pampering is always a plus, and the 10,000 sq. ft. European Spa at the Sonnenalp Resort provides a healing retreat. Whether it’s massage, hydrotherapy, yoga or something else, this is truly a luxurious way to end a day … or being anew. The spa lobby beckons with a stunning circular fireplace, and relaxation is the word of the day, with subtle aromatherapy, calming music and soft candlelight. Within the meditation room, sunlight streams across the pines through floor-to-ceiling windows. Too sedentary? When you’re ready for a workout, a personal trainers is on hand to put you through your paces.

When ski season is wrapped up, it’s time to move outside where a beautiful indoor/outdoor pool and gorgeous pool deck beckon all year long. Whirlpools are a great place to unwind with a fruit drink or glass of wine, and in the warm months the area blooms with flowers. Golfers will love the majestic links of the Sonnenalp Golf Club, just 15 minutes from the hotel. The 18-hole Scottish links course is set among the spectacular scenery of the Colorado Rockies, and elevated tees provide unparalleled mountain views. A truly remarkable property in Vail, Colorado!

Gateway Canyons Resort

One of Colorado’s most breathtaking resorts is nestled near the Colorado/Utah border, at the convergence of five majestic canyons. From the moment you arrive here, you know immediately this will be no ordinary getaway. The resort is awash in adobe-style southwestern architecture, tall cottonwood trees and irrigated green fields that stand in stunning contrast to the red canyon walls that were once the home of the ancient Puebloans.

The resort offerspool-firepit-palisade more than 6,000 acres of natural splendor that still today stands in its most primitive state, including one of the world’s only locations where Precambrian rock is still visible to the human eye. The resort is just steps away from one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils on the planet, yet the luxury that abounds within the rooms and amenities belies the rustic world outside.

“Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa is a one-of-a kind combination, encompassing a dramatic and awe-inspiring environment, paired with one of the finest guest experiences and services around,” says General Manager Rudy Sharp. “Guests have the opportunity for personal growth and enrichment, plus endless opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and memories.”

With its 58 guest rooms and suites and 14 casitas, fabulous dining and spa – not to mention activities galore, this Southwestern Colorado resort is one of a kind. Part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts Collection, the resort is owned and operated by John Hendricks, founder and former Chairman of global media company Discovery Communications (parent of Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet), and founder of CuriosityStream, a multi-platform service delivering a host of content on a variety of topics (

The beautifully appointed rooms and suites in the Kiva Lodge and Kayenta Lodge are indeed the lap of luxury, featuring pillow-top beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, and spacious quarters. Ranging in size from 475-1,100 sq. ft., both offer 42” flat screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and workstations, and the two-bedroom Kiva Suites have private outdoor terraces with hot tubs and gas fireplace. The two signature rooms of the Kayenta Lodge, which opened in 2012, offer oversized private outdoor courtyard with in-ground hot tub and gas fire pit.

The recently opened Palisade Casitas are set apart from other lodging, and each of the 14 structures offer the ultimate private retreat. Featuring 875 sq. ft. to 2,075 sq. ft. of luxurious living, each Casita boasts custom artisan furnishings and hand-carved doors from Peru. One-of-a-kind Turkish rugs and custom-designed textiles reflect the crystal-blue skies and turquoise shades that are signatures of the American Southwest. Vaulted open-beam ceilings separate the master bedroom, five fixture bathroom and free-standing tub and outdoor garden shower, private outdoor patios with fire pit and massive windows that overlook the towering Palisade rock formations. As an added touch, Casita guests have a butler on hand to assist them with their every need.

And best of all, there are activities galore that cater to every type of guest. “The list of unique experiences at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa is almost too extensive to list,” says Sharp. “From our world-class Gateway Canyons Auto Museum, to our own Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle, who will take you on tours of some of the oldest dinosaur track sites in the country, to the locally sourced food, plus our Gateway Canyons Air Tours or Driven Experience Rentals and Pro Baja four-wheel experiences, there is something for everyone at the resort. And maybe the most impactful ingredient is the incredible natural setting, a combination of inspiration and serenity that cannot be matched.”


A little bit irreverent, a lot of fun, and the epitome of elegance. This is what makes the Limelight Aspen special, and this is what keeps guests returning time and again. Back in the day, this now stunning hotel housed “The Ski and Spur Bar, where outlaws and skiers would come to imbibe. Later, it became a popular dinner theater and lively nightclub, headlined by The Limeliters, which drew large crowds and entertainers such as Judy Collins and The Smothers Brothers.

In 2005, the Paas family, which now owned the property, razed the Limelite Lodge and rebuilt a 126-room hotel, which was sold to the Aspen Skiing Company in 2010. And today, the hugely popular hotel stands boldly at the corner of Monarch Street and Cooper Avenue in Aspen, welcoming visitors to come in and enjoy a little something different.

Rooms and suites are spacious and sunny, with high ceilings, big windows, contemporary décor, oversized closets, plush bedding and granite and marble finishes. This fun hotel is not only something to see, it’s also pet friendly! Complimentary bowls and placemats are provided for your canine companions, but it is requested that pets stay out of the bar and lounge area when food is served!

For those wanting a bit more than a hotel room, or perhaps a lot more, the Penthouse Suite is a winner. With 1,300 square feet of exquisitely decorated space, guests can enjoy expansive living room complete with fireplace and entertainment system. A six-seat dining table and full-sized kitchen accommodate a meal fit for a, well, weary traveler or pack of partyers. Two master bedrooms with flat screen TVs, two en-suite bathrooms and complimentary Body Eclipse Spa Line bath products round out the inside. And on the outside? A grand outdoor balcony with sweeping views of downtown, Independence Pass and Aspen Mountain, and, oh yes, a fireplace for roasting s’mores.

Amenities abound, with complimentary transportation, cruiser and fat bikes, a fantastic (and free) continental breakfast, outdoor pool and hot tubs, spacious fitness room, electric car charging stations, and lots more.

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