Denver's best, and probably the best ice-cream I have ever had, can be found at BONNIE BRAE ICE CREAM shop, located at the NORTHWEST CORNER OF S. UNIVERSITY BLVD. AND OHIO (south of downtown). They make the ice cream themselves in the store, and offer up a large number of flavors. Some of their basic flavors are also sold at Stella's Cafe on Pearl Street.
Not that you will likely go here. Knowing about Alfred and his story will likely make you sound a little closer to a native from Colorado.
On Febuary 9th, 1874 Alfred Packard as guide led five other men into the mountains of Colorado in search of gold near Breckinridge, Colorado. Not long after departing - the group was engulfed by a massive blizzard.
Packard next straggled into civilization on April 16th of the same year - alone. By many local accounts he subsequently became a big spender in the local saloon. Stories began to swirl and soon Packard made a confession - that he had killed one of the men in self-defense after the man had attacked the other members of the party. Packard admitted to eating the resulting human flesh out of desperation.
Earning him the nickname - "the Colorado Cannibal." Just to let you know if you are ever in a desperate situation - eating human flesh is not illegal in the States, you just better convince the judge you were damn hungry.
The judge didn't buy Packard's story. Judge Melville B. Gerry pronounced that Packer "be hanged by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead..." .
The verdict was eventually overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court and later in life he was let out. By most accounts he lived as a model citizen in Littleton (a suburb of Denver). In 1907 natural causes got the better of him and he became "dead, dead, dead..."
Here he is in Littleton Cemetary. I decided to visit him one cold January day.
Get out of the city for a little bit and enjoy nature! In 20 minutes you can be in Idaho Springs with many shops and good eats (Take I-70 west until you get to the third exit of Idaho Springs). Beau Jo's pizza is a must if you've never had Colorado pizza. There are also other good places like Mainstreet for breakfast, a buffalo place for lunch, and then pizza for dinner. For drinks, you can go to the local micro brewery, Tommy Knockers. The new hot store in town is Woodland Park Gifts and Gallery.
A great hike is only a short drive up Mt Evans. About 13 miles up St Rt 103 is Echo Lake. For you flat landers you might just want to walk around the lake and call it a day. But, if your tough (which is an easy hike for someone who lives at altitude) there is a trail that starts on the backside of the lake and goes back to Idaho Springs Reservoir (2.5 miles). If you are really tough you can continue back to Twin Chicago Lakes (another 2.5 miles). Start early; clouds tend to roll in during the afternoon. Also, drink plenty of water. Altitude sickness is no joke!
If you want to go riding in Colorado there are a few good places to go that I have visited.
Most wont let you run due to the rocky conditions of the land but the views are amazing and the guides are safe.
If you tip well and are in an area that is safe for the horse and rider they will let you trot and canter.
.............personable.....allows you to camp with the
horses if you prove your horsemanship ability.......owners are from Prague.....great couple.
Pine Cliff Stable
21517 W 56th Ave
Golden, CO 80403
Is an excellent one.....short ride but good guides.
also rocky mtn national park offers rides but i have never ridden there so do a search if you are interested. most places are seasonal......meaning no deep snow although gold lake will let you ride if you are experienced....they also offer lunch and sunset rides around the area.
great riding but check weather conditions.
Green Mountain is the first mountain to rise from the plains and become the foothills of the Rockies. This mountain is practically in the city of Denver which makes it a popular destination for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. The area is protected from devolpment but the large number of users are leading to erosion issues - so stay on the trails. After the 2.7 mile trail takes you to the top you have a commanding view over Denver and a front row seat to the Rockies. To get there take 6th ave west from Interstate 25, take the Kipling street exit and head south on Kipling. From Kipling take a right onto Alameda and you are now heading west again. Alameda takes a soft left around Green Mountain. You will not have much warning that the parking area is coming up but a sign does exist. It will be on your right. Remember to remove all valuables from sight inside of your car.
The Red Rocks park is run by the City and County of Denver as a park and Amphitheatre. The setting is amongst 70 million year old Sandstone tilted at a 60 degree angle. This makes for impressive and colorful spires when the sun is shining. Concerts are held here from June to September but anytime of the year is perfect to just walk around. Directions - Take Alameda West along the South side of Green Mountain. From here Alameda takes a 90 degree right at a stop light with Jewell Ave. Take the right onto Alameda Parkway at this light. Go over a freeway and climb over what is known as the hogback. On the west side of the hogback you will come to a four way interesction with Jefferson County Highway 93. Go straight through this and you are in Red Rocks Park! Total driving time from downtown is about 30 minutes.
Dinosaur Ridge is part of the hogback that is the front line of the Rockies. This place is along Alameda Parkway - the same directions as for Red Rocks Park but the visitors center is only about 300 meters west of the freeway overpass. Stop in here to pick up a trail guide. The ridge is part of 100 million year old sandstone that is part of what is known as the dinosaur freeway. This used to be a beach along the intercoastal waterway and dinosuars left their prints in the mud. Take the 2 hour interpritive hike over the small ridge. A great hike for the kids!
One of the best things about Denver is its proximity to Rocky. In fact, its less than a two hour drive from the tall buildings of the city to the towering mountains and sweeping views of the park. Rocky Mountain National Park is open all year, although some portions of the park are closed in the winter due to snow.
From Denver, take I-25 north to hwy 34 west. For more information, visit my Rocky Mountain National Park page.
This is a small community close to Vail and it is worth a visit for seeing the preserved old town strip of buildings. Georgetown has/had the fame of having the Royal Gorge RR come form here to go down to the south. Now I am not sure if it runs or not. The shops and the retail are nice to visit. The weather here is brutal in summer, or especially winter. Being in a valley that is surrounded by high mountains, it gets gusts of winds beyond imagination. The local tour operator told me it gets easily to 70-80 MPH winds through here and it starts in early fall. Summers also gets a breeze, but not as fierce.
Gold was discovered in 1859 and the mining continued in earnest through the first decade of 1900's. They still dig today, and Arco Gold Mine is in the middle of the town, but most of it is for tourism .
The town is only 1,900 people, and most all are in retail connection some how. Store fronts stretch for a good mile down the old highway, now Miner St. The summers bring many to relax and take in the surrounding mountains. Due to them having a backyard of mountains, the town cannot expand north or south where there also is US 70 blocking the growth. So they are spreading out west. The town has a lot of old time cabins and motels form the original tourism era back in 1950-60's. It looks interesting to stay there.
This community of 6,500 people cater to the traffic coming off of US 70 on the way to or from Denver. Between there, not many places are available to stay. In my opinion, it is easier to stay the night here and go on to Denver in the morning. It is less hassle and easier to find a spot you can trust is clean. Downtown Denver seems not to show many attractive type facilities that area easily located off the highway, and the alternative is to go way west to suburbs to find a chain motel.
The town has been a mecca for travelers for many years, and it also has some decent restaurants, like the one below, South Side Food-Drink. Prices are right and the quality and volume of food favorable. A 2 piece chicken dinner includes a full all you can eat salad bar for $7 and an 8 oz beer $1.40-wow that is reasonable.
Those who visit Dinosaur Ridge will see dinosaur prints. But there's another location just outside Denver where you can see dinosaur bones sticking out of the ground. At least, that's what the sign says they are.
Driving along I-70, you'll see a small road sign indicating the attraction. The parking lot is just off the interstate. From here, a short but steep trail leads to the dinosaur bones.
This is one of the finest and largest hardware stores I have been in. They have all the normal stuff hardwares carry as well as tons of household goods and a wonderful garden center. Our group of 3 women and 2 men spent over an hour just wandering and gawking. It is a local legend and well worth a wander.
2525 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder
On the first Friday of every month, hence the name,all the Artgalleries exhibit their new piece and the artist are there to talk to you about their work. They stay open at night till 10/11 o'clock. Loads of people around in the galleries. Check out espacialy around the street called Santa Fé, most people get dressed up for the night and there are free drinks but nobody get drunk. a great atmosphere.
One of the most unexpected places you will want to go, with or without children, is the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster off Hwy 36 heading West toward Boulder. It is a remarkable journey, and a cool place to visit with over 1200 free flying butterflies, tropical conservatory, and viewing areas.
The Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center is an educational facility for the study of insects and other invertebrates. The facility fosters an appreciation of butterflies and other invertebrates while reminding the public about the need for conservation of threatened habitats in the tropics and around the world.