The Mayor

Unique Lodging Options Near Colorado Springs

On our last trip to Colorado Springs, we experienced two very unique lodging properties – an historic hotel and an historic vacation home – and we enjoyed both.  

Lodging in Manitou Springs, Colorado – The Cliff House at Pikes Peak

On our first night we were booked at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, one of the region’s most distinguished and historic hotels.

Two very different lodging options in the Colorado Springs area. The Cliff House in Manitou Springs. HeidiTown.com

The Cliff House at Pikes Peak. Courtesy photo.

We’d stayed at The Cliff House many years ago, and since that stay, my husband has always named The Cliff House as one of his favorite Colorado hotels.

We arrived in town near lunch time so our first stop was at Manitou Brewing Company. This brewery not only serves up noteworthy craft beer, but also gourmet food. I daresay this is the most foodie brewery I have ever visited. Continue reading

The Best Taco I Ever Ate in Colorado

I’ll be the first to admit that I used this title as click bait. I knew that those of you with favorite taco shops around Colorado were going to click the link, and if you didn’t see your favorite taco listed you would school me on taco greatness.

The Best Taco I Ever Ate in Colorado. Fish taco at Kip's Cantina in Pagosa Springs. HeidiTown.com

Kip’s Cantina, fish tacos

Here’s the thing. “Best of” lists about food are crap and I can say that because I’ve written one in the past. Everyone has a different set of taste buds, not to mention we are influenced by things ambiance and the people we were dining with.

With that being said,  I shall reveal three of the most memorable tacos I’ve eaten in Colorado. I’m sure I’ve had other delicious tacos, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind, and whether that makes them the “best” or not, I refuse to be the judge. Continue reading

A Vacation Home With Moose Neighbors in Steamboat Springs

There is nothing, not even free beer, that makes me more excited than a wildlife sighting, and we had one of the best ever this past weekend in Steamboat Springs at our vacation home, Angler’s Cabin.

We arrived back to Angler’s Cabin, a Moving Mountains property, in the early afternoon to find that we had visitors – visitors of the moose kind. A mamma moose and her two yearlings were taking a break in the front yard of our home, within inches of the front windows.

We carefully went indoors and began snapping photos and watching these lazy moose. They stuck around for awhile, eventually making their way to the back (street side) of the house where the munched on anything they could find.

Enjoy Moose Neighbors with a Moving Mountains Vacation Home. Moose in Steamboat Springs. HeidiTown.com

We’ve never been quite this close to a moose before!

Enjoy Moose Neighbors with a Moving Mountains Vacation Home. Moose in Steamboat Springs 1. HeidiTown.com

These two really seemed to love each other.

Enjoy Moose Neighbors with a Moving Mountains Vacation Home. Moose in Steamboat Springs 2. HeidiTown.com

Got an itch.

Seeing these moose made an amazing stay at Angler’s Cabin even more memorable. Continue reading

Colorado Springs, Land of Museums

Founded as a resort town, Colorado Springs has long been a center for arts and culture. While Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows were taking place in Denver, Colorado Springs was hosting writers and artists.

I believe this predilection for the finer things in life is one reason the city has so many museums. Visit Colorado Springs has 24 area museums listed on their web site, making this city a must-visit for museum fanatics.

Colorado Springs, Land of Museums. FAC - HeidiTown.com

Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado

A Visit to the Money Museum in Colorado Springs

The Money Museum is all about money. It features one of the most complete U.S. gold coin collections ever assembled, including many one-of-a-kind specimens, and the History of Money exhibit will show and tell you how your “change has changed” over the years. We, however, visited this museum to see their Olympic Games exhibit which will run through March 2017. Continue reading

Bar Hopping in Downtown Colorado Springs

It had been a decade since I last went bar hopping in downtown Colorado Springs and wow, has the downtown changed. On a Friday night the sidewalks were full of revelers.

We started at Brooklyn’s on Boulder, one of downtown Colorado Springs’ newest hot spots, but you wouldn’t know it from the front of the building; there are no neon lights, no band posters hanging on the window. In fact, the first thing we saw was a line of nice ties. Yes, men’s neckties.

Bar hopping in downtown Colorado Springs. Brooklyn's on Broadway entry. HeidiTown.com

Brooklyn’s on Broadway, Colorado Springs, Colorado

We went inside and knocked on the door marked “Employees Only.” A dashing man in a suit opened it and ushered us inside. Brooklyn’s is a modern day speakeasy that’s owned and operated by Lee’s Spirits, a maker of fine gin. All drinks at Brooklyn’s are made with Lee Spirits’ gin.

The prohibition style, low-lit speakeasy was buzzing with an early evening crowd. The bartenders here are artisans who aren’t afraid to light things on fire. My martini was divine. Continue reading

Ameristar Casino Resort, when you’re not gambling

We all know the number one reason to visit Black Hawk, Colorado is to gamble, but did you know that Ameristar Casino Resort offers several additional experiences?

When the Ameristar Casino Resort was first built I thought, “Now this place really looks like Vegas.” It’s not brand new anymore, but still retains that modern look of new Vegas. From the faux sky ceiling to the large, modern guest  rooms, Ameristar is the top-notch hotel in Black Hawk.

Ameristar Casino Resort casino floor. HeidiTown.com

This past week I finally got to experience a stay at this resort casino and it didn’t disappoint.

The Ara Spa at Ameristar Black Hawk

In the past year or so I’ve had the great pleasure of being pampered at some really fantastic Colorado spas and Ameristar’s Ara Spa rivals the best of them. It has a contemporary Colorado ambiance, and the interior design incorporates a calming combination of wood, stone and water. Continue reading

A food tour in Delicious Downtown Colorado Springs

Last Saturday we went on the Delicious Downtown tour in Colorado Springs with Rocky Mountain Food Tours. My first piece of advice for anyone participating in this tour is to wear stretchy pants. Seriously, you will thank me.

Our tour started at The Antlers Hotel, a mid-modern goliath in downtown. We had a full tour of 14 hungry people. About half the group was from the Springs area and the other half from the Denver metro area.

Rocky Mountain Food Tours, Delicious Downtown tour. Bambino's Urban Pizza HeidiTown.com

Bambino’s Urban Pizza, Colorado Springs, Colorado

There’s some walking involved on the tour, but I was grateful for the time between stops to let a little bit of the food in my stomach digest. Plus, Colorado Springs is a sunny city, so it’s likely that you’ll be soaking up some Vitamin D while you walk.

Our tour started with a visit to the Caribbean and ended by going down the Rabbit Hole. True story.

I’m not going to give away all the wonderful experience you’ll have on this Colorado Springs food tour, but I will tell you some of my highlights. Continue reading

Experience the magic of Avalanche Ranch

I find something special about every place I visit in Colorado, however, sometimes I stumble across a destination that has just the right amount of history and ambiance to make it magical. Maybe it was the rain, perhaps it was the flock of grazing sheep, but Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs was just such a place.

The view from our cabin at Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs. HeidiTown.com

The view from our cabin at Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs.

As we made our way up Hwy 133 out of Carbondale, Colorado and towards Avalanche Ranch, Mt. Sopris rose like a giant into a cloudy sky that was threatening rain. We didn’t mind. All we had planned for the afternoon and evening was to soak.

As we turned into the ranch, I was giddy to see a field full of fluffy sheep. I hadn’t known that the ranch is home to farmyard animals. In fact, our cabin overlooked the field, and as I ran down to take photographs several sheep came tottering towards me. In their winter wool coats they looked exactly like cotton balls on toothpicks. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back: Wine Fest & Disabled Resource Services

WineFest_logo_new colorHeidiTown Gives Back took a hiatus for a few months, but it’s back. I started the HeidiTown Gives Campaign in 2012, because I wanted to use the HeidiTown platform to help organizations that help Coloradans.

The nonprofit I’m highlighting this month is a service that exists to help folks in their most desperate time of need. No one ever wants to believes that they will need an organization like Disabled Resource Services (DSR), but we never know. In the blink of an eye a person can become disabled, whether it’s through a traumatic accident or serious illness, and DRS is there to help.

DRS assists people of any age and any disability in Larimer County to live with as much independence as their disabilities allow. Many of the people who seek the services of DRS are living in poverty and a significant number are homeless. Read how DRS changes lives on their website, DisabledResourceServices.org.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

DRS’s biggest fundraiser of the year is just around the corner, and that’s where I come in. I’m using this blog post to encourage you to attend Wine Fest, a Fort Collins’ tradition for 34 years.

What’s Wine Fest?

While it’s held in Fort Collins, Colorado, Wine Fest is not a locals-only event. Seventeen percent of last year’s attendee came from outside of Northern Colorado. In fact, ticket sales show that 12 different Colorado cities were represented at the event.

Wine Fest, Fort Collins. HeidiTown.com

And people aren’t just flocking to Wine Fest to support a good cause, they are coming for the more than 500 wines from more than 150 wineries. Not wine drinker, but want to support the cause? Being that the event is held in the Napa Valley of Craft Beer, several years ago the festival organizers added craft beer tasting to the event.

Like many nonprofit fundraisers there is an auction and raffle, but in addition to those standard fundraising activities, there’s a wine luge. Yes, your Rosé will be poured into the top of this ice sculpture and will race down a serpentine route to the bottom where it will splash into a your waiting wine glass.

wine luge ice sculpture at Wine Fest in Fort Collins, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

In addition to wine, there’s also food served at Wine Fest. Catered by more than 10 of Fort Collins’ best eateries, guests will not go hungry at Wine Fest.

Wine Fest will be held Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Fort Collins Marriott Hotel in the evening. Purchase your tickets at WineFestFC.org.

An oasis in Southern Colorado: Discovering hidden travel gems

I know Colorado really, really well, but occasionally,  I learn about a new destination, and when I do, I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl.

While visiting the Southern Colorado town of Alamosa for the Rio Frio Ice Fest, Ryan and I were browsing downtown shops when the gal working at Firedworks Gallery, an amazing store, asked if we were going to visit Hooper while we were in town.

“What’s Hooper?” I asked.

“It’s a town nearby with a hot springs pool that has an adult area where you can soak and have a drink,” she said. “It’s really great. The locals love it.”

“Sold,” I said.

She was referring to Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & Hot Springs, a destination that now rates as one of my favorite random HeidiTown discoveries.

An oasis in Southern Colorado. Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & Hot Springs, pool shot. HeidiTown.com

The heated outdoor pool. A pool with a view.

After running the Rio Frio 5K, we had lunch and then headed to Hooper. Thankfully, we’ve gotten savvy over the years and always pack our swimsuits because in Colorado you just never know when you’ll run across a hot spring.

It only took about 25 minutes of driving to get to the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & Hot Springs. A nondescript sign with a wave painted on it is the only indication of where to turn. Continue reading

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