Archives For hmks

Have you ever visited a place where the birds don’t soar above you, but below? Welcome to Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Canyon photo.

We have driven by this National Park many times and once we stopped briefly on the north end to peer into the abyss. However, we’d never had the time to go into the park.

When I booked our trip to Montrose to cover Oktoberfest, I knew this was our chance to explore this Colorado National Park. After all, the park entrance is just 20 minutes outside of Montrose making this a must-do excursion when you visit the town.

Ryan and I got to the park early on a Saturday while the sunlight was still soft and the birds were just awakening. After a long and fascinating discussion with the Visitor Center’s park rangers about water and the history of the canyon we set out on the Oak Flat Loop Trail (2 miles roundtrip). Note: Take advantage of Park Rangers. They are wealth of information and they are there to share that info with you. Continue Reading…

Have you ever wondered what craft beer pairs best with candy corn? You can find out this Halloween at Fall Back Beer Fest in Estes Park, Colorado.

Fall Back Beer Festival LOGO

The event falls on All Hallows’ Eve this year and therefore a Halloween candy/beer pairing is on the festival agenda.

We attended Fall Back Beer Fest last year and we had a blast. In fact, it was one of two truly stand-out beer festivals of 2014 (Winter Park Beer Festival was the other one).

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (7)

One of the reasons this was a stand out beer festival was because there was an excellent selection of small craft breweries – several that were new to me – plus, I enjoyed the Fall Back Beer Fest’s educational workshops, which often involved drinking beer while learning.

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (15)

Lauren Hoff, Napa Beer Girl, talks about beer sensory at Fall Back Beer Festival in 2014.

Fall Back Beer Festival is a celebration of beer, but it’s also a celebration of the folks who make beer. The festival takes place on American Homebrewers Association’s Annual Learn to Homebrew Day. The festival organizers invite a number of AHA sanctioned homebrewing clubs and individual brewers to come and brew live at the festival.

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (12)

In addition to lots of craft beer to taste, festival goers can attend a variety of seminars by beer industry experts, visit with local hop farm owners, watch demonstrations from equipment fabricators, participate in giveaways, enjoy the candy/beer pairings, listen to live music, and more.

Children are allowed at this event and there are plans for trick-or-treating and a “hedge” maze – not sure what this means, but the event’s Facebook page says it’s “fit for a beer fest!”

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (13)

In addition, the Oskar Blues Brewery Silent Disco will be at this year’s Fall Back Beer Fest. If you haven’t experienced a silence disco, you’ve missed out on one of life’s funniest experiences.

How does Fall Back Beer Fest get its name? It’s always held on the weekend that we turn back our clocks, which gives you an extra hour to party this Halloween.

Fall Back Beer Festival

October 31, 2015

VIP Admission 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

General Admission 12 to 4 p.m.

Estes Park Events Complex

1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, Colorado 80517

Tickets are $30 to $65 (buy now & save money!)

Fall Back Beer Fest on Facebook

Follow @fbbf_estespark

Featured Festival spots on are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email

Despite the fact that it’s October, lots of things are still blooming at the Denver Botanic Gardens. My husband took me there on Saturday, October 10 as part of my Denver birthday celebration. It was glorious. I have never spent a Colorado birthday walking around in flip flops snapping photos of flowers and butterflies. It’s usually cold and threatening snow.

Fall is an excellent time to visit the garden, because there’s a lot going on.

A fall visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. HeidiTown (3)

There’s Glow in the Gardens on October 14, 21 and 28. Visitors will be wowed by jack-o-laterns and luminaria-lined pathways and large pumpkin displays. There are also stories by The Story Seeker, free face or tattoo paintings for the kids, a cash bar for the adults and much more. Continue Reading…

Want more than a simple “boo” + “gotcha” experience this Halloween? I’ve compiled a list of Colorado Halloween activities that go beyond the traditional haunted house visit. These outings will tickle not only your spine, but also your mind.

There are cemetery and ghost walks from Fort Collins to Leadville. I have written about the cemetery tour with Roger Pretti in Leadville here. It’s a fantastic tour and leaves the visitor with a good understanding of what life was like when Leadville was a rough and tumble mining town.

Leadville Cemetery Tour with Pretti.

Cemetery Tour in Leadville, Colorado.

In Fort Collins you can go on Haunted Fort Collins Ghost Tours. They offer everything from a Haunted Pubs Tour to a Horse & Buggy Ghost Tour.

There are many ghost tours available in Denver from the Capitol Hill Ghost Tour to the Denver Underground Ghost Tour. Type “Denver ghost tours” into google and you’ll get a lot of hits. Continue Reading…

My husband and I like to surprise each other with short birthday trips, which often involve a weekend stay in Denver. Over the years, we’d discovered some wonderful Denver birthday hotels, and since I field a lot of questions about the Mile High City, I’d like to share my top three Denver hotels for any special occasion.

The Brown Palace

Ryan and I held our wedding after party at Ship’s Tavern at the Brown Palace in 2003, and we spent the night at the hotel before heading off to England for our honeymoon. Obviously, it will always hold a special place in our hearts.

The grand entrance to the Brown Palace Hotel. Denver birthday hotels.

The grand entrance to the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado.

We’ve stayed a handful of times since because it’s a delightful escape from real life. From the champagne welcome to the fabulous breakfast at Ellington’s, it’s always a treat.

When staying at The Brown Palace you can dine at a variety of downtown restaurants or eat at Ship’s Tavern. They serve up high end pub fare and have live entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The Brown Palace’s packages are worth checking out and they also frequently offer locals-only deals for Coloradans. Continue Reading…

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (1)The Great American Beer Festival may be over, but that doesn’t mean Coloradans stop celebrating craft beer. We celebrate all year long.

Here are a few fall beer festivals that are sure to tickle your taste buds.

Fall Back Beer Festival, Estes Park, October 31, 2015

Ryan and I attended this event last year and it was one of our favorite festivals of last year. Held at the new Estes Park Events Center & Pavilion, what sets this festival apart are the educational seminars and home brewing demonstrations.

This is a Sip & Learn type of beer festival and I highly approve of this type of format. Of course, you can just come and drink, but I’d encourage you to take advantage of the free seminars. Continue Reading…

On our last visit to Glenwood Springs, Ryan and I did the math and discovered that we’ve been to Glenwood more than any other Colorado small town. The hot springs have always been a big draw and now there’s another venue where we can soak our cares away.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Downtown Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Downtown Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs opened this summer along the banks of the Colorado River. We visited in early September to indulge in both an evening and morning soak.

We stayed at Hotel Glenwood Springs, a stone’s throw from Iron Mountain. Eventually the hotel will be connected to the hot springs via a safe walking path, but for now you can drive or walk on the road. This is the perfect hotel for families; their hotel pool is a child’s dream and if I was still a kid you’d never get me out of it. Continue Reading…

Artists, techies, authors, scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, free thinkers – MAKERS are all these things and more.

The first official Maker Faire was held in the bay area of California in 2006. It included more than 100 exhibiting makers. The maker movement quickly grew. Today there are maker faires across the world, including right here in Colorado.

There will be more than 130 makers at the NOCO Mini Maker Faire in Loveland, Colorado this October.

NOCO Mini Maker Faire photo 1

All photos courtesy of NOCO Mini Maker Faire and taken by Lucky Brake, Ltd.

Living Ink will be at the faire. These makers have created an ink that allows you to write, sketch, draw or paint your story over time. Their product writes like a pen, but your words or art will disappear after a few minutes and when placed in a greenhouse your masterpiece will come alive.

Living Ink is just an example of the type of creative folks that will be sharing their inventions and creations with attendees at NOCO Mini Maker Faire. This two-day event will include demonstrations and speakers.

This year, NOCO Mini Maker Faire introduces Makers After Dark. This adult-only evening takes place on Friday, October 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. and features 20 craft distillers, gourmet snacks and larger than life demonstrations by a select group of makers. Think robots, fire and lasers. Tickets are $50.

flame breathing robot at NOCO Maker Faire

I spoke to Montanya Distillers about Makers after Dark while I was in Crested Butte earlier this month and these makers of delicious rum are super excited to be part of this event.

The Maker Faire has been called the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” and parents are encouraged to bring along their children to the main event on Saturday and Sunday. Watch your children be amazed and inspired.

NOCO Mini Maker Faire children

NOCO Mini Maker Faire

October 10-11, 2015

Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology

815 14th Street SW, Loveland, Colorado 80537

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days

Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children.

Click here to purchase tickets

NOCO Mini Maker Faire on Facebook

Follow on Twitter @NOCOMakerFaire

Featured Festival spots on are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email

A one night stay at this bed and breakfast in Colorado Springs and I came away with friends and fond memories

Last week I took a quick trip to Colorado Springs to check out Pepper Festival at the Colorado Farm & Art Market. The market, which is held at Ivywild School on Wednesday and Margarita at Pine Creek on Saturdays, is well-worth a visit. I came away with everything from pickled peppers to duck eggs.

Hot and tired from browsing the market I hopped in my car and drove 10 minutes northwest to Old Colorado City, a historic suburb of Colorado Springs. Founded in 1859, Old Colorado City was the Colorado territorial capital for just five days in 1862. Read about this history at the log cabin that stands on Colorado Avenue in Bancroft Park.

Old Town Guest House, Colorado Springs.

Today, Old Colorado City is a charming neighborhood with fine dining and shopping and is home to the Old Town Guesthouse. Upon check in I was greeted and asked if I’d like a beverage and I happily accepted a glass of cold white wine. Continue Reading…

Meet me in Montrose this October for the…

Featured Festival Montrose Oktoberfest, October 3, 2015. 3If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably driven through Montrose on your way to somewhere else. The fact is, Montrose is smack dab in the middle of a lot of cool stuff and there are a lot of good reasons to stop here for a few nights.

The Black Canyon National Park is a mere 21 minutes away. There are three museums in town and two breweries. Then there’s the Montrose Water Sports Park a few minutes from Main Street. There’s more in Montrose, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Featured Festival Montrose Oktoberfest, October 3, 201Featured Festival Montrose Oktoberfest, October 3, 2015. HeidiTown.com5.

Montrose Oktoberfest 2014, photo provided by the fest.

I’m heading to Montrose for the 10th Annual Montrose Oktoberfest. This fest, hosted by the Black Canyon Home Brewers Association as a benefit for All Points Transit, takes place at the Umcompahgre Event Plaza in historic downtown Montrose.

The event is, first and foremost a celebration of beer. Fifteen breweries will attend this year including local breweries Colorado Boy and Horsefly Brewing Company. Out of town breweries include Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Ska Brewing, Rockslide Brewery and more.

A brand new Winegarten has been added for 2015. This is where local wineries and cideries will share tastes of their wines and ciders.

Entertainment will be provided by Ascending Giants, Good Times Music Company and event headliner, Eleanor Tallie.

Grab a bratwurst or pretzel and enjoy polka dancing performances by Dance Around at 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Featured Festival Montrose Oktoberfest, October 3, 2015. 2

Don’t miss the photo booth where you can “dress up Oktoberfest-style” and share the pictures with your friends online. There will also be a Best Dressed Costume Contest and other games and prizes provided by vendors.

If you are coming to town for this event, check out the Montrose Oktoberfest Stay & Play Discounts on their website. Three hotels in town are offering packages.

Montrose Oktoberfest

October 3, 2015

1 to 6 p.m.

Umcompahgre Event Plaza

Advanced tickets $20 / $25 at the door

Purchase tickets HERE

Montrose Oktoberfest on Facebook

The mission of All Points Transit is to provide safe, reliable transportation by promoting accessibility and independence for seniors, persons with disabilities and the general public in our service area

Featured Festival spots on are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email