Archives For Colorado

Solshine Music Festival photo

Solshine Music Festival photo

Holiday weeks such as this one are notorious for low blog engagement, and that’s okay. I hope everyone is out enjoying the 4th of July and the extra, extra long weekend!

The HeidiTown Gives Back post about National Dog Mill Rescue went up on Monday, so today I’m sharing my radio segment. My 5 minute show airs twice a month on KRFC 88.9 FM, public radio in Fort Collins, Colorado. You can hear me on air at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays and 5 p.m. on Fridays.

This week I give you a sneak preview of my trip to Winter Park for The Village Uncorked and the SolShine Music Festival. Plus, a look ahead at the big, second weekend in July when huge festivals are happening up and down the Front Range of Colorado.

Listen to this week’s show HERE.

Sitting on our room’s patio at the Table Mountain Inn, we felt a million miles away from the big city. This is the best part of a visit to Golden, Colorado; it is a small town that’s so close to Denver metro and the Front Range that you’ll hardly see your fuel indicator move on a drive there.

Welcome to Golden Sign HeidiTown.com

We were in town to attend the Golden Music Festival, but this 2-day itinerary works for whatever happens to bring you to Golden.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel and decided to indulge in nachos and a couple gigantic margaritas on Table Mountain Inn’s restaurant’s new patio. A great idea because it was happy hour and everything was just $5, plus the nachos were impressive.

Tour Miller Coors Brewery

After our snack, we walked the short distance to Coors for our VIP tour. This was my first-ever big brewery tour and it was an eye-opener. The scale on which Miller Coors brews beer is staggering. My husband kept referencing “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” as we gawked at huge copper kettles and ginormous two story vats of bubbly stuff. Continue Reading…

This post is a little off-topic, but not far off. I’m obsessed with the new show, “North America” on Discovery. The reason this post isn’t entirely irrelevant to HeidiTown is because the show has shot scenes in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Plus, HeidiTown is actually located in North America.

If you haven’t watched “North America,” it is a seven-part series that started in May. The series comes to an end this Sunday, but I have no doubt that it will be in reruns on the Discovery Channel for a long time, plus, it is already available for purchase on DVD. It is also available On Demand.

I’ve loved nature shows since I was a child. In fact, for years, I wanted to be a marine biologist. One of my heroes as a child was a female marine biologist who worked at an interpretive center in the area where I grew in the Pacific Northwest.

I am deeply in love with nature and wildlife, and the natural world has always filled me with a deep sense of awe. It’s a type of awe that nothing else can inspire. I can honestly say that watching a baby robin taking refuge in our aspen tree or watching a bear dive for salmon on “North America” brings me a type of joy greater than anything else.

There have been a few standout nature shows over the years, including “Planet Earth” in 2006, and “The Life of Birds” with David Attenborough. However, “North America” may have taken its place at the top of my list.

There are several reasons why I love this show so much, but the main reason is that it concentrates on the continent of North America. I’ve noticed, especially lately, that people tend to ignore the amazing stuff that is right around them. They think they need to travel far, far away to really see something magnificent, but this is a misnomer.

There are remarkable things to discover right here in North American and right here in Colorado. This is what I try to get across to my blog readers and followers in social media. You don’t have to get on a plane to see things that will stimulate your curiosity. Just open your eyes! Every day I look around Colorado and I feel so tremendously lucky to live here. The sky, the soaring hawks, the mountains… if people would just open their eyes a little wider, put down their mobile phones and watch the scenery go by…  they would realize that they live in a truly remarkable place.

The following is one of my favorite clips from “North America” on Discovery:

 

Mayor’s note: I’ve written a three-part series on Doing Durango. Part one, published on 5/15, was all about beer and part two published on 5/29/13 was all about food. The final post is all about the touristy activities you shouldn’t miss.

beautiful haflinger horses and Dean from San Juan Sky Outfitters in Durango, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Beautiful haflinger horses & Dean from San Juan Sky Outfitters in Durango, Colorado.

When I visit a new place, I usually try to blend in with the locals, but I’ll be honest, sometimes being a tourist is a lot of fun. We did a lot of stuff in Durango that locals love to do, but we also got to play tourists on our nearly week-long stay.

Ride the Train in Durango

I’ve already written about our excursion on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad here, and it is, without a doubt, the top tourist activity in the area. In addition to the standard train ride they have special train rides, like the Dinosaur Train this month, package excursions and more. Go to Durangotrain.com for more.

Don’t miss the Durango Train Museum located at the train depot. It’s free to tour and has an expansive model train set up that kids (and adults) will enjoy.

An Historical Walking Tour of Durango with the Victorian Aid Society

As part of the conference I was attending, I got to participate in an historical walking tour of downtown Durango guided by the Victorian Aid Society. Anyone can book a tour with this organization, just go here. They even have a Facebook page.

On our historical walking tour with the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society. HeidiTown.com

On our historical walking tour of downtown Durango, Colorado with the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society.

I’ve been on a few historical walking tours and this one is top notch. I wish I’d written down the names of our guides, but thankfully I got pictures. These gals were wonderful storytellers, and that’s what makes a good tour. I don’t just want dates and names, I want the inside scoop, the nitty gritty, the lowdown – and these ladies deliver all that and more.

Take a Horse & Carriage Ride in Durango

I’ll be honest. I have never wanted to go on a horse and carriage ride. It just seemed way too touristy. However, when I was offered a ride by Dean of San Juan Sky Outfitters, I decided to take him up on it, and Ryan and I were so glad that we did.

Even though I’d never been on a horse and carriage ride, as soon as I boarded, I knew this going to be a ride like no other. First of all, Dean and his haflingers are real characters. Haflingers are small horses known for longevity and their excellent disposition. This ride so memorable because of Dean and his horses.

Dean taking some local kids home by carriage in Durango, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

The father of these two local kids, bartered with Dean to give the children a carriage ride home for a small fee. Gotta love a small town!

We boarded the carriage in front of the beautiful Strater Hotel and took off fairly quickly as the haflingers were excited, after all, we were their first passengers of the season.

Our 40 minute tour of historic downtown Durango was exhilarating and humorous. Dean’s stories were slightly different versions than those told by the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society, which only added to the entertainment level. Let’s call Dean’s version of the same stories told by the VAS, the “Cowboy Version.”

You do not need reservation in advance. Just show up and jump aboard. Or you can sign up for a carriage tour with Dean at the Strater Hotel.

Want more info on Durango?  Go to Durango.org.

Special thanks to the General Palmer Hotel for hosting us during part of this trip. Room 301 was a wonderful place to relax after a busy day of exploring Durango.

This trip was sponsored in part by Durango.org.

Golden Music Festival LogoI love music. I grew up in a family where guitars were played on a nightly basis and a singalong accompanied by the piano was commonplace. I don’t, however, go to a lot of music festivals. There are two reasons for this, and the first reason is that they tend to be pricey. Second, like beer festivals, there are a lot of them. They happen all the time, especially in the summer, all over the state. I just can’t keep up.

I’ve known about the Golden Music Festival, formerly the Summer Solstice Music Festival) for a few years. The event features folk, Americana and bluegrass. I have a soft-spot for singer/songwriters and I love acoustic guitar – if you throw in a fiddle, I’m in heaven. When Visit Golden invited me to attend this 3-day music festival over Father’s Day Weekend, I jumped at the chance.

I am happy to report that tickets to this event are very reasonably priced. A 3-day admission to the fest is just $35. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are $25, and to attend just one day is $15. The best part? Children under 12 are free.

The event is a yearly fundraiser for the Golden History Museum and is held at the natural amphitheater at Clear Creek History Park, a beautiful setting right downtown. Picnics are allowed, but alcoholic beverages may only be purchased onsite.

I know this is an event that will appeal to lots of music-loving fathers out there. I hope that you will join me!

I plan to dance.

Golden Music Festival

June 14-16, 2013

Clear Creek History Park

Golden, Colorado

GO HERE for band line-up & to purchase tickets

Join the Golden Music Festival on Facebook

Golden Summer Festival Crowd Shot

Golden Summer Festival at Clear Creek History Park. Photo from Golden Music Festival’s Facebook page.

 

The Durango Diner, HeidiTown.comMayor’s note: I’m going to write a three-part series on Doing Durango. Part one, published on 5/15 was all about beer. Today’s post is all about food and the last post in the series will focus on touristy, fun activities you shouldn’t miss.

In Durango you are just as likely to see a man in a cowboy hat as a guy with sleeve tattoos and ear gauges, and you can be certain that both will be more than happy to stop and help you with directions. This town is friendly and locals will eagerly give you their two cents on the best spots in town to eat and drink.

Dining options abound in Durango. From vegan and gluten free options to menus dedicated to the meat lover in all of us. Nearly every eatery has a top quality wine menu and large craft beer selection; it’s definitely a foodie sort of town.

After spending the good part of a week in Durango, here were our dining highlights, and the places I’d recommend.

Breakfast in Durango

This one is a no-brainer. No less than five people had recommended this place to me when they found out that I was going to be visiting Durango. Ryan and I are big fans of diners, and this one is authentic.

With only a few tables, most of the seating is at the long diner-style bar, and they cook and prepare the food right there in front of you. You see everything, from 12 eggs sizzling on the large flat grill to ladles full of Durango Diner’s famous green chili being generously poured over nearly every plate.

Our verdict? Continue Reading…

TEDx Feed Your Brain LOGOTEDx Front Range is taking place in Loveland, Colorado on May 31, 2013. It’s not a festival per se, but I am featuring the event this week anyway.

I attended my first TEDx last year, and was pleasantly surprised. I walked away inspired and impressed with the level of talent and determination that emanated from the stage on that afternoon.

If you aren’t familiar with TEDx, it originated from TED. TED was founded in 1984, by Richard Saul Wurman. He saw a powerful convergence between technology, entertainment and design (TED) happening in the world. The event brings together movers and shakers; individuals who have done amazing things or simple things that have had amazing results.

The event involves speakers taking the stage for up to 18 minutes. There are two annual TED conferences, with one occurring in the United States and the other in Edinburgh, Scotland. Speakers have included movie directors, software developers, founders of various nonprofit organizations and so many more.

A TEDx is an indepdently organized TED event, and hundreds now take place across the world, including here in Colorado.

TEDx Front Range will present the Pioneers, Guides & Innovators who are elevating the Front Range of Colorado to be unique and vibrant. Speakers include artists, environmentalists, teachers, athletes, writers and magicians.

Here’s a little secret about the Mayor of HeidiTown. I love magic, and I’m most excited about the two magicians in the lineup at TEDx  Front Range, Dan Jaspersen and Derek McKee.

If you are a magician, I’m the gal you want in the audience. I love the feeling of being amazed, and I am truly amazed by magic.

Another person I’m looking forward to hearing speak is artist Daniel Ibanez. He is a G+ sensation with 1,593,199 following him. To put this in perspective, 241 people follow me on G+. Find out why Ibanez is so big on G+ by attending TEDx Front Range.

If you want to be enlightened and amazed, don’t miss this event!

TEDx Front Range

May 31, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.

Rialto Theater

Loveland, Colorado

Buy Tickets Now

horiz tedx

Colorado Brewer's Festival

The Mayor’s husband merrily displays our tasting glasses at Colorado Brewers’ Festival.

So you’ve decided to spend a weekend in Fort Collins – a very good choice, and even better if you plan your stay around Colorado Brewers’ Festival, June 22-23, 2013. In its 24th year, this is one of the first Colorado brew fests and my favorite. With multiple music stages, lots of shade and of course, lots and lots of beer, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival ticks all the right boxes on my What Makes a Great Festival list.

Instead of giving you a specific schedule, I’m going to throw out a bunch of my Fort Collins favorites and let you organize your own fabulous weekend. So without further ado, here’s my 3-day Fort Collins itinerary during Colorado’s Brewers’ Festival.

Stay in Fort Collins

As a fan of boutique, downtown hotels, The Armstrong Hotel is my recommendation for a weekend stay in Fort Collins. This historic property is within walking distance of restaurants, museums, galleries, theaters and, of course, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival.

The Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado HeidiTown.com

The Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I took my husband to The Armstrong for his birthday a number of years ago, and we were delighted to find charming rooms that really are one-of-a-kind. Our room was huge and had a bright and cheery, contemporary sort of feel.  Continue Reading…

Mayor’s note: I’m writing a three-part series on DOing Durango. Part one, focuses on the Durango brewery scene. Part two will focus on food. Part three will focus on touristy, fun activities you shouldn’t miss.

Ska Brewing Tasters HeidiTown

If I had to use just one word to describe Durango, Colorado, it would be “chill.” People are friendly and the pace of life is a few clicks slower than along the Front Range of Colorado. It’s not surprising that this town of 17,000 has five breweries, because nothing says “chill” like relaxing on a sunlit patio with a cold craft brew in hand.

We visited in late April and for the first several days of this trip I was attending a conference, but for the last couple days we played like locals and that meant drinking some really good beer.

The Ska mobile outside Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Pretty sure the Mayor of HeidiTown needs a car like this.

I have been behind the scenes at a number of breweries, but have never had on an official tour until we visited Ska Brewing in Durango. Our tour guide was Holly and we were joined by a pair of brewery owners from Fruita. Continue Reading…

Front Range Rally Loveland beer festival LOGO 2013A new beer festival rolls into Northern Colorado this May, and the unique feature at this event will be food trucks. The brainchild of the guys at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and my favorite beer blogger, Dave of Fermentedly Challenged, Front Range Rally is about all about drinking good beer and eating good food for a good cause.

More than 30 craft breweries are participating in the festival, along with 15 food trucks. All the proceeds from this event go directly to the Food Bank for Larimer County.

The festival organizers are still pinning down bands for the event, and so far Dr. Doctor, a rock’n’blues band from Boulder, has been booked.

Details on food trucks are yet to be revealed, but you can bet that food options will be as varied and delicious as the food cart scene is in Northern Colorado.

Keep track of all the latest developments at Facebook.com/FrontRangeRally.

Early bird tickets are ON SALE NOW! If you buy your tickets on or before April 30, they are just $29, or $36 for a combo ticket that includes $10 in food tokens. After April 30, ticket prices will go up to $33 and $40. Designated driver tickets are $10 and include complimentary soft drinks.

Front Range Rally

May 18, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Loveland Food Share Parking Lot at 2600 N. Lincoln Avenue in Loveland, Colorado

FrontRangeRally.org

Purchase Tickets Now